Skip to main content

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

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

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…

Phoebe Waller-Bridge - Fleabag

Phoebe Waller-Bridge is a busy woman. The thirty-two year old actress who burst onto our TV screens as writer and star of Fleabag, the tragi-comic sort of sit-com about a supposedly independent woman on the verge is currently overseeing Killing Eve, her new TV drama which she's written for BBC America. As an actress, Waller-Bridge is also filming a big screen project which we can't talk about, but which has already been outed as being part of the ongoing Star Wars franchise.

These are both pretty good reasons why Waller-Bridge won't be appearing in the brief Edinburgh Festival Fringe revival of the original stage play of Fleabag, when it opens next week at the Underbelly, where it was first unleashed to the world in 2013. In her place, Maddie Rice will take on the role of the potty-mouthed anti-heroine after touring Vickie Jones' production for Waller-Bridge and Jones' DryWrite company in association with Soho Theatre. This doesn't mean Waller-Bridge has turned…

The Divide

King's Theatre
Four stars

Everything is black and white in Alan Ayckbourn's new play, a six hour two part epic set in a dystopian future where men and women are segregated from each other following the aftermath of an unspecified plague. Into this landscape, the secret diaries of brother and sister Elihu and Soween are brought to life by Jake Davies and Erin Doherty with a wide-eyed lightness of touch as their hormones get the better of them when they both hit puberty.
Annabel Bolton's production for the Old Vic, EIF and Karl Sydow begins with a TED Talk type lecture that reveals the back story to how things turned out this way. It ends with a sentimental love story designed to tug the heart-strings. Inbetween, there is teenage rebellion aplenty against the regime's institutionalised repression. Liberation comes through art and sex, which, in such extreme circumstances become even greater life forces.

With both plays told through the siblings' diaries alongside ass…