Theatre (solo show, new writing)

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  • Underbelly, Cowgate - Belly Laugh
  • 13:00
  • Aug 25
  • 1 hour
  • Suitability: 16+ (Guideline)
  • Country: United Kingdom - England
  • Group: Robin Rayner Productions
  • Warnings and additional info: Contains Distressing Themes, Scenes of a Sexual Nature, Scenes of Violence, Strong Language/Swearing
  • Babes in arms policy: Babies do not require a ticket
  • Policy applies to: Children under 2 years


96% of all male rape cases go unreported. Masking his trauma, Jack steps into the absurd world of modern masculinity and reinvents himself as a "real man". This is his explosive story. How far will Jack go to fit in, whilst hoping his past never catches up with him? Written by and starring Alex Gwyther (Most Promising New Playwright shortlist at Off West End Awards), Ripped exposes this national crisis and the pressures put on young men to live up to outdated ideals. Directed by Max Lindsay. 'Gwyther is a terrific storyteller' (

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General venue access

  • Accessible entry: There are 40 steps into this venue from the cowgate entrance.
  • Wheelchair access type: Not fully wheelchair accessible

  • Stairs: 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

Rebecca Moessmer 106 days ago

Out of almost 30 shows I saw at this year's Fringe this was one of five I saw twice and probably the one that shook me the most. If I had to summarise the show with a few words it probably would be: moving, thought-provoking, relevant, raw, shakes you to the bone.
I think Ripped is a show that everybody should see in their lifetime at one point (tho I think it can be very triggering for some, so you should be prepared), especially men – but not only – and I hope lots of people saw or will see it in the future.
The performance and writing of Alex Gwyther was incredible powerful (I'm not a bit surprised that the writer and actor of Ripped are the same person), I couldn't imagine any other person ever playing Jamie/Jack as he did. The narrative structure of shifts between past and present, flashbacks and current development, and then the moment these clashed together in a heartbreaking (foreshadowed) twist/moment was wonderfully used to show the tragic downwards spiral the main character is on.
They were lots of little and big things and moments in Ripped that sent shivers down my spine, especially knowing that there are so many people out there experiencing what Jamie/Jack did, who never get any justice for what was done to them, and maybe reacting and coping in a similar (unhealthy and terrible) way as he did.
The show tackled and handled the topics of male rape victims and their rapists, victim-blaming, and toxic masculinity (in our society, media, the internalisation of it in individuals, and the effects this has on them and others) brilliantly and these are so important topics we should talk more about, and Ripped is a poignant and perfect example of how to do it.

Heather Stewart 112 days ago

A powerful performance from a talented young writer/actor covering a subject that men should not be made to feel ashamed of. Highly recommended, in my top 5 of 24 shows.

Geraint Owen 112 days ago

Exceptional one man show. Gwyther’s performance is charming and sincere, and the conclusion is devastating. The messages of masculinity and male rape are brilliantly delivered. This show deserves the biggest of crowds, and people need to see this. Easily 5 stars.

Sam Newsham 112 days ago

What a phenomenal production. Everything it has to say about masculinity and male rape is so important and on point. Beautifully acted and told in such a slick way. I hope more people get to see this. Fantastic.

atom james 113 days ago

One of the best shows I saw while in Edinburgh, a visceral, intensely physical performance from Alex Gwyther who managed to embody both the fury and the vulnerability emerging from the after affects of sexual trauma and rape. The performance also explored how performative masculinity tries to compensate for its own fragility through exaggerated (hetero)sexuality, the numbing of feelings via drugs and alcohol and escape into the pneumatic hyper-real armature of the body. It's a must-see play that tackles the very taboo subject of male rape and sexual assault.

Charl Van Wyk 114 days ago

Superb and stunning piece that deals sensitively with a hidden issue. The writing beautifully observed dealing with trauma and use of drugs to numb. The exploration of toxic hyper masculinity is amazingly done.

This deserves to win fringe awards and have a national run

If you see nothing else see this show

Stephen 115 days ago

Ripped challenging, thought-provoking play. It offers up a fresh perspective on masculinity, and deals with the topic of male rape sensitively. The subject matter may be heavy, but the play is immensely rewarding. Writer/performer Alex Gwyther is one too watch.

Paul Bulger 118 days ago

Amazing. Given a flyer on the mile and the next day went to see a show that was thought provoking, breathtaking, full of energy and just taken on a journey rarely seen all by one person. A must see.

Justin Black 119 days ago

Powerful thought provoking show. Amazing performance. Deserves to be seen by everyone.

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The Stage [paywall] (3/5 stars) 115 days ago

Jamie is desperate to prove that he’s a real man. Real men can do 40 press-ups in a row and drink beer all night. As we learn from Alex Gwyther’s new play however, Jamie hasn’t always been like this. He has had to move away from his best friend Sam...

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Bouquets & Brickbats (5/5 stars) 115 days ago

Not only is this a beautifully written piece, one that walks a perilous tightrope between dark comedy and outright shock, but it also features a performance so powerful and compelling that I find myself riveted by it. I’m clearly not alone. Gwyther receives an impassioned standing ovation at the play’s conclusion.

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Theatre Weekly (5/5 stars) 115 days ago

Alex Gwyther brings the world premiere of his new play, Ripped, to the Edinburgh Fringe and Underbelly Cowgate. This exceptionally well written and tenderly performed new play, directed by Max Lindsay is an absolute revelation in terms of writing and performance.

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Fest (4/5 stars) 116 days ago

Writer and performer Alex Gwyther delivers a heart-pumping, physically intense monologue, battling with trauma to mould his character into the stereotype of the “real man”. Moving to a different town following a sexual assault in a local park, Jamie—now reborn as Jack—ditches his best friend Sam, who’s mostly concerned about...

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UK Theatre Web (5/5 stars) 118 days ago

Alex Gwyther is a remarkable storyteller and a mesmerising performer. From the unlikely premise of male rape, he builds a gripping story of warped masculinity. And gets a lot laughs on the way.

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The Wee Review (5/5 stars) 119 days ago

Alex Gwyther stars in this solo show about a guy called Jack. Jack is in the process of shedding his past identity, Jamie, like skin. He is hoping to be reborn, and rise from the ashes as a ‘real man.’ The audience knows early on that something has happened that...

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The Scotsman (3/5 stars) 121 days ago

A furiously committed performance from Alex Gwyther powers through some of the coarser parts of his own script dealing with the trauma of male rape. ...

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Culture Fix (4/5 stars) 121 days ago

Writer and performer Alex Gwyther’s Ripped plays the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and explores the concepts of gender performativity and trauma (with clear elements of crossover) amongst men. A blistering central performance from Gwyther and a bold narrative ensures that Ripped is a hard-hitting theatrical experience.

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Broadway Baby (5/5 stars) 124 days ago

Ripped, by Alex Gwyther is a heroic confrontation with the aftermath of a male sexual assault. The production, playing at Underbelly Cowgate, is a solo performance piece that deftly captures the main character’s desire to hide from his reality by embracing a world of hyper masculinity. Alex Gwyther gives a...

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The List (3/5 stars) 126 days ago

A taboo-breaking one-man show about male-rape...

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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.