Skip to main content

Passing Places

Pitlochry Festival Theatre
Four stars
The giant map of Scotland tilted centre-stage above the audience at the
start of Richard Baron's timely revival of Stephen Greenhorn's road
movie for the stage not only shows off some of the country's
lesser-travelled pastures as the play travels from Motherwell to
Thurso. It also puts a roof on an entire world, with designer Adrian
Rees' wooden construction below doubling up as sports shop, Traveller
camp, ceilidh hall and ferry.

In and out of this weave Alex and Brian, a pair of small-town boys who
go on the run and on the road with a surfboard beloved by Alex's
psychopathic boss, Binks. With Alex as overheated as the Lada that
belongs to Brian's brother, and Brian trying to get beyond the
guide-book clichés, the pair hook up with assorted free-spirits who
take them out of their comfort zone en route to somewhere else, all the
while with Binks in hot pursuit. The end result is one of the most
significant pieces of post-modern populism and end of the century
enlightenment to have roared out of our own back yard.

Baron navigates his cast lovingly throughout, with Derek McGhie as Alex
and Keith McLeish as Brian capturing their characters full Yin and Yang
mix of frustration, fear and born-again yearning. Romana Abercromby's
Mirren is  the female foil to their Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty,
bridging both in a play as steeped in pop culture as it is full of big,
philosophical meditations on identity and a quest for something real.
Only Alan Steele's Binks clings to the imaginary in a poignant and
irresistibly funny look at what can happen when you run away from home.

The Herald, July 25th 2014


ends

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Art School Dance Goes On Forever – Snapshots Of Masters Of The Multiverse

Intro – Snapshots – Deaf School

1

In 1980, the same year as the Manchester band, Magazine, released a 7
inch single called A Song From Under The Floorboards – a three verse
and chorus distillation of Dostoyevsky's novel, Notes From Underground
– an art school scandal occurred.

This scandal took place in Liverpool, and was based around a project
called the Furbelows, although it became better known in the Liverpool
Echo and other organs that reported it as the Woolly Nudes.

The Furbelows, or Woolly Nudes, were a group of artists who had come
out of Liverpool College of Art, who, dressed in grotesque woolly
costumes which featured knitted approximations of male and female
genitalia, made assorted public interventions around the city centre as
kind of living sculptures acting out assorted narratives.

The Furbelows project had been funded by what was then Merseyside Arts
Association, and, after the participants were arrested and taken to
court on obscenity charges after what…

Peter Brook – The Prisoner

Peter Brook is no stranger to Scotland, ever since the guru of European and world theatre first brought his nine-hour epic, The Mahabharata, to Glasgow in 1988. That was at the city’s old transport museum, which by 1990 had become Tramway, the still-functioning permanent venue that opened up Glasgow and Scotland as a major channel for international theatre in a way that had previously only been on offer at Edinburgh International Festival.
Brook and his Paris-based Theatre des Bouffes du Nord company’s relationship with Tramway saw him bring his productions of La Tragedie de Carmen, La Tempete, Pellease et Mellisande, The Man Who…, and Oh Les Beaux Jours – the French version of Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days – to Glasgow.
Thirty years on from The Mahabharata, Brook comes to EIF with another piece of pan-global theatre as part of a residency by Theatre des Bouffes du Nord, which Brook has led since he decamped to Paris from London in the early 1970s. The current Edinburgh residency has alr…

Romeo And Juliet - Shakespeare's Globe Comes to Glasgow

Open-air Shakepeares are a summer-time perennial of the theatre calendar, attracting picnicking audiences as much as midges. More often than not, such romps through the grass are frothy, heritage industry affairs designed to be accompanied by strawberries and cream and not to be taken too seriously. Shakespeare’s Globe theatre company look set to change such perceptions when they open their outdoor tour of Romeo And Juliet in Glasgow next week as part of the West End festival.

For the two young actors taking the title roles of the doomed lovers, it will also be something of a homecoming. Richard Madden and Ellie Piercy both studied in Glasgow prior to turning professional. Indeed, Madden has yet to graduate from the acting course at RSAMD, and, as well as facing the pressures of playing such a meaty role in close proximity to the audience, will have the added anxiety of being assessed and graded by his tutors.

“This is the end of my third year,” says Madden following a Saturday mornin…