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by Mark Fisher

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British Theatre Guide

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With a foreword by Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune





15 January 2017 The Guardian

Picnic at Hanging Rock

By Tom Wright. A Royal Lyceum/Malthouse/Black Swan review

IT feels like an unresolved chord. Everything is on edge. Suspended. Pregnant. Five young women stand across a bare stage. Stock still, they narrate their story. All it takes is a single step forward and the tension escalates. The almost inaudible whispers and rattles of Ash Gibson Greig’s soundscape add to the creepiness. We know something’s afoot long before the pocket watches inexplicably stop at midday.But these pupils are not the familiar figures in virginal white from Peter Weir’s 1975 classic film. Rather, in Matthew Lutton’s gripping production for Australia’s Malthouse and Black Swan companies, they are modern-day private school girls in navy blue blazers, a touch more savvy and less erotically charged than their predecessors.

11 December 2016 The Guardian

Black Beauty

By Shona Reppe, Andy Cannon and Andy Manley. A Traverse Theatre review.

THEY should have called it Horse Play. This collaboration between Shona Reppe, Andy Manley and Andy Cannon is not so much an adaptation of the Anna Sewell novel as a free-associating theatrical gymkhana. A triumph of object-theatre stagecraft, it takes a rosette-worthy canter through a stableful of horse-themed gags, while paying touching testament to the value of resilience. For a while, it looks as if it’ll have nothing to do with Black Beauty at all. Manley and Cannon play the Famous McCuddy Brothers, equestrian illusionists stranded on the outskirts of Edinburgh for want of employment in the pantomime-horse business. Not until they resort to selling their belongings do they start reading their late mother’s copy of the novel, enacting its most memorable adventures as they go.
















by Mark Fisher

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