Skip to main content

Love Letters To The Public Transport System/Count Me In

Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh
5 stars/3 stars
The National Theatre of Scotland’s rolling Reveal season has thus far
focused on big ideas presented in small packages. These two works in
progress exemplify this approach in two solo pieces performed by their
authors in an engagingly charming fashion. Gary McNair’s Count Me In is
a stand-up lecture that takes McNair’s self-confessed political
ignorance as the starting point for an inter-active power-point led
trawl through the history of what passes for democracy. As witty as it
is, McNair over-eggs his simple premise with an over-reliance on
hi-tech gadgetry when a simple hand in the air would suffice.

Simplicity is the key to Love Letters To The Public Transport System,
Molly Taylor’s autobiographical monologue in which she attempts to
track down the train and bus drivers who transported her and others to
their accidental destiny. Sat on a twin seat from a double-decker with
a pile of discarded tickets beside her on the floor, Taylor cuts up her
own tales of love lost and found with those of actor Tam Dean Burn and
a Glasgow woman’s seeming road to nowhere.

Out of this comes a moving, funny and totally heartwarming personal
meditation on how things we normally take for granted can become very
personal totems en route to the great adventure called love, even, and
sometimes especially, if it doesn’t last. It’s a show about beginnings
more than endings, and one hopes that the purity of Taylor’s
matter-of-fact delivery isn’t spoilt by high-concept production values
when developed further. As it stands, this fragile and utterly
beautiful piece of work reminds us of the reason we’re alive.

The Herald, March 7th 2011

ends

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Art School Dance Goes On Forever – Snapshots Of Masters Of The Multiverse

Intro – Snapshots – Deaf School

1

In 1980, the same year as the Manchester band, Magazine, released a 7
inch single called A Song From Under The Floorboards – a three verse
and chorus distillation of Dostoyevsky's novel, Notes From Underground
– an art school scandal occurred.

This scandal took place in Liverpool, and was based around a project
called the Furbelows, although it became better known in the Liverpool
Echo and other organs that reported it as the Woolly Nudes.

The Furbelows, or Woolly Nudes, were a group of artists who had come
out of Liverpool College of Art, who, dressed in grotesque woolly
costumes which featured knitted approximations of male and female
genitalia, made assorted public interventions around the city centre as
kind of living sculptures acting out assorted narratives.

The Furbelows project had been funded by what was then Merseyside Arts
Association, and, after the participants were arrested and taken to
court on obscenity charges after what…

Peter Brook – The Prisoner

Peter Brook is no stranger to Scotland, ever since the guru of European and world theatre first brought his nine-hour epic, The Mahabharata, to Glasgow in 1988. That was at the city’s old transport museum, which by 1990 had become Tramway, the still-functioning permanent venue that opened up Glasgow and Scotland as a major channel for international theatre in a way that had previously only been on offer at Edinburgh International Festival.
Brook and his Paris-based Theatre des Bouffes du Nord company’s relationship with Tramway saw him bring his productions of La Tragedie de Carmen, La Tempete, Pellease et Mellisande, The Man Who…, and Oh Les Beaux Jours – the French version of Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days – to Glasgow.
Thirty years on from The Mahabharata, Brook comes to EIF with another piece of pan-global theatre as part of a residency by Theatre des Bouffes du Nord, which Brook has led since he decamped to Paris from London in the early 1970s. The current Edinburgh residency has alr…

Romeo And Juliet - Shakespeare's Globe Comes to Glasgow

Open-air Shakepeares are a summer-time perennial of the theatre calendar, attracting picnicking audiences as much as midges. More often than not, such romps through the grass are frothy, heritage industry affairs designed to be accompanied by strawberries and cream and not to be taken too seriously. Shakespeare’s Globe theatre company look set to change such perceptions when they open their outdoor tour of Romeo And Juliet in Glasgow next week as part of the West End festival.

For the two young actors taking the title roles of the doomed lovers, it will also be something of a homecoming. Richard Madden and Ellie Piercy both studied in Glasgow prior to turning professional. Indeed, Madden has yet to graduate from the acting course at RSAMD, and, as well as facing the pressures of playing such a meaty role in close proximity to the audience, will have the added anxiety of being assessed and graded by his tutors.

“This is the end of my third year,” says Madden following a Saturday mornin…