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A Slow Air

PalaceTheatre, Kilmarnock
Four stars
There's a deep-set  poignancy in David Harrower's own production of his 
play about a brother and sister's reconciliation that feels more fully 
realised than when it was first produced in 2011. This may or may not 
have something to do with the fact that Harrower's revival for 
Borderline Theatre Company is touring the country in a way it hasn't 
done before, but either way it captures a splintered sense of intimacy 
that seems to sum up the state of a nation in flux, whereby the 
personal and the political and the local and the global are bound 
together.

Athol and Morna may have both been brought up in Edinburgh, but even 
beyond their fourteen year estrangement, they are worlds apart. Where 
Morna gets by cleaning rich people's houses inbetween bringing up her 
son, Joshua, Athol runs his own construction business from his 
Renfrewshire living room opposite the house where the Glasgow Airport 
terrorists holed up prior to their botched 2007 attack. When Joshua 
turns up on  Athol's doorstep just before his twenty-first birthday, 
the umbilical ties that bind them all gradually unravel a past of 
domestic conflict that has left indelible scars.

The sense of place in Harrower's writing is exquisite in these two 
inter-connected monologues, especially as delivered by Lewis Howden and 
Pauline Knowles, who play the siblings flanked by hazy impressions of 
windows that suggest a network of modern day fortresses. For all the 
emotional rawness and brutal honesty on display, there's something 
bigger going on in this quietest of epics that's about an entire 
community reconciling itself with its differences as it tries to find 
somewhere called home.

The Herald, March 25th 2014

ends

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