MartinQuinnCreditTommyGaKenWan28 Nov 2019 The Guardian

Oor Wullie

By Scott Gilmour and Claire McKenzie. A Dundee Rep theatre review

IT would be a stretch to call it a Brexit play, but this musical homage to the DC Thomson comic strip is driven by a cultural anxiety that suggests a divided nation. On the one hand, you have a character so iconic he seems the very definition of Scottishness; Oor Wullie has been getting into scrapes in Auchenshoogle, a town where youÕll never get far without a tartan bunnet and a set of bagpipes, since his Sunday Post debut in 1936.

LREwanDonaldIreneMacDougallAnneKiddEmilyWinterBarrieHunterBaileyNewsomeLeahByrnePhotoCreditMihaelaBodlovic2 Sep 2019 The Guardian

Tay Bridge

By Peter Arnott. A Dundee Rep review.

PETER Arnott has written enough plays to know youÕre not supposed to structure them like this. The conventional way to tell the story of the rail bridge disaster of 1879, when 75 people lost their lives on the crossing from Wormit to Dundee, would be to dramatise the facts of the case: engineer Sir Thomas Bouch, the grieving relatives, the public enquiry and the compellingly terrible poem by William McGonagall. (ÒIt must have been an awful sight / To witness in the dusky moonlight.Ó) Arnott has none of that. Instead, he imagines a kind of ghost-train-in-waiting and presents a sequence of vignettes about passengers who have nothing in common but their fate. By rights, such a theatrical collage could come across as fragmentary, but he pulls it off brilliantly thanks to vivid writing, political nous and thematic unity.

12 June 2016 The Guardian

Much Ado About Nothing

By William Shakespeare. A Dundee Rep review.

KEEP an eye on Robert Jack’s left hand. When the actor strides on with suave confidence as Benedick in Shakespeare’s romcom, it is at ease by his side. The second he becomes unsettled, as word gets round that Emily Winter’s Beatrice may have her sights on him, his hand is all aflutter. It seeks purchase on his hip, then fails and flits up to his chin. No joy there, so on to the tip of his head and down again. It never rests. This master of repartee is undone. He is a mess of twitches, hesitations and double takes. He makes it very funny.

1 April 2016 The Guardian

Little Red and the Wolf

By Scott Gilmour and Claire McKenzie. A Dundee Rep review.

ONCE we would tell our daughters stories to embolden them. Little Red Riding Hood’s defeat of the Big Bad Wolf showed good sense could triumph over wickedness. It demonstrated that feminine resourcefulness was a match for masculine brute force. Today, that’s just the start of it. Having seen off the wolf, a contemporary plucky female hero must also reconcile herself to the enemy. She must learn to collaborate with citizens who are no less opposed to the tyrannical monster than she is. In the era of Islamic State, she must distinguish between enemy and friend, combatant and refugee, warmonger and peacemaker. To do so is as precarious as any journey into the woods.

14 September 2015 The Guardian

The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black, Black Oil

By John McGrath. A Dundee Rep production.

TOLD as a Brechtian ceilidh with song, poetry, scenes and sketches, John McGrath’s landmark play is an epic account of the exploitation of the Scottish people. It stretches from the Highland clearances of the 18th century to the North Sea oil boom that was in full swing when the show premiered in 1973. It could easily have seemed dated today, but it’s not at all. In the hands of director Joe Douglas, it is rousing, raucous, polemical, plangent, communal and fun; the theatrical equivalent of a gig by the Proclaimers.

12 June 2015 The Guardian

Great Expectations

By Jo Clifford. A Dundee Rep review.

ONE reason Great Expectations adapts so readily to the stage is the fact that so many of its characters are consciously acting out roles. It’s not so much the baroque Dickensian caricatures, which are thankfully underplayed in Jemima Levick’s excellent production. There’s Estella in training to become an ice maiden; Pip taking on the clothes of a gentleman; Magwitch trying to suppress his inner convict; and Jaggers distinguishing between his personal beliefs and his professional role as a lawyer. Even Miss Havisham (a pale, fragile Anne Louise Ross) has deliberately reinvented herself from innocent bride to vengeful manipulator.


13 April 2015 The Guardian

Titus Andronicus

By William Shakespeare. A Dundee Rep theatre review.

WE'RE seated along the vast bleached-wood tables of a warehouse-style restaurant. There are strip lights overhead, sous-chefs busying themselves on the aluminium tops of an open kitchen and an enormous neon sign reminding us we’re dining in a joint called Rome. The crisp club beats of JD Twitch add to the atmosphere of minimalist cool, even though the wall lined with military portraits suggests a more sinister discipline at play.

10 March 2015 The Guardian

Blood Wedding

By Lorca/David Ireland. A Dundee Rep/Derby Theatre/Graeae review

“THAT'S what life is: conflict, misery and pain,” says EJ Raymond as Agnes, the tragic matriarch, in Lorca’s classic. She’s a woman who has lost a husband and son in a knife attack and who fears she is about to lose her remaining son as he marries into the family of the killers. Her bleak worldview is justified. And it’s through Raymond that we see the greatest connection to Lorca’s spirit in this upbeat but lightweight Dundee/Derby/Graeae collaboration. David Ireland’s adaptation has more to do with Primark, Sky+ and Strictly Come Dancing than the oppressive heat of rural Andalucía, but this unsophisticated woman, plain-speaking and blunt, reminds us that the play is rooted in myth.

3 December 2014 The Guardian

James and the Giant Peach

Adapted by David Wood. A Dundee Rep review.

ONCE UPON a time, directors decided it was their duty to provide an alternative to panto. They would call these performances “Christmas shows” and they would fashion them out of the fairy stories that had inspired their commercial cousins, except these would be proper plays. All the children loved them, and even the adults were happy. But one day an evil spell was cast and the directors grew tired of their Cinderellas and their Snow Queens. “Surely there’s something different we can put on,” they cried. “What about some Roald Dahl?”

Guardian 24 October 2014

The Gamblers

By Gogol. A Dundee Rep/Greyscale theatre review

NOBODY is what they seem in Nikolai Gogol’s comedy of card sharps and confidence tricksters. The play that set the template for David Mamet’s House of Games and The Spanish Prisoner, not to mention eight series of the BBC’s Hustle, recognises the innate theatricality of the grifter’s art. The pretence of the stage neatly parallels the pretence of the conman. Before long we’re dealing with deceits within deceits within deceits. That seems to be why Selma Dimitrijevic’s production for Greyscale begins in a locker room with the six actors getting changed from their everyday clothes into the trousers, braces and jackets of Gogol’s 19th-century gamblers. It also seems to be why they change, in the process, from female to male.


The Guardian 9 September 2014

The Glass Menagerie

By Tennessee Williams. A Dundee Rep review.

"THINGS have a way of turning out so badly," runs the caption along the top of Alex Lowde's set. It's the most telling of a series of quotations from the Tennessee Williams classic that flash up throughout Jemima Levick's production. It is the director's way of reminding us of the theatrical artifice. Levick takes her cue from the playwright's opening monologue, in which Tom Wingfield tells us about the play ahead, outlining the construction, conceits and symbolism of his autobiographical tale of an overbearing mother, a pitifully shy sister and the narrator himself, a Shakespeare-in-waiting.

The Guardian 1 July 2014

In My Father's Words

Bu Justin Young. A Dundee Rep review.

THERE is only a short distance between Dr Louis Bennett and his elderly father, Don, but the men are separated by a voyage of Homeric proportions. They've been estranged for 15 years and, after the old man has been found wandering in the rain, Louis has returned to this self-built house in Ontario to care for him. He says it's more out of common humanity than filial affection.

Guardian 25 May 2014

Woman in Mind

By Alan Ayckbourn. A Dundee Rep/Birmingham Rep review.

I RECENTLY spent a week in a hotel in Eastbourne. At the end of my stay, I felt that I had a better understanding of Alan Ayckbourn. Previously, I'd encountered his class of characters only on the stage. I'd half suspected that his particular breed of privileged home-counties ladies and blimpish retired colonels didn't actually exist for real. However, in Eastbourne, they certainly did. So it's all the more fascinating to be back in Scotland watching Marilyn Imrie's tremendous production of the playwright's 1985 comic drama and find her putting Ayckbourn's middle-class Englishness at one remove.

Guardian 22 April 2014

Cars and Boys

By Stuart Paterson. A Dundee Rep review.

IMAGINE a bedbound Peer Gynt. That's what Ann Louise Ross brings to mind playing Catherine Miller in Stuart Paterson's free-form poem of a play. It's about a woman stopped in her tracks by a stroke and cast on an epic journey that, due to the disorientation of her condition, blurs the boundaries of past and present, fact and fantasy.


The Guardian 10 September 2013


By David Greig. A Dundee Rep review.

DAVID Greig has already demonstrated his range this year with the premieres in close succession of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the West End Dahl musical, and The Events, a study of life after a Breivik-style massacre. Now, for the first time since its RSC debut in 2000, Victoria gets an outing and, in a long, ambitious and rewarding evening, we find the playwright showing yet more versatility as he channels the spirit of Robert Lepage.


11 December 2012 The Guardian

The Snow Queen

By Mike Kenny. A Dundee Rep review

AT this time of year, even the more sober-minded shows play to the gallery with fart gags and slapstick. The distinguishing characteristic of Jemima Levick's production of The Snow Queen, by contrast, is just how seriously it takes the classic tale. Her staging has warmth and humour but, as any child in the audience will tell you, the stakes are too high to waste time clowning around.

17 September 2012 The Guadian

She Town/The Mill Lavvies

By Sharman Macdonald/Chris Rattray. A Dundee Rep review.

IT'S all go in Sharman Macdonald's She Town. The Dundee mill-workers are angry because their wages are being cut; the choir is auditioning to accompany Paul Robeson, the singer and civil rights activist, at his concert in the city's Caird Hall; and the politically committed are preparing to go and fight the fascists in the Spanish civil war.


12 June 2012 The Guardian

The Tempest

By William Shakespeare. A Dundee Rep review.

AT THE hands of director Jemima Levick, Shakespeare's isle is not only full of noise but women, too. As seagulls scream over a very 21st-century set of washed-up bin bags, computer terminals and Irn-Bru crates, Irene Macdougall's Prospero is cynical, bitter Ð and unquestionably female. As well as looking out for Kirsty Mackay as daughter Miranda, she casts her magical control over a boiler-suited Emily Winter as Ariel and a pock-marked Ann Louise Ross as Caliban.


30 April 2012 The Guardian

Further than the Furthest Thing

By Zinnie Harris. A Dundee Rep theatre review.

ZINNIE Harris's remarkable play is 12 years old, and shares something of its elemental language and austere settling with David Harrower's play Knives in Hens. Further Than the Furthest Thing takes place on an Atlantic island where years of isolation have created a community that is cautious, plain and blunt. In Harrower's play, it's a flash of imagination that disrupts the old order; here, it's the arrival of modernity.


5 December 2011 The Guardian


By Phil Porter. A Dundee Rep theatre review.

CINDERELLA? You know, the one set on a boat with a bunch of retired magicians living on the top deck. They're a bit like the old folk in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; cute, mischievous and wise. Young Cinderella, who does all the work in their floating retirement home, is forever being teased by them.


20 June 2011 The Guardian

After the End

By Dennis Kelly. A Dundee Rep theatre review.

WE'RE in the kind of room where Jack Bauer tortures enemy agents. Concrete walls. Featureless surfaces. No windows. Stark shadows. Bleak directional light. Fearsome rumbling soundtrack. And when Emma Faulkner's staging of Dennis Kelly's After the End is at its most gripping, it is not Kiefer Sutherland in the role of stony-eyed interrogator but Helen Darbyshire. So intense is the actor's gaze, so vicious her temperament, she scarcely needs the knife with which she threatens Tony McGeever's Mark, her fellow occupant in this nuclear shelter (actually a storage room behind the main theatre).

29 May 2011 The Guardian

Anna Karenina

By Jo Clifford adapted from Leo Tolstoy. A Dundee Rep theatre review.

WHEN Anna Karenina takes up with her lover Vronsky, someone says she has "gained a shadow". She is not the only one. The characters in Jemima Levick's production are forever being cast as towering silhouettes on the flat wall of Alex Lowde's set. That's when there's no smoky video footage of billowing clouds wafting over it. With the dry ice that accompanies the fateful steam engines that top and tail the show, the mood is as much Brief Encounter as Tolstoy.


27 October 2010 The Guardian

A Doll's House

By Henrik Ibsen. A Dundee Rep review.

IF Henrik Ibsen had been around to set A Doll's House in the 1950s, as it is here in Jemima Levick's excellent production, perhaps there would have been no need for Mad Men with its polarised genders and conspicuous consumption. The pre-1960s world this Nora Helmer comes to reject is a chic, modernist place, all white walls, spindly furniture and Bing Crosby on the radio, with clear demarcation of roles for husband and wife: business for him, children for her. As Nora skips in with her big skirt and her Christmas shopping, you get a taste of the consumer boom to come. As she stomps out, leaving her children, you feel the first articulation of feminist revolution.

17 September 2010 The Guardian

Sunshine on Leith

By Stephen Greenhorn and the Proclaimers. A Dundee Rep review.

THE title track is so moving that the audience can't bring itself to clap– people just sit in awed silence. Name any other jukebox musical of which you can say that. From its opening battlefield salvo to the party punch-up that ushers in the interval, Stephen Greenhorn's Proclaimers tribute refuses to play by the rules. In this, it is every bit as idiosyncratic, awkward and lovable as the music of Craig and Charlie Reid.


27 May 2010 The Guardian

Sweeney Todd

By Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler. A Dundee Rep review.

CONFIRMING its status as Scotland's first theatre of musicals, Dundee Rep gives a modern-dress take on Stephen Sondheim's story of the demon barber of Fleet Street that is as stunning in its musical accomplishment as it is exemplary in its stagecraft.

8 March 2010 The Guardian


By Peter Shaffer. A Dundee Rep review

THE director who brought Beauty and the Beast and The Elephant Man to Dundee continues her examination of the animalistic outsider with Peter Shaffer's study of the violent power of sublimated sexual desire. In this stripped-back Equus, Jemima Levick puts the story of Alan Strang and his devotional love of horses under laboratory conditions to reveal a tense drama of personal discovery. Although the argument about the uses of psychiatry seems dated, and the boy's motivation not entirely convincing, the play still drives home with the immediacy of a whodunit.


27 October 2009 The Guardian

The Elephant Man

By Bernard Pomerance. A Dundee Rep review.

THE first time we see John Merrick he is caught beneath a spotlight that cuts through the Victorian gloom and grandeur of Alex Lowde's superb set to cast an unforgiving shadow beneath his chin. But that's the only time Kevin Lennon relies on trick lighting to become the Elephant Man in Bernard Pomerance's sad and wise drama about disability, exploitation and power.

6 September 2009 The Guardian

The Cherry Orchard

Translated by Stuart Paterson. A Dundee Rep review.

KEANU Reeves made a surprise visit to Dundee Rep last week. The Hollywood star is soon to start filming Henry's Crime, a romcom about a tollbooth attendant wrongly imprisoned for a bank robbery. The movie features rehearsals for a production of Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard in which Reeves's character is cast as Lopakhin, hence the actor's research trip.

16 June 2009 The Guardian

Balgay Hill

By Simon Macallum. Dundee Rep review

BILLY Mackenzie was one of Dundee's more extraordinary exports. In a city best known for Desperate Dan and William McGonagall, the lead singer of 1980s pop group the Associates did not play by the rules. With his operatic range and lyrics about party fears and country clubs, his quirkiness found favour only briefly even in the tolerant world of pop.


10 March 2009 The Guardian

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

By Edward Albee. Dundee Rep review.

DESIGNER Philip Whitcomb places Edward Albee's compellingly ghastly drama in the centre of a wasteland. All around the book-lined New England residence of George and Martha lie mountains of black rubble, littered with discarded liquor bottles beneath a cloudy night sky.This post-apocalyptic vision is a metaphor for a dysfunctional marriage. But more than that, it locates this 1962 play in the era of the cold war.

17 June 2008 The Guardian

Les Parents Terribles

By Jean Cocteau. Dundee Rep review.

JEAN Cocteau's knowingly bourgeois play, a runaway hit in the Paris of the late 1930s, stretches the form of the domestic drama to breaking point. It is as if Oedipus, Lady Macbeth and Gertrude wound up in the same boulevard melodrama - with a couple more archetypes thrown in for good measure. Any other playwright having dreamed up Yvonne, a matriarchal monster with an incestuous passion for Michael, her 22-year-old son, would have been content to leave it at that. But Cocteau ratchets up the stakes with a husband and sister of such unscrupulousness that the Parisian flat becomes a claustrophobic hothouse of duplicity.

14 March 2008 The Guardian

Romeo and Juliet

By William Shakespeare. Dundee Rep review.

WE are used to seeing Romeo and Juliet presented in terms of warring families. Whether it is Jets and Sharks, or mafiosi clans in rival Italian kitchens, directors use the Montagues and Capulets as a metaphor for civil strife in our own era. It might be fanciful to imagine we are free of such conflict today but, judging by director James Brining's production, it is not our most pressing concern.


9 September 2007 The Guardian

Peer Gynt

By Henrik Ibsen. Dundee Rep review.

"THE buffet starts in three minutes, so will you please turn off your fucking mobile phones," yells a wedding guest in the foyer, after tumbling out of a stretch limo in front of the theatre and joining in a punky round of Cry Me a River at the bar. She sets the tone for a rude and raucous retelling of Ibsen's existentialist quest that twins the vulgarity of director Dominic Hill's Ubu the King in 2005 with a boisterous theatrical imagination. The result is thrilling.

2 June 2007 The Guardian

Happy Days

By Samuel Beckett. Dundee Rep review.

IN 1961, the first audiences of Samuel Beckett's Happy Days would have instinctively tuned in to its atmosphere of post-apocalyptic desolation. The playwright never says as much, but to people living in the shadow of the cold war, the lifeless landscape surrounding Winnie as she sits buried up to her waist in sand would have been a vision of nuclear catastrophe. It is interesting that in 2007 the dazzling sunlight beating down on designer Tom Piper's mound of sacking reminds us of an apocalyptic vision of our own: as her umbrella bursts spontaneously into flames, this Winnie could be a victim of global warming.

28 April 2007 The Guardian

Sunshine on Leith

By Stephen Greenhorn. Dundee Rep review.

WHY did it take 20 years before anyone noticed the Proclaimers were born to be turned into a musical? Not since Willy Russell came up with Blood Brothers has Britain produced such a perfect and perfectly unexpected marriage of music and theatre. Had playwright and screenwriter Stephen Greenhorn done nothing else, he should be declared a genius for spotting that the songs of Craig and Charlie Reid - with all their emotional honesty, singalong raucousness and political fire - are a true gift to the stage.

4 May 2007 Variety

Sunshine on Leith

By Stephen Greenhorn. Dundee Rep review.

IF the Proclaimers are the unlikeliest of pop stars -- identical twins in unflattering geek glasses singing in broad Scottish accents -- then "Sunshine on Leith" is the unlikeliest of tuners. Eschewing the relentless cheerfulness of jukebox musicals like "We Will Rock You" and "Mamma Mia!," it opens with soldiers singing about death ("Sky Takes the Soul"), offers a completely new set of arrangements with little opportunity for the audience to sing along and presents the title track as a downbeat lament over a hospital bed. Like the band, the show refuses to play by the commercial rules, and, like the band, it comes out on top.

12 March 2007 Variety


By David Greig. Dundee Rep review.

IT would be heartening to report that David Greig's 1994 play about xenophobia and social collapse in a changing Europe was now an out-of-date relic from the post-Berlin Wall days of civil war in the former Yugoslavia. If anything, however, the forceful revival by helmer Douglas Rintoul, which opened in Dundee before a run at London's Barbican, shows this crisply written and intelligent play to be more politically pertinent than ever.

16 December 2006 The Guardian

Hansel and Gretel

By Phil Porter. Dundee Rep review.

WHERE'S Stuart Paterson when you need him? For over a decade the playwright has dominated the Christmas show market, delivering story-centred scripts to theatres that want some seasonal jollity but find full-blown pantomimes too crass. This year his plays are nowhere to be seen. Change is essential for any artform, but it's hard not to yearn for the old Paterson magic when you see Phil Porter's treatment of Hansel and Gretel.

30 November 2006 The Guardian

Sweet Bird of Youth

By Tennessee Williams. Dundee Rep review.

WHEN Alan Turkington's wannabe movie idol, Chance Wayne, hands Irene MacDougall's aging starlet, Alexandra del Lago, a photograph of his naked lover at the age of 15, the older woman freezes. Long after the picture has been snatched back, she sits stock still, staring ahead in glazed horror. She has seen a vision of youth at its most fecund, and her shock casts a chill across the stage.

26 November 2006 The List

Sweet Bird of Youth

By Tennessee Williams. Dundee Rep review.

LADIES, step this way. If you’re up for a sexual thrill, just check out the opening act of Tennessee Williams’ magnificent Sweet Bird of Youth and see Alan Turkington preening around in his pyjama bottoms, flexing his clean shaven chest and looking every inch the 29-year-old gigolo a fading movie star would want to find in her hotel bedroom after a night on the vodka and dope. Irene Macdougall, spilling out of her nightie as the clapped out Alexandra del Lago, can’t even mention sex without Turkington running his hands round his waistband as if permanently primed to leap into bed.

5 September 2006 The Guardian

A Midsummer Night's Dream

By William Shakespeare. Dundee Rep review.

IT'S a particularly British sort of midsummer night that drips into life in Dominic Hill's inclement Shakespeare. No breezy June evening this, but a night of thunder, lightning and rain, creating a very wet Dream indeed.

13 March 2006 The Guardian

The Talented Mr Ripley

By Phylis Nagy. Dundee Rep review.

DOMINIC Hill has a Macbeth fixation. In the past 18 months, the director has staged the Shakespeare play, the Verdi opera and Alfred Jarry's scatological reworking, Ubu the King. In this context, it's hard not to see Tom Ripley, the psychotic antihero of Patricia Highsmith's novel, as a kind of 1950s Macbeth, resorting to murder every time his hermetic mental kingdom comes under threat.

13 November 2005 Variety

Ubu the King

By David Greig. Dundee Rep review.

WHEN Dominic Hill's arresting staging of Alfred Jarry's scatological classic reaches London at the end of November, it will be the final installment of the Young Genius season, a joint Barbican/Young Vic venture in celebration of those artists, such as Jarry, Robert Lepage and Christopher Marlowe, for whom inspiration struck early. Hill's own distinctive genius, however, has led him to place this "Ubu the King" not in a world of vigorous youth but in the altogether more doddery setting of a retirement home.

9 October 2005 The Sunday Times


By Arthur Laurents, Jule Styne and Stephen Sondheim. Dundee Rep review.


21 March 2005 The Guardian

The Visit

By Peter Arnott. Dundee Rep review.

THIS month's big theme in Scotland's theatres is the shaky relationship between language and truth. And here in The Visit, a whole town uses linguistic camouflage to justify the barbarous murder of a pillar of the community. Friedrich Dürrenmatt's play is a brilliant satire of corruption that viciously exposes the warped logic of self-justification. Tempted by the incredible wealth of Clarrie Zachanassian, a local girl made good, the townsfolk use all-too-credible reasoning to persuade themselves that her demand for a human sacrifice is morally acceptable.

20 December 2004 The Guardian

Merlin the Magnificent

By Stuart Paterson. Dundee Rep review.

"IMAGINE a world without light," says Merlin at the start of Stuart Paterson's 1982 Christmas show and director Robert Paterson takes him at his word. For the opening sequence, you can barely make out John Buick's long-bearded wizard or Irene Macdougall's creepy Morgana so hazily are they pictured in the spooky blue light. The young audience do well not to be freaked out.

10 September 2004 The Guardian


By William Shakespeare. Dundee Rep review.

"BLOOD will have blood," is the Hollywood-style slogan on the posters, and director Dominic Hill plays his most gory card first when John MacAulay's bleeding captain arrives on a stretcher from the battlefield. Nearly upstaged by his own wounds, the mutilated soldier is only one blow away from a bodybag.

13 June 2004 The Sunday Times

Flora the Red Menace

By Kander and Ebb. Dundee Rep review.

FOR a populist form, the musical has tackled some pretty unlikely subjects. Who would have thought that Argentine politics, the Nazi persecution of the Jews or the poetry of TS Eliot could have inspired three of the best-loved shows of the 20th century? Evita, Cabaret and Cats prove that, even when playing to the mass market, you don’t need to create popularity by committee. Innovation, boldness and the unexpected still count for something. That’s the case with Flora the Red Menace. You can just imagine how the men in suits would have reacted had they ever been asked to rate the chances of John Kander and Fred Ebb’s 1965 musical. Far from being an escapist fantasy, it’s about the struggle of poverty-stricken Americans during the Great Depression. Rather than serving up an apolitical piece of whimsy, it has two central characters who are card-carrying members of the Communist party.

28 June 2004 Northings

Flora the Red Menace

By Kander and Ebb. Dundee Rep review.

WHEN you've loved a show and raved about it, as I did Flora the Red Menace when it was first seen at Dundee Rep last year, you return to see it again with a sense of trepidation. What if it isn’t as good as you remembered? What if you’d been in an unusually benevolent mood the first time? What if the production has lost the special spark it once had?

1 May 2004 The Guardian

Scenes from an Execution

By Howard Barker. Dundee Rep review.

LAST month, the Scottish Executive launched a "cultural commission" to take stock of arts provision. Its policy document was full of phrases such as "best value" and "accessibility", the jargon beloved of politicians and anathema to art. Hopefully, the document's authors will make it along to Dundee where Howard Barker's brilliant 1984 drama about art, politics and religion is playing in the round in a bold and lucid production by Dominic Hill.

26 March 2004 The Guardian


By David Kane. Dundee Rep review.

THE people behind the zombie movie Shaun of the Dead are calling it the first rom-zom-com. But they were arguably beaten to it by David Kane's 1994 farce, given a welcome revival here for the first time in a decade. The corpses that litter Kane's stage are not strictly zombies, but they have a very similar way of twitching back into life. Meanwhile, a kind of romance develops between an evangelical devil-hunter masquerading as a man from the social security and a young music-hall entertainer masquerading as an elderly writer of hymns.

2 February 2004 Northings

Twelfth Night

By William Shakespeare. Dundee Rep review.

ONE of the great advantages of Dundee Rep having a permanent company of actors is that touring is relatively easy. If it has a successful show that deserves to be seen more widely, it doesn’t have to regroup the actors or worry about their salaries, which are budgeted for already. And happily, the company has been clocking up a fair number of successful shows, Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night included.

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