19 August 2007 Scotland on Sunday

The Pyschic Detective

Benchtours review.

THE Psychic Detective (Udderbelly's Pasture, 2.30pm and 5pm, HHHHH) has nothing to say. It plays all its cards in the first 10 minutes - a clever evocation of film noir, using blinds and high-contrast lighting - and then is left spinning out its inconsequential story of a drowning man who must get to the end of his dream if he is to survive. It quickly wears thin.

November 2006 Northings (Hi-Arts Journal)

Mother Courage

by Bertolt Brecht Benchtours review.

YOU wonder if Bertolt Brecht wasn't his own worst enemy. By producing so much theoretical writing, the German playwright created the impression that his work was difficult, cold and academic. You have to remind yourself that Brecht was a man of the theatre: putting on shows came first, theorising came later. There's a case to be made that not even Brecht himself was a true Brechtian.

23 March 2006 The Guardian


By John Harvey. Benchtours review.

MANY a promising play flounders for want of a good story. Crowhurst has a cracking tale to tell but still comes adrift. Despite a production that pulls out all the multi-media stops, John Harvey's monologue leaves a dramatic story high and dry.

March 2006 Northings (Hi-Arts Journal)


By John Harvey. Benchtours review.

"YOU can choose to play this as tragedy or farce," says the screen version of Donald Crowhurst to his theatrical self. The problem with John Harvey's play in this disappointing Benchtours production is that it chooses neither tragedy nor farce. In fact, it's barely a play at all – just a very good idea for one. And the one-dimensional performance by Peter Clerke, under the direction of Pete Brooks and Catherine Gillard, makes it seem even more so.

May 2005 Northings (Hi-Arts Journal)

The Emperor's Opera

By Michael Duke. Benchtours review.

WE’RE in some unspecified Eastern European state where the new regime is finding it difficult to persuade the people that it’s an improvement on the old regime. Business is sluggish in the capital’s main hotel but the secretary of culture and identity has hatched a scheme to transform everyone’s fortunes.

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