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Do I Mean Anything To You Or Am I Just Passing By?

Tron Theatre, Glasgow
4 stars
As has been noted on these pages on more than one occasion, Twelve Stars are unique. With core members writer/director Gerard McInulty and performer Carolyn Allen’s roots in the left-field independent music scene, and with a lo-fi aesthetic relating neither to formal drama or live art, they operate like no other theatre company in Scotland. As indeed this re-mixed version of a piece first commissioned by Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre as part of its bold Cubed season of off-kilter work in 2006 restates, but quietly.

On a raised grey catwalk that runs the length of The Tron’s intimate Changing House space, three performers enter separately. Allen and Fraser Gibson jog along before taking their seats at the back of the stage. Susan Worsfold takes a more laid-back approach, smiling at the audience before she takes the mic. What follows are a series of five short stories, most of which spend at least some time in the kind of late-night watering holes where everybody doesn’t know your name. As each vignette sketches in its subject and their situation, a world of Carveresque isolation emerges against a back-drop peopled by pure pleasure seekers.

Inbetween, the performers may sip from a cocktail, share a private word or else acknowledge the audience in real time. At times it’s as if each have become their own imaginary audiences for this most private of after-hours cabarets. With Glasgow band The Pastels providing a prettily discreet sound-scape to what at times is more akin to spoken word, especially in Allen’s monologue, later broken by a full-on dance routine, this is minimalism at its most beguilingly opaque.

The Herald, February 16th 2009

ends

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