Skip to main content

God Bless Liz Lochhead

Oran Mor, Glasgow
3 stars
You know you're a literary legend when you're referenced in the titles
of other writers works. It happened to Alice B. Toklas and Virginia
Woolf, and now, on the eve of a revival of her 1987 play, Mary Queen of
Scots Got Her Head Chopped Off, Scotland's Makar receives similar
treatment in Martin McCardie's new play. As you might imagine, this
first of A Play, A Pie and a Pint's autumn season of lunchtime theatre
is as appropriately theatrical as its title implies. Taking as its cue
the reunion of three survivors of a fictional Highland tour of
Lochhead's now classic Scots verse take on Moliere's Tartuffe a quarter
of a century earlier, McCardie proceeds to unwrap a big daft
post-modern in-joke tailor-made for west end thesps that takes in
reality TV, the pecadilloes of arts funding and the ongoing promiscuity
of insecure theatre types both in and out of work.

Andy Gray's past-his-best Danny opts to play Tartuffe with a split
personality in order to cope with the production's shoestring budget
while attempting to stimulate some real drama for the cameras with old
flames Portia and Emma. Sprinkled throughout with gags about everything
from Monarch of the Glen to Jimmy Boyle The Musical, McCardie's play
allows full vent for Gray, Juliet Cadzow and Kate Donnelly to parody
their profession with at times hilarious aplomb.

As back-stage sit-coms go, McCardie and Gray's own production hints at
statements on what we now must call the creative industries, although
the reality is only so much green room gossip and is all the better for
it. One thing, though. Given that Tartuffe actually did open
twenty-five years ago, what actually (+italics)did(-italics) go on?

The Herald, September 6th 2011

ends

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Peter Brook – The Prisoner

Peter Brook is no stranger to Scotland, ever since the guru of European and world theatre first brought his nine-hour epic, The Mahabharata, to Glasgow in 1988. That was at the city’s old transport museum, which by 1990 had become Tramway, the still-functioning permanent venue that opened up Glasgow and Scotland as a major channel for international theatre in a way that had previously only been on offer at Edinburgh International Festival.
Brook and his Paris-based Theatre des Bouffes du Nord company’s relationship with Tramway saw him bring his productions of La Tragedie de Carmen, La Tempete, Pellease et Mellisande, The Man Who…, and Oh Les Beaux Jours – the French version of Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days – to Glasgow.
Thirty years on from The Mahabharata, Brook comes to EIF with another piece of pan-global theatre as part of a residency by Theatre des Bouffes du Nord, which Brook has led since he decamped to Paris from London in the early 1970s. The current Edinburgh residency has alr…

Romeo And Juliet - Shakespeare's Globe Comes to Glasgow

Open-air Shakepeares are a summer-time perennial of the theatre calendar, attracting picnicking audiences as much as midges. More often than not, such romps through the grass are frothy, heritage industry affairs designed to be accompanied by strawberries and cream and not to be taken too seriously. Shakespeare’s Globe theatre company look set to change such perceptions when they open their outdoor tour of Romeo And Juliet in Glasgow next week as part of the West End festival.

For the two young actors taking the title roles of the doomed lovers, it will also be something of a homecoming. Richard Madden and Ellie Piercy both studied in Glasgow prior to turning professional. Indeed, Madden has yet to graduate from the acting course at RSAMD, and, as well as facing the pressures of playing such a meaty role in close proximity to the audience, will have the added anxiety of being assessed and graded by his tutors.

“This is the end of my third year,” says Madden following a Saturday mornin…

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…