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Five Minute Theatre 2012


Tron Theatre, Glasgow
4 stars
The technical hitches that opened the 2012 version of the National 
Theatre of Scotland’s compendium of bite-size performances beamed live 
across the internet may have resembled the early days of Channel Four, 
but the creative anarchy that followed was worth the wait. Run over six 
hours, and with seventy-two plays on offer , this year’s protest-based 
theme concentrated things even further, even if the sole screen in the 
Tron’s noisy restaurant was less than ideal for anyone wanting to 
witness the event beyond the works performed live in the venue’s 
Victorian Bar.

For those with laptops, the first hour alone included Craigowl Primary 
School’s study of Grandpa Broon, Amy Conway’s meditation on fallen war 
reporter Marie Colvin and the CurvebALL Collective’s physical theatre 
flash-mob in George Square. It was here Tam Dean Burn’s punk Robert 
Burns outfit The Bumclocks performed an anti-war mash-up of Burns, 
Pinter and Gunter Grass.

Under the Scottish Governments increasingly silly-looking Public 
Entertainment License laws, the last two events are potentially 
illegal, as Alexandra Patience made clear in DIY, a story-telling piece 
performed outdoors in Portskerra. Edinburgh University’s proposed 
closure of the Bongo Club was highlighted by the venue’s staff, Theatre 
Create presented a pertinent satire of radical chic, while Howie 
Reeve’s Grub’s Up served up a simple but effective mouthful.

But it was Emma Callendar’s dramatic intervention for one person, 
Kettle, which captured the evening’s spirit. A recording of one man’s 
experience of being kettled by police is heard as the camera opens out 
on the city, where a group of masked interlopers slowly surround the 
play’s sole audience member. In its simplicity, it sums up how protest 
can lead to real creative action.

 The Herald, May 2nd 2012

ends



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