Skip to main content

The Bridge

North Edinburgh Arts, Edinburgh
Three stars

Bells chime and voices sing in what sounds like a mix of celebration and mourning at the opening of Annie George's solo play, performed by herself during the closing stages of a short tour following its Edinburgh Festival Fringe run. As we see projections of George writing out her own name at the bottom of her family tree, a very personal quest for identity ensues as she dramatises her inquiry into her own history through the voices of her ancestors who become witnesses to a world in turmoil.

The starting point for this is the life and work of George's grand-father, Paduthottu Mathen John, whose portrait is projected as George adopts his persona to illustrate her hand-me-down legacy. She does this too through snapshots of her mother and father as her family eventually move to the west and a less turbulent way of life than in both pre and post colonial India.

There is considerable charm in George's impressionistic labour of love, much of which comes from a performance that isn't afraid to leave herself vulnerable but which can be steely when it needs to be. Pulsed along by an exquisite score by Niroshini Thambar that lends both the text and visuals a richness and a depth that also gives what could be an overly dense rendering space to breathe.

In terms of showing how global events can have an often life-changing effect on everyday lives, this is an intimate excavation of a hidden past that sees George reclaim her roots and present them as an elegiac multi-media tone-poem. “We are history,” she says at one point, taking charge of everything and everyone that defines her.

The Herald, October 27th 2015

ends

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Maids

Dundee Rep

Two sisters sit in glass cases either side of the stage at the start of Eve Jamieson's production of Jean Genet's nasty little study of warped aspiration and abuse of power. Bathed in red light, the women look like artefacts in some cheap thrill waxworks horror-show, or else exhibits in a human zoo. Either way, they are both trapped, immortalised in a freak-show possibly of their own making.

Once the sisters come to life and drape themselves in the sumptuous bedroom of their absent mistress, they raid her bulging wardrobe to try on otherwise untouchable glad-rags and jewellery. As they do, the grotesque parody of the high-life they aspire to turns uglier by the second. When the Mistress returns, as played with daring abandon by Emily Winter as a glamour-chasing narcissist who gets her kicks from drooling over the criminal classes, you can't really blame the sisters for their fantasy of killing her.

Slabs of sound slice the air to punctuate each scene of Mart…

Phoebe Waller-Bridge - Fleabag

Phoebe Waller-Bridge is a busy woman. The thirty-two year old actress who burst onto our TV screens as writer and star of Fleabag, the tragi-comic sort of sit-com about a supposedly independent woman on the verge is currently overseeing Killing Eve, her new TV drama which she's written for BBC America. As an actress, Waller-Bridge is also filming a big screen project which we can't talk about, but which has already been outed as being part of the ongoing Star Wars franchise.

These are both pretty good reasons why Waller-Bridge won't be appearing in the brief Edinburgh Festival Fringe revival of the original stage play of Fleabag, when it opens next week at the Underbelly, where it was first unleashed to the world in 2013. In her place, Maddie Rice will take on the role of the potty-mouthed anti-heroine after touring Vickie Jones' production for Waller-Bridge and Jones' DryWrite company in association with Soho Theatre. This doesn't mean Waller-Bridge has turned…

Futureproof 2017

Street Level Photoworks, Glasgow until February 4th 2018
Four stars

Now in its ninth year, Futureproof's showcase of recent graduate photographers from seven Scottish art schools and universities returns to its spiritual home at Street Level, with nineteen artists embracing photo essays, abstraction and constructed narratives. It is Karlyn Marshall's Willies, Beuys and Me that grabs you first. Tucked in a corner, this depiction of a woman impersonating iconic artist Joseph Beuys says much about gender stereotyping, and recalls Manfred Karge's play, Man to Man, in which a German woman took on her dead husband's identity.

The personal and the political converge throughout. Ben Soedera's Foreign Sands contrasts natural resources and the constructed world. Gareth and Gavin Bragdon's The Bragdon Brothers moves onto the carnivalesque streets of Edinburgh. Kieran Delaney's Moments also looks at the apparently ordinary. Matthew Buick goes further afield, as tourists…