24 November 2008 The Guardian

Nobody Will Ever Forgive Us

By Paul Higgins. Traverse Theatre review.

YOU can tell Paul Higgins has spent time on the set of The Thick of It. The first-time playwright, who played a hate-fuelled press officer in the vicious political satire, rarely lets a line go by without a wounding barb or a sardonic put-down.

11 November 2008 The Guardian

The Dogstone/Nasty Brutish and Short

By Kenny Lindsay/Andy Duffy. Traverse Theatre review.

IF new plays are a measure of the times, the National Theatre of Scotland's series of Traverse Debuts tells us these are depressing days. After Sam Holcroft's unsettling Cockroach, with its gloomy prognosis that war is a Darwinistic inevitability . . .

31 October 2008 The Guardian


By David Greig and Gordon McIntyre. Traverse Theatre review.

IT is not every day you see a raucous pop musical set on the streets of Edinburgh. But right now, there are two. Later this week, Stephen Greenhorn's Sunshine on Leith returns to Dundee Rep, offering a joyful soap opera of ageing, adultery and falling in love, set to the songs of the Proclaimers. But first we have Midsummer, with similar themes, by playwright David Greig and musician Gordon McIntyre, of indie band Ballboy.

28 October 2008 The Guardian


By Sam Holcroft. Traverse Theatre review.

NO one could accuse Sam Holcroft of lacking ambition. Her full-length debut is an attempt to marry Darwin's theory of evolution to the male propensity for war, suggesting that the violence in our society, from rape to genital mutilation, is a consequence of our preprogrammed need to ensure the survival of the fittest. What starts off like a routine episode of Grange Hill mutates into a radical feminist answer to Lord of the Flies. Although erratically structured, it features one image of such disturbing intensity that Holcroft has to be taken seriously as a compelling theatrical voice.

30 September 08 The Guardian

Cherry Blossom

By Catherine Grosvenor. Traverse Theatre review.

THE disorientation we feel watching Catherine Grosvenor's Cherry Blossom is the disorientation of her characters. They are economic migrants, venturing from Poland to the UK with more drive than language skills. In this co-production between the Traverse and the Polish company Teatr Polski Bydgoszcz, Grosvenor weaves their sense of confusion - of understanding only one side of the conversation - into the very fabric of the play. Writing in both Polish and English, she makes a monoglot audience strain to keep up..

4 August 2008 Variety


By Zinnie Harris. Traverse Theatre review.

ZINNIE Harris couldn't have wished for better timing. As Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic faces a pre-trial hearing before the war crimes tribunal in the Hague, where he must answer charges of genocide and crimes against humanity, the playwright is looking at the awkward question of post-war reconciliation. Completing her war-themed trilogy that began with the Royal Shakespeare Company's "Solstice" and "Midwinter," "Fall" dares to ask how a newly peaceful nation should deal with the ugly legacy of civil war. At the hands of helmer Dominic Hill, the play is as somber and austere as it is gripped by moral urgency.


6 May 2008 The Guardian

Nova Scotia

By John Byrne. Traverse Theatre review.

THE problem with Nova Scotia is the same problem faced by its central character, Phil McCann. The first time we met this irascible artist was as a quick-witted young colour mixer in The Slab Boys, John Byrne's late-70s comedy set in a 1957 carpet factory. Then McCann was the centre of attention, an angry young man full of violent potential, cornered by the deadening restrictions of the adult world. Fifty years on, the opposite is true. His most creative years are behind him, his younger wife is a Turner prize nominee and his best mate, Spanky Farrell, has enjoyed a far more interesting life as a hedonistic rock star.


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