Review: How To Save A Life, Glass Half Full Theatre, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, By Hannah Goslin

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

Whether this is a Ed Fringe common occurrence, my naive first time attendee is unsure, but this year there is a ‘Death Season’. Many productions have taken this theme and created theatre in response to the stimulus. And also for some great causes.

Glass Half Full Theatre’s How To Save A Life is no different. It sees the story of  Melissa – a young 20’s female, seemingly with her life all ready and raring to go, suddenly finding out she has cancer. What follows is her journey, and those of her boyfriend and best friend in wake of the news.

Melissa is such a loveable character. I kind of what to be her. She loves glitter. She’s confident, fun, with amazing hair and a lovely personality. It is no wonder she catches the eye of a handsome man who wants to be with her forever and becomes best friends with a girl who is wild but equally as loveable.

We get to know Melissa; we laugh and joke with her. We associate ourselves with her, with her ideals and her life, and if we do not have this already, we want it. We want to funny, beautiful personality of Melissa, a caring and adorning partner, a best friend who is mad but would do anything for you. So when we reach crisis point and the C word is issued, we feel even more for Melissa; we feel her pain, her disbelief and her struggle.

Melissa was our constant character, and rightly so – this was her story. And when we soon became her friends, privileged to live her life with her, she makes you begin to think about your own life, your own loved ones and your health and how important all of these are. Who would have thought such a beautiful soul would lead such a tragic life!?

How To Save A Life is hilarious, but heart wrenching. Not many a production would reduce me to tears but as the lights come up, I find myself in a snotty, painful and wet mess, wishing this had not happened to Melissa. This is one of the best productions at this year’s Fringe – A Must See!

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