4 September 2016 The Guardian


By Michael Frayn. A Rapture Theatre review.

THEY say Adolf Hitler was a pretty good boss. If you worked in his office, he would call you by name and remember your birthday. “He was always polite and charming,” said Erna Flegel, a Red Cross nurse who attended him in the Berlin bunker at the end of his life. What that reveals about the mind of a despot is anyone’s guess, but in his 2003 play, Michael Frayn identifies a similar leadership quality in the left-leaning West German chancellor Willy Brandt. His ability to listen, to recall details about the families of his colleagues and to make everyone in a room think he was talking directly to them seems to have added to his charismatic appeal.

3 September 2015 The Guardian

All My Sons

B Arthur Miller. A Rapture Theatre review.

EVERY so often a news story breaks that reminds you of All My Sons. Typically, it’ll involve a faulty part that has caused the deaths of a company’s customers. A corner has been cut, a saving has been made and the consequences overlooked until the PR fallout gets too embarrassing. In Arthur Miller’s play, the stakes are raised because the shortcut in question arouses not only our sense of injustice but also our spirit of patriotism. If a man is prepared to ship cracked cylinder heads for use in American fighter planes during the war, he is both an indictment of capitalist greed and a betrayer of the nation.


6 May 2014 the Guardian

Uncle Varick

By John Byrne. A Rapture Theatre review.

ANTON Chekhov's plays are populated with characters burdened by a sense of missed opportunity, but they are not mere exercises in self-pity. He has too great an awareness of the world beyond for that. For all their farcical failures and thwarted ambitions, his characters are products of their society – one that is changing in ways they cannot control. That's why John Byrne alights on the 1960s for the setting of this transposition of Uncle Vanya, first seen 10 years ago.


24 February 2011 The Guardian

Gagarin Way

By Gregory Burke. A Rapture Theatre review.

AS the mighty Black Watch nears the end of its latest tour of duty, it is good to be able to revisit the play that made Gregory Burke's name 10 years ago. This is especially so because Rapture theatre's production kicks off in the place Gagarin Way is set. There is a special pleasure in hearing actor Jordan Young deliver Burke's Fife patter with such easy assurance to an audience familiar with the rhythms and cadences the playwright captures so well. It's hard to imagine the gag about Leven, 20 miles up the road, going down as well anywhere else on this UK tour.

23 February 2011 Northings

Gagarin Way

By Gregory Burke. A Rapture Theatre review.

WITH all the clamour around Black Watch – still on the road more than four years after its Edinburgh Fringe debut – it's easy to forget it was not the first time playwright Gregory Burke had enjoyed a run-away hit. His debut in 2001, a cruel comedy set in a Fife factory where a heist goes horribly wrong, was the most talked about play on that year's Fringe and catapulted him to national attention.

10 May 2007 The Guardian

Broken Glass

By Arthur Miller. A Rapture Theatre review.

THE premise of Arthur Miller's 1994 play is strong. He sets it in Brooklyn in 1938, when newspaper reports of the treatment of the Jews in pre-war Germany have so traumatised the 40-year-old Sylvia Gellburg that she has lost the use of her legs in a reaction diagnosed as "hysterical paralysis". When Dr Harry Hyman takes a closer look at her case, motivated as much by sex as science, he starts to suspect that her psychosomatic reaction is really to do with a lack of intimacy with her husband, Phillip.

May 2006 Northings

The Collection

By Mike Cullen. A Rapture Theatre review.

THE easy thing would be to say that Mike Cullen's play was about the problem of debt and the inhumane practices of the loan shark. In 2006, even more than when the play was first staged in 1995, we are a society perilously reliant on credit. A generation brought up on student loans thinks nothing of shifting thousands from card to card in an endless cycle of avoidance. ÔThe CollectionÕ is set in motion by the suicide of a woman whose debts have got out of control Ð an act that is all too believable.


May 2005 Northings


By Joe Penhall. A Rapture Theatre review.

MADNESS has a special place in the theatre. Whether it's Hamlet or One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest, dramatists like characters who live on the borderline between sanity and insanity. Theatre is all about extreme situations and in extreme situations people donÕt behave as normal. When no one behaves as normal, itÕs impossible to tell the mentally balanced from the unhinged. And when that happens, the very notion of madness comes into question.

May 2004 Northings


By David Auburn. A Rapture Theatre review.

THE title is a bit of a pun. A proof is what a mathematician devises to explain how X equals Y. And proof is what we demand of each other when we make claims for our achievements. So when Catherine, the semi-schooled daughter of a mathematical genius, says sheÕs responsible for a breakthrough proof in one of her father's notebooks, her sister and would-be boyfriend won't accept it without proof that she did it and not him.

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