Elephant Camel Productions and 7th Floor Productions (previously responsible for Meek at Applecart Arts) present this new play by Claire Lebowitz King.
Two mothers, Heather and Samira, meet at the school gates. One is American (played by the writer, with an stepson), one Iranian (played by Betsabeh Emran, with twins). This is Middle England, where stereotypes reign.
In a short runtime, 40 minutes, a lot of complex issues are raised about culture, expectation, racism, gender norms, white privilege and more. Fi constantly cradles her baby in a harness, while Heather feels businesslike and professional.
Their conversations on circunstance, hope, and denial feel finely judged and realistic. It touches on what the definition of a mother might be and how family expectations and customs can weigh heavily on us.
The play also touches on how children develop: Miles is an over-achiever; the twins struggle at their homework. Also what they notice about the life around them and what is left unsaid and unaddressed.
Outside the Gate is a keenly felt piece of drama which raises lots of questions about what happens behind the smiles at school gates or within classrooms.
Directed by Hilda Cronje, this film has good production values with sharp vision and strong sound. It is a good piece of digital theatre which might make you stop and think.
You can watch this production throughout the Edinburgh Festival Fringe on-demand, with tickets available here.
*** (& a half)