Football is finally home, and there's no more fitting an introduction to Chloe Petts’ debut show Transcience than the song ‘Vindaloo’ by Fat Les, looped. Before Petts even steps out, there is a distinct sense of who they are – a self-acclaimed proud footie lad. Transcience is about that footie-obsessed bloke in a proud lesbian’s skin.
On stage is someone who is confident in their sense of self. Petts’ continuously repeats throughout the show that she is finally the man she always wanted to be, and Transcience is a testament to that.
Petts is a natural at comedy, at times keeping the room latched onto every word anticipating the big punchline, and at other times, just generally in hysterics with the sheer idiocy of her stories. The slightly self-deprecating and anecdotal style of her comedy makes it seem like she’s just having a pint with the audience talking about the tragedy of swooping side fringes. Petts’ presence is just that warm and straightforward.
A geezer with the gift of the gab, Petts banters with the crowd with total ease, and drops off-the-cuff remarks at splash-zone front-row audience members like they’re now her best friends. Peppered among that is well-timed jokes about readers of The Guardian, and men on cancel culture.
Transcience is an incredibly timely show – it is what audiences need to hear right now. Petts’ speaks of her experience of being misgendered, the tribulations of loos co-opted by right-wing debate, and transphobia. However, Petts doesn’t get out the soapbox to do so. She doesn't add to the divisive discourse you’d find easily on Twitter or scattered across newspaper headlines. Nor does Petts preach at the audience – instead, she tells her silly yet compelling stories and experiences. Petts discourse on gender feels more like a much-needed conversation started with the audience.
Chloe Petts has found a home on the Edinburgh Fringe stage, and she is racking up their supporters at an immense speed. A rising star to watch at this year’s Fringe, and for years to come – ticket holders are in for a treat with Transcience.