Bristol student dramatics face police during anti-Trump Fringe promotion


By Maggie Sawant, SU Correspondent

Four Bristol University students were promoting their performance, Beauty is Pain, on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile when they were advised by police to leave the area, following a complaint about their ‘inappropriate’ clothing.

Their performance, ‘Beauty is Pain’, examines President Donald Trump’s support for and ownership of beauty pageants, namely Miss USA, and goes on to explore how women are treated in the mainstream media.

The female performers were wearing nude bodysuits covered with Trump quotations. The member of the public who reported them is said not to have objected to the political statement made by the group, but rather their clothing.

The student performers took the political scenes to the streets of Edinburgh | Photo courtesy of PC Productions

Despite the policeman’s suggestion that they move elsewhere, the students remained. Pippa Adamthwaite-Cook, writer and director, told Epigram she explained to the policeman the irony of the complaint as a ‘symptom of the societal issues surrounding gender that the performance grapples with’.

Pippa also stated that a nearby man, wearing only speedos in order to promote his Fringe show, Wrestlemania, did not receive any complaints.

Sexual Harassment at The Fringe

Our director, Pippa Adamthwaite-Cook, got the opportunity to speak live on this afternoons BBC news about the continuing issue of the harrassment performers face at the fringe. Discussing the ways in which performers could be made to feel safer and the reasons why there has been such a spike in reported cases.

Posted by Beauty is Pain on Friday, 23 August 2019

The group have since returned to the Royal Mile to promote their performance and to encourage the public to think more deeply about those in positions of power in today’s society.

While advertising their show, the students have also invited passers-by to pick degrading quotations about women from a hat, and guess the politician responsible for the comment.

Beauty is Pain were promoting their Fringe show when a member of the public complained | Photo courtesy of PC Productions

Adamthwaite-Cook said: ‘We, as members of society, allow those in power to say shocking things about half of the world’s population. We are standing here to make an impact and say - this is not okay. If someone was saying this about your wife or daughter - you wouldn’t stand for it.’

Featured image courtesy of PC Productions

Do you think the students' promotional tactics warranted police intervention?