11 September 2007 Northings

The Algebra of Freedom

By Raman Mundair. A 7:84 review.

IN recent months there has been a sea change in the mood of our playwrights. Last year their plays were full of righteous political anger at the "war on terror", the invasion of Iraq and the threat to civil liberties. It isn't that they've all gone soft, but in 2007 their attention has shifted.

23 April 2007 The Guardian


By Nicola McCartney, Linda McLean, Selma Dimitrijevic and Haresh Sharma. A 7:84 review.

WOULD it be possible to dramatise the Act of Union? Unlikely, but 7:84 has justly recognised that 300 years of marriage between England and Scotland deserves to be commemorated in some way - especially as the pro-independence SNP surges ahead in the polls. Director Lorenzo Mele finds a sideways solution, commissioning four writers to respond to the themes of separation and union, while keeping the specifics at one remove.

6 March 2006 The Guardian


By Christopher Deans. A 7:84 review.

IN the week when the Scottish Arts Council has withdrawn funding from 7:84, there would have been tremendous poetic justice if the theatre company had been out and about with the kind of brash, popular and polemical show with which it made its name 33 years ago. Alas, Christopher Deans' dreary domestic drama is not going to do artistic director Lorenzo Mele any favours as he seeks to change the Council's minds before the cash runs out in August. If the play doesn't in itself justify the closure of one of Scotland's busiest companies, and the attendant programme of community work, it gives little indication of an organisation with a finger on the political - or theatrical - pulse.

March 2006 Northings


By Christopher Deans. A 7:84 review.

THE right to buy your own council house was one of the flagship policies of the Thatcher government. Like the privatisation of state industries, it aimed to turn the ordinary citizen into a player in the capitalist economy and to undermine the collectivist spirit from which national ownership had sprung.


September 2005 Northings


By Andrew Doyle. A 7:84 review.

THE borderland occupied by Andrew Doyle's play is geographical, temporal and psychological. It is the place that brothers Ciarán and Seán live (the borderland between north and south), the time they are living through (the borderland between war and peace in Northern Ireland) and their transitional state of mind (the borderland between past and present).

15 June 2005 The Guardian

Tipping Point

By Davey Anderson. A 7:84 review.

IT'S just like the old days. We're in a room where the blinds can scarcely hold back the evening sunlight and the chairs are laid out in straight rows on an unraked floor. On the way in, you can sign a petition demanding the freedom to protest near the G8 summit in Gleneagles, and in the interval you can help yourself to fair trade snacks.


7 February 2005 The Guardian

Boiling a Frog

By Christopher Deans. A 7:84 review.

IT'S likely that many of the audience for Boiling a Frog, 7:84's staging of Christopher Brookmyre's satirical novel, have turned up simply because they are fans of the book. However, Lorenzo Mele's production, based on an adaptation by Christopher Deans, does justice neither to Brookmyre fans nor to non-initiates. On the one hand, it underplays the strengths of the novel; on the other, it's an unexceptional piece of theatre.

February 2005 Northings

Boiling a Frog

By Christopher Deans. A 7:84 review.

WHAT do you do with a surly hero? In a novel it doesnÕt matter if your central figure is unpleasant because youÕve always got the voice of the author to compensate. That, at least, is what happens in ÔBoiling a FrogÕ, Christopher BrookmyreÕs half-thriller, half-satire of Scotland and its new parliament.

September 2004 Northings

Private Agenda

By Lorenzo Mele. A 7:84 review.

THIS show will make you angry. ThatÕs not an uncommon reaction in the theatre where a dud performance can send you seething into the night, but here the reaction is intentional. Private Agenda fires you with the righteous political anger of being sold down the water.

25 February 2004 The Guardian

Reasons to be Cheerful

By Martin McCardie. A 7:84 review.

SOCIALISM. It's not a word you hear much in the theatre these days. Even 7:84, the supposedly leftwing theatre company, tends to cop out by arguing that the personal is political, thereby justifying production of pretty much any play in the western canon.

February 2004 Northings

Reasons to be Cheerful

By Martin McCardie. A 7:84 review.

IN his baggy red T-shirt, with its socialist slogan emblazoned across the back, actor Frank Gallagher looks like no one so much as left-wing comedian Mark Thomas. This is disorientating. ThatÕs because Reasons to be Cheerful is an adaptation of a book by that other left-wing comedian, Mark Steel.

October 2003 Northings


Stephen Greenhorn, Rona Munro, Isabel Wright. A 7:84 review.

THE idea of getting three playwrights to collaborate on one play is an intriguing one. Does it produce something three times as confusing or something three times as good? In the case of Gilt, commissioned by 7:84 to celebrate the company's 30th birthday, it is somewhere in the middle.

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