By Hamish MacDonald. A Dogstar Theatre review.
YOU probably heard the fuss kicked up by fans of the Smiths in the run-up to Christmas. They were outraged with department store John Lewis for using one of the indie band’s finest songs, ‘Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want’, as the soundtrack to an advert. What greater insult than using a song of heartbreaking yearning as a way to get people to buy things? If Smiths fans were up in arms, just think how Jacobite sympathisers must have felt about Captain Simon Fraser.
By Kevin MacNeil. A Dogstar Theatre review
ONE man produces semen that smells like a dead seagull's armpit. On the other side of the valley, the boils on his brother's chest seep fluid that tastes like nectar. As with the cancer that affects one and the heart complaint that threatens the other, it feels as though a metaphor is looming; something, perhaps, about inner decay mirroring the rotten relationship between these two men, estranged since 1959.
THERE ARE a lot of shows on this year's Edinburgh Fringe to do with surviving a traumatic event, whether that be a war crime, domestic violence or sexual abuse. Henry Adam's Jacobite Country seems also to be the product of trauma, although surprisingly, it is the hitherto unrecognised trauma of being brought up in the Highlands. To be any more precise than that is difficult because this laughter-free comedy never makes it clear what is at stake and exactly what problem its central characters are trying to resolve.
By Matthew Zajac. Dogstar review.
MATTHEW Zajac's father used to tell a story about how to catch a fox. The method is to get the creature in the open then circle it. As long as you complete the circle, the fox will stay grounded. Then you spiral inwards and take your prey. Zajac does something similar to his father. In The Tailor of Inverness (or Krawiec z Inverness), the writer and actor slowly closes in on the Polish-born Zajac senior, giving him enough space to tell his life story in his own way, but not so much room that the old man escapes, fox-like, with his distortions, evasions and rewriting of history.
By Henry Adam. Dogstar review.
LAST week in the Bank of Scotland Children's International Theatre Festival, the multinational NIE company presented The End of Everything Ever, a heart-breaking play about kindertransport and Nazi persecution. It told the story of a Jewish girl who was compelled to flee Berlin for London, and who later returned to find her home destroyed and her family gone.
By Ali Smith. Dogstar review.
THE Accidental, Ali Smith's much-lauded novel, is about the effect on a middle-class family of the mysterious Amber. Enigmatic, inconsistent and appearing out of nowhere, she is the figure by which the others come to define themselves. In her debut play, given its premiere by the small Dogstar company, Smith plays with the same idea twice over. First is the arrival of the much travelled Kirsty, whose identity is uncertain, though she is clearly not the person she says she is. Simply showing up in the living room of Iona and Neil is enough to upset their bourgeois equilibrium.
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