Skip to main content

Yarn

Verdant Works, Dundee
4 stars
The fascinations of Grid Iron are manifold. In previous site-specific works Gargantua and The Devil’s Larder, the Edinburgh based company have ravished our senses with body-centric feasts based on sex, food and other delights. So it is with this latest knitted-together compendium conceived around the idea of clothes and their intrinsic meaning. Director Ben Harrison has taken material from Louise Bourgeois, Henry James and Thomas Carlyle, and fused it with some very candid auto-biographical scenes that leave the six actors metaphorically if not actually naked.

As we’re led through the industrial splendour of the Verdant Works old jute mill, beyond the buttoned-up men in grey for whom everything’s black and white is a dressing-up-box in which every garment tells a story. From the totemic qualities of an old coat, a scarf or some long lost hand-me-downs, we’re led along catwalks and through an oversize wardrobe into Mr Benn style adventures, where a glimpse of stocking, fur coat and no knickers are more than mere decoration. Beyond wedding night fingers and thumbs and cheap threads, however, is even cheaper labour.

It’s been interesting watching Grid Iron add an explicitly political dimension to their output over the last couple of years, much of it gleaned from extensive work in the middle east. So we get war correspondents in disguise and photo-ops of how to get from burka to blindfold in five easy steps. What we’re left with in this co-production with Dundee Rep is classic Grid Iron with an edge, which rips through layers of human artifice to get to the heart of the matter. They wear it well, on their sleeves and everywhere else.

The Herald, April 25th 2008

ends

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Suzy Glass – Message from the Skies

Freedom of movement matters to Suzy Glass, the arts and events producer currently overseeing the second edition of Message from the Skies.This animated literary derive around the city forms part of this year’s Edinburgh’s Hogmanay programme, and runs right through till Burns’ Night. Glass’ concerns are inherent in the event itself, which has commissioned six writers from different disciplines and experiences to each pen a love letter to Europe. Each writer has then paired up with a composer and visual artist or film-maker, with the results of each collaboration projected in monumental fashion on the walls of one of half a dozen of the capital’s most iconic buildings.
With venues stretching from the south side of Edinburgh to Leith, and with one city centre stop requiring a walk up Calton Hill, there is considerable legwork required to complete the circuit. It shouldn’t be considered a race, however, and audiences are free to move between venues at their leisure, visiting each site on d…

Kieran Hurley – Mouthpiece

Things have changed since Kieran Hurley first began writing the play that would become Mouthpiece, which opens at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh this weekend. At the time, Hurley was, in his own words, “quite new on the scene.” As a writer and performer, he had already scored hits with Beats and Chalk Farm, two pieces that put him on the map with a new generation of theatre-makers steeped in an equally new wave of grassroots opposition that drew from the iconography of revolutions past. Where Beats looked at the politicisation of 1990s club culture, Chalk Farm, co-written with AJ Taudevin, focused on a teenage boy caught up in the 2011 London riots.
More plays followed. Some, like Heads Up used the same solo story-telling aesthetic to look at an everyday apocalypse. More recently, Square Go, written with Gary McNair, dissected toxic masculinity through a school playground fight.
All the while as Hurley developed as a writer, from new kid on the block to established provocateur, this…

Rob Drummond – The Mack

Rob Drummond was at home in England when he looked at the news feed on his phone, and saw a post about the fire at Glasgow School of Art. It was June 2018, and the writer and performer behind such hits as Grain in the Blood, Bullet Catch and Our Fathers initially presumed the post was to mark the fourth anniversary of the 2014 blaze in GSA’s Mackintosh Building, which was undergoing a major restoration after much of it was destroyed.
As it turned out, the news was far worse, as reports of a second fire were beamed across the world. As someone who had taken Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s iconic construction for granted while living in Glasgow, Drummond was as stunned as anyone else with even a passing relationship with the Mack.
While emotions continue to run high in response to the disaster, Drummond channelled his thoughts on all this into what he does best. The result is The Mack, a new play that forms part of Oran Mor’s A Play, A Pie and a Pint lunchtime theatre season in Glasgow prior …