What Girls Are Made Of

Theatre (music, true-life)

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  • Assembly Hall - Main Hall
  • 14:30
  • Aug 25
  • 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Suitability: 14+ (Guideline)
  • Country: United Kingdom - Scotland
  • Group: Raw Material and Traverse Theatre in association with Regular Music
  • Warnings and additional info: Age Category: 14 and above (14+)(Strong Language/Swearing)
  • Accessibility:
    Audio enhancement system
    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


Based on her own diaries, the true story of Cora Bissett's rollercoaster journey from 90s indie-kid hopeful to wised-up woman. Touring with Radiohead, partying with Blur; she was living the dream. Until she wasn't... Performing with a live band, Cora celebrates life's euphoric highs and epic lows, asking what wisdom we should pass to the next generation and which glorious mistakes we should let them make. 2018 Fringe smash, directed by Orla O'Loughlin. 'A life-changing litany of pure joy' ***** (Herald). 'Punchy, exhilarating, candid and emotionally raw' ***** (Skinny). 'Well-deserved standing ovation' ***** (BroadwayWorld.com).

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General venue access

  • Audio enhancement system
    Wheelchair Accessible Toilets
  • Accessible entry: There are 48 steps from the main entrance however there is separate level access entrance via a rear door on Lawnmarket. This is adjacent to the Johnston Terrace roundabout, and is next to the Ensign Ewart which is at 521 Lawnmarket, EH1 2PE. Please ring doorbell for entry.
  • Wheelchair access type: Level Access

  • 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

Morag 110 days ago

This show was recommended by a friend who saw it last year.
Without a doubt the best show I have seen at the Fringe in years. Cora Bissett and I must run about the same age and both grew up as rock/indie kids, music running in our veins and getting all the music references.
Right from the first few minutes I was with her on the journey, what a phenomenal story teller she is. Her passion for bringing the story into the room was amazing, ably supported by the rest of the excellent musicians/actors in the cast, they all brought the room alive.
The story also resonated with us on a much deeper level, with her parents ailing health and Cora's own deeply personal loss breaking our hearts with just that bit to close to home for comfort that left us crying with such empathy and personal pain that we felt for Cora and ourselves.
I could not recommend this show enough ... if it returns in 2020 just go see it. We'll be there again.
Astonishing theater that does what it should ....

Lisa 112 days ago

I was blown away by the brilliance and power of this show. Cora’s presence and delivery is utterly captivating and she is superbly supported by the other cast members. There are some proper belly laughs mixed with incredibly moving and poignant moments, and you leave feeling really uplifted. I was in a group of 30-, 40-, 50- & 60-
somethings and each of us connected deeply with the show. An absolute must-see!

Elin 115 days ago

Having missed out seeing this show at last years fringe I managed to catch it on tour during the year but when offered the chance to see it again during the fringe I jumped at it.

If you grew up in the 80’s you’ll love it but it’s something everyone can relate to.

Jane Jackson 116 days ago

I absolutely loved this show. So much so that I went to see it again with my husband as I knew he'd love it too, which he did. The music is great, the band are great, the acting is great. It is wonderful. Such a well told and performed story, moving at times but also so, so funny.

Pat Whorton 121 days ago

For me this was the best show that I saw at the Fringe this year. It was funny, the music was great but at the same time it was full of poignancy. I came away feeling quite moved. Five stars.

Tony Sweeney 121 days ago

This was a most entertaining, moving and original show. It was one of those Fringe experiences that I will remember after years of shows. Sadly my teenage daughter didnt connect athe same level! 5 stars!

Carolyn Chapple 123 days ago

Fantastic show. Cora has created a show which really pulls you in from the start. Having seen other works of Cora's it was interesting to hear about her earlier life. You won't be disappointed if you go and see this

Bill MacDonald 123 days ago

A stunning show and one of the best I have seen in a while-I loved the interplay of the actors playing the different characters and great musicianship as well! A moving and fascinating story made even more so by it being based on the lead character's life. The show we saw had the original drummer from the band (if I understood correctly)-although no longer a schoolgirl!

Aparna 124 days ago

Rock out to some fantastic music as you are quickly drawn into Cora's story. The live music is superb and the acting is natural and brilliant. You're swept along with the story and very quickly really care for the characters. Laugh out loud in some parts and raw sadness in others. It's ultimately an empowering and extremely enjoyable show.

Peter Studd 125 days ago

What Girls are Made Of is definitely a 5 star show! Went on a friend's recommendation - didn't know what to expect at all but its brilliant. The performances of the 4 band members/actors playing multi parts (including, in Cora's case, herself) are excellent. Part autobiographical play, part rock gig. Its funny, fun and moving all in equal measure!

Zena Harris 126 days ago

Good acting, singing and atmosphere but not much of an original story so wasn't a play you get drawn into with twists and turns etc.

Anthony Grahame 131 days ago

This is by far the best show I have seen in the fringe in years. A great story well told and bonus - terrific musicians who play multiple characters in the story............and Cora cannae half sing. Thanks for a great show. And that's from a 73 year old but still a teenager!

Sarah Grant 132 days ago

There’s nothing that makes me happier that hearing of a success story that springs from Scotland, so the story of Cora Bissett and the band Darlingheart from Kircaldy was right up my street. The story was expertly staged, going from gig to play to poetry and back again. Cora narrating her life and times as a teenager in a signed band, her band mates play the cast of characters that populate the story with ease and humour. The male bass player who also played Cora’s mum had me in tears of laughter and tears of sorrow in the way only a rare talent can, and I wholeheartedly believed every single performance presented in that short time. Cora’s creation of this play is a strong and wonderful thing to pass onto her daughter; her own story. I highly recommend going to see this show, it will have you laughing and crying and leaving feeling lighter for hearing it. I want to see the movie of this show (only if the bass player get to play the mum).

Gaye Cleary 133 days ago

Brialliant show - one of the best I've ever seen. definite 5 stars

Nigel Botterill 134 days ago

Saw this saturday 3rd.
Was my most expensive ticket at this years Fringe and I was quite sceptical but what a show.

Powerful, funny, life-affirming. Can absolutely see why this is touring the world...

Niall Walker 135 days ago

A wonderful, funny, moving show with incredible music and songs - it brought a tear to my eye and lit a fire inside my belly! Go see!

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

A Younger Theatre (4/5 stars) 102 days ago

What Girls Are Made Of is – like its subject – one of kind. Riddled with comedy and epic sadness, this production caters to anyone and everyone. It’s for the youth headbanging in their garage. For those who have ever lost a parent – for those who wish to become a parent. For anyone who has ever made a mistake, or who has been taken advantage of. It is an event to satisfy curious minds. For those brave enough to know what it is that makes us human.

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Miro Magazine (4/5 stars) 109 days ago

Returning after a hugely-lauded run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2018, Cora Bissett‘s What Girls Are Made Of is an explosive autobiographical account of the dusty road to teenage stardom.

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Voice Mag (5/5 stars) 118 days ago

What Girls Are Made Of wasn't particularly surprising. We have all heard the stories about the young, hopeful band from a small town looking to be next big thing, who gets screwed over by the big shot, city manager and is dropped almost as quickly as they are picked up. Cliché, right? Well a wise person once said, there is no such thing as originality. It's not the story you tell, it's about how you tell it and the way Cora Bissett, on the stage of the Assembly Rooms Main Hall told her story, was breathtaking.

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Broadway Baby (5/5 stars) 119 days ago

Scruffy indie kids have inherited the world and Cora Bissett rules supreme. Cora Bissett was seventeen and at school when her teenage band, Darlingheart, secured one of the biggest record deals in Scottish music history and shot to fame. Her star flew fast and fell rapidly, but when Darlingheart were...

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The Student Newspaper 119 days ago

Bissett is undoubtedly a talented story-teller, translating her own experience most powerfully through a carefully crafted setlist of goosebump-inducing music.

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Broadway World (4/5 stars) 125 days ago

Darlingheart's Cora Bissett is an ex-indie rocker whose star rose, but fell, 25 years ago. Firmly in the sky again, she revives What Girls Are Made Of for another spell at the Fringe, before taking the show to London's Soho Theatre this September. Bissett's story is a monologue based primarily...

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

Cora has turned out to be a good solid musician and better human being. Here she sketches for us her less that meteoric career as a singer. She manages the hurdles to get what she wanted ending, surprisingly, with wanting something else. Something more. (Spoiler alert: she gets it.) We’re...

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All Edinburgh Theatre (5/5 stars) 136 days ago

Bursting with emotion and tuneful energy, the return to the Traverse of What Girls Are Made Of is a thing of wonder. Emotional upheavals inspired Cora Bissett to revisit her teenage diaries, eventually constructing this autobiographical piece. While it ranges across various periods of her life, the main focus is on...

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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.