Friday, 5 April 2013

Viota

Tron Theatre, Glasgow
3 stars
Feminism may no longer be the dirty word it became for a while, but 
it's vital that the movement's foundations are never forgotten. This 
new play from the boldly named Theatre Revolution probably isn't the 
most radical vehicle for such a notion, though it's a game enough look 
back at the 1960s counter-culture as seen from the sofa by three very 
different women.

It's 1969, Vicki is writing for the women's page of a London tabloid, 
and is lodging with the bohemian Vivien while being courted by Jack. 
Into their lives breezes Ursula, an Australian actress and Vietnam 
protestor who buys into hippy ideals more than any of them. Over a 
series of episodic scenes, we see them fall out, argue ideology, share 
each other's self-absorbtion and spout naive platitudes as only 
children of the sixties can.

All of which in Iain McAleese's production of Karen Barclay's script 
developed from a devising process looks and sounds like a more 
flamboyant and politically inclined take on female flat-share dramas 
such as Take Three Girls and The Pleasure Girls  that used to pop un on 
screens great and small back in the day. In fact, so unremittingly 
naturalistic is the play that television would be a far better home for 
it than the stage.

If this seems odd given how the play was created, there are some well 
observed studies of how both the class and gender wars could so easily 
go off the rails, particularly in Frankie MacEachaan's sapphically 
inclined Vivien. Too often, however, the lines sound like they're 
grafted to an idea that never fully allows them to breathe in a curious 
look back in langour.

The Herald, April 5th 2013

ends

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