Skip to main content

Just Checking

Tron Theatre, Glasgow
3 stars
Falling in love is a disease that can strike at any time, turning one’s
world upside down and provoking all manner of irrational behaviour,
sheer terror included. In Karen McLachlan’s tragic-comic solo vehicle
for actress Blythe Duff, such an unexpected emotional whirlwind is
equated with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, a disease equally
all-consuming and just as common. Duff plays Izzy Grant, a high-flying
career woman who’s just met the man of her dreams and looks set for the
perfect wedding with the perfect cake and an even more perfect seating
plan at the reception. If only, as Izzy finds herself overwhelmed and
inveigled upon by all her worst fears she’s thus far protected herself
from via series of seemingly harmless rituals; “the glue that holds me
together,” as she puts it.

As Izzy addresses the audience directly in the spick-and-span kitchen
of her pristine white des-res, illustrating her anxieties with a series
of heightened physical tics, the oversize white cardigan she wraps
herself in gradually comes to resemble a strait-jacket in Liz
Carruthers’ deftly directed production for Duff’s new Datum Point
company. If a tad overlong in its current guise, McLachlan’s script
possesses just the right balance of light and shade to lend a broad
commercial appeal to what in other hands might have ended up more
obviously angst-ridden.

For those who only know Duff from TV cop show Taggart, here she is a
revelation, holding the stage with a confident mix of self-deprecating
swagger and frightened vulnerability for the play’s full eighty
minutes. As Izzy finally accepts that nothing’s perfect, anyone who
ever got cold feet might learn from her catharsis.

The Herald, February 8th 2010

ends

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Honourable K.W. Harman: Ltd Ink Corporation

31 Bath Road, Leith Docks, March 17th-20th

In a monumental shipping container down by Leith Docks, a Sex Pistols tribute band is playing Anarchy in the U.K.. on a stage set up in the middle of the room. Either side, various constructions have been built in such a way so viewers can window shop as they promenade from one end of the room to the next, with the holy grail of a bar at either end.

Inbetween, there’s a confession booth and a mock-up of a private detective’s office with assorted documentation of real-life surveillance pinned to the walls. Two people seem to be having a conversation in public as if they're on a chat show. An assault course of smashed windows are perched on the floor like collateral damage of post-chucking out time target practice. A display of distinctively lettered signs originally created by a homeless man in search of a bed for the night are clumped together on placards that seem to be marking out territory or else finding comfort in being together. Opp…

Scot:Lands 2017

Edinburgh's Hogmanay
Four stars

A sense of place is everything in Scot:Lands. Half the experience of Edinburgh's Hogmanay's now annual tour of the country's diverse array of cultures seen over nine bespoke stages in one global village is the physical journey itself. Scot:Lands too is about how that sense of place interacts with the people who are inspired inspired by that place.

So it was in Nether:Land, where you could see the day in at the Scottish Storytelling Centre with a mixed bag of traditional storytellers and contemporary performance poets such as Jenny Lindsay. The queues beside the Centre's cafe were further enlivened by the gentlest of ceilidhs was ushered in by Mairi Campbell and her band.

For Wig:Land, the grandiloquence of the little seen Signet Library in Parliament Square was transformed into a mini version of the Wigtown Book Festival. While upstairs provided a pop-up performance space where writers including Jessica Fox and Debi Gliori read eithe…

Nomanslanding

Tramway, Glasgow until July 2nd
Four stars

In the dead of night, the audience are split in two and led under-cover into lamp-lit tented structures. Inside, what look like peasant women on the run lead us down a ramp and into a large circular pod. It feels part cathedral, part space-ship, and to come blinking into the light of such a fantastical structure after stumbling in the dark disorientates and overwhelms. Sat around the pod as if awaiting prayers to begin, we watch as performers Nerea Bello and Judith Williams incant mournfully on either side of the room. Their keening chorales embark on a voyage of their own, twisting around each other by way of the international language of singing. As if in sympathy, the walls wail and whisper, before starting to move as those on either side of the pod are left stranded, a gulf between them.

This international co-commission between Glasgow Life and the Merchant City Festival, Sydney Harbour Foreshaw Authority in Australia and Urbane Kienste …