Sunday, 20 March 2011

Love Letters To The Public Transport System/Count Me In

Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh
5 stars/3 stars
The National Theatre of Scotland’s rolling Reveal season has thus far
focused on big ideas presented in small packages. These two works in
progress exemplify this approach in two solo pieces performed by their
authors in an engagingly charming fashion. Gary McNair’s Count Me In is
a stand-up lecture that takes McNair’s self-confessed political
ignorance as the starting point for an inter-active power-point led
trawl through the history of what passes for democracy. As witty as it
is, McNair over-eggs his simple premise with an over-reliance on
hi-tech gadgetry when a simple hand in the air would suffice.

Simplicity is the key to Love Letters To The Public Transport System,
Molly Taylor’s autobiographical monologue in which she attempts to
track down the train and bus drivers who transported her and others to
their accidental destiny. Sat on a twin seat from a double-decker with
a pile of discarded tickets beside her on the floor, Taylor cuts up her
own tales of love lost and found with those of actor Tam Dean Burn and
a Glasgow woman’s seeming road to nowhere.

Out of this comes a moving, funny and totally heartwarming personal
meditation on how things we normally take for granted can become very
personal totems en route to the great adventure called love, even, and
sometimes especially, if it doesn’t last. It’s a show about beginnings
more than endings, and one hopes that the purity of Taylor’s
matter-of-fact delivery isn’t spoilt by high-concept production values
when developed further. As it stands, this fragile and utterly
beautiful piece of work reminds us of the reason we’re alive.

The Herald, March 7th 2011

ends

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