Soleene Weinachter in Antigone, Interrupted PIC: Maria Falconer

Dance review: Antigone, Interrupted, Perth Theatre

“Wish me luck,” says Solène Weinachter to a woman in the front row, eliciting laughter rather than empathy from the packed crowd. She’s just explained that Antigone is a Greek tragedy filled with copious characters but she’s going to perform it all by herself.

A fine ham-fisted adaptation, full of arguments, false confidence and accidents

Theatre review: Peter Pan Goes Wrong, Festival Theatre, Edinburgh

With a BBC One series and multiple productions touring simultaneously, Mischief Theatre’s knockabout farces follow a winning formula. First performed in 2013, before becoming the first Goes Wrong play-within-a-play to transfer to television, this delightfully ham-fisted adaptation of JM Barrie’s fairytale runs like exquisitely sabotaged clockwork.

Gavin Jon Wright, Ixtaso Moreno and Sarah Miele provide poignancy, power and pathos in the Secret Garden. Picture: Mihaela Bodlovic

Theatre review: The Secret Garden, Tron Theatre, Glasgow

A FLASH, a bang, a thunder of war, like an echo of the conflict currently blazing in northern Syria, and it’s clear in the first seconds of the show that in this new 60-minute version by Rosalind Sydney, Frances Hodgson Burnett’s much-loved 1911 children’s story has been updated with a vengeance. Her heroine, Mary, is not an upper-class English girl orphaned by cholera in India, but a refugee orphaned by war, who arrives at her uncle’s big house in Scotland after an all-too-familiar 21st century journey through forests full of soldiers and across treacherous seas.

Gwen Taylor in The Croft

Theatre – The Croft | Ten Times Table

The scene is a remote cottage on Scotland’s north-west coast, converted from a former croft; and the time is the present, as gay couple Laura and Suzanne arrive to spend their first real time together, after months of clandestine meetings while Suzanne extricates herself from a 20-year marriage.

Rosalind Sydney, who adapted and co-directed The Secret Garden with Ian Cameron PIC: John Cooper

Think you know The Secret Garden? Rosalind Sydney has written a “visceral and passionate” new version

An Edwardian tale about a locked garden in the grounds of an old manor house, and a little orphaned girl who finds happiness there; small wonder, perhaps, that Frances Hodgson Burnett’s much-loved children’s book The Secret Garden, first published in 1911, is often seen as a sentimental period piece, rather than a story with the kind of vivid relevance to 21st century life that modern storytellers often seek.

Gwen Taylor in The Croft, by Ali Milles

Gwen Taylor on starring in Tartan Gothic thriller, The Croft, at Perth Theatre

In a long life in acting, Gwen Taylor has played so many meaty and memorable roles that it’s impossible to list them all.  She has appeared in films ranging from Monty Python’s Life Of Brian in 1979 to The Lady in The Van in 2015; and on television, she has been Anne Foster in Coronation Street, Peggy Armstrong in Heartbeat, Barbara Liversidge in the sitcom Barbara, and Amy Pearce in the 1980s comedy series Duty Free, which she still lists as a career favourite.

Sketches, by Katie Armstrong PIC: Eoin Carey

Theatre review: Manipulate Festival, various venues, Edinburgh

Saturday afternoon at Summerhall, and on the floor of the old Anatomy Lecture Theatre something is stirring. Three male figures lie stranded in the sixth circle of hell. One rises and sings like a monk at prayer, one glows with an unearthly light as he burns in his personal hell and one emotes like the poet he is; Dante Alighieri, the 14th-century Florentine genius who dared, in an age dominated by Latin verse, to use his own Tuscan language to explore great matters of life, death and eternity.

A scene from Lamp, showing as part of the 2020 Manipulate Festival at Summerhall

Homegrown visual theatre artists to light up new-look Manipulate Festival at Summerhall

There’s something about the word “puppet” that just doesn’t cover it, any more. From the gorgeous, almost life-size versions of elephants and giraffes that crowd the stage in The Lion King, through the huge Scottish walking figures Big Man Walking and Storm devised by Vision Mechanics of Leith, to the powerful Tiny Tim figure who starred in this year’s Edinburgh Christmas Carol at the Lyceum, puppetry itself seems to have entered a whole new age since the turn of the millennium, defying the image of toy-like smallness that seems to shape in the very word.

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