Tuesday, 24 June 2014

The Great Yes, No, Don't Know, Five Minute Theatre Show

Oran Mor, Glasgow
Four stars
'No Pseudo Indy Debate' bore the legend scrawled onto a small
blackboard slammed on the upstairs bar of Glasgow's best-connected West
End hostelry as a pair of punters bordered on the verge of a square go
last night. While such an accessory may prove essential for all pub
landlords between now and September, the blackboard was actually
displaying one of a series of punchlines that made up writer Kevin P
Gilday's contribution to the National Theatre of Scotland's marathon
twenty-four hour online extravaganza of bite-size works inspired by the
forthcoming referendum on Scottish independence.

Downstairs, some twelve other playlets were performed live to camera
and broadcast globally as part of a programme of more than 180 works
selected by playwright David Greig and theatrical maestro David
MacLennan, who sadly passed away last week. Oran Mor's selection opened
with Victoria Bianchi's touching letter to her unborn child, while
George Drennan performed MacLennan's waggish poem on whether
independence would really change anything. Greig's response, penned
since MacLennan's death, was a moving tribute. Inbetween came mini
interviews with some of the major figures who helped forge the nation's
vibrant theatre scene alongside MacLennan.

What was most thrilling about watching this, be it live or virtually,
was witnessing several generations of Scotland's finest theatre makers
coming together with schools and community groups for a demonstration
of artistic solidarity possessing an energy, generosity and spirit of
inclusivity that proved truly inspiring. Whatever the result in
September, it is events like this that will have defined what is
possible. If you're reading this before 5pm, you can watch the world
changing online right now.

The Herald, June 24th 2014

ends

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