Skip to main content

Fringe Theatre 2018 - On the Exhale, Traverse Theatre, Four stars / Coriolanus Vanishes, Traverse Theatre, Four stars

The mess of strip-lights on the ground look like discarded bullets magnified to monster-size in China Plate’s production of On the Exhale, Martin Zimmerman’s seethingly intense solo play, written in response to the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut.

It’s a symbol, perhaps of the turmoil of the woman unfurling her story, a story of how an ordinary woman list her child one day to an unnecessary massacre caused directly by American gun laws, and the thing she does to help her try and understand what happened.

These things aren’t obvious, as actor Polly Frame talks is through her move from grieving mother to increasingly obsessive survivor seeking revenge.

Christopher Haydon’s production takes its grim-faced and terrifyingly pertinent subject matter and invests Zimmerman’s script with the twists and turns of a thriller.

With shootings on the increase and American laws unchanged, this is a vital dissection of loss, healing and how we all need to keep our safety catch at bay.

Private, public and secret lives are gradually unveiled in Coriolanus Vanishes, David Leddy’s remarkable solo piece for the author’s Fire Exit company. Here, Irene Allan is Chris, a power-dressed high-flyer in an international arms trade banged-up for crimes initially unknown but not too hard to spot. Over a seventy-minute confessional, Chris’ concerns flit between domestic and professional, between hard-nosed networker and proud family woman, until everything goes into freefall, and here she is, behind bars.

Originally performed by Leddy himself in 2017, here Chris is played with mercurial brilliance by Allan, whose emotions turn on a pin as she stands behind a desk on Becky Minto’s shadow-lined set, part cell, part wood-lined sanctuary. Without preaching, Leddy’s play has peeled back the skin on those in high office to prick their conscience by laying bare their all too personal pathologies in mesmerising fashion.

The Herald, August 18th 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