Musicals and Opera (musical theatre, historical)

  • theSpace @ Venue45 - theSpace @ Venue 45
  • 12:15
  • Aug 26
  • 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Suitability: 14+ (Guideline)
  • Country: United Kingdom - England
  • Group: High Drama Productions
  • Warnings and additional info: Contains distressing or potentially triggering themes, Strong language/swearing
  • Accessibility:
    Wheelchair Accessible Toilets
    May not apply to all performances. You'll find more information about accessibile performances and how to book tickets in the accessibility tab below.
  • Babes in arms policy: Babies do not require a ticket
  • Policy applies to: Children under 18 months

This show has performances in multiple locations


This fresh new musical tells the story of two women, 200 years apart, on either side of the voracious press machine. Written in pithy verse set to an energetic score, the show centres on the life of the world's first celebrity, Emma Hamilton, seen through the eyes of a present-day journalist transported back in time. But this is no simple biopic. Irrepressible functions on many levels: as a searing social commentary, a tale of blossoming female friendship, and an hour of fun.

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General venue access

  • Wheelchair Accessible Toilets
  • Accessible entry: Up a ramp into the building then level access into the theatre.
  • Wheelchair access type: Not fully wheelchair accessible

  • Stairs: Information not supplied

Each venue can contain several space with different accessibly information. Visit the venue page for full venue accessibility info

How and when to make an access booking

Our access tickets service is available to anyone who:

  • Would like to book specific accessibility services, e.g. a hearing loop, audio description headsets, captioning units, seating in relation to the location of the BSL interpreter
  • Requires extra assistance when at a venue
  • Has specific seating requirements
  • Is a wheelchair user
  • Requires a complimentary personal assistant ticket to attend a performance

Carreen Dew 30 days ago

Gillian Lacey Solimar’s writing is wittty, thoughtful and utterly engaging. In this musical she exposes the sanctimonious cruelty of the press both to Lady Emma Hamilton 200 years ago and, by implication, to various celebrities today. I loved this show, the music and its talented performers. It’s a fringe gem.

Anja Balfour 31 days ago

Wow. A brilliant show, cleverly written, educational and captivating. Performed by a young talented cast. The concept, of how the press could ruin lives and reputations then just like now, was presented in a very engaging way. All the actors played their parts with utmost energy and clarity.
Congratulations to the writers. An excellent show and only a few performances left. Go and see it.

Madalina Cocris 31 days ago

This engaging musical leaves an indelible mark on one's understanding of womanhood, serving as a resounding testament to the power of a thoughtfully crafted narrative and exceptional acting. Witty and clever, the performance offers a brilliantly constructed depiction of the evolution of feminism. In particular, the play broaches historical nuances with remarkable focus and clarity. A truly memorable performance.

Jack Chisholm 32 days ago

Irrepressible is the best musical I've seen at the Fringe this year. It immediately captivates the audience and is thoroughly engaging throughout its one hour 10 minute runtime. The cast were superb, portraying a wide range of characters clearly and delivering both comedic and serious scenes equally well. Caitlyn Calfas as the eponymous Emma was the star of the show.

The music throughout was excellent, perfectly complementing the tone of each scene. Special mention goes to Gillian Lacey-Solymar's witty writing, which brought the story of Emma Hamilton to life while also delivering on the show's opening promise of a critique of the role of the press in modern society. I would recommend this show to anyone at the Fringe this year.

Colin Kilbride 32 days ago

I thoroughly enjoyed this musical. It was a treat. Excellently delivered by a great ensemble. It was thought provoking, moving and laugh out loud funny. The creative direction and use of the space was just up my street, and I was pleased to get to know more about the lady who is the focus of the piece and who should never have been lost within the history books. Colin

Katie and David Stephenson 32 days ago

5 stars - It’s a joy to see the story of Emma, Lady Hamilton, deftly turned into a musical and to be invited to consider Emma’s plight through the prism of the press then and now. There is a lot to Emma’s tragic but compelling story which is clearly and sensitively told with humour and includes many references to her ‘attitudes’ throughout for which she was famous and bring an elegance to the performance. The musical score is well balanced. Caitlyn Calfas is a standout with a strong performance. Highly recommended.

Tracey Campbell 32 days ago

Risqué, clever and with great musicality. The best thing I saw in four days at the Fringe, delivered by a talented ensemble cast. The time and venue are about to change but this is a show I expect will go on to bigger things and is well worth a visit.

Simon de Deney 32 days ago

Irrepressible joy
This is exactly the sort of thing that you come to the Edinburgh fringe to see. This is an epic story told in just over an hour with some beautiful tunes, really strong acting and inventive staging, that doesn't take itself too seriously. The cast work incredibly hard without ever giving the impression of effort and the plot gallops us through Emma Hamilton's life, exploring on the way some quite tough attitudes towards female empowerment, then and now. All credit to Gillian Lacey-Solymar for giving us the other Hamilton musical.

Adam Barnett 33 days ago

I saw Irrepressible today and I was, funnily enough, really impressed! Joking aside it was a superb fringe show. A musical about a fascinating historical figure Emma Hamilton, Admiral Nelsons lover. The story in my view was brilliantly written and performed by an excellent young cast. Who I feel really brought the story to life. It was staged in a lovely venue which I felt gave the audience a perfect oppurtunity to enjoy the fabulous story and performances.

Katie Wood 33 days ago

I have been a journalist who has reviewed at the Edinburgh Festival and Fringe for 36 years ('Scotsman', 'Sunday Times' The Herald and so on). This year, due to recent surgery, I am taking a break but I felt compelled to tell you about the best show I've seen in years - Irrepressible is a must-see.
A brilliant cast - with great singing voices - and a fantastic libretto by Gillian Lacey-Solemar. Funny, witty, entertaining in every sense, this was the highlight of 2023 Fringe. Well done to the team who put it all together. I'm sure Lady Hamilton is smiling wryly from on above (or, knowing her, maybe down below.....).
Katie Wood

Willem Koelewijn 33 days ago

Irrepressible is an unique Musical, as it combines a strong love storie about a young girl that falls in love with Navy officer with not so subtle critique of the tabloid press and critical review of women's rights in the 17 century without being pedantic. The underlying story was so strong and so well performed that it brough tears to my eyes on three occasions.

Rebecca Ellsworth 34 days ago

This is the best show I’ve seen at the Fringe so far! The dialogue and lyrics are in turn witty, clever, and moving- things that would have been cheesy with a less adept script are instead brilliant and cheeky. The show in this short form lacks nothing- nevertheless I want to see a longer version! The cast is amazing- there is not a weak link among them- and the score is fantastic. I truly can’t overstate how great this show is- I’m debating seeing it again if it doesn’t sell out. Absolutely, completely recommended!

Tanya Grant 34 days ago

One of the press reviews I saw described this show as “full of feminism and fun”, and I couldn’t agree more.
This show sets out to right the wrongs of how Emma Hamilton, a 17th century woman and arguably one of the ‘first celebrities’, was portrayed by the media in her own time and over the centuries. It takes us back in time to see her story for ourselves, in 70 minutes of musical theatre, and more than a bit of fun. Certain scenes had the whole audience chortling away, with witty rhymes and excellent comic timing. In other scenes, there were more than a few tears around the room as we saw the hardships of Emma’s life. A talented young cast, and great script and songs come together in a show high on my list of favourites at this Fringe!

Marina Huggett 34 days ago

Well what can I say about IrrePressible ? For me this was the best show i have seen at the Fringe for a long time . The lyrics were clever and extremely witty, the talented young cast were excellent and transitioned seamlessly from from one scene to the next . The music was delightful to listen to. The cast were so professional but the superstar of the show was Emma herself who gave the part her all . Please take the chance to see this musical before it hits the West End . This is definitely the start of something very big

Chris Page 35 days ago

One to see before it costs you an indecent sum in the West End. This musical entertains with memorable lyrics and score in a fast paced production that leaves you laughing and moved in equal measure. But when the applause fades and you head off what stays is its commentary on the corrosive role of the popular press in our society and how little that has changed since Nelson ruled the waves on England’s behalf.

Fiona Macpherson 36 days ago

Witty, clever & quirky, this brilliant piece of musical theatre tells the story of the extraordinary life of Emma Hamilton. It’s a time travelling, rollercoaster journey of emotions, from hopelessness to hilarity.

It shines a light on the desperation & total lack of rights that most, but particularly poor women suffered at that time… & then masterfully switches to the delights of ‘The Em Show’, allowing us to laugh again. It’s a joy of a show!

Luke Jankiewicz 36 days ago

I wouldn’t normally go to musicals or give a review but this sounded intriguing and it blew me away. It‘s witty, poignant, fast moving and really entertaining. The switch from the present day to the 18th century with the link of a reporter was very cleverly done. IrrePRESSible was the highlight of my few days at the Fringe.

Dorcas Morgan 36 days ago

This fresh and energetic production brings to life the story of Emma Hamilton, infamous mistress of Horatio Nelson. In this time-travelling musical, Emma, vilified and hounded by the press of the day, enlists the support of jaded modern day tabloid journalist, Beth, to bring her story to modern audiences and set the record straight. And it’s a tale worth telling.

From humble beginnings and innocent flirtations, we follow Emma as she travels to London where the streets are “paved with gold“. Here she quickly discovers that her gold can be earned through her alluring beauty. She attracts the attention of Lord Nelson early in the story, but it is sometime later when, already married to an older but loved husband – hence the name Hamilton – that they meet again and the rest is history.

What is less well-known is the tragedy of her baby girl being taken from her from an unscrupulous Madame, something she never truly got over, and her determination to be a strong woman in a world dominated by men.

This production packs a lot into one hour and 10 minutes and is great fun. There are some laugh out loud moments and without any plot spoilers look out for the cleverly crocheted props and the reality of living in a ménage à trois.

With a standout performance by Caitlyn Calfas as Emma, supported by a young and talented cast, some lovely tunes, a witty and dynamic script, and simple but effective direction combined to good effect to create some excellent storytelling, I’d recommend adding it to your list of things to see at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Sean Davis 37 days ago

Irrepressible (****)
This musical has a modern day journalist commissioned by Lady Hamilton to return to the 1700s to watch her life so the journalist can write an article to correct the poor public opinion of Nelson’s lover. The show does portray her as having been a prostitute early in her life, but justifies the choice as reasonable for poor, pretty, single woman at the time, and argues that she should not be judged by modern standards. The music was tuneful, the lyrics clear, appropriate, and occasionally witty, and most of the singing was strong, particularly that of Lady Hamilton.

This is the 13th most enjoyable of the 122 shows I have seen so far at the Fringe this year. I hope to see almost 200.

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Musical Manda (5/5 stars) 30 days ago

This is a fantastic introduction into a remarkable young woman’s life and is engaging, energetic and empathic. Definitely try to catch this at this years Fringe.

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Musical Manda (5/5 stars) 31 days ago

engaging, energetic and empathic. Definitely try to catch this at this years Fringe.

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Binge Fringe (3/5 stars) 33 days ago

Well put together, well-intentioned, and good fun.

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Theatre and Tonic (5/5 stars) 33 days ago

I’m excited to see where this production goes from their time in Edinburgh.

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Lost In Theatreland (4/5 stars) 33 days ago

IrrePRESSible is full of feminism and fun.

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Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.

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Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.