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Showing posts from 2019

Simone Lahbib – Nite Life During Wartime

Simone Lahbib has come a long way since she posed for a photograph on the stairs of the Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh one night way back in the 1980s. There she is, the then twenty-something future star of prime-time TV shows such as Bad Girls, Monarch of the Glen and Wire in the Blood, perched in front of the window sporting a little black dress and a hat of plastic fruit, looking every inch the girl about town. The trade union sign championing the NHS beside her is the perfect counterpoint. In an unemployment-riven era when Lahbib’s generation were terminally skint, a revolt into style made politics and partying after-hours bed-fellows in the same just cause of creating a scene.
Only now, however, has the black and white picture of the Stirling-born actress made her a cover star. The cover in question is that of Nite Life During Wartime: Edinburgh and beyond 1980-90. This second of photographer and writer Innes Reekie’s occasional series of pocket-sized photo-books archiving a past gon…

Six Plays Inspired by the Songs of Kate Bush

Rose Theatre, Edinburgh Three stars
Short Attention Span Theatre has been on the go for four years now, founded by Karen Barclay and Tom Brogan to showcase compendiums of quick-fire theatrical miniatures. Presented in a lo-fi, DIY style, the company’s monthly Edinburgh nights form part of the Gilded Balloon’s Basement Theatre programme.
This latest package followed on from an earlier wheeze to present work inspired by the back catalogue of avant-pop’s other great drama queen, David Bowie. While none of the half-dozen bite-size offerings came close to Kate Bush’s own sense of the flamboyantly theatrical, the lateral-thinking chutzpah of all six writers saw them take imaginative leaps away from their source material, awash with love, anger and heavy people to the fore.
The first of two plays called The Man With The Child in His Eyes saw Tom Murray’s doctor’s office duologue move into eye-poppingly fantastical terrain. Under Ice by John Wilde put a couple in a hotel room as their relations…

Ian Brown – Lost at Sea and CATS

When Ian Brown was named as this year’s best director at last weekend’s Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland for his production of Morna Young’s play, Lost at Sea, at Perth Theatre, it was vindication of sorts for his first work in Scotland for more than twenty years. The former artistic director of the Traverse Theatre and TAG, who went on to run West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds for a decade, was also in with some very good company.
Also nominated were Andy Arnold, for his production of Enda Walsh’s play, Ballyturk, at the Tron Theatre, Orla O’Loughlin for Mouthpiece by Kieran Hurley at the Traverse, and Robert Softley Gale for Birds of Paradise and the National Theatre of Scotland’s production of My Left/Right Foot. In the end, however, it was Brown’s sensitive handling of Young’s moving and deeply personal play about the loss of lives within a tight-knit fishing community that won out.
“I’m so proud of what we did with Lost at Sea,” Brown says, the ceremony at Tramway in Glasgow,…