Skip to main content

Art


Theatre Royal, Glasgow
Four stars

Nothing is remotely black and white in the latest touring revival of Yasmina Reza’s 1996 meditation on friendship of a competitively male kind. Over the last two decades, the play has enabled numerous trios of TV-friendly faces to riff on the ever-changing nature of boys at play.  On the surface, Reza has written a chic sit-com of ever decreasing circles, a blank canvas of middle-aged spread that dissects and – yes – deconstructs a three-way split of a lifetime of shared experience. In truth, she has created something timeless, but which ebbs and flows in value at every showing.

Its starting point, the purchase of a Robert Rymanesque white on white painting by Nigel Havers’ debonair and ever-aspirant Serge, and the explosive rift it causes with his cynical friend Marc, played by Denis Lawson, is actually something of a red herring. This becomes clear when their other friend Yvan appears. With more down to earth problems of his own to contend with, Stephen Tompkinson’s Yvan is torn between both men, driven by a fear of causing offence in the face of such mutual extremes in a way that is increasingly indicative of our times.

Ellie Jones’ touring production is based on Matthew Warchus’ original Old Vic take on Christopher Hampton’s immaculately minimalist translation. Played out on designer Mark Thompson’s gleaming barely-there set, the result throughout Reza and Hampton’s series of bite-size duologues and monologues is as much an exercise in choreographing the action in a suitably painterly fashion as anything. In this respect, Havers’ faddish Serge, Lawson’s reactionary Marc and Tompkinson’s galumphing Yvan are allowed  to bask in some deliciously urbane exchanges, each coloured in by a succession of well-timed physical tics. By the end, they are framed as life-studies caught in a succession of moments that may yet define them.

The Herald, April 11th 2018

ends

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Losing Touch With My Mind - Psychedelia in Britain 1986-1990

DISC 1 1. THE STONE ROSES   -  Don’t Stop 2. SPACEMEN 3   -  Losing Touch With My Mind (Demo) 3. THE MODERN ART   -  Mind Train 4. 14 ICED BEARS   -  Mother Sleep 5. RED CHAIR FADEAWAY  -  Myra 6. BIFF BANG POW!   -  Five Minutes In The Life Of Greenwood Goulding 7. THE STAIRS  -  I Remember A Day 8. THE PRISONERS  -  In From The Cold 9. THE TELESCOPES   -  Everso 10. THE SEERS   -  Psych Out 11. MAGIC MUSHROOM BAND  -  You Can Be My L-S-D 12. THE HONEY SMUGGLERS  - Smokey Ice-Cream 13. THE MOONFLOWERS  -  We Dig Your Earth 14. THE SUGAR BATTLE   -  Colliding Minds 15. GOL GAPPAS   -  Albert Parker 16. PAUL ROLAND  -  In The Opium Den 17. THE THANES  -  Days Go Slowly By 18. THEE HYPNOTICS   -  Justice In Freedom (12" Version) 1. THE STONE ROSES    Don’t Stop ( Silvertone   ORE   1989) The trip didn’t quite start here for what sounds like Waterfall played backwards on The Stone Roses’ era-defining eponymous debut album, but it sounds

Big Gold Dreams – A Story of Scottish Independent Music 1977-1989

Disc 1 1. THE REZILLOS (My Baby Does) Good Sculptures (12/77)  2. THE EXILE Hooked On You (8/77) 3. DRIVE Jerkin’ (8/77) 4. VALVES Robot Love (9/77) 5. P.V.C. 2 Put You In The Picture (10/77) 6. JOHNNY & THE SELF ABUSERS Dead Vandals (11/77) 7. BEE BEE CEE You Gotta Know Girl (11/77) 8. SUBS Gimme Your Heart (2/78) 9. SKIDS Reasons (No Bad NB 1, 4/78) 10. FINGERPRINTZ Dancing With Myself (1/79)  11. THE ZIPS Take Me Down (4/79) 12. ANOTHER PRETTY FACE All The Boys Love Carrie (5/79)  13. VISITORS Electric Heat (5/79) 14. JOLT See Saw (6/79) 15. SIMPLE MINDS Chelsea Girl (6/79) 16. SHAKE Culture Shock (7/79) 17. HEADBOYS The Shape Of Things To Come (7/79) 18. FIRE EXIT Time Wall (8/79) 19. FREEZE Paranoia (9/79) 20. FAKES Sylvia Clarke (9/79) 21. TPI She’s Too Clever For Me (10/79) 22. FUN 4 Singing In The Showers (11/79) 23. FLOWERS Confessions (12/79) 24. TV21 Playing With Fire (4/80) 25. ALEX FERGUSSON Stay With Me Tonight (1980) 1. THE REZILL

Edinburgh Rocks – The Capital's Music Scene in the 1950s and Early 1960s

Edinburgh has always been a vintage city. Yet, for youngsters growing up in the shadow of World War Two as well as a pervading air of tight-lipped Calvinism, they were dreich times indeed. The founding of the Edinburgh International Festival in 1947 and the subsequent Fringe it spawned may have livened up the city for a couple of weeks in August as long as you were fans of theatre, opera and classical music, but the pubs still shut early, and on Sundays weren't open at all. But Edinburgh too has always had a flipside beyond such official channels, and, in a twitch-hipped expression of the sort of cultural duality Robert Louis Stevenson recognised in his novel, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, a vibrant dance-hall scene grew up across the city. Audiences flocked to emporiums such as the Cavendish in Tollcross, the Eldorado in Leith, The Plaza in Morningside and, most glamorous of all due to its revolving stage, the Palais in Fountainbridge. Here the likes of Joe Loss and Ted Heath broug