My mother always told me to say no to strange men offering unsolicited rides in their cars, but you need to say yes and jump in if you are going to enjoy the exhilarating city-wide ride that is You Once Said Yes, created by Look Left Look Right. Not since Fiona Templeton's You, the City ? which played in the capital as part of the London International Festival of Theatre more than 20 years ago ? has a show used a city as a backdrop quite so effectively as this series of one-on-one encounters across Edinburgh, which explore the nature of choice and the way we say yes or no to things without really thinking through the consequences. Although in this instance, rashness pays dividends.
From the moment you step into the Underbelly and are divested of your belongings, you are looked after with real care. You're even given a speech from your loved ones and a chance to kiss them goodbye before you are sent out alone on to the streets. One of the beauties of this piece is that it's largely low-tech. A great deal of this kind of interactive theatre requires gizmos and gadgets, and makes you feel as if you have to perform.
The interactions are very human, very intimate and often feel like a series of hugs. In St Giles' Cathedral you may find yourself having a conversation about faith with a young woman who needs more than most; in Greyfriar's Kirk you could enjoy a cup of tea with a man who has found unexpected peace. In the Grassmarket, I sang Don't Go Breaking My Heart at the top of my voice, just part of the endlessly unfolding spectacle of everyday life.
One of the great things about this show, besides its slippery, snake-like structure, is that it is constantly surprising ? even when you think you've got the measure of it. I thought I was getting to know the people I met, but actually they were getting to know me ? as the final musical encounter proved. It's so cunningly constructed that the connections only gradually become clear, and it takes you to parts of the city normally hidden from view in the hustle and bustle of the festival. Sorry, Mum, but sometimes saying yes is the only thing to do.