Skip to main content

Translunar Paradise

Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh
Three stars
William and Rose were lovers for life. When both are in the dotage, 
Rose dies, leaving William alone with only the ticking clock, a painful 
absence and a house full of memories to help get him through his own 
final days. Death, however, is not the end in Theatre Ad Finitum's 
wordless meditation on love, loss and lives lived and shared with 
others. Using masks, choreography and a live accordion score to provide 
its heartbeat, George Mann's production takes the treasured emotional 
totems of that life – a tea cup, a letter, a pearl necklace and a 
summer dress – and transports William to his youth, when every moment 
of his romance with Rose was a great big adventure.

This is touchingly played by Mann as William alongside fellow 
performers and devisers, Deborah Pugh, who plays Rose, and Kim Heron 
who provides the score to a show first seen on the Edinburgh Festival 
Fringe in 2011, and which now forms part of this year's Luminate 
festival of creative ageing. The play's focus on memory as a means of 
survival recalls Samuel Beckett at his most obsessive in the likes of 
Krapp's Last Tape or Eh Joe, albeit with a more sentimental approach 
and less ennui.

This lends a warmth to the production over its seventy minute duration, 
even if some of the love-lorn choreography is a tad repetitive as 
William leaps into the void once more. As he finally lets go of Rose 
and steps back into the darkness, the life William has just relived 
brings him peace at last in this gentlest of meditations on how 
grieving can be transformed into something magically comforting.

The Herald, October 21st

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…

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…

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…