ed83ba8af2o24 Oct 2019 The Guardian


By Frances Poet. A Citizens/Stellar Quines theatre review

IN 1898, factory inspector Lucy Deane Streatfeild highlighted the dangers of asbestos. Since then, every use of the substance has been in the knowledge it was toxic. Yet more than a century on, it still kills 5,000 workers a year. That makes a lot of people angry. It is this anger that elevates Frances Poet's witty four-hander from a standard-issue illness play to something more polemical. The playwright doesn't only rail against death, but against the injustice of a preventable, man-made disease.

ThisGirlStellarQuinesJaneHobsonJHO651920 May 2019 The Guardian

This Girl Laughs, This Girl Cries, This Girl Does Nothing

By Finegan Kruckemeyer. A Stellar Quines production.

THE clue is in the socks. We're faced by three girls, identical in their yellow coats, red bobble hats and long hair. Only the stripes beneath their denim shorts distinguish one from the other. Played sonorously by Betty Valencia, Kim Allan and Rehanna MacDonald, they are triplets, used to being considered a unit. They scratch their faces at exactly the same time and face the world together. It's why Finegan Kruckemeyer's modern-day fable for the over-sevens begins "thrice upon a time".


26 Jan 2018 The Guardian

The Lover

By Fleur Darkin and Jemima Levick. A Royal Lyceum/Stellar Quines/Scottish Dance Theatre production

THERE'S a theme in Marguerite Duras’ semi-autobiographical novel about the objectifying gaze. Looking back at her 15-year-old self living in what was French Indochina, when she engaged in an illicit affair with a man 12 years her senior, the author sees a girl whose sexual desirability is in her very presence. “I’m used to people looking at me,” she writes, knowing her attractiveness is not in what she says or does, but in what others see in her. And it works two ways. Whether because of her age at the time or the passing decades since, Duras gives us the scantest details about the girl’s lover. He is Chinese and the son of a millionaire. He is prone to weeping and feels oppressed by his father. That’s about it. We don’t even learn his name. He is the love object. He asks her whether she is attracted to him only for his money; it isn’t quite her reason, but it’s as good as any

Guardian 11 March 2014

Dare to Care

By Christine Lindsay. A Stellar Quines review.

I BET Christine Lindsay's early-morning dreams are like Dare to Care. If, like her, you had joined the Scottish Prison Service as long ago as 1976, you, too, would have your head filled with the dissonant voices of prisoners and warders. Her play is like a behind-bars Under Milk Wood, a theatrical poem made up of conversational fragments from women who are variously abused, suicidal, deranged and unrepentant. Their voices, which echo along institutional corridors never to be heard beyond the prison walls, are all they have to call their own.


10 September 2012 The Guardian

A Beginning, a Middle and an End

By Sylvia Dow. A Greyscale/Stellar Quines review.

YOU couldn't accuse Sylvia Dow of being over-hasty. After a lifetime in arts administration, she has waited until her 70s to make her playwriting debut. There is nothing antiquated, however, about her writing: A Beginning, a Middle and an End has a spareness and sense of fluid theatricality from which many a youngster could learn.


11 March 2012 The Guardian


By Clare Duffy and Pierre Yves Lemieux. A Stellar Quines/Theatre Imago review.

BINARY thinking is at the heart of this fascinating, if ultimately frustrating new play. It is the result of a two-way collaboration between Scotland's Stellar Quines and Canada's Imago Theatre; it has two playwrights in Clare Duffy and Pierre Yves Lemieux; and it is written in two languages, English and French.


23 February 2011 Northings

Age of Arousal

By Linda Griffiths. A Stellar Quines/Royal Lyceum Theatre review.

THE standard view of the Victorians is they were all buttoned up. They lived in a world of social niceties where a woman could take offence at a man simply if he were a little too eager, and society could ostracise a woman just for stepping out with a male companion without a proper introduction. It is this kind of primness playwright Linda Griffiths has fun with in Age of Arousal. For although on the outside, her characters show the genteel restraint of their era, on the inside, they burst with a lusty passion that seems entirely 21st century.

20 February 2009 Northings

Baby Baby

By Vivian French. Perissology/Shetland Arts/ Stellar Quines review.

WELCOME to the post-Juno era. Gone are the days when we had to treat teenage pregnancy as a sign of society's moral decay. Now we can admit that, yes, it’s unfortunate but, hey, these things happen. Especially to teenagers.That's the underlying principle of Vivian French's teen friendly play , produced in a three-way deal between the young Perissology theatre company, Shetland Arts and Stellar Quines.

21 February 2007 The Guardian

The Unconquered

By Torben Betts

TORBEN Betts makes his audience work. Happily, he makes work seem like fun. So when his characters spew out their dense and intense dialogue, he makes us sit forward and pay attention. There is something arresting and exhilarating about his language, which ranges from the profane to the choral, juxtaposing the bombastic with the banal in a way that is funny and provocative.

23 February 2007 Variety

The Unconquered

By Torben Betts

MURIEL Romanes' production of Torben Betts' new play, "The Unconquered," seemingly offers everything you would hope to find in a progressive piece of theater: The style rejects realism in favor of cartoon-like expressionism; the language is rich and demanding; the performances are intense; the design is artistic; and the subject matter suggests political urgency. Sadly, however, the whole somehow adds up to less than the sum of its parts.

23 February 2007 Northings

The Unconquered

By Torben Betts

THE first thing to say about Torben Betts' new play in this Stellar Quines production is it's well worth seeing. The second is that, although you'll be impressed by the writing, mesmerised by the performances and delighted by the 2-D strip-cartoon style, you might come away feeling less than satisfied.

25 March 2006 The Guardian

Perfect Pie

By Judith Thompson

THERE'S a certain type of play - usually written by Sharman MacDonald or Marie Jones - that strikes a chord with older female audiences. It tends to be wistful, witty and soft-centred, to reflect on the coy sexual awakenings of teenage girls and the shift in priorities of their mothers as the menopause looms.

24 March 2006 Northings

Perfect Pie

By Judith Thompson

YOU can't help feeling that Judith Thompson has written her play the wrong way round. It's not just that she saves the best till last, it's that the closing revelations carry such weight that they upturn everything that's gone before. The result is a play that makes more impression on you after the event, when you start piecing all the pieces together, than it does at the time.

2 September 2005

Three Thousand Troubled Threads

By Chiew Siah Tei

CHIEW Siah Tei doesn't want for poetic ambition in her debut play. She sets it beneath the lonely lunar glow of Chang-O, the Chinese moon goddess banished from the earth to be forever homeless. Its cast of characters are equally rootless - perhaps reflecting the experience of Tei herself, a Chinese Malaysian living in Glasgow.

7 June 2004 Northings

The Memory of Water

WHEN the subject of death has been tackled in the theatre it’s usually been in the form of high tragedy – everyone from the Greeks down – or low farce – the work of Joe Orton, for example. Shelagh Stephenson, however, takes the less trodden route of light comedy for this study of three sisters returning to the family home for the funeral of their mother.

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