What Happened to Agnes

Theatre (musical theatre, storytelling)

  • C ARTS | C venues | C aurora - studio
  • 13:15
  • Aug 27
  • 50 minutes
  • Suitability: 8+
  • Country: United Kingdom - England
  • Group: Ulita (UK/Malaysia)
  • Warnings and additional info: Contains discussion of death, Contains fast-moving projected images
  • 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


'When my grandmother’s sister Agnes was nine years old, she disappeared.' What Happened to Agnes brings to life the vivid imagination of singer and storyteller Nishla Smith, as she spins her grandmother’s Malaysian childhood memories into a magic-realist realm of talking tigers, hidden dangers and infinite staircases. Set against the vibrant colour of Luca Shaw's hand-painted projections and a stunning piano backdrop from Tom Harris, Nishla's haunting songs bewitch and enchant, drawing the listeners ever deeper into a dark world of lost memories. ‘Simply Sublime’ ****½ (TheReviewsHub.com). ‘Dreamlike, vivid’ (BritishTheatreGuide.info).

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General venue access

  • Wheelchair Accessible Toilets
  • Accessible entry: Entrance to studio and accessible toilet is via level entrance to halls at 30 Lauriston Street. There is level access to the auditorium. Adapted WC located off foyer adjacent to performance space.
  • 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: 27 August
  • Type: Open
  • 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

Sue McKendrick 26 days ago

A great show! Atmospheric and intriguing. The performers are both very talented.. the.pianist was.excellent, and the vocalist has an excellent singing voice. The song cycle is fantastic, in a classic jazzy style. A highlight of this year's fringe.

Jo Bartlett 27 days ago

5 stars!!! Recommended by my son who’d seen the show three times this is absolutely my top show at Fringe, an extraordinary, intriguing, deeply, emotional story that is mostly sung in a jazz style by the incredible performer and writer who has the most beautiful voice, backed by her wonderful pianist. Both sad and uplifting. Extremely clever use of projection as the set. Loved it all. Congratulations.

Dagmar Gauweiler 32 days ago

Beautifully executed and very touching. Go and see it!

Andrew Smith 32 days ago

Nishla Smith enveloped us in in a captivating story, spun from recollections from her grandmother of her older sister Agnes who vanished from the family when young in Malaysia. It is a captivating story, spun from fragmented memories of a child growing up in Malaysia, fleeing the outbreak of war in the jungle. Nishla's enchanting voice, Tom's interpretative piano and Luca's visual magic make for an unforgettable experince. Highly recommended!

John Schlesinger 33 days ago

Nishla Smith has a lovely warm expressive voice which she uses almost in a whisper but never losing quality and always with very clear diction. She blends this lovely voice with beautiful lyrics to tell the story of her grandmother growing up in Malaysia just before the second world war and the loss of her sister Agnes. All is set to wonderful music written and played by the talented Tom Harris. The flyer said it was sublime, and the performance did not disappoint. The nearly full audience loved it.

Jenny Stewart 33 days ago

A very lovely show for anyone aged ~8 or over. My daughters, aged 10 and 13, and I saw this mesmerising performance today. Beautiful storytelling, through song and voice recordings of a Grandmother's reminisces. "Feel good sad" according to my daughter (but never traumatic).

Nilanthi Sangarabalan 34 days ago

Having Malaysian heritage myself, I was intrigued by this piece and so glad I saw it. It was a mesmerising hour of delicate music, beautiful visuals and wonderful storytelling - I got lost in Agnes's world. The icing on the cake was the recordings of Agnes' sister that were dropped in at certain points, reminding me of my own Malaysian grandmother.

Caroline Harden 34 days ago

Such a beautiful, special, and intimate piece. The art projections were so stunning and the accompanying music just created this really special and delicate performance. I've always thought about how to collect my grandparents stories and memories, and this show does exactly that in such a unique way. I really recommend going to see this, What Happened to Agnes is exactly what Fringe should be

William Hewer 35 days ago

I was incredibly moved by this piece of theatre about family, childhood and memory. All of the constituent parts of the production worked effortlessly together. Tom Harris’ piano playing is sensitive, rich and colorful; Luca Shaw’s artwork and projections beautifully evoke the moods of the stories and the songs; and Nishla Smith’s singing and storytelling is stunning, cathartic and hopeful. Just go and see it!

Freya Magee 35 days ago

What a beautiful, delicate show. It was such a precious and memorable experience to hear these smokey melodies over such rich piano in this intimate space. Its simplicity completely held my attention and I found it very thought provoking and moving. Absolutely deserving of a bigger audience. A unique hour only possible at the Fringe - you must go!

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