Review: Ross & Rachel, Edinburgh

Published in The Independent on August 17, 2015

What would have happened to Rachel and Ross from Friends after the fairytale ending? How would their relationship fare with children, aging, restlessness, boredom, sickness, and death? These are the questions asked by James Fritz’s perfectly formed play, a one-woman duologue performed with forensic focus by Molly Vevers. She flits between playing Rachel and Ross; words bubble out of her lips in double-time, but with clarity and flair. Continue reading “Review: Ross & Rachel, Edinburgh”

Review: Institute, Gecko, Edinburgh

Published in The Independent on August 16, 2015

Performed by four male dancers from physical theatre company Gecko, Institute’s ‘story’ is as shifting and fluid as their deliciously watchable movement – it twists and turns and tangles up like their bodies. We seem to begin in some kind of cartoonishly dystopian office, with absurdly outsized filing cabinets. Continue reading “Review: Institute, Gecko, Edinburgh”

Review: Filthy Talk for Troubled Times, Basic Mountain, Edinburgh

Published in Fest on August 15, 2015

Why revive Neil LaBute’s 1990 debut play? It’s a short, unpleasant, rarely-performed piece set in a strip club, where dumb, cruel men and a couple of waitresses banter, each breaking out to address the audience with tales supposed to be out-there in their honesty. Maybe they had bite 25 years ago; now they reek of cliché. Continue reading “Review: Filthy Talk for Troubled Times, Basic Mountain, Edinburgh”

Lee Hall and Vicky Featherstone on bringing riotous schoolgirls to the stage

Published in The Independent on Sunday on August 9, 2015

Playwright Lee Hall is best known for Billy Elliot, the inspirational, heart-warming film and musical about a boy who wants to be a ballet dancer and who overcomes the odds to achieve his dream. Now, Hall has turned his attention to the story of a Scottish Catholic schoolgirl choir, travelling to Edinburgh to compete in a singing competition. Hankies at the ready for the big emotional numbers, right? Continue reading “Lee Hall and Vicky Featherstone on bringing riotous schoolgirls to the stage”

On revivals, and the urge to ‘bring back to life’ past triumphs

The words ‘10th Anniversary Revival’ are given as much prominence as the author’s name – Tim Crouch – on the National Theatre’s promotional material for An Oak Tree; a new ‘10th anniversary edition’ of the playtext accompanies. Such subtitling flags up its rare status: a genuinely experimental, fringe show that has achieved international acclaim, academic recognition, and much love from audiences – and performers (a key point, of which more later). Continue reading “On revivals, and the urge to ‘bring back to life’ past triumphs”