Dundee Rep Four stars If ever Scotland needed a big, intelligent state of the nation(s) play to sum up where we're at, it's now. David Greig's three-part Highland-set epic may not be it, but it comes pretty close. First seen in 2000 but only now receiving its Scottish première, Greig's play spans sixty years and three generations of a rural community in a state of social flux, with those both up and downstairs trying to find something to believe in. In 1936, it's the romance of revolution and the Spanish Civil War on one hand, and the pseudo-mystical allure of fascism on the other. By 1974, rock stars are getting their heads together in the country, and by 1996 even the land has been annexed by big business. At the heart of all this are three vivacious and free-spirited young women called Victoria. With all three played by a vibrant Elspeth Brodie, each in different ways is looking for a brave new world, but are still drawn back to the big red house they pivot around even as they crave a better future. Philip Howard's production, his first as co-artistic director of Dundee Rep, is as huge in ambition as the play. While both may be a tad unwieldy on Neil Warmington's all-purpose set, Victoria nevertheless presents a fascinating portrait of a community that takes things beyond the domestic to become something epochal. As recurring little motifs in each act point to how the past informs what follows, and how the ghostly energies of that past linger, Brodie leads a heroic twelve-strong cast through a play that's about the risks of blind faith and the very human consequences of warped idealism.
The Herald, September 9th 2013 ends