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14 April 2015 The Guardian

Uisge-Beatha Gu Leòr (Whisky Galore)

Adapted by Iain Finlay Macleod. A National Theatre of Scotland/A Play, A Pie and a Pint theatre review.

THE SHIPWRECK that inspired Compton Mackenzie to write Whisky Galore took place in 1941 off Eriskay, the island north of Barra where, a decade earlier, he had built a house. For all his affinity with Scotland and love of the Highlands, the author was an outsider, brought up in England. It’s appropriate, therefore, that the one serious note struck by Uisge-Beatha Gu Leòr, Iain Finlay Macleod’s Gaelic-language version of the novel, is to do with who has ownership over stories.


13 April 2015 The Guardian

Titus Andronicus

By William Shakespeare. A Dundee Rep theatre review.

WE'RE seated along the vast bleached-wood tables of a warehouse-style restaurant. There are strip lights overhead, sous-chefs busying themselves on the aluminium tops of an open kitchen and an enormous neon sign reminding us we’re dining in a joint called Rome. The crisp club beats of JD Twitch add to the atmosphere of minimalist cool, even though the wall lined with military portraits suggests a more sinister discipline at play.


13 April 2015 The Scotsman

The Pine Tree, Poggle and Me

By Natasha Gilmore. A Barrowland Ballet/MacRobert review.

POGGLE is the kind of otherworldly creature you might come across at the Beltane Fire Festival. She’s a woodland sprite in autumnal browns and greens whose preferred blanket is a layer of pine branches. Sometimes birdlike, sometimes animalistic, she moves with a touch of kathakali (jingling bells and all) and a dash of pelvis-rocking African dance. She is, as composer-cum-pine-tree Daniel Padden sings, a “mischief maker, maker of fun”.

7 April 2015 The Guardian

Last Dream (On Earth)

By Kai Fischer. A National Theatre of Scotland/Tron review

AS A LIGHTING designer, Kai Fischer understands the power of the dark. Here, as a director, creating a show we hear through headphones, he demonstrates a similar feel for the power of silence. It’s not that the sounds he creates in Last Dream (On Earth) are ever less than mesmerising. The vocal clicks, whispers and fragmentary voices of Ryan Gerald, Mercy Ojelade and Adura Onashile (all excellent) are emotionally underpinned by the expansive guitarscapes of Tyler Collins and the understated percussion of Gameli Tordzro. Along with the interventions of sound designer Matt Padden, they create a gorgeous aural tapestry.


1 April 2015 The Guardian

The Straw Chair

By Sue Glover. A Borderline/Hirtle Theatre review.

SOMETIMES a playwright writes a character who is bigger than the play she inhabits. Without Rachel Chiesley, real-life wife of James Erskine, the 18th-century Lord Grange, Sue Glover’s 1988 drama The Straw Chair would be a historically interesting but theatrically unexceptional evocation of life on St Kilda. We’d see Aneas Seaton, a standard-issue minister clutching his Bible and taking offence at the islanders’ godless ways. We’d see his new wife, Isabel, who, for all her youth and naivety, has a keener instinct for injustice than her bookish husband. And we’d see Oona, the salt-of-the-earth local, more uncomplicatedly good than any of them, despite her pagan superstitions.


31 March 2015 The Guardian

And the Beat Goes On

By Stef Smith. A Random Accomplice/Perth Theatre review.

ENDA Walsh’s The Walworth Farce is about a family of Irish expats in London who react to a trauma by endlessly re-enacting a farce in their front room. There’s a similar idea in Stef Smith’s And the Beat Goes On, only in this case, Lily and Peter are Scottish expats in the US, whose response to a domestic tragedy is to spend every spare moment rehearsing the routines of Sonny and Cher. When we find them in their suburban garage, eight years after the event that has emotionally paralysed them, they have mastered 63 episodes of The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour, corny pre-divorce dialogue and all.

28 March 2015 The Guardian

Kai Fischer on his new play Last Dream (On Earth)

Interview about the National Theatre of Scotland production

WHEN Kai Fischer heard the news, the first thing he did was phone work. Thinking on his feet, he told his boss he needed to take the next day off to see his brother. What he had in mind was something more ambitious. The word was out that Hungary had opened its borders to the West. Fischer did not hesitate before getting on the train. That was when he bid farewell to his East German home. This was the summer of 1989. After taking down the fence along the border with Austria, Hungary effectively paved the way for East Germans such as Fischer to escape to West Germany.


18 March 2015 Variety

New Director of Edinburgh Intl. Festival Debuts with Strong Theater Lineup

News piece about launch of EIF 2015. An Edinburgh International Festival preview.

THE new chief of the Edinburgh International Festival has announced a stellar theatrical lineup for his inaugural edition of the festival, with Robert Lepage, David Greig, Enda Walsh, Simon McBurney and Ivo van Hove (whose “Antigone,” pictured above, stars Juliette Binoche) among the 2300 artists from 39 nations that Fergus Linehan — previously of the Dublin Theater Festival, the Sydney Festival and Sydney Opera House — has invited to appear in the August event.





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