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Showing posts from November, 2019

Pauline Lockhart – Strange Tales

The monster in the room is no match for Pauline Lockhart. Don’t be fooled by appearances as Lockhart squares up to giant puppets in Strange Tales, a new compendium of Chinese ghost stories brought to life for the festive season by site-specific auteurs Grid iron in co-production with the Traverse Theatre. The Glasgow-born actor may be small in stature, but as co-writer and co-director of the show, she takes no prisoners. As a fourth degree martial arts black belt, neither is Lockhart someone you’d mess with at any level.
It was Lockhart’s experience with martial arts that first made her look at the work of Qing dynasty writer Pu Songling contained in his collection of almost 500 pieces of work, translated as Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio. While nominally ghost stories, their fantastical content took them beyond western notions of the genre in a way that also gave them dramatic thrust.
“They’re not like ghost stories we’re used to,” says Lockhart of Pu’s 400-year-old yarns once the…

Michael J. Pollard - An Obituary

Michael J. Pollard – Actor
Born May 30, 1939; died November 20, 2019
Michael J. Pollard, who has died aged 80, was an actor whose cherubic looks gave him a puckish air that added edge to his many outsider roles. This was defined in Bonnie and Clyde, director Arthur Penn’s iconic 1967 vehicle for Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, which saw Pollard nominated for an Oscar for his breakout role as dim-witted gas-station attendant, C.W. Moss. In the film that helped kick-start the American new wave in style, Pollard’s depiction of Moss gave him the air of someone slightly stoned, but with more rebellious manic tendencies that filtered through after he fell in with a bad crowd.
It was a character trait that fed into later parts, including Robert Redford’s sidekick in Sidney J. Furie’s 1970 biker buddy movie, Little Fauss and Big Halsy. It was there too in the title role of Dirty Little Billy, director Stan Dragoti’s gritty reworking of the story of wild west outlaw Billy the Kid’s early days. …

Bat for Lashes

Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh Four stars
The Day of the Dead might have passed along with Hallowe’en, but that hasn’t paled Natasha Khan’s penchant for gothic drama in terms of this stripped down mini tour to showcase this year’s independently released Lost Girls record. A concept album of sorts forged in the heat of Khan’s Death Valley wanderings and involving vampire girl gangs, Lost Girls began as a film script idea.
Dressed majestically in a vivid scarlet frock on a stage of old school synthesisers and a music stand illuminated by a circle of vintage lamps, she certainly looks the part. With only a keyboardist for company in a cabaret table set-up, this is Khan as chanteuse, freed from the machine-age trappings of a full band set-up and left vulnerable and exposed in the solitary spotlight of such an intimate and safety-net free arrangement.
Preceded by a mood-setting play-list of 1980s synth soundtracks full of foreboding, Khan opens with a salvo of the new album’s opening five songs, pun…