Theatre, Cabaret & Spoken Word

Theatre, Cabaret & Spoken Word
The Hidden.

Theatre round-up: The Hidden | The End Of Eddy | The Time Machine

At a desk in a quiet corner of Edinburgh’s Central Library, Veronica Leer is racked with consternation. She tells us she’s a librarian whose colleague has disappeared. After three days, all that remains is a set of clues the woman left behind. Leer hands out alphabet ciphers and catalogue numbers, asking if we can get into teams to figure out what it means.

Theatre
The Prisoner

Theatre review: The Prisoner, Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh

An open stage, the red earth of somewhere not European, a gnarled piece of tree trunk, lighting that suggests heat. In The Prisoner, the stage has a look that has come to be associated with the work of Peter Brook over his last four decades at the Bouffes Du Nord; and when an elderly white man appears (an understated and slightly self-mocking Donald Sumpter), it is, indeed, to introduce a story that began for him long ago, during a journey in a distant land.

Edinburgh festivals
The production, which is geared in part to a young audience, has a cast of two and utilises a simple but imaginative set. Picture: Ryan Buchanan

Theatre review: The End Of Eddy, The Studio

The theme of patriarchal attitudes and the damage they can inflict rolls on like an unstoppable flood through this year’s Festival; and this new stage version by Pamela Carter and Stewart Laing of Edouard Louis’s acclaimed 2014 novel The End Of Eddy is part of that tide, an indictment of the fierce, even violent, homophobia that still exists in places such as the depressed post-industrial village in northern France where Eddy grew up, and an affirmation that for any boy born there who cannot conform to the hard-drinking, beer-swilling, football-watching norm, escape – usually via education – is the only option.

Edinburgh festivals
Theatre review: A Hero Of Our Time, C royale

Theatre review: A Hero Of Our Time, C royale

“He has a pompous phrase for every opportunity without an ounce of poetry in his soul.” So says charismatic Russian military man Pechorin of his on-and-increasing-off friend Grunshnitsky in this vibrant adaptation of Mikhail Lermontov’s 19th century novel, which brings to life a passionate story of unrequited love and action-packed adventure, all in a tiny basement.

Edinburgh festivals
Jericho's message is mind-expanding. Picture: Contributed

Theatre review: Jericho, Underbelly Cowgate

Around midway through this show by Irish company Malaprop – or a little over midway, as we discover – it appears as though we may be in the presence of a really special piece of theatre that addresses the issues of the age with outstanding humour and genuine invention.

Edinburgh festivals
Theatre review: Unsung, Summerhall

Theatre review: Unsung, Summerhall

In this latest monologue by the acclaimed Antwerp-based theatre-maker ­Valentijn Dhaenens, the stage is laid out like an exaggerated version of the speakers’ platform in any deluxe conference centre. There’s a lectern amid a forest of tropical pot-plants; and in the middle, a man in a suit, a fit and handsome-looking young leader-in-waiting, about to make a speech.

Edinburgh festivals
Rebecca Vaughan  is an assured performer and Orlando's inner world comes alive in her hands. Picture: Ben Guest

Theatre review: Orlando, Assembly Roxy

Rebecca Vaughan (Austen’s Women, Jane Eyre: An Autobiography) gives a towering performance in Elton Townend Jones’s adaptation of Virgina Woolf’s 1928 novel. Orlando is the luscious, sweeping tale of a callow youth who dreams of being a great poet, who is granted immortality at the hand of an ageing Queen Elizabeth I, and becomes a witness to the next four centuries, shifting in gender as easily as he shifts in time.

Edinburgh festivals
Theatre review: That Bastard Brecht, Paradise in Augustines

Theatre review: That Bastard Brecht, Paradise in Augustines

“So, what made you choose this?” a woman asks an older couple queuing for the show. “We like Brecht,” is the reply. However, this new musical from David Dunn and Australian company NUWORKS has a mainstream, upbeat feel, lots of bohemian energy and catchy songs, despite also exploring the life of the avante-garde playwright.

Edinburgh festivals
The staging makes for an 'immersive tapestry'. Picture: Contributed

Theatre review: Bride Of The Gulf, C Cubed

Do you “make bombs and movies”? a young Iraqi man patrolling the landscape asks. Yes? “Congratulations,” he proclaims, “You are a part of a first-world country.” He’s talking to his friend about who is best placed to tell the story of the people of Basra: Iran is the somewhat surprising conclusion; they are simply better at filmmaking, he shrugs.

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