HOW TO WRITE ABOUT THEATRE
by Mark Fisher
"A perfect introduction to what could be a lifetime of pleasure"
British Theatre Guide
With a foreword by Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune
26 May 2016 The Guardian
By Frank McGuinness. A Citizens Theatre review.
REVIVED to mark the centenary year of the battle of the Somme, Frank McGuinness’s play is a great act of theatrical generosity. Those who saw the first production in 1985 may have expected an author from republican County Donegal to have set a wartime drama among the Roman Catholics he’d grown up with. Instead, the troops who file into the makeshift barracks are sash-wearing Protestants from Belfast’s dockyards, Coleraine’s factories and the churches of Enniskillen. They prepare for battle in the trenches of the first world war with the same never-surrender defiance that characterises their historical defence of Ulster.
4 May 2016 The Guardian
By JRR Tolkien. A Puppet State review.
AT THE start of his enchanting one-man show, actor Richard Medrington recommends we think of Leaf by Niggle as “less like a parable and more like a painting”. That being the case, perhaps we shouldn’t dwell on how much JRR Tolkien’s fairy story, published in 1945, feels like a Christian redemption allegory.We should maybe call it coincidence that, at the end of his productive life, the “little man called Niggle” finds himself in a Kafkaesque purgatory of endless menial labour before escaping to an elysian idyll, as if he were en route to heaven. And maybe it’s not relevant to note that, having acquired some self-knowledge, Niggle departs in the company of a shepherd who has offered to guide him on his final journey.
14 April 2016 The Guardian
A National Theatre of Scotland retrospective
THERE had been talk of a Scottish national theatre since the early 19th century, so it was with considerable weight of expectation that Vicky Featherstone launched her self-styled “theatre without walls” 10 years ago. She did so in a way that would define its maverick spirit. Not with red carpets, classic texts and theatrical grandees, but with 10 site-specific performances around the country on the same weekend. I saw amateur actors on a ferry in Lerwick, domestic drama in an Aberdeen council flat, a first minister’s question time written by schoolchildren and abseiling actors scaling down a Glasgow tower block. The National Theatre of Scotland had arrived.
16 February 2016 The Guardian
THERE'S a tremendous scene in the final part of Rona Munro’s trilogy about the 15th century in which a narcissistic James III of Scotland (Matthew Pidgeon) gives his estranged wife, the Margaret of Denmark (Malin Crépin), a full-length mirror. He hopes she’ll look into this novel Italian import and see herself as she really is. Queen Margaret does exactly that but, to his dismay, she rather likes what she sees. It’s an exchange that could stand for the whole of this historical epic, which starts in 1406, when James I became Scotland’s king in exile, and ends in 1488 and the death of James III.
21 December 2015 The Guardian
1. 887, Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC) This summer, I was lucky to get two bites of primetime Robert Lepage. The first was in Toronto, where the Québécois director’s updated revival of Needles and Opium began a tour that will reach the Barbican, London, in July. The dreamlike fantasy linking the lives of Jean Cocteau and Miles Davis was originally performed in 1991 by Lepage himself. It now stars Marc Labrèche and Wellesley Robertson III, who navigate through the windows and trap doors of a rotating cube to tell a story that crosses continents and time zones to mesmerising effect. For stagecraft alone, it should not be missed.
by Mark Fisher
"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
REVIEWS, thoughts and observations about theatre in Scotland.
ARTICLES about theatre published in the daily newspaper and online
RECENT articles about theatre published in the fortnightly events guide.
SAMPLE articles, reviews and CV by the writer, editor and theatre critic.
FEATURES on a range of subjects, plus some reviews.
REVIEWS, articles and extensive database about Scottish theatre.
REVIEWS and news items about Scottish theatre in the US theatre bible.
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