Skip to main content

Kanjoos - The Miser

Dundee Rep
3 stars
As the global village gets smaller, so the comedic appeal of Moliere 
grows more universal. We've known this in Scotland for years, ever 
since Liz Lochhead ripped into Tartuffe in the 1980s. More
recently, poet  Roger McGough put a Scouse spin on the same. Now 
Scots-Asian comic writer Hardeep Singh Kohl and director Jatinda Verma 
have transposed Patricia Dreyfuss' translation of the French farceur's 
study of stinginess to a contemporary cartoon India.

This lends a pertinence to the tale of Harjinder's thwarted scheme to 
buy himself a marriage on the cheap, both in its depiction of austerity 
culture, and of a society where arranged marriages are still
prevalent. This makes for a far brighter affair than such observations 
might imply, as both Harjinder's son Kishore and daughter Dimple 
attempt to put love before money.

While there are some vivid stylings in Verma's youthful-looking 
production, particularly in Antony Bunsee's depiction of a decrepit 
Harjinder, it takes a real poet to make such a yarn fly, and references 
to Slumdog Millionaire and Bollywood aren't quite enough to move things 
beyond the superficial. There is fun to be had, however, with Krupa 
Pattani's cheeky maid, and with Caroline Kilpatrick's posh English 
go-betweeen Frosine, a woman so obsessed with the exotic allure of 
Indian spirituality that her "kundalinis are kinetic."

The best thing by far about this show is the live three-piece band led 
by musical director and keyboardist Danyal Dhondy, and featuring 
compositions by percussionist Hassan Mohgyedddin and singer Sohini 
Alam. With the cast lip-synching to Alam's vocalisations, the trio fuse 
low-key Indo-jazz with a music hall brio that puts real spark into a 
lovely but at times flat affair.

The Herald, March 1st 2013



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…

Scot:Lands 2017

Edinburgh's Hogmanay
Four stars

A sense of place is everything in Scot:Lands. Half the experience of Edinburgh's Hogmanay's now annual tour of the country's diverse array of cultures seen over nine bespoke stages in one global village is the physical journey itself. Scot:Lands too is about how that sense of place interacts with the people who are inspired inspired by that place.

So it was in Nether:Land, where you could see the day in at the Scottish Storytelling Centre with a mixed bag of traditional storytellers and contemporary performance poets such as Jenny Lindsay. The queues beside the Centre's cafe were further enlivened by the gentlest of ceilidhs was ushered in by Mairi Campbell and her band.

For Wig:Land, the grandiloquence of the little seen Signet Library in Parliament Square was transformed into a mini version of the Wigtown Book Festival. While upstairs provided a pop-up performance space where writers including Jessica Fox and Debi Gliori read eithe…


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 …