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Guadian 27 March 2014

The Secret Life of Suitcases

By Ailie Cohen and Lewis Hetehrington. An Ailie Cohen Puppet Maker/Unicorn theatre review

IN THE standard Kafkaesque nightmare, the hero always finds himself trapped in a hell of red tape with no chance of escape. The difference here, in this sweet-natured puppet fantasy for the over-fives, is that fastidious Larry rather enjoys his dreary desk job.Recalling one of Don Martin's long-faced cartoons from Mad magazine, this happy office worker taps away at his keyboard as he processes the steady flow of tickets that pop up in front of him. Such is his dedication to the task that his colleagues know to keep their distance. Larry's far too busy to break for coffee or lunch.


Guardian 26 March 2014


By Tim Barrow. A Royal Lyceum Theatre review.

WAS there a secret clause in the 1707 Act of Union? Did it state that every Scottish historical drama had to be set in a pub off Edinburgh's Royal Mile, populated by ne'er-do-wells, undercover nobles and a poet who would declaim Roman verse whenever the conversation flagged? Was there a further stipulation that no woman could appear unless she were a prostitute or a royal? If so, then playwright Tim Barrow follows the decree to the letter. But it's not over-familiarity that lets Union down so much as its lack of narrative interest.

Variety 18 March 2014

New National Theater Trilogy and ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’ On Edinburgh Festival’s 2014 Slate

Launch of the Edinburgh International Festival

A HISTORICAL trilogy from two of Britain’s national theaters and a new stage adaptation of “All Quiet on the Western Front” are among the higher profile offerings on tap for the 2014 Edinburgh Intl. Festival, the three-week program of theater and music to which the simultaneous Edinburgh Festival Fringe was founded in response. This year’s edition, kicking off four days and one century after Britain declared war on Germany, focuses on the theme of military conflict, representing the eighth and final line-up of a.d. Jonathan Mills before he hands over the reins to his incoming replacement Fergus Linehan.


Guardian 12 March 2014

Wendy Hoose

By Johnny McKnight. A Birds of Paradise/Random Accomplice theatre review.

JAKE thinks he's in with a chance. After a volley of sexting with an attractive stranger called Laura, he has taken up the invitation for a one-night stand at her Cumbernauld flat. Despite finding her already in bed, bosom heaving and ready for action, he gets less than he bargained for. And when he strips down to his Diesel underpants, so does she.

Guardian 11 March 2014

Dare to Care

By Christine Lindsay. A Stellar Quines review.

I BET Christine Lindsay's early-morning dreams are like Dare to Care. If, like her, you had joined the Scottish Prison Service as long ago as 1976, you, too, would have your head filled with the dissonant voices of prisoners and warders. Her play is like a behind-bars Under Milk Wood, a theatrical poem made up of conversational fragments from women who are variously abused, suicidal, deranged and unrepentant. Their voices, which echo along institutional corridors never to be heard beyond the prison walls, are all they have to call their own.

Guardian 27 February 2014

This Wide Night

By Chloe Moss. A Tron Theatre review.

THE last time we saw Elaine C Smith, she was sending up Rod Stewart, Gladys Knight and Adele as a Fairy Godmother in the Aberdeen panto. David Greig, meanwhile, has been pulling in the crowds to his adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in the West End. Fans of Cinderella and Roald Dahl are unlikely to be prepared for This Wide Night, a grim slice-of-life two-hander, directed by Greig, in which Smith plays an ex-con. Escapist holiday entertainment it is not.

Guardian 17 February 2014

Musicals We Love: Blood Brothers

By Willy Russell. A Liverpool Playhouse review.

IF you ask a class of drama students why they chose their subject, a majority will answer with an anecdote about seeing a heart-stopping production at a formative age. For me, Willy Russell's Blood Brothers wasn't exactly that (when I saw it at the age of 18, I'd already developed a theatregoing habit), but it did make a tremendous impression. If I'm calculating right, it was Friday 7 January 1983, and I'd managed to buy a ticket for a preview performance in the very back row, upstairs at the Liverpool Playhouse. It must have been the last seat in the house.

Guardian 18 December 2013

Best theatre of 2013, No 10 (joint): Paul Bright's Confessions of a Justified Sinner

By Pamela Carter. An Untitled/NTS article.

ONE of the chief pleasures of Paul Bright's Confessions of a Justified Sinner was the slowly dawning realisation that all was not as it seemed. As a reviewer, it seemed churlish to give away the game, but not to do so would have risked missing the point. (Spoiler alert: there are plans for an autumn 2014 tour, so you may wish to stop reading now.)





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