Variety 11 August 2014

The James Plays

By Rona Munro. A National Theatre of Scotland review.

IF IT'S true there was much at stake for the early kings of Scotland as they tried to establish order in turbulent times, it is equally true that everything is riding on playwright Rona Munro’s trilogy of historical 15th-century dramas, “The James Plays.” Not only are these three premieres the centerpiece of the theater program of the 2014 Edinburgh International Festival, but they mark the first collaboration between the National Theater of Scotland (NTS) and the National Theater of Great Britain. Happily, apart from a wobble in the middle play, the gamble has paid off. “The James Plays” take a little-known period of history and turn it into a bold, gripping and funny piece of theater.


The Guardian 29 July 2014

The Tin Forest

By Iain Heggie. A National Theatre of Scotland review.

DID Graham McLaren conceive his adaptation of The Tin Forest on a rainy day? That would have been in keeping with the gloomy interiors that characterise his gorgeously detailed promenade performance. As with A Christmas Carol, his last National Theatre of Scotland collaboration with puppeteer Gavin Glover, The Tin Forest is bleak, barren and wintry.



Guardian 29 April 2014

Dear Scotland

By 20 writers. A National Theatre of Scotland review.

ROBERT Burns says you should vote yes to Scottish independence. Chic Murray reckons we're better together. Muriel Spark urges you to "act without timidity or fear" – a sentiment echoed by Mary Queen of Scots, who recommends you "be whole, be strong, be merciful". Robert Cunninghame Graham, a founder of the Scottish National party, cautions you to "raise the flag of your humanity beside the flag of your nationhood".


Guardian 21 April 2014

The Beautiful Cosmos of Ivor Cutler

By Matthew Lenton and Sandy Grierson. A Vanishing Point and NTS review.

IF THERE was ever an unlikely candidate for a tribute musical it's Ivor Cutler. An acquired taste even in his lifetime, the self-styled "oblique musical philosopher" existed in a hinterland between late-night John Peel, homespun poetry and post-Goons comedy. Seeing him on stage in the 80s, I was always fascinated by a figure who seemed to have invented himself, a performer with neither precedent nor peer.


Guardian 4 February 2014


By Kieran Hurley, Gav Prentice, Julia Taudevin and Drew Wright. A National Theatre of Scotland review.

"I'M not going to talk about doubts and confusion," sang the Proclaimers in The Joyful Kilmarnock Blues. The song comes at the start of this melange of music and monologue – a kind of state-of-the-nation ceilidh – even though the stories it tells are characterised by exactly that. Doubts and confusion abound in a snapshot impression of a country atomised, uneasy and restless for change.



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