Skip to main content

A Dangerman

Summerhall, Edinburgh
Four stars
The man standing on what passes for a stage in Summerhall's tiny Red Lecture Theatre is looking each of the audience in the eye. Without ever cracking a smile, he closes his own eyes, psyching himself up in the silence, before letting rip. The Bible, Karl Marx and the thoughts of Chairman Mao are all intertwined in the man's ramblingly discursive and quietly deadpan monologue, with reality TV, the history of capitalism and a spot of art history thrown in for good measure. At one point he auctions off the script for the show, at another he gets volunteers from the audience to shift boxes around or else take off their clothes to strike some classical poses. He engages them in dialogue about that night's news, and tells them if they don't agree with what they're seeing then they can leave. Some do.

It's a risky strategy, but Galway-based actor/writer Dick Walsh takes no prisoners in his menacing hour-long monologue, first seen on the Dublin Fringe in 2012. Giving voice to the sort of person you'd normally cross the road to avoid, Walsh's study falls somewhere between Peter Handke's genre-subverting monologue, Offending The Audience, and Heathcote Williams' penetrating portrait of the wise fools who put the world to rights in Hyde Park, The Speakers.

As scarifying as the delivery is, Walsh and his alter ego are making some serious points about free will and how far you will go just because someone tells you to do something. As his final act before leaving, the Dangerman appoints a member of the audience to be king, with everyone else his subjects. What happens next is up to us.

The Herald, November 12th 2013


ends

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Clybourne Park

Adam Smith Theatre, Kirkcaldy Four Stars
It’s a case of whoops, there goes the neighbourhood twice over in Rapture Theatre’s revival of Bruce Norris’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play, which opens in 1959 in the same Chicago suburb where Lorraine Hansberry’s drama, A Raisin in the Sun, which appeared that year, is set. Here, Robin Kingsland’s Russ and his wife Bev, played by Jackie Morrison, are preparing to move out of their now almost empty des-res following a family tragedy.
Unknown to them, the bargain basement price tag has enabled a black family to move in, with Jack Lord’s uptight Karl a self-appointed spokesperson for the entire ‘hood. Russ and Bev’s black maid Francine (Adelaide Obeng) and her husband Albert (Vinta Morgan), meanwhile, bear witness to a barrage of everyday racism. Fast forward half a century, and a white family are trying to buy the same house, albeit with a heap of proposed changes which the black couple representing the block’s now much more diverse community aren’t…

Michael Rother - Sterntaler at 40

"There's so much to do," says an uncharacteristically flustered Michael Rother. The normally unflappably beatific German guitarist, composer and former member of Neu! and Harmonia, who also had a stint in a nascent Kraftwerk, is packing for live dates in Russia and the UK, including this weekend's show at the Queen Margaret Union in Glasgow.
"It has always been my choice to take care of these things myself and not have a manager," he says. "Somehow for me the independent aspect of doing things is really important, but it has its disadvantages."
As well as playing selections from Neu! and Harmonia, the trio he formed with Dieter Moebius and Hans Joachim Roedelius of Cluster, Rother's Glasgow date will see him play a fortieth anniversary rendering of his second solo album, Sterntaler, in full. Rother will be accompanied by guitarist Franz Bargmann and drummer Hans Lampe, the latter of whose musical involvement with Rother dates back to Neu! days, …

Kieran Hurley – Mouthpiece

Things have changed since Kieran Hurley first began writing the play that would become Mouthpiece, which opens at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh this weekend. At the time, Hurley was, in his own words, “quite new on the scene.” As a writer and performer, he had already scored hits with Beats and Chalk Farm, two pieces that put him on the map with a new generation of theatre-makers steeped in an equally new wave of grassroots opposition that drew from the iconography of revolutions past. Where Beats looked at the politicisation of 1990s club culture, Chalk Farm, co-written with AJ Taudevin, focused on a teenage boy caught up in the 2011 London riots.
More plays followed. Some, like Heads Up used the same solo story-telling aesthetic to look at an everyday apocalypse. More recently, Square Go, written with Gary McNair, dissected toxic masculinity through a school playground fight.
All the while as Hurley developed as a writer, from new kid on the block to established provocateur, this…