EDINBURGH FRINGE: Polaris at the Scottish Poetry Library EH8 8DT (venue 203) ***
I wasn’t expecting to see the North Star when I booked for Hannah Raymond-Cox.

What I did expect was an account of her search to belong, and it does that in spades.

What I didn’t expect was for it to be so educating – but then that’s the Fringe for you!

I didn’t know that polari was a secretive language widely used by the British gay community from the 1900s to the 1970s, based on slang words derived from a variety of different sources. And I wasn’t aware of any such words during Raymond-Cox’s 50-minute story.

What I was aware of was just how engaging, self-aware and self-deprecating she is and though my attention span when it comes to poetry can sometimes be somewhat short, I became fully immersed in her journey from her difficult schooldays, and her first venture into a gay bar at the age of 18, to her male flat mate declaring his love for her.

The show has a good pedigree. It is directed by BBC Slam Champion Sophia Walker and is hot off a sell-out UK tour.

Raymond-Cox’s delivery is seamless, her story compelling, but it says something about our society when so many gays feel they have to publicly declare their sexuality - almost as if they are looking to belong.

Polaris is at the Scottish Poetry Library most days until Aug 24 at 5pm. Tickets £8 plus concessions.
edfringe.com/polaris