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Bleach

Assembly Roxy, Edinburgh Three Stars
Welcome to the doll house in Estlin Love’s striking solo show, put together with director Al Seed and seen at Assembly Roxy in tandem with Fiona Oliver-Larkin’s play, Salt, also directed by Seed, until the end of this week. Love’s show shares similar themes with Oliver-Larkin’s piece, as it looks at the scars left behind by the brutality of domestic and sexual abuse.
Love’s survivor comes-to sprawled messily amidst a dumping ground of back-alley detritus, looking for all the world like one of the broken dolls stuffed into the torn black rubbish bags she’s all but buried alongside. This is a grotesque and disarming image to open with, and, if spotted without any prior knowledge, it would be easy to mistake her for a casualty from a Hallowe’en party that went on too long. The evidence here suggests something more troubling, and over the next 45 minutes or so, Love’s character looks in the mirror, not as a victim, but as someone whose first-hand experien…
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Scott Gilmour and Claire McKenzie - Oor Wullie

Oor Wullie has been everywhere this year. This summer, some 200 customised statues of the dungaree-clad scamp were scattered around the country for Oor Wullie’s Big Bucket Trail, a public art project designed to raise money for children’s charities. The icing on the cake should come next week when the spiky-haired comic strip icon is made flesh for a brand new musical that opens at Dundee Rep later this month for a festive run prior to a major cross-country tour.
For Scott Gilmour and Claire McKenzie, aka Noisemaker, the internationally renowned musical theatre team writing the show, taking writer R.D. Low and artist Dudley D. Watkins creation – a staple on the pages of the Sunday Post since 1936 - from page to stage has become something of a labour of love. Having previously written Little Red and the Wolf and The Snow Queen for Dundee Rep, who also co-partnered Noisemaker in developing Hi, My Name is Ben, which premiered in New York, there was nevertheless initial trepidation at taki…

Salt

Assembly Roxy, Edinburgh Three stars
Rubbing salt in the wounds is a survival mechanism for the young woman cowering under the kitchen table below stairs in Fiona Oliver-Larkin’s solo show. First seen earlier this year as a work in progress at the Traverse Theatre as part of the Manipulate festival of visual theatre, Oliver-Larkin’s piece sets out its store in a fairy-tale world, where she creates her own epic fantasia using a kettle, a coffee cup and a rusty hoover to act out a war not of her making.
Wooden spoons are lined up like toy soldiers, but they aren’t any kind of defence against the monster that pounds the floor above before invading their space. Even the stuff they help feed the young woman with is a life-sapping lie.
Made in collaboration with director Al Seed, Oliver-Larkin’s wordless creation makes for a troublingly fantastical forty-five minutes. Pasty-faced and vintage-frocked a la classic mime, Oliver-Larkin’s creation is a doll-like Rapunzel kept under lock and key in…