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Showing posts from 2018

Lu Kemp – Perth Theatre's 2018-2019 season

When Lu Kemp announced her inaugural season as artistic director of a re-developed and re-energised Perth Theatre last year, she declared on these pages a long-term goal of creating an ambitious programme that reached right across the Perthshire region. Kemp also expressed the aim of developing the theatre as a community space that belonged to everybody.
As she reveals her second season in full in the Herald today, that continues to be the aim, with a programme of old and new work housed in the theatre and the purpose-built Joan Knight Studio. The latter is named in honour of Perth Theatre’s former artistic director and legendary doyen of its past glories. The season will also take in a rural tour that follows on from last year’s initiative, as well as a visiting line-up of shows both for adults and young people of various ages.
Critically, last season can be deemed a success. Kemp’s productions of Shakespeare’s Richard III and a fine revival of David Harrower’s contemporary classic, K…

Benidorm Live

The Playhouse, Edinburgh Four stars
The Sun looks like setting on the Solana Hotel at the start of Derren Litten’s end-of-the-pier adaptation of his phenomenally successful Brits-abroad sit-com. Picking up from the tenth-series swan-song, Litten’s script sees new owners of the expat paradise intent on a make-over of the Solana’s crumbling if still gaudily cheap-as-chips interior. Rooms are at rock bottom prices for good reason, as posh couple Sophie and Ben arrive at reception like cuckoos in an increasingly madcap nest for a cheap holiday in both their and other people’s misery.
Like a spray-tanned cocktail of Crossroads, Fawlty Towers and Hi De-Hi! on the Med, Ed Curtis’ production brings six of Benidorm’s original TV cast for what is essentially two episodes-worth of salami-sized innuendo and dubious Spanish-English wordplay, the likes of which hasn’t been heard since Mind Your Language graced our pre-PC screens.
From the moment the show’s theme music strikes up the audience are up fo…

Kathryn Joseph: From When I Wake

Summerhall, Edinburgh Five stars
A strip of vertical mirrors lines the back of the stage throughout Kathryn Joseph’s theatrical rendering of her remarkable second album, From When I Wake The Want Is, presented on this five date tour as a low-key spectacle by the Glasgow-based Cryptic company. More mirrors are attached to Joseph’s piano, so it looks like some junk-yard steam-punk contraption about to be powered into the skies.
It is to designer James Johnston’s cut-glass slivers hanging all-angles in a row behind her that Joseph sings to first, squaring up to her own image in a set of invocations that are possibly the ultimate in self-reflective soul-baring. When Joseph finally turns to the audience mid-way through the album’s title track, it is with a fearlessness that defines the raw candour of her songs as she pounds at the piano keys with a driven insistence.

As directed by Josh Armstrong, and with little pause between songs, the album is revealed as a suite that evolves into a hypno…