Skip to main content

First Love

Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh
4 stars
A man steps out from the audience and onto a stage that remains bare 
other than a stool that sits in the far corner while a solitary shaft 
of light brightens the stage's centre. As the reflective piano music 
that's been playing fades out, the man, dressed in buttoned-up charity 
shop suit and a hoodie underneath, proceeds to tell his story. Or 
rather, in the Cork-based Gare St Lazare Players latest rendering of 
Samuel Beckett's prose, one of many stories. Because there's a real 
sense of continuum in the company's approach that becomes increasingly 
clear with their every visit.

Much of this down to the solo performances by Conor Lovett as directed 
by Judy Hegarty Lovett in a spare and austere fashion. Both suggest 
that what's being said is just the latest episode in a life of incident 
and colour. Here, Lovett takes a novella penned by Beckett in 1948 but 
not published until 1971 and lifts it off the page with a dry sense of 
understatement that would give that other great Irish comic orator Dave 
Allen a run for his money.

Over eighty minutes, Lovett explains, or rather, confesses how a visit 
to his father's grave and an interrupted night's sleep on a park bench 
results in his moving into a two-room flat with a prostitute. As he 
recounts every awkward intimacy while acting out the niceties of 
courtship by rote, Lovett captures the real essence of flying blind 
into a partnership that's as dysfunctional but as necessary as any of 
Beckett's other co-dependents. When Lovett's narrator eventually walks 
away, his parting line may be full of loss, but there's hope too behind 
every word.

The Herald, May 28th 2013

ends

  

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Clybourne Park

Adam Smith Theatre, Kirkcaldy Four Stars
It’s a case of whoops, there goes the neighbourhood twice over in Rapture Theatre’s revival of Bruce Norris’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play, which opens in 1959 in the same Chicago suburb where Lorraine Hansberry’s drama, A Raisin in the Sun, which appeared that year, is set. Here, Robin Kingsland’s Russ and his wife Bev, played by Jackie Morrison, are preparing to move out of their now almost empty des-res following a family tragedy.
Unknown to them, the bargain basement price tag has enabled a black family to move in, with Jack Lord’s uptight Karl a self-appointed spokesperson for the entire ‘hood. Russ and Bev’s black maid Francine (Adelaide Obeng) and her husband Albert (Vinta Morgan), meanwhile, bear witness to a barrage of everyday racism. Fast forward half a century, and a white family are trying to buy the same house, albeit with a heap of proposed changes which the black couple representing the block’s now much more diverse community aren’t…

Michael Rother - Sterntaler at 40

"There's so much to do," says an uncharacteristically flustered Michael Rother. The normally unflappably beatific German guitarist, composer and former member of Neu! and Harmonia, who also had a stint in a nascent Kraftwerk, is packing for live dates in Russia and the UK, including this weekend's show at the Queen Margaret Union in Glasgow.
"It has always been my choice to take care of these things myself and not have a manager," he says. "Somehow for me the independent aspect of doing things is really important, but it has its disadvantages."
As well as playing selections from Neu! and Harmonia, the trio he formed with Dieter Moebius and Hans Joachim Roedelius of Cluster, Rother's Glasgow date will see him play a fortieth anniversary rendering of his second solo album, Sterntaler, in full. Rother will be accompanied by guitarist Franz Bargmann and drummer Hans Lampe, the latter of whose musical involvement with Rother dates back to Neu! days, …

Giles Havergal - CATS Awards 2019

Giles Havergal has always been the perfect host. During his thirty-odd year tenure as co-artistic director of the Citizens Theatre in Glasgow, Havergal would be there in the foyer on each opening night, meeting and greeting with an old school charm that came to define the Gorbals-based emporium. While many directors prefer to duck out of view, only meeting their public once the first night stresses have subsided, in contrast, Havergal seemed joyously unfazed by such things. Only when he was acting in a show was he absent from his task.
All of which makes Havergal the ideal choice as guest presenter of this year’s Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland, the ceremony for which takes place at Tramway in Glasgow this Sunday afternoon. This year’s awards see a smorgasbord of productions and artists from the last year’s crop of home-grown shows celebrated by Scotland’s theatre critics in its annual ceremony.
With winners announced on the day, nominations include Birds of Paradise and the Na…