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Showing posts from September, 2019

Clybourne Park

Adam Smith Theatre, Kirkcaldy Four Stars
It’s a case of whoops, there goes the neighbourhood twice over in Rapture Theatre’s revival of Bruce Norris’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play, which opens in 1959 in the same Chicago suburb where Lorraine Hansberry’s drama, A Raisin in the Sun, which appeared that year, is set. Here, Robin Kingsland’s Russ and his wife Bev, played by Jackie Morrison, are preparing to move out of their now almost empty des-res following a family tragedy.
Unknown to them, the bargain basement price tag has enabled a black family to move in, with Jack Lord’s uptight Karl a self-appointed spokesperson for the entire ‘hood. Russ and Bev’s black maid Francine (Adelaide Obeng) and her husband Albert (Vinta Morgan), meanwhile, bear witness to a barrage of everyday racism. Fast forward half a century, and a white family are trying to buy the same house, albeit with a heap of proposed changes which the black couple representing the block’s now much more diverse community aren’t…

Jenni Fagan – The Panopticon

The world has changed a bit since Jenni Fagan wrote The Panopticon, her searing debut novel set among Scotland’s care system, which first appeared in 2012. People use the word ‘panopticon’ more for one thing, in a way they never did before. Fagan fought hard to keep the title of her book, which sees street-smart fifteen-year-old Anais utilises her fearless intellect, deadly wit and and an imagination that yearns for somewhere better than the umpteen foster homes, children’s homes and prison cells she’s been dragged through to survive.
“She’s only ever violent when she’s standing up for someone,” says Fagan of Anais. “She hates it, but she lives in a very violent world, and young women in her situation have to be able to stand up for themselves.”
The title of The Panopticon refers to an institutional building designed by eighteenth century philosopher and social theorist Jeremy Bentham. The aim of Bentham’s design was to allow all prisoners/inmates/residents in the complex to be observed…

Jonathan Baldock - Facecrime

Tramway, Glasgow until October 6th. The Gatekeepers will be performed on October 6th, 2-3pm. Four stars
It’s not hard to see the wood for the trees in Jonathan Baldock’s environmental fantasia, a collection of totem pole-like ceramic pillars, buckets and badges that take its name from George Orwell’s very English dystopian novel, 1984. Despite this, its adventure playground stylings more resemble the set for some post-apocalyptic 1970s East European animation, in which the natural world is magicked into quasi-human life, painted in rainbow colours and given voice to laugh or cry at their lot.
Disembodied limbs reach out through each structure, pointing the finger en masse or with hands outstretched either side of lips that pout, smile or pull tongues, pushing their way through the outer flesh of the cartoon tree they might have been trapped inside by some fantastical trickster from a magic kingdom centuries earlier. External trappings are embedded with smiley emojis that look like pills…