Theatre

Theatre

Theatre review: Rocket Post, An Lanntair, Stornoway

In the summer of 1934, a young German called Gerhard Zucker arrived at the Harris Hotel in Tarbert and set up base there. Zucker was a young scientist obsessed with rocketry, particularly with the idea of using small rockets as a means of communication between remote communities, and he had become convinced that the narrow stretch of water between Harris and Scarp was the ideal place for his experiments.

Theatre
The Coolidge Effect

Theatre reviews: Faithful Ruslan at the Citz | The Coolidge Effect at the Traverse | Disturbed at Oran Mor

It’s said that when Georgi Vladimov’s novella Faithful Ruslan was first circulated in samizdat in the Soviet Union of the 1970s, readers saw it as an allegorical story about the fate of the Soviet Union after the death of Stalin in 1956. Set in Siberia during the liberalisation that followed Stalin’s death, it tells the story of a faithful prison-camp guard dog so strictly trained that when the camp is closed, and his adored master – a camp corporal – spares his life but tells him to get lost, he simply refuses to accept the change, rejecting all offers of food, trying to stick to the old rules, and searching everywhere for his worthless master.

Theatre
Cilla The Musical

Theatre review: Cilla The Musical, Edinburgh Playhouse

If you’re looking for spine-tingling moments in Edinburgh theatre this week, there are probably two on offer; and intriguingly, both are based on the history of the 1960s. One is the horrible, backward-looking sound of Enoch Powell’s “rivers of blood” speech of 1968, unforgettably re-created by Ian McDiarmid in What Shadows at the Lyceum. And the other - bursting with all the positive, forward-looking, youthful energy of that same period - is the electrifying moment in Cilla The Musical, at the Playhouse, when a brilliant Kara Lily Hayworth, playing the “people’s diva” from Liverpool, opens her lungs to the max and belts out Anyone Who Had A Heart, the mighty ballad that, in February 1964, first took Cilla to No. 1.

Theatre 1
The Attic Ensemble's Threepenny Opera

Theatre review: Threepenny Opera at the King’s Theatre, Edinburgh

So in the middle of the opening chorus, one of the big lights over the stage shatters spectacularly, apparently blowing the whole lighting-rig; and for the next two-and-a-half hours, we find ourselves plunged into a world of improvised lighting provided by storm-lanterns and stray spotlights, while cast members puff along on makeshift generator bicycles.

Theatre
John Bett will be presiding over the criminal trial in Jury Play

Theatre: Grid Iron’s examination of Scottish justice

The Scottish justice system comes under scrutiny in Grid Iron’s new drama, in which members of the audience are invited to join a jury

Theatre
Robert Bathurst stars in Cold Feet on STV, Fridays, 9pm Picture: Debra Hurford Brown

Interview: Robert Bathurst

News
Tom Parker as Danny and Danielle Hope as Sandy in Grease

Theatre reviews: Grease | The Witches of West Fife

THEATRE

Theatre
Ian McDiarmid as Enoch Powel in What Shadows PIC: Ellie Kurttz

Theatre review: What Shadows at the Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh

There are plays which are beautifully made and staged, yet which matter hardly at all; and then there are plays like this latest piece from the formidable Scottish writer Chris Hannan. First seen in Birmingham last November, What Shadows is a bold and perhaps timely study of the nationalistic and racist passions unleashed by Enoch Powell’s notorious “rivers of blood” speech, delivered in Birmingham in 1968; a play more freighted with political significance and serious intent than any other you are likely to see this year.

Theatre
Tony Roper, centre, with the cast of the 30th anniversary touring production of The Steamie

Theatre review: The Steamie, Adam Smith Theatre, Kirkcaldy

Back in 1987, when The Steamie first appeared, Glasgow was still full of men and ­women in their prime who could remember the city’s old ­communal wash-houses or steamies. Today, by contrast, the idea of a world without domestic washing machines has ­faded into history; yet it’s a mark of the sheer power of Tony Roper’s superb, funny and ­perfectly-observed play – with magnificent matching songs by David Anderson – that it somehow seems as vivid and significant as ever, in this 30th anniversary touring production directed by Roper ­himself.

UK
Vincent Friel, Neil Leiper  and Barbara Rafferty are in sparkling form in Late Sleeper

Theatre review: Late Sleeper

We’re now two weeks into the autumn lunchtime season at A Play, A Pie, A Pint; and so far we’ve seen two plays about successful middle-class Scotsmen who feel guilty about leaving behind, exploiting and perhaps misrepresenting the working class communities from which they come.

Theatre
Gina Isaacs central performance as Blanche is poignant, Joseph Blacks as Stanley passionate and heart-wrenching

Theatre review: A Streetcar Named Desire

Rapture Theatre scored a resounding hit earlier this year, with a production of Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? that featured a world-class performance from Sara Stewart as one of the greatest American anti-heroines, the wrecked and brilliant Martha. Four months on, though, Tennessee Williams’s mighty 1947 masterpiece A Streetcar Named Desire - likewise built around an unforgettable American female character, Blanche Dubois – seems somehow to escape Rapture’s grasp; although Gina Isaac’s central performance as Blanche is poignant, thoughtful, and sometimes frightening in its powerful sense of Blanche as an eternal sexual outsider, savagely punished by society for failing to conform to either of the stereotypes available for women, the mother/madonna, or the whore.

Theatre
Ian McDiarmid as Enoch Powell in What Shadow

Theatre interview: Chris Hannan on his Enoch Powell play,What Shadows

By revisiting Enoch Powell’s famous ‘rivers of blood’ speech in his play What Shadows, Chris Hannan says he is trying to understand the former MP rather than simply trying to demonise him

Theatre
Mark Faith is outstanding as Sava alongside Joanna Lucas as his daughter Katia

Theatre review: Europe

It’s hard to imagine a more important Scottish-made drama for our times than David Greig’s 1994 play Europe, now revived at Pitlochry as the final show of the theatre’s summer season.

Theatre
Emily Winter as Barbara and Ann Louise Ross as Violet show the cracks in the Weston family

Theatre review: August: Osage County

The set is huge: too huge, really, a giant rotating thing that creaks and groans and features dozens of wooden posts that sometimes obscure the actors’ faces. What it conveys, though, is something central to Tracy Letts’s award-winning 2007 drama August: Osage County, now receiving its Scottish premiere at Dundee Rep, as the opening production of Andrew Panton’s first season as artistic director.

Theatre
Ian Rankin reveals plans for Inspector Rebus stage play

Ian Rankin reveals plans for Inspector Rebus stage play

Crime author Ian Rankin has revealed that his famous Inspector Rebus character is being adapted for the stage.
Edinburgh festivals
Louise Ludgate and Richard Conlon in The Whip Hand. Picture: David Monteith-Hodge

Stolen stories set free at the Edinburgh festivals

You’ll recognise the type. He’s the guy who looks as if he’s got all the answers. Charismatic in his laidback way, he fancies himself as a bit of a guru – although he’s too full of false modesty to say so. He’s here to lead a theatre workshop and he likes to give the impression it’s all about you, the participants, and not about him. But, of course, it’s all about him.

News
Theatre review: Femage a Trois

Theatre review: Femage a Trois

Edinburgh Festival Fringe: Women are firmly centre-stage in these three short plays about female experience by Loquitur, a theatre company specialising in new writing.

Edinburgh festivals
Theatre review: Baba Brinkman’s Rap Guide To Consciousness

Theatre review: Baba Brinkman’s Rap Guide To Consciousness

Edinburgh Festival Fringe: White men rapping are a fairly unremarkable species ever since Eminem arrived two decades ago, but Canadian artist Dirk “Baba” Brinkman Jr takes the “unlikely musician” factor up a notch.

Edinburgh festivals
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