The Last of the Pelican Daughters

Theatre (comedy, new writing)

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  • Pleasance Courtyard - Pleasance Beyond
  • 16:40
  • Aug 25
  • 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Suitability: 12+ (Guideline)
  • Country: United Kingdom - England
  • Group: The Wardrobe Ensemble / Complicité / Royal & Derngate Northampton
  • Warnings and additional info: This show contains strong language and themes some may find distressing.
  • Accessibility:
    Audio enhancement system
    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 2 years


Joy wants a baby, Storm wants to be seen, Sage wants to be paid, Maia doesn’t want anyone to find out her secret and Granny’s in a wheelchair on day release. Mum’s presence still seeps through the ceiling and the floors. The Pelican Daughters are home for the last time. The Wardrobe Ensemble grapple with inheritance, loss and justice in this comedy about four sisters trying to come to terms with their mother’s death. Developed with Complicité. In association with Bristol Old Vic and Pleasance.

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General venue access

  • Audio enhancement system
  • Accessible entry: Queue in cobbled courtyard. Access to space via locked lift ask staff or at Box Office.
  • Wheelchair access type: Building Lift

  • Stairs: 11- 20
    Number of stairs is provided as guidance and is not in addition to any wheelchair access type (lift/ramp etc) stated above.

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

Julie Phillips 111 days ago

Throughly enjoyed this. Very well done

Mark Wilson 111 days ago

One of the very best this year!
I loved this wonderful inventive romp with great direction and performances by all!
I have already recommended this to many. Bravo!

Vee Miller 114 days ago

I'm a big fan of the Wardrobe Ensemble, and this is well up to the high standard set by previous plays. Funny, engaging, emotional - first time I've seen people in the audience tearing-up during a Fringe play. Will stay with you for a long time.

Holly Richards 119 days ago

I loved this show - it's so real and true about having sisters and a relationship with your mother! It was so funny and beautiful, but also clever and unique!

Christopher 121 days ago

I can only endorse other reviewers’ opinions - this is the best thing I have seen this year at the Fringe. Superbly acted and a beautifully written piece. I can’t understand why there are any tickets left for sale. Go and see it.

Patrick Wolton 124 days ago

Best show I've seen at the fringe this year! The story line is undoubtedly amusing but also delivers a serious message of a disfunctional yet very close family. If there's one show you should not miss this year it's this one! Great job by the Wardrobe Ensemble yet again!

Mark Hendrickson 125 days ago

Great show. Best we've seen this year at the Fringe. Funny, moving, extremely well acted and staged. Must see.

The Ockerts 126 days ago

Complex story, well played for a range of characters. Surprising, yet comforting ending - reminding me of the importance of family.

Luke McGibbon 127 days ago

The theatre was packed, and I hadn't seen anyone even flyering. Someone in the queue explained to me the wardrobe ensemble are something of an institution in Bristol and I can see why. This play made me laugh and it made me cry. It had me completely invested in every character. Worth your time.

Edward Jones 127 days ago

Favourite play I’ve seen at the Fringe so far. First time watching the Wardrobe Ensemble and already can’t wait to see more from them. Acting, directing, staging and lighting were all of the highest quality making this tender, heartwarming, and very funny play something really quite special. Absolutely go and see it if you get the chance!!

Henry Empson 127 days ago

Best show we saw at the Fringe this year. Tender, well acted, original and hilarious. I honestly cannot recommend this enough

Michael Paulson 128 days ago

A tender, younger version of August of Osage county. Relaxed and the acting was natural. Pleasantly surprised. Highly recommend this family drama that we can all relate to. Simple set, relied on the chops of the actors.

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

ThreeWeeks (4/5 stars) 106 days ago

Four sisters attempt to celebrate their dead mother’s birthday with their granny (a skeleton in a wheelchair) and their respective partners, but there’s a pervading sense that isn’t going to be solved by dancing to their mum’s records and having a few too many drinks. This darkly comic, kitchen sink-drama...

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Exeunt 106 days ago

Our homes are more than roofs over our heads. Somehow, they absorb the events that went on there, our memories becoming mixed with the mortar, holding together the bricks that make up a family structure. In The Last of the Pelican Daughters, the Pelican children have gathered together to celebrate...

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UK Theatre Web (5/5 stars) 112 days ago

This is a production that will grab you, a cast that will impress you and a play that will stay with you.

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The Scotsman (3/5 stars) 112 days ago

“Pull your tits up,” was the advice given by matriarch Rosemary Pelican to her four adult daughters whenever they expressed problems with the world. ...

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Everything Theatre (3/5 stars) 116 days ago

a bright and unconventional play, presented by a convincing young company and ignited with many sparks of creative genius.

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The Independent (4/5 stars) 117 days ago

Diving deep into one family’s drama is Wardrobe Ensemble, a Bristol-based collective who had a hit with Education Education Education. Their new show, The Last of the Pelican Daughters, is supported by legendary experimental company Complicite....

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Miro Magazine (4/5 stars) 117 days ago

The Last Of The Pelican Daughters is fucking weird. And utterly adorable.

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Edinburgh Guide (3/5 stars) 119 days ago

“Hello House”. The Pelican daughters have returned to the nest where they were born and raised, brooded over by their unconventional mother. Now she is dead, and they are together on her birthday to celebrate her life and to sort out what is to become of the family home. The...

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An Organised Mess 120 days ago

The Last of the Pelican Daughters is surreal, haunting, uplifting and ultimately leaves a feeling of endearment. These aren’t the easiest of family, but there’s no doubting they PeliCan.

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Life as Theatre (3/5 stars) 121 days ago

With its four sisters, all stuck in some form of existential ennui and mourning the death of a recently deceased matriarch it has echoes both of Chekhov and Shelagh Stephenson’s Memory Of Water. Hell, in its delving into the strife of the middle classes it could have landed amid Dominic Cooke’s Royal Court seasons. It’s unlikely this is coincidental; the company have theatrical knowledge built into their DNA.

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The Stage [paywall] (4/5 stars) 122 days ago

On the eve of their late mother’s birthday the Pelican sisters – Joy, Storm, Sage and Maya – return to the family home to celebrate and remember her. The mood is already uneasy when Storm (Jesse Meadows) disrupts things further by suggesting she should have a greater share of the...

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Theatre Weekly (5/5 stars) 122 days ago

The Wardrobe Ensemble have certainly escalated the scale and depth of their storytelling with The Last of The Pelican Daughters, the narrative is complex and layered enough to be a compelling Sunday night TV drama, but with all the theatrical elements that make it perfect for the stage. Having just completed a London transfer, Pelican Daughters must surely now follow, with a wonderfully written script and a talented cast, this is already West End ready.

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The Wee Review (3/5 stars) 123 days ago

It’s their mum’s birthday. So the four daughters return to the nest to drink cheap prosecco in celebration with their husbands, new boyfriends, missing girlfriends – and Granny. The only flaw is their mum is dead. And the will needs sorting out, fairly, on mum’s instruction. So Storm presents her...

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The Empty Blogspace 123 days ago

It’s a laugh a minute, cry a minute open-wound of a play with lots to say, and where better than a big pink house to say it?

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Broadway Baby (4/5 stars) 124 days ago

The Wardrobe Ensemble is back at the Fringe and brings a powerfully emotional story of family.While 2017’s Education Education Education is still fresh on the minds of many after its startling debut and continued success with a recent run at the Trafalgar Studios, The Last of the Pelican Daughters is,...

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British Theatre Guide (4/5 stars) 125 days ago

Bristol-based The Wardrobe Ensemble has brought an earthy family drama to this year’s Fringe. The Last of the Pelican Daughters developed in association with Complicité is a compelling piece of theatre.Following the death of their mother Rosemary, the four sisters of the Pelican family have gathered together to celebrate her...

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Whats On Stage (4/5 stars) 125 days ago

There is a moment in The Wardrobe Ensemble's new show, accompanied by an iconic 1970 song that won't be named, that may be the most intensely brilliant three minutes at the Edinburgh Fringe this year. It'd be awful to spoil but, when it happens, you'll know. Following their hit deconstruction...

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Broadway World (4/5 stars) 125 days ago

The Wardrobe Ensemble have developed this theatre production with Complicité, in association with Bristol Old Vic and the Royal & Derngate Northampton. A family reunion to celebrate their late mother's birthday unearths the truth surrounding the siblings' feelings of their past and hopes for the future. Their mother, Rosemary Pelican,...

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The Guardian (3/5 stars) 125 days ago

There’s lots to love about this show from the Wardrobe Ensemble, creators of Education, Education, Education. It’s in the way the four sisters (surname Pelican) represent their late mother in identical red dresses and take turns to maintain her haunting presence. It’s in the bursts of unexpected choreography to the...

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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.