Review: Horse - Careful: Adam Smith Theatre, Kirkcaldy

Horse McDonald (Pic: Kris Kesiak)
Horse McDonald (Pic: Kris Kesiak)

It’s all about finding your voice.

There is no doubt Horse McDonald has an astounding musical voice. As a singer she has produced some stunning albums and performed countless outstanding concerts.

Finding her own voice has been a lifetime’s journey, one she tells in ‘Careful.’

Growing up gay in rural Lanark in the 70s was far from easy. Trying to fit in saw her bullied, and there were moments of real darkness - incredibly tough times as she strived to find her voice.

She tells it all with remarkable honesty in this one-woman drama which took her on a journey well out of her comfort zone at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe.

It has been expanded to include a Q&A with Horse and director Maggie Kinloch, and more music, but it still packs a mighty punch.

There are moments of absolute stillness in the auditorium as Horse recalls life-changing, traumatic, challenging incidents.

But there is also the warmth of her parents’ love and the music which gave her that voice and led her to huge success and, ultimately, contentment.

Her story also chimes with the changing times as Scotland enshrined equality in law - the education resource pack which accompanies the show is aimed to helping young people find out more, and giving them the support they may need as they too seek to find their voice.

The warmth of the Q&A brought the evening to an end on a high note - and, as always, it produced surprises.

The ties that bind were evident as Horse encountered one woman who knew her parents well, and often served her dad when he visited her Lanarkshire cafe.

Each time he did, he burst with pride at his daughter’s achievements.

It’s moments like that which sit at the heart of Careful - on and off stage.

The biography which is set to follow will be equally fascinating.

Horse McDonald: Careful is currently touring Scotland.

For dates please visit: Gilded Balloon

To receive a copy of the educational resource pack, contact