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

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, …

Suzy Glass – Message from the Skies

Freedom of movement matters to Suzy Glass, the arts and events producer currently overseeing the second edition of Message from the Skies.This animated literary derive around the city forms part of this year’s Edinburgh’s Hogmanay programme, and runs right through till Burns’ Night. Glass’ concerns are inherent in the event itself, which has commissioned six writers from different disciplines and experiences to each pen a love letter to Europe. Each writer has then paired up with a composer and visual artist or film-maker, with the results of each collaboration projected in monumental fashion on the walls of one of half a dozen of the capital’s most iconic buildings.
With venues stretching from the south side of Edinburgh to Leith, and with one city centre stop requiring a walk up Calton Hill, there is considerable legwork required to complete the circuit. It shouldn’t be considered a race, however, and audiences are free to move between venues at their leisure, visiting each site on d…