Skip to main content

Minetti

Royal Lyceum Theatre
Four stars
“All artists are afraid,” says the ageing actor early on in this new
English translation of Austrian literary giant Thomas Bernhard's mid
1970s dramatic treatise on life, art and an actor's lot. Subtitled A
portrait of the artist as an old man, Bernhard's play has the title
character turn up at a wood-panelled Ostend hotel on New Year's Eve
while a storm rages outside. As played by Peter Eyre, Minetti makes his
entrance quietly enough, but, as he' tells anyone who pretends to
listen, he's here to meet a noted theatre director, who looks set to
cast him as King Lear thirty years after he turned his back on the
classics and killed his career.

As he waits, Minetti cuts a hangdog figure who plays to an ever
changing audience of drunken revellers while he waits, locked in a
limbo of his own making, out of step and out of time. At first he
accosts a woman in a red dress lost in her own champagne fuelled
reverie. Later it's a young woman waiting for her lover who leaves him
with a transistor radio playing an easy-listening instrumental version
of David Bowie's song, Kooks. All the while Minetti waxes lyrical, his
audience fluid, but at least they're still there.

Tom Cairns' production of his and Eyre's own translation is a stately
and melancholy affair that navigates the flotsam and jetsam of a
generation who doesn't care around his attention-seeking idea of the
artist as someone higher than mere mortals. Only when Minetti is alone
without anyone watching in the play's final moments is he unable
function, as he makes his final exit to embrace the storm.

The Herald, August 18th 2014


ends

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

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…

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…

Rob Drummond – The Mack

Rob Drummond was at home in England when he looked at the news feed on his phone, and saw a post about the fire at Glasgow School of Art. It was June 2018, and the writer and performer behind such hits as Grain in the Blood, Bullet Catch and Our Fathers initially presumed the post was to mark the fourth anniversary of the 2014 blaze in GSA’s Mackintosh Building, which was undergoing a major restoration after much of it was destroyed.
As it turned out, the news was far worse, as reports of a second fire were beamed across the world. As someone who had taken Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s iconic construction for granted while living in Glasgow, Drummond was as stunned as anyone else with even a passing relationship with the Mack.
While emotions continue to run high in response to the disaster, Drummond channelled his thoughts on all this into what he does best. The result is The Mack, a new play that forms part of Oran Mor’s A Play, A Pie and a Pint lunchtime theatre season in Glasgow prior …