Skip to main content

Five-Minute Theatre

Various venues
4 stars
It's 4.55pm on a rainy midsummer solstice, and at assorted hubs around
Scotland, the logo on the National Theatre of Scotland website looks
suspiciously like the BBC's old trade test transmission, cheesy muzak
and all. By 5.01pm, however, actress Sally Reid is being beamed in from
Perth Theatre, where she is playing the venue's ghost in a fittingly
theatrical opening monologue for this unprecedented live streaming of
two hundred and thirty-five bite-size plays broadcast over twenty-four
hours across the world. Ten minutes later, Tam Dean Burn is wearing a
toy theatre on his head beside the Clyde with a glove puppet salmon on
one hand and the rush-hour traffic behind while Beltane style
percussion is beaten out. Within the hour we've seen a swimming pool
choir, a Gaelic internet dating yarn and several contemporary dance
troupes from all parts of Scotland and beyond.

There's brilliant work too by Douglas Maxwell and Dundee Rep, a
fantastic piece from Alison Peebles and Anne Lacey, and Stasi
Schaeffer's inspired boardroom-set contemporary version of Ane Satyre
of the Thrie Estaits. But this isn't just about the professionals. This
is about joining in and showing off a multitude of talents in a way
that captures the ongoing crossing of boundaries between audience and
performer, and where participation is a communal need.

Given the scale and complexity of the operation things are charmingly
shambolic at times, with lost links and frozen screens recalling the
early, gloriously anarchic days of Channel Four, when physical-based
pieces like Jamp and Watch Me Disappear would have been a staple. For
those who missed some of these, they are downloadable now as a
magnificent living archive of a nation at play.

The Herald, June 23rd

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…