Skip to main content

Foxgloves/Nothing But The Gallows

Assembly Roxy, Edinburgh
Three stars

Last week in Edinburgh, Formation Festival brought together a plethora of locally sourced theatre presented by the Annexe Arts organisation. Space sadly prevents coverage of all events, but two new plays presented over the weekend offered a glimpse of what was on offer.

Foxgloves was a dark contemporary thriller by Jonathan Whiteside, brought to life in David Laing’s production for the Strawmoddie company. Nothing but the Gallows saw Kolbrun Bjort Sigfusdottir direct Ben Blow’s fascinating dissection of revolutionary spirit in the midst of twenty-first century capitalism, performed here by members of the Annexe Repertory company.

In Foxgloves, brother and sister Serge and Nancy return to their grandfather’s farm following his death, and unearth a family history they probably should have left well alone. In execution, Whiteside and Laing punctuate the snappy sparring between Alex Gray and Madeleine McGirk as the estranged siblings with a voiceover reciting the stage directions in what initially appears to be a distancing device before taking a more sinister turn once the lights go out.

This makes for a chilling fifty minutes or that uses the shock-horror tricks of The Woman in Black and dresses them up in the psychological cloak and dagger of a 1970s tale of the unexpected. It also gives the idea of saying it with flowers a whole new edge.

Inheritances of a very different kind are the drive behind Nothing But The Gallows, which sees Grant Jamieson’s feckless John come into a fortune following the apparent suicide of his uber-wealthy tycoon brother, Arthur. With his lawyer girlfriend Emma in tow, John stumbles on Arthur’s patronage of a pair of millennial vloggers, while Luke Bazalgette’s posh boy secretary Chester attempts in vain to prevent these two very different worlds from colliding.

With live video feeds of the vloggers broadcasts dotted throughout Sigfusdottir’s intense production, Blow’s complex caper takes the contradictions of radical action stirred up on social media and the dark money bank-rolling it to their logical limit. This makes for some incisive commentary on how money talks in a world where it only looks like anyone can have their say.

The Herald, March 4th 2019

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