Skip to main content

Apocalypse: A Glamorously Ugly Cabaret

Tron Theatre, Glasgow
3 stars
How would you spend your final hour and fifteen minutes on earth before
the world finally ended, with a bang, a whimper or otherwise? One
possibility is to idle the time with the black-toothed double-act
waiting for rapture in this transatlantic alliance between two ex
Benchtours visual theatre types reinvented as The Occasional Cabaret,
and the creative couple behind New York-based Edinburgh Festival Fringe
stalwarts, Clancy Productions. Combined, these creative couples have
put together a politically inclined compendium of monologue and song
which, in an ideal world, would soundtrack their way to Heaven. Or

With the audience sat at cabaret tables and a scarlet-draped stage
squeezed into the Tron's Changing House space, Lulu and Gdjet are a
couple of gold-garbed crones resembling end of the pier fortune-tellers
who didn't quite predict what was coming next. As vamped into being by
Catherine Gillard and Nancy Clancy, and aided by musician Tim
Brinkhurst, the pair play-act all four horsemen from the book of
Revelations to point up the evils of global capitalism and other ills.
There's a healthily cynical sleight of hand too, as liberal sacred cows
are slaughtered, while Lulu and Gdjet's heavenly ideal is exposed as a
totalitarian dream-state.

Scripted by John Clancy and directed by Peter Clerke, Apocalypse is a
self-consciously kooky experience. On one level it's recession-driven
Poor Theatre in exelcis. Yet, for all its rough-shod appeal and one or
two killer lines, such an indulgence might sit better in a late-night
bar-room slot. At the moment, things feel too formal, as if being
performed into a void. Given the show's theme, might well be the point.

The Herald, October 7th 2011



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…

The Maids

Dundee Rep

Two sisters sit in glass cases either side of the stage at the start of Eve Jamieson's production of Jean Genet's nasty little study of warped aspiration and abuse of power. Bathed in red light, the women look like artefacts in some cheap thrill waxworks horror-show, or else exhibits in a human zoo. Either way, they are both trapped, immortalised in a freak-show possibly of their own making.

Once the sisters come to life and drape themselves in the sumptuous bedroom of their absent mistress, they raid her bulging wardrobe to try on otherwise untouchable glad-rags and jewellery. As they do, the grotesque parody of the high-life they aspire to turns uglier by the second. When the Mistress returns, as played with daring abandon by Emily Winter as a glamour-chasing narcissist who gets her kicks from drooling over the criminal classes, you can't really blame the sisters for their fantasy of killing her.

Slabs of sound slice the air to punctuate each scene of Mart…


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 …