Skip to main content

Twelfth Night

Perth Theatre
4 stars
A new wind has blown into Perth, just as it does in Shakespeare's
Illyria. That's the accidental message anyway during the opening storm
scene of the theatre's incoming artistic director Rachel O'Riordan's
debut in-house production. Because, in something usually played as a
knockabout rom-com, Riordan sets out her store from the start by
blowing away such surface froth to reveal near-Chekhovian depths.

Much of this stems from an update to a post World War One Scotland in a
crumbling petrol-blue house where a baby grand piano sits at the top of
an elaborate staircase. Here Conor Mitchell's Curio sips cocktails
while whipping up a jaunty Palm Court style soundtrack with violinist
and fellow gent Valentine. That's about as fizzy as things get,
however, as all involved wander about in a kind of shell-shocked limbo,
trying to re-connect with some sense of purpose.

Samara MacLaren's brittle, flapper-like Olivia and Martin Ledwith's
brooding Orsino are so wrapped up in themselves they don't even notice
that Laura O'Toole's exiled Viola is masquerading as a man. Even Steven
McNicoll's de-mob happy Toby Belch crashes around with a wounded anger,
his late-night roustabouts with John Paul Hurley's Aguecheek and
teasing of Tom Marshall's pompous Malvolio positively pathological.
Andy Hockley's Feste, meanwhile, sporting fez, waist-coat and white
beard, looks like an over-grown monkey who's lost his organ-grinder.

By mixing up Scots, Irish and Welsh accents, Riordan's reading suggests
a fractured set of countries, each one isolated by their losses. Only
when Viola finds her twin Sebastian does any kind of unity occur. Even
then, Feste's final song is a solitary lament, both for his lot and the
times he lives in.

The Herald, October 3rd 2011

ends

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Big Gold Dreams – A Story of Scottish Independent Music 1977-1989

Disc 1 1. THE REZILLOS (My Baby Does) Good Sculptures (12/77)  2. THE EXILE Hooked On You (8/77) 3. DRIVE Jerkin’ (8/77) 4. VALVES Robot Love (9/77) 5. P.V.C. 2 Put You In The Picture (10/77) 6. JOHNNY & THE SELF ABUSERS Dead Vandals (11/77) 7. BEE BEE CEE You Gotta Know Girl (11/77) 8. SUBS Gimme Your Heart (2/78) 9. SKIDS Reasons (No Bad NB 1, 4/78) 10. FINGERPRINTZ Dancing With Myself (1/79)  11. THE ZIPS Take Me Down (4/79) 12. ANOTHER PRETTY FACE All The Boys Love Carrie (5/79)  13. VISITORS Electric Heat (5/79) 14. JOLT See Saw (6/79) 15. SIMPLE MINDS Chelsea Girl (6/79) 16. SHAKE Culture Shock (7/79) 17. HEADBOYS The Shape Of Things To Come (7/79) 18. FIRE EXIT Time Wall (8/79) 19. FREEZE Paranoia (9/79) 20. FAKES Sylvia Clarke (9/79) 21. TPI She’s Too Clever For Me (10/79) 22. FUN 4 Singing In The Showers (11/79) 23. FLOWERS Confessions (12/79) 24. TV21 Playing With Fire (4/80) 25. ALEX FERGUSSON Stay With Me Tonight (1980) 1. THE REZILL

Losing Touch With My Mind - Psychedelia in Britain 1986-1990

DISC 1 1. THE STONE ROSES   -  Don’t Stop 2. SPACEMEN 3   -  Losing Touch With My Mind (Demo) 3. THE MODERN ART   -  Mind Train 4. 14 ICED BEARS   -  Mother Sleep 5. RED CHAIR FADEAWAY  -  Myra 6. BIFF BANG POW!   -  Five Minutes In The Life Of Greenwood Goulding 7. THE STAIRS  -  I Remember A Day 8. THE PRISONERS  -  In From The Cold 9. THE TELESCOPES   -  Everso 10. THE SEERS   -  Psych Out 11. MAGIC MUSHROOM BAND  -  You Can Be My L-S-D 12. THE HONEY SMUGGLERS  - Smokey Ice-Cream 13. THE MOONFLOWERS  -  We Dig Your Earth 14. THE SUGAR BATTLE   -  Colliding Minds 15. GOL GAPPAS   -  Albert Parker 16. PAUL ROLAND  -  In The Opium Den 17. THE THANES  -  Days Go Slowly By 18. THEE HYPNOTICS   -  Justice In Freedom (12" Version) 1. THE STONE ROSES    Don’t Stop ( Silvertone   ORE   1989) The trip didn’t quite start here for what sounds like Waterfall played backwards on The Stone Roses’ era-defining eponymous debut album, but it sounds

Edinburgh Rocks – The Capital's Music Scene in the 1950s and Early 1960s

Edinburgh has always been a vintage city. Yet, for youngsters growing up in the shadow of World War Two as well as a pervading air of tight-lipped Calvinism, they were dreich times indeed. The founding of the Edinburgh International Festival in 1947 and the subsequent Fringe it spawned may have livened up the city for a couple of weeks in August as long as you were fans of theatre, opera and classical music, but the pubs still shut early, and on Sundays weren't open at all. But Edinburgh too has always had a flipside beyond such official channels, and, in a twitch-hipped expression of the sort of cultural duality Robert Louis Stevenson recognised in his novel, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, a vibrant dance-hall scene grew up across the city. Audiences flocked to emporiums such as the Cavendish in Tollcross, the Eldorado in Leith, The Plaza in Morningside and, most glamorous of all due to its revolving stage, the Palais in Fountainbridge. Here the likes of Joe Loss and Ted Heath broug