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Guardian 9 October 2014

Three Sisters

By Anton Chekhov in a version by John Byrne. A Tron Theatre review.

WATCHING John Byrne’s new adaptation of the Chekhov classic, it’s hard to put aside the memory of Alasdair Gray’s notorious “colonisers and settlers” essay. This was the pre-referendum broadside in which the novelist used the loaded language of imperial Britain to describe incomers to Scotland. As Gray saw it, there were those who used the country as a stepping stone for a career elsewhere and those who stayed to make a lasting contribution.

Guardian 1 October 2014

Outlying Islands

By David Greig. A Firebrand Theatre review.

WHEN civilisation finally catches up with Shakespeare’s Prospero and Miranda in The Tempest, there’s the assumption that they’ll leave their island behind. This magic and wildness is all very well, but it’s no match for society. Heading back to Italy, with all its order and discipline, is taken as read. There’s a similar conflict between the tame and the wild in David Greig’s Outlying Islands. First seen in 2002 and now revived by director Richard Baron in a quietly absorbing production for the Borders-based Firebrand company, it begins with two young men from the ministry showing up on an Outer Hebridean rock.

KillJohnnyGlendenning

Guardian 25 September 2014

Kill Johnny Glendenning

By DC Jackson. A Royal Lyceum Theatre review.

ONE of last year’s biggest Scottish theatre hits was David Harrower’s Ciara, a monologue about a woman born into a Glasgow crime family and doing all she can to get out. With Kill Johnny Glendenning, playwright DC Jackson is in similar territory, only this time he plays it as farce. Where Harrower gave us a subtle meditation on the difficulty of cultural change, Jackson offers a Tarantino-esque bloodbath of violent excess and a script of machine-gun hilarity.

Guardian 22 September 2014

Still Game

By Ford Kiernan and Greg Hemphill

THE last time I saw Still Game on stage was at the Brunton in Musselburgh, a theatre with a capacity of 300. That was in the late 1990s and now, after six television series, sundry seasonal specials and a seven-year hiatus, Ford Kiernan and Greg Hemphill have built up the pulling power to play a 21-night run at the Hydro in front of 12,000 people a time.

Guardian 17 February 2014

Musicals We Love: Blood Brothers

By Willy Russell. A Liverpool Playhouse review.

IF you ask a class of drama students why they chose their subject, a majority will answer with an anecdote about seeing a heart-stopping production at a formative age. For me, Willy Russell's Blood Brothers wasn't exactly that (when I saw it at the age of 18, I'd already developed a theatregoing habit), but it did make a tremendous impression. If I'm calculating right, it was Friday 7 January 1983, and I'd managed to buy a ticket for a preview performance in the very back row, upstairs at the Liverpool Playhouse. It must have been the last seat in the house.

 

EdinburghFringefrontcover2

 

by Mark Fisher

Out now

Click here to order your copy

"Every single page of this book is enhanced by Mark Fisher’s lifelong enthusiasm for, and commitment to, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe – the greatest arts festival in the world."

Kath M Mainland

Chief executive, Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society

 

 

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