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Festival Review: Letters Live ****

Ashling Findlay-Carroll reviews a production that is 'moving, inspiring and hilarious'.

The evening begins with Kelvin Jones' beautiful rendition of Nick Cave's Love Letters, during which we are instructed to join in. The result is a heart-warming sound and a sense of community which establishes the atmosphere for the evening, one of celebration, of people coming together. A wonderful start to any live event, but for one that centres around people reaching out to other people, it is perfect.

Throughout the evening we hear:

Love letters

Letters of complaint

Letters of retaliation

Letters of advice

And stand out performances are given from Sanjeev Bhaskar in a hilarious letter from a husband to his wife, detailing all of the many excuses she had given for not succumbing to his seduction methods over the period of a year.

Louise Brealey & Ferdinand Kingsley who beautifully perform two out of many of the love letters sent during wartime. It is moving to witness the longing in one, and the joy of sharing the news of an imminent return home in the reply.

Meera Syal's comical reading of a complaint letter from a passenger on Continental Airlines whose seat was too close to the plane's toilet.

And the letters of advice written and read by Edinburgh young people from their future selves.

We experience the power of words, as we hear letters full of love and hope and the effect is moving, inspiring and hilarious.

Letters Live was part of this year’s Edinburgh International Festival. Its run has ended.

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