Monday, 11 February 2013

Long Live The Little Knife

Film City, Glasgow
4 stars
To suggest the art world is full of fakes is an understatement. That 
they’re usually in the business of buying and selling rather than 
artists themselves is also generally true. Maverick writer and director 
David Leddy and his Fire Exit company tackles the art of faking it in a 
fantastical flight of fancy that dissects the whole notion of 
authenticity and finding truth through onstage artifice by leaving 
everything exposed.
Actors Wendy Seager and Neil McCormack greet the audience as they enter 
a room in Govan’s former town hall that’s part studio, part gallery 
chock-full of apparent old masters draped in dust-sheets. The Jackson 
Pollock style splurges that decorate the floor looks the part even 
more. What we’re about to watch, Seager and McCormack explain, comes 
 from a real life meeting in a Glasgow bar between Leddy and a couple 
slightly worse for wear.
The shaggy dog story that follows involves Liz and Jim, a couple of 
extreme con artists who move from off-loading ‘vintage’ handbags on the 
internet to flogging mass produced ‘Pollocks’ to international dealers. 
With a motley crew of madams, mentors and others on the make in tow, 
things may backfire spectacularly, but what a story.
Seager and McCormack switch identities and accent in an instant in 
what, behind its caper movie trappings and meta-narrative conceit 
featuring stage manager Sooz Scott Glen, is a perceptive and 
penetrating expose of how capitalist market forces are getting away 
with murder. As Liz and Jim’s world falls apart, its glossy veneer is 
peeled away to reveal the human collateral damage at the bottom of the 
food chain. We are all prostitutes, indeed.
The Herald, January 11th 2013
ends

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