Skip to main content

Un Petit Moliere


Tom Fleming Centre, Stewart's Melville College, Edinburgh
3 stars
There's something joyful about this double bill of Moliere comic miniatures, adapted here for Lung Ha's Theatre Company in typically scurrilous fashion by Morna Pearson. This may have something to do with MJ McCarthy and Kim Moore's jaunty accordion-led soundtrack that plays as the audience enter, or it may be the bustle of the cast who welcome them into designer Karen Tennant's beautifully draped world. Either way, there's a sense of period-costumed liberation at play, both in the first piece, The Seductive Countess, and in it's follow-up, The Flying Doctor.

The Seductive Countess finds the protege of a vain and selfish lady persuading her Viscount true love to see off her suitors, while The Flying Doctor has a pair of bumbling servants role-play a couple of quacks in order to prevent an unseemly marriage. Pared down to just seventy-five minutes overall, Maria Oller's production allows Lung Ha's regular large ensemble cast to have fun with Pearson's material with some surprisingly deft interplay in both pieces. Teri Robb as Julie in the first play gives a particularly deadpan turn, while there is much fun to be had with the healing powers of urine samples in The Flying Doctor, as the below stairs double act knock it back like fine wine.

While the ornate surroundings of Stewart's Melville adds to the overall atmosphere of the show, it's a puzzle why it isn't being seen in a regular theatre. Now more than ever, companies such as Lung Ha's need to be seen in the mainstream rather than appearing to have been sidelined in this way.

The Herald, April 12th 2013

ends

Comments

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…

Nomanslanding

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 …