Skip to main content

Kora

Dundee Rep
4 stars
When Tom McGrath's play first appeared in 1986, its depiction of 
community spirit in a run-down Dundee housing scheme was a telling 
insight into life on the margins in Thatcher's Britain. A quarter of a 
century on, and  Nicholas Bone's revival of a story based on real 
Dundee residents reflects the current and all too necessary wave of 
grassroots protest that has risen up in the face of mass political 
ineptitude.

At the heart of the play is Kora Lee, the eternally optimistic single 
mum to five boys, who becomes a symbol of survival even as her world is 
collapsing around her. When an architecture student turns up to ask 
Kora and her neighbours questions about their living conditions, an 
accidental campaign is launched to try and improve the neighbourhood.

If this sounds like a sentimental  polemic, think again. Far from 
leading the campaign, Kora's main pre-occupation is attempting to sire 
an even bigger brood, either with community policeman Bob or else the 
nearest test tube donor, all done on her own terms.

Played in the round inside Becky Minto's wonderful living room pod that 
encloses both cast and audience with a display of disembodied 
furniture, Bone's production is a multi-faceted affair pulsed by a 
gloriously matter of fact earthiness. Much of this is led by Emily 
Winter, who plays Welsh emigre Kora as a lusty back-street earth mother 
who lives in the moment whatever. In some ways, Kora's acts of everyday 
self-determination and a desire to procreate are bigger than the 
ultimately doomed campaign depicted. The coming together of community 
too is crucial. For Kora, life doesn't simply go on. It's the creating 
it that counts.

The Herald, May 27th 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…

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…

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 …