Skip to main content

Being Norwegian

Oran Mor, Glasgow
4 stars

When Sean meets Lisa, worlds collide on every level.

Sean lives alone in a high rise flat full of boxes, bare bulbs and a panoramic view of the city’s bright lights, and communicates in that strong-silent-type manner patented by the west of Scotland male.

Lisa, on the other hand, is never backward in coming forward, a trait left over from her Viking ancestors, who knew exactly what it means to live in the dark, and may go some way to explaining their penchant for invading seemingly brighter countries.

Lisa sees something of Knut Hamsun’s novels in Sean’s demeanour, and is tellingly possessed by a hunger to connect with someone who, from one Weegie to another, just might be exactly like her.

In this first of four lunchtime collaborations between A Play, A Pie And A Pint and Paines Plough before they transfer to London, David Greig’s beautiful little may-be love story begins full of awkward comic charm before opening out onto a world infinitely more fragile.

Like an early Roger McGough poem, Greig pares down all his familiar themes of emotional displacement and urban ennui into a near perfect miniature tale of ordinary madness nuanced with delicate slivers of light and shade.

Director Roxana Silbert’s casting of Stewart Porter and Meg Fraser is equally inspired.

Porter’s display of outwardly tough vulnerability as Sean is offset by an increasingly fabulous Fraser, who flits magnificently from manic to maudlin in a phrase where laughing might just turn to crying any minute.

If happy endings ever happen, Greig suggests, the less scared of the dark you are, the more light you’re likely to find.

Sponsored by Zoom

The Herald, October 24th 2007

ends

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

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…

Michael Rother - Sterntaler at 40

"There's so much to do," says an uncharacteristically flustered Michael Rother. The normally unflappably beatific German guitarist, composer and former member of Neu! and Harmonia, who also had a stint in a nascent Kraftwerk, is packing for live dates in Russia and the UK, including this weekend's show at the Queen Margaret Union in Glasgow.
"It has always been my choice to take care of these things myself and not have a manager," he says. "Somehow for me the independent aspect of doing things is really important, but it has its disadvantages."
As well as playing selections from Neu! and Harmonia, the trio he formed with Dieter Moebius and Hans Joachim Roedelius of Cluster, Rother's Glasgow date will see him play a fortieth anniversary rendering of his second solo album, Sterntaler, in full. Rother will be accompanied by guitarist Franz Bargmann and drummer Hans Lampe, the latter of whose musical involvement with Rother dates back to Neu! days, …

Kieran Hurley – Mouthpiece

Things have changed since Kieran Hurley first began writing the play that would become Mouthpiece, which opens at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh this weekend. At the time, Hurley was, in his own words, “quite new on the scene.” As a writer and performer, he had already scored hits with Beats and Chalk Farm, two pieces that put him on the map with a new generation of theatre-makers steeped in an equally new wave of grassroots opposition that drew from the iconography of revolutions past. Where Beats looked at the politicisation of 1990s club culture, Chalk Farm, co-written with AJ Taudevin, focused on a teenage boy caught up in the 2011 London riots.
More plays followed. Some, like Heads Up used the same solo story-telling aesthetic to look at an everyday apocalypse. More recently, Square Go, written with Gary McNair, dissected toxic masculinity through a school playground fight.
All the while as Hurley developed as a writer, from new kid on the block to established provocateur, this…