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

The Art School Dance Goes On Forever – Snapshots Of Masters Of The Multiverse

Intro – Snapshots – Deaf School

1

In 1980, the same year as the Manchester band, Magazine, released a 7
inch single called A Song From Under The Floorboards – a three verse
and chorus distillation of Dostoyevsky's novel, Notes From Underground
– an art school scandal occurred.

This scandal took place in Liverpool, and was based around a project
called the Furbelows, although it became better known in the Liverpool
Echo and other organs that reported it as the Woolly Nudes.

The Furbelows, or Woolly Nudes, were a group of artists who had come
out of Liverpool College of Art, who, dressed in grotesque woolly
costumes which featured knitted approximations of male and female
genitalia, made assorted public interventions around the city centre as
kind of living sculptures acting out assorted narratives.

The Furbelows project had been funded by what was then Merseyside Arts
Association, and, after the participants were arrested and taken to
court on obscenity charges after what…

Peter Brook – The Prisoner

Peter Brook is no stranger to Scotland, ever since the guru of European and world theatre first brought his nine-hour epic, The Mahabharata, to Glasgow in 1988. That was at the city’s old transport museum, which by 1990 had become Tramway, the still-functioning permanent venue that opened up Glasgow and Scotland as a major channel for international theatre in a way that had previously only been on offer at Edinburgh International Festival.
Brook and his Paris-based Theatre des Bouffes du Nord company’s relationship with Tramway saw him bring his productions of La Tragedie de Carmen, La Tempete, Pellease et Mellisande, The Man Who…, and Oh Les Beaux Jours – the French version of Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days – to Glasgow.
Thirty years on from The Mahabharata, Brook comes to EIF with another piece of pan-global theatre as part of a residency by Theatre des Bouffes du Nord, which Brook has led since he decamped to Paris from London in the early 1970s. The current Edinburgh residency has alr…

Romeo And Juliet - Shakespeare's Globe Comes to Glasgow

Open-air Shakepeares are a summer-time perennial of the theatre calendar, attracting picnicking audiences as much as midges. More often than not, such romps through the grass are frothy, heritage industry affairs designed to be accompanied by strawberries and cream and not to be taken too seriously. Shakespeare’s Globe theatre company look set to change such perceptions when they open their outdoor tour of Romeo And Juliet in Glasgow next week as part of the West End festival.

For the two young actors taking the title roles of the doomed lovers, it will also be something of a homecoming. Richard Madden and Ellie Piercy both studied in Glasgow prior to turning professional. Indeed, Madden has yet to graduate from the acting course at RSAMD, and, as well as facing the pressures of playing such a meaty role in close proximity to the audience, will have the added anxiety of being assessed and graded by his tutors.

“This is the end of my third year,” says Madden following a Saturday mornin…