Skip to main content

Regeneration

King's Theatre, Edinburgh
Four stars
When poet and World War One army officer Siegried Sassoon declares in
Nicholas Wright's play taken from Pat Barker's 1991 novel that in a
hundred years time he and his peers will still be “ploughing skulls,”
recent events make his words sound like prophecy. By the time he says
this, Tim Dellap's Sassoon has already made his public declaration
condemning the political powers who he sees as prolonging the war for
their own ends, a statement which sees him packed off to Craiglockhart
War Hospital in Edinburgh, where he meets Garmon Rhys' literary groupie
Wilfred Owen.

Elsewhere, fellow patient Billy Prior, played by Jack Monaghan as an
angry young man before his time, is coming to terms with Edinburgh as a
place that is “all old ladies and woollen jumpers,” while faced with
the innate snobbery of an institution unused to working class officers.
Both Prior and Sassoon have nightmares, manifested here in shock
visions of the dead, who step out of the shadows in a manner more
expected of The Woman in Black. While the patients find salvation
through intimacy, Stephen Boxer's military psychologist Captain Rivers
witnesses institutional horrors worthy of A Clockwork Orange.

Such unexpected stylistic lurches give Simon Godwin's production,
originally seen at the Royal & Derngate, Northampton, a weight drawn
neither from Barker's original source nor from Gillies MacKinnon's film
version, made five years later. Instead, Godwin and Wright set out
their store in a no-man's land where men of action take pause to shake
off their agony before marching out to die, become immortal or both in
a play where healing and shock and awe go hand in hand.

The Herald, October 2nd 2014


ends.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Clybourne Park

Adam Smith Theatre, Kirkcaldy Four Stars
It’s a case of whoops, there goes the neighbourhood twice over in Rapture Theatre’s revival of Bruce Norris’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play, which opens in 1959 in the same Chicago suburb where Lorraine Hansberry’s drama, A Raisin in the Sun, which appeared that year, is set. Here, Robin Kingsland’s Russ and his wife Bev, played by Jackie Morrison, are preparing to move out of their now almost empty des-res following a family tragedy.
Unknown to them, the bargain basement price tag has enabled a black family to move in, with Jack Lord’s uptight Karl a self-appointed spokesperson for the entire ‘hood. Russ and Bev’s black maid Francine (Adelaide Obeng) and her husband Albert (Vinta Morgan), meanwhile, bear witness to a barrage of everyday racism. Fast forward half a century, and a white family are trying to buy the same house, albeit with a heap of proposed changes which the black couple representing the block’s now much more diverse community aren’t…

Michael Rother - Sterntaler at 40

"There's so much to do," says an uncharacteristically flustered Michael Rother. The normally unflappably beatific German guitarist, composer and former member of Neu! and Harmonia, who also had a stint in a nascent Kraftwerk, is packing for live dates in Russia and the UK, including this weekend's show at the Queen Margaret Union in Glasgow.
"It has always been my choice to take care of these things myself and not have a manager," he says. "Somehow for me the independent aspect of doing things is really important, but it has its disadvantages."
As well as playing selections from Neu! and Harmonia, the trio he formed with Dieter Moebius and Hans Joachim Roedelius of Cluster, Rother's Glasgow date will see him play a fortieth anniversary rendering of his second solo album, Sterntaler, in full. Rother will be accompanied by guitarist Franz Bargmann and drummer Hans Lampe, the latter of whose musical involvement with Rother dates back to Neu! days, …

Giles Havergal - CATS Awards 2019

Giles Havergal has always been the perfect host. During his thirty-odd year tenure as co-artistic director of the Citizens Theatre in Glasgow, Havergal would be there in the foyer on each opening night, meeting and greeting with an old school charm that came to define the Gorbals-based emporium. While many directors prefer to duck out of view, only meeting their public once the first night stresses have subsided, in contrast, Havergal seemed joyously unfazed by such things. Only when he was acting in a show was he absent from his task.
All of which makes Havergal the ideal choice as guest presenter of this year’s Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland, the ceremony for which takes place at Tramway in Glasgow this Sunday afternoon. This year’s awards see a smorgasbord of productions and artists from the last year’s crop of home-grown shows celebrated by Scotland’s theatre critics in its annual ceremony.
With winners announced on the day, nominations include Birds of Paradise and the Na…