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Showing posts from February, 2019

All My Sons

Dundee Rep Four stars
Life appears to be very much elsewhere at the start of Jemima Levick’s stately revival of Arthur Miller’s devastating dissection of truth, honour and the wider consequences of ignoble actions. It’s there in the broken tree that lies bare and leafless in the dirt of Alex Lowde’s fortress-like and barely domestic exterior, flanked by its similarly barren brothers who loom large at what is effectively ringside as if guarding a tomb. It’s there too in the slow-motion chimes of David Paul Jones’ sepulchral score, which seems to hang hazily in the air like the ghost of Joe and Kate Keller’s unseen son Larry, missing in action during the Second World War three and a half years before.
Most of all, the anguish of absence is etched onto the face of Irene Macdougall as Kate, who wanders through her half-life with a brittle and broken martyrdom. If she ever faced up to the truth of what happened when her husband’s aircraft engine factory let planes fly with defective parts, s…

Cathie Boyd – Cryptic at 25

Cathie Boyd never set out to spend her life ravishing people’s senses when she moved to Glasgow more than a quarter of a century ago. Yet, as founder and artistic director of Cryptic, the internationally inclined self-styled multi-media art-house and production company she runs, with producer Claire Moran and a crack hand-picked team, this is exactly what this human dynamo has done. The phrase wasn’t hers. That came from then board member James Faulds at a time when branding was the thing. The phrase has stuck right through the company’s colourful life, and is arguably more a reflection of the company’s work now than ever before.
Statistically speaking – and Cryptic are good with statistics – the company has presented 172 productions, including 42 world premieres, which have been seen across 29 countries. This has included major collaborations with the Latvian Radio Choir and composer Gavin Bryars, to more theatre-based pieces including versions of Electra and The Trojan Women, through…

Mark Hollis - An obituary

Mark Hollis – singer, musician, composer
Born January 4 1955; died February 25 2019
Mark Hollis, who has died aged 64 following a short illness, was one of the most wilfully singular musical artists of the late twentieth century. As the vocalist, writer and driving force behind the band Talk Talk, which he formed with drummer Lee Harris, bassist Paul Webb and keyboardist Simon Brenner, Hollis moved from euphoric 1980s synth-pop to a form of exquisitely nuanced and timeless sounding contemporary classicism. After initial chart action, the band’s record label, EMI, found Hollis’ latter tendencies difficult to slot into a marketplace overloaded with saccharine gloss.
Hollis’ stubborn unwillingness to compromise his vision to an industry only interested in shifting units saw him eventually retreat into a private silence where only his family mattered. The small but perfectly formed body of work he left behind, however, was enough to leave its mark. Over five Talk Talk albums and a final, s…