Skip to main content

Edinburgh Festival Fringe Theatre Reviews 6 - Show 6 / Lippy / Mush and Me

Show 6
Summerhall
Three stars
In a sun-kissed land dripping with beautiful people in swimming
costumes and shades, the lazy calm is about to be shattered by the
aftermath of a fatal car crash in which the un-named golden boy who may
have killed a chav who told him the truth just found out he's a cuckoo
in the nest. What comes out of this mix of oedipal envy and Ballardian
future-shock is an urgent three-hander in which revolutionary spirit is
reborn in the shadows.

This world premiere of an un-named work by Mark Ravenhill is the latest
offering from the Lyric Hammersmith's Secret Theatre Company, in which
audiences effectively go to see something blind and without any kind of
marketing hype to tell them in advance what to think. The fact that the
company have let slip that this is a Ravenhill play, however, is
probably wise in the hurly-burly of the Fringe.

Ravenhill's clipped, pared-down exchanges are invested with a classical
weight in  Caroline Steinbeis's production, in which Steven Webb's
young hero and Cara Hogan's partner in crime spars with Matti
Houghton's possibly wicked step-mother in this punchiest of calls to
arms.


Lippy
Traverse Theatre
Five stars
Putting words into other people's mouths is the playwright's great
privilege. This is something Bush Moukarzel makes clear, even as his
characters silences and longeurs are possibly mis-translated by a
lip-reader in Moukarzel and co-director Ben Kidd's genre-busting
production for their London/Dublin-based Dead Centre company.

It begins with a post-show discussion of a play we haven't seen, as
Moukarzel plays the cocky interviewer of Dan Reardon's Lip Reader. What
looks initially like an in-joke opens out into an inquiry of how things
can be misinterpreted before exploding into the play's second part.
This focuses on the real life tragedy of four women who starved
themselves to death in their boarded-up house in a small Irish town.
Instead of attempting to find out why, Moukarzel casts the four women
as silent witnesses to their own fate by way of a series of woozy
routines watched over by the Lip Reader.

The upending of perspectives and lip-synching to doo-wop songs may all
be the hallucinatory product of the women's fevered imaginations, but
this audaciously poignant dreamscape is far more than vogueish
deconstruction. It ends with a life and death monologue by Mark
O'Halloran as delivered by one sister's disembodied lips seen in
close-up onscreen. With such a delivery clearly referencing Samuel
Beckett's Not I, this might not be about the women's plight in any
conventional sense, but has made them immortal anyway.


Mush and Me
Underbelly
Four stars
When Jewish girl Gabby and Muslim Mush are put next to each other at
the call centre they're both marking time in, mutual disdain and a
knack for conning the customers soon blossoms into something else in
Karla Crome's new play that embraces cultural and religious divides to
heartwarming effect. Inspired by actress Daniella Isaacs' 102 year old
aunt, who declined a marriage proposal from a Christian for fear of
what her parents might think, Crome brings things bang up to date in
Rosy Banham's sassy little production that has Gabby and Mush, played
by Isaacs and David Mumemi, skirt around their differences with the
bemused diffidence only the young can have.

The result in this Underbelly Ideas Tap winner is not only one of the
sweetest and most street-smart love stories to define modern,
multi-cultural Britain, but is a quietly political little microcosm of
how age-old conflicts might be dealt with by a younger generation, not
with bombs and boycotts, but with tolerance, love and a mutual distaste
for bacon rolls.

The Herald, August 12th 2014


ends

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

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…

Suzy Glass – Message from the Skies

Freedom of movement matters to Suzy Glass, the arts and events producer currently overseeing the second edition of Message from the Skies.This animated literary derive around the city forms part of this year’s Edinburgh’s Hogmanay programme, and runs right through till Burns’ Night. Glass’ concerns are inherent in the event itself, which has commissioned six writers from different disciplines and experiences to each pen a love letter to Europe. Each writer has then paired up with a composer and visual artist or film-maker, with the results of each collaboration projected in monumental fashion on the walls of one of half a dozen of the capital’s most iconic buildings.
With venues stretching from the south side of Edinburgh to Leith, and with one city centre stop requiring a walk up Calton Hill, there is considerable legwork required to complete the circuit. It shouldn’t be considered a race, however, and audiences are free to move between venues at their leisure, visiting each site on d…