Sunday, 20 March 2011

Gagarin Way - Review

Carnegie Hall, Dunfermline
4 stars
When Gregory Burke’s devastatingly funny treatise on socialism,
capitalism and Fife’s most rubbish terrorist cell first appeared a
decade ago, ideology was believed to have died in what looked like a
post-political age. Like a slow-burning grenade lodged on some mythical
barricades, however, in today’s post 9/11, post 7/7, post-recessionary
climate of student riots and public anger with the banks, Rapture
Theatre’s revisiting of the play now looks like a hugely instructive
period piece.

Sentimental trade-unionist Gary and thrill-seeking auto-didact Eddie
kidnap what they believe to be a Japanese industrialist in the
Dunfermline factory they slave in every day. When victim Frank turns
out to be a Leven ex-pat just as disillusioned as them, the debate that
ensues goes beyond the high-minded theory of ex politics student and
security guard Tom to take a more nihilistic approach.

It’s still a brilliant idea, putting the all too often abstracted and
romantic idea of direct action on our own doorstep, particularly on
this lengthy tour that opened in Dunfermline itself, even if history
has caught up with such notions. Michael Emans’ production points up
what is essential a series of extended monologues ricocheting between
the quartet with a deadly edge to every one-liner. This is particularly
apparent in Jordan Young’s controlled, razor-sharp portrayal of Eddie,
a masterly study of how intelligence and energy can be wasted, not even
on an empty cause, but on violence for its own end. These days Eddie
would be on the football terraces or finding salvation in the English
Defence League. As it is, in the perennially capitalist world, apart
from the revolution, it’s another working day.

The Herald, February 21st 2011

ends

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