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 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…