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Showing posts from April, 2019

Eve Nicol and Johnny McKnight – Mayfesto

Sex, power and money are at the heart of this year’s Mayfesto. Various notions of escape may be the official theme of the month-long mini season of politically driven theatre in its broadest sense, but more visceral everyday concerns are the drive behind two of its flagship shows. The Mistress Contract is Abi Morgan’s play based on a real life story of a woman who agreed to provide ‘mistress services’ for a man in return for paid income and a home. Johnny McKnight, meanwhile, offers up Low Pay? Don’t Pay!, his brand new Glasgow-set contemporary take on Italian maestro Dario Fo’s anti-capitalist classic about a group of women who liberate their messages from a supermarket’s aisles.
In different ways, both shows acknowledge the ongoing complexities of subjects which might initially appear to be black and white affairs. The Mistress Contract was adapted by Morgan from a memoir by the couple known only as She and He for a production in 2014 by former National Theatre of Scotland founding a…

The Wake-Up Call

Assembly Roxy, Edinburgh Three stars
Bedtime stories are clearly on Colin McGuire’s mind in his new fifty-minute meditation on what goes on between the sheets once we lay down our weary heads. With a bed already made up for a lifetime of duvet days and nights, an ambient soundscape sets a soporific tone beneath after-hours projections of starry skies. McGuire wanders on sporting dressing gown and PJs, looking like a champion boxer about to square up to every demon that has ever kept him awake from his slumber.
Over a cycle of narrative poems linked as loosely as a dream, McGuire contemplates some of the world’s bigger nightmares that poke away at lights-out neuroses, making the prospect of a peacefully uninterrupted eight hours as unlikely as everything turning sunny side up the morning.
With directorial input from fellow poet Jenny Lindsay, McGuire’s linguistic largesse carries him through some big ideas which he tackles with the relish one would expect from such a seasoned veteran of t…

Gina Birch and Helen Reddington – Stories from the She Punks

Gina Birch and Helen Reddington don’t look like money launderers. Yet, as the two elder-states-women of the UK’s first generation of punk tell it, this is pretty much what their local bank suspected them of being when they applied for an account to help fund their new film. Rather than some cops and robbers heist flick, however, Stories of the She Punks is a documentary on the largely untold history of the duo’s female peers who navigated their way through the gob-flecked scene to become musical pioneers.
One might have thought Birch’s tenure as bassist and co-vocalist with the Kurt Cobain championed Raincoats and Reddington in her Helen McCookerybook guise as front-woman of Brighton-based John Peel favourites The Chefs and Helen and The Horns would have been enough to convince any bank to support them. If not that, then their more recent careers as respectable academics should have swung it. Sadly, the pair’s artistic alliance wasn’t deemed to be a business opportunity worth supportin…