Skip to main content

The Price of Everything


Tron Theatre, Glasgow
4 stars
A pint of milk costs fifty-one pence. Body parts can be bought and sold 
for far greater sums. But how much would an air guitar go for on ebay? 
Or an imaginary friend? Think about those last two questions for a 
minute, and you should realise the sheer absurdity of a market-led 
economy in recessionary times. Writer/performer Daniel Bye has, and has 
woven his findings into this quietly utopian performance lecture, which 
he brought to the Tron's Mayfesto season for one night only on Sunday 
night.

With just a power-point presentation, a chair and enough bottles of 
milk to give everyone in the audience a glass, Bye serves up and 
dissects the facts and figures behind our money-driven society before 
offering up an idealistic alternative which just might work. This comes 
in the form of a shaggy-dog story about finding a twenty pound note on 
a train, which leads to Bye and a stranger in a Garfield t-shirt 
founding a free milk bar which further inspires a cash-free society to 
be founded in a network of abandoned shop-fronts.

  Bye is an engagingly down to earth and self-deprecatory raconteur, but 
make no mistake. These are revolutionary ideas he's advocating in the 
friendliest way imaginable. They're ideas too which a lot more people 
are looking to as capitalism becomes increasingly untenable.

It's not known whether the UK Secretary of State for Culture, Media and 
Sport Maria Miller has seen Bye's show or not, but perhaps she and her 
front-bench colleagues might wish to buy a ticket. Even better, Bye 
could maybe perform it in parliament itself. Now that really would be 
priceless.

The Herald, May 7th 2013

ends

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

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…

Phoebe Waller-Bridge - Fleabag

Phoebe Waller-Bridge is a busy woman. The thirty-two year old actress who burst onto our TV screens as writer and star of Fleabag, the tragi-comic sort of sit-com about a supposedly independent woman on the verge is currently overseeing Killing Eve, her new TV drama which she's written for BBC America. As an actress, Waller-Bridge is also filming a big screen project which we can't talk about, but which has already been outed as being part of the ongoing Star Wars franchise.

These are both pretty good reasons why Waller-Bridge won't be appearing in the brief Edinburgh Festival Fringe revival of the original stage play of Fleabag, when it opens next week at the Underbelly, where it was first unleashed to the world in 2013. In her place, Maddie Rice will take on the role of the potty-mouthed anti-heroine after touring Vickie Jones' production for Waller-Bridge and Jones' DryWrite company in association with Soho Theatre. This doesn't mean Waller-Bridge has turned…

The Divide

King's Theatre
Four stars

Everything is black and white in Alan Ayckbourn's new play, a six hour two part epic set in a dystopian future where men and women are segregated from each other following the aftermath of an unspecified plague. Into this landscape, the secret diaries of brother and sister Elihu and Soween are brought to life by Jake Davies and Erin Doherty with a wide-eyed lightness of touch as their hormones get the better of them when they both hit puberty.
Annabel Bolton's production for the Old Vic, EIF and Karl Sydow begins with a TED Talk type lecture that reveals the back story to how things turned out this way. It ends with a sentimental love story designed to tug the heart-strings. Inbetween, there is teenage rebellion aplenty against the regime's institutionalised repression. Liberation comes through art and sex, which, in such extreme circumstances become even greater life forces.

With both plays told through the siblings' diaries alongside ass…