AS the librettist for the forthcoming musical adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, David Greig knows all about the demands of a traditional West End show. By contrast, Glasgow Girls, the playwright's current song-and-dance outing, refuses to play by conventional musical rules.
26 October 2012 theatreSCOTLAND
LAURIE SANSOM is to become the second ever artistic director of the National Theatre of Scotland. He leaves the Royal and Derngate in Northampton in March 2013 to replace founder director Vicky Featherstone, who is taking over London's Royal Court. theatreSCOTLAND quizzed him on his plans.
EVEN a trip to the swimming baths is full of ritual. First comes the initiation ceremony of changing room, wire basket and wristband – just as it is here in Adrian Howells's literally immersive performance in the out-of-use Govanhill Baths, Glasgow. We prepare for this show just as we prepared for childhood visits to the local pool: clothes off, trunks on, towel at the ready.
CANADIAN playwright Michel Tremblay's Les Belles Soeurs, translated here as The Guid Sisters, is one of the greatest plays of the 20th century, remarkable on many levels. Fifteen women are on stage, all cramming into the working-class Montreal kitchen of Germaine Lauzon, who has won a million Green Shield stamps in a competition – and needs help sticking them in to the books. Tremblay shows great skill in orchestrating such a number, keeping their characters distinct, their banter hilarious, and their private tragedies true.
By Alison Peebles. A National Theatre of Scotland review.
ALISON Peebles is one of Scottish theatre's most striking figures. With high cheekbones, feline eyes and a confident swagger, she has a winning combination of wit, intelligence and glamour. As it happens, she describes herself in similar terms in My Shrinking Life – except in this National Theatre of Scotland production, it's in the past tense. It comes out as a eulogy.
By William Shakespeare. A National Theatre of Scotland review.
IN HIS one-man Elsinore, Robert Lepage had to have a sword fight with himself. In his solo adaptation of Irvine Welsh's Filth, actor Tam Dean Burn had to beat himself up. Now, in his one-man Macbeth, Alan Cumming fairly convincingly has sex with himself. "Bring forth men-children only," says Cumming as Macbeth, lying topless on the bed, while Cumming as Lady Macbeth straddles her husband, goading him on towards regicide. It is oddly erotic.
23 May 2012 The Guardian
WHAT makes you a revolutionary, says Egyptian actor Sara Shaarawi, is "saying what you really think". There's a powerful sense in this irreverent compendium of voices from the countries of the Arab spring that to do that, however flippant or trivial your thoughts, is a luxury denied in a world governed by extremists and dictators.
By Andrew O'Hagan, Vicky Featherstone, John Tiffany, Paul Flynn, Deborah Orr and Ruth Wishart. A National Theatre of Scotland review.
THE story about Bryan Ferry dying in mysterious circumstances in the Guardian offices is just someone's work-related anxiety dream. But everything else in this bittersweet elegy to the newspaper industry has the ring of truth, straight from the editorial floor. An up-to-the-minute, verbatim collage by the National Theatre of Scotland (NTS), Enquirer deals not only with the kind of murky material currently being raked over by Lord Justice Leveson, but with all aspects of the journalistic trade, from the disreputable to the noble.
By Greg Hemphill and Donald McLeary. A National Theatre of Scotland review.
MENTION The Wicker Man and people tend to snigger. Something in the movie's anachronistic juxtaposition of Scottish island setting, English folklore and early 70s period detail – not to mention Britt Ekland's naked frolicking – make it a guilty pleasure. But a pleasure it is, giving a genuinely creepy edge to the story of the policeman who stumbles into a pagan enclave where the population is hungry for human sacrifice. It may be uncool to admit it, but it is quite compelling viewing.
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