Blanche & Butch ***
Tron Theatre, Glasgow
Our fate, though, is not to witness their show but to watch the performers prepare, as, in tribute to the Baby Jane mood, they bitchily trash the landscape of 21st century minority rights, calling one another “crips” and insisting that, far from being unavoidably “born that way”, gay men – including father-of-six Butch, played in fine style by Gary Robson – can perfectly well have relationships with women.
The effect of all this, in Kenny
Miller’s production and design, is highly theatrical, tremendously messy and often thoroughly depressing, with much of the finest writing coming in writer Robert Softley Gale’s searching and poignant monologues, as Blanche, about the demands society makes of disabled people in return for their “rights”.
Yet Blanche & Butch also has the feel of an important show, that tries to take forward the debate on how we see disability; and with Kinnie Gardner
acting up a camp storm as new girl Bette, the show offers a troubling and vivid hour of theatre, and plenty to think about, once Baby Jane finally fades to black.
*Blanche & Butch is at The Byre, St Andrews, 27 September; Woodend Barn, Banchory, 28 September; and Summerhall, Edinburgh, 13-14 October