Resurrecting Bobby Awl

Theatre (new writing, performance art)

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  • 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 2 years


Born in the nineteenth century and kept in the toe of a boot hung above a fire, Bobby Awl grew to become a feature of the Fleshmarket Steps. Famous in his time but wiped out of history by Messrs Burke and Hare, Bobby's life had passed into the void until his death mask was discovered by international artist and author of the Vorrh trilogy, B. Catling. Resurrected here using a blend of sculpture and performance, Bobby is back – a totem for all the crushed boys of Edinburgh who were transformed by poverty into violent survivors.

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General venue access

  • Wheelchair Accessible Toilets
  • Accessible entry: Once in the Courtyard, enter through the double doors on ground level, Anatomy is on your right hand side.
  • Wheelchair access type: Level Access

  • Stairs: Information not supplied

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

Captioned performances

  • Dates: 15 August, 17 August, 18 August
  • Type: NotSelected
  • Booking options: You can book independently online, or contact our access team to book your tickets and request any specific seating locations or if booking a unit is required.

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

This show has chosen to opt out of audience reviews.

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

All Edinburgh Theatre (4/5 stars) 112 days ago

Resurrecting Bobby Awl, from Avalon and BBC Arts at Summerhall, shines a light on to a forgotten corner of Edinburgh with grace and economy. B. Catling is a genuine polymath – artist, poet, performance artist, creator of The Stumbling Block, Its Index, an extraordinary attempt to represent sculpture in the...

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Radio Summerhall 113 days ago

Caitling’s richly written prose, whose facts are based on a shilling book about Bobby Awl’s vagrant and violent life, is impressively performed by the three strong female cast. Georgie Morell, Maisie Greenwood and Ruth Everett, who brings a seriously impressive Scots accent to proceedings, do this without the aid of costumes in a tight space under Josh Roche’s neat direction.

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Deadline News (3/5 stars) 116 days ago

The ingenuity of the cast and the play’s unique connection to local history make this a worthwhile watch for those seeking an unvarnished look into Edinburgh‘s past.

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The List (3/5 stars) 117 days ago

Summerhall's most memorable performance space is the ideal setting for this story about a forgotten Scottish legend...

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Broadway Baby (3/5 stars) 122 days ago

"Poor Fellow." It's the briefest description given of Robert Kirkwood, and a repeated refrain throughout artist Brian Catling's theatrical sharing of this young man's story: the rise and fall of "Bobby Awl", the most famous – infamous – "street idiot" in 19th century Edinburgh. That "fall", we're told, was total:...

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British Theatre Guide (3/5 stars) 122 days ago

Look for tickets... Raised in the harsh brutality of Edinburgh during the early nineteenth century, Bobby Awl (real name Robert Kirkwood) became something of a folk hero among the brothels and ale houses of Fleshmarket Steps. In fact, it was thought that his name would never be forgotten.Born physically disabled...

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The Skinny (4/5 stars) 122 days ago

Some few hundred years ago in Auld Reekie, there was a man who was cast aside for his ‘oddness’ – his ash-grey skin, his rupturing scalp and a harrowing grin on a face which cannot laugh. The erosion of time would eradicate this gentleman from the gruesome historic tales of...

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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.