Skip to main content

#sleeptightbobbycairns


Tron Theatre, Glasgow
3 stars
What would happen if the revolution became reduced to a series of 
letter-writing parties that gathered the converted together under the 
guidance of the sort of perma-grinning cheerleader normally the 
preserve of high street charity muggers? Then what if it turned out 
that said cheer-leader had missed the point enough to be sidelined from 
the cause?

As an audience of ten or so 'pioneers' are ushered into a meeting room 
with name tags and enforced jollity intact, these are exactly the sort 
of questions being asked in director Rob Jones and writer Michael 
O'Neill's all too timely look at the politics of protest for a younger 
generation in a post-ideological age. Our hostess is Layla, the 
pyjama-clad evangelist for the Need Nothing movement led by the 
guru-like Sam, who wants everyone to move into a global village in 
Peru. Layla's nemesis is Councillor Robert Cairns, her former ally and 
inspiration, who now wants to counteract inner-city knife crime by 
imposing a 9pm curfew.

Aided by hapless assistant Brendan and a litany of meaningless feelgood 
twaddle, Millie Turner's Layla finds her original drive stymied by how 
the message has been diluted and cheapened by the sort of PR-driven 
approach that has left party politics with little credibility left to 
spin.

Developed for the Tron's Mayfesto season from a piece originally seen 
at Arches Live 2012, Jones' intimate production for the Enormous Yes 
company is a wordy dissection of how youthful idealism and the activism 
it inspires can be co-opted and corrupted by forces with more 
dangerously self-serving agendas. It may take things to absurd 
extremes, but the realpolitik behind it is all too plain to see.

The Herald, May 16th 2013

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…