Skip to main content

Fringe Theatre 2018 - Meek, Traverse Theatre, Three stars / The House, Assembly George Square, Three stars

The illuminated crucifix on the wall is a giveaway to what coffee bar rebel Irene’s opening statement is kicking against in Penelope Skinner’s play, Meek, directed by Amy Hodge for Headlong in association with Birmingham Rep. Set in a dystopian future, Meek presents a world where merely singing a song can get you arrested. With Irene incarcerated, she is visited by her less outspoken friend Anna and a lawyer, Gudrun. As Irene’s performance is leaked online, radical chic gives way to the vanities of fame.

With a trio of steely performances led by Shvorne Marks as Irene, in terms of subjugation of everyday liberties, Irene’s rise from open mic night troubadour turned superstar martyr recalls Peter Watkins’ cult pop odyssey, Privilege, reinvented for the social media age. Such scenarios may have once been the preserve of paranoid hippy science-fiction, but looks dangerously current.  

Brian Parks takes the stresses of the property ladder to extremes in The House, co-produced by the Americana Absurdum Company. Martyn and Shanny are an older couple selling up their perfectly co-ordinated dream home. Lindsay and Fischer won the bid, and the quartet are celebrating before the keys are handed over and a new era begins.

What initially looks like an awkward comedy of manners soon takes a more manic turn, until any vestiges of politesse are torched away with the leftover fixtures and fittings.

This is played with turbo-charged fury by David Calvitto as Martyn and Pauline Goldsmith as Lindsay, with Alex Sunderhsus’ Lindsay and Oliver Tilney’s Fischer holding their own in the ensuing chaos in Margarett Perry’s production.

The result is a madcap and unhinged demolition of social mores, that reveals an older generation’s fears of anything resembling change, but also an ambitious younger set’s desire to leave their mark, no matter how messy.

The Herald, August 17th 2018

ends




Comments

Popular posts from this blog

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

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

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