11 December 2009 The Guardian


By Davey Anderson. A Visible Fictions/Traverse Theatre review.

ZORRO, it often seems, is simply not there. He's just a swish of a sword and a swoop of a cape, a blur of movement perplexing his enemies and thrilling his audience. At other times, he is a cardboard cut-out, perching on a rooftop that has suddenly appeared from nowhere on Robin Peoples's pop-up book of a set (which gets its own spontaneous burst of applause). At other times still, he is no superhero at all, but plain old stable boy Don Diego de la Vega, played by Sandy Grierson with a humility that contrasts with the swagger he brings to the masked swordsman.

16 October 2009 The Guardian

The Dark Things

By Ursula Rani Sarma. A Traverse Theatre review.

IN this arresting new play by Ursula Rani Sarma, the characteristic gesture of actor Brian Ferguson is a hand held like a stop-sign against an encroaching world. He plays Daniel, a gifted young artist who is one of only two survivors of a horrific bus crash. The experience has left him emotionally raw, his post-traumatic distress compounded by guilt at being alive. In a compellingly troubled performance, Ferguson squirms on the spot and lets no one get close.


24 August 2009 Variety

The Last Witch

By Rona Munro. An Edinburgh International Festival/Traverse production

THE scene is Dornoch in the far north of Scotland, where, in 1727, Janet Horne became the last woman in Britain to be legally executed for witchcraft. If the man in a curly gray wig playing the harpsichord seems anachronistic, it is nonetheless a reminder that superstition did not die out the moment the age of Enlightenment dawned on 18th-century Europe. Despite a powerfully acted production by helmer Dominic Hill, however, Rona Munro's new play would need more such jarring imagery if it were to transcend its historical roots and escape the predictability of its incendiary ending.

16 August 2009 Variety


By David Greig and Gordon McIntyre. Traverse Theatre review.

WHEN Cora Bissett's Helena pays a parking toll in this joyous comedy by David Greig and Gordon McIntyre, the message on the machine reads: "Change is possible." The joke, delivered by Matthew Pidgeon's deadpan Bob, is that "it's funny to have a parking machine doling out philosophical advice." As advice goes, however, it is exactly what Helena and Bob need. These two 35-year-olds are suffering an identity crisis and, over one weekend of wild abandon -- as riotously funny as it is touchingly romantic -- they find the courage to liberate themselves and live happily ever after.


7 May 2009 The Guardian


By Gregory Burke. Traverse Theatre review.

A LOT has happened before the start of Gregory Burke's new comedy, and a lot is likely to happen after it ends. But it's hard to maintain your interest in a play in which so little actually happens during the 90 minutes on stage. Every character in Hoors has reached a moment of crisis, but by setting the play so firmly at the still point of the turning world, Burke lands the audience in dramatic limbo.

7 May 2009 Variety


By Gregory Burke. Traverse Theatre review.

WITH characteristic dry humor, playwright Gregory Burke has been billing "Hoors" as the "disappointing follow-up to 'Black Watch.' " Funny though this disclaimer is, there's good reasoning behind it. Few new works could hope to match the acclaim of the National Theater of Scotland production, which just added foreign play honors from the New York Drama Critics Circle to its hefty haul of international awards. That "Hoors" falls short of that achievement is no surprise. What's unfortunate is that this black comedy is also a disappointing follow-up to Burke's earlier work.

6 April 2009 The Guardian

Lucky Box

By David Harrower. Traverse/A Play, a Pie and a Pint review.

AS the younger character in David Harrower's drama suggests, Lucky Box is "some kind of fucked-up fairy story". It takes place one afternoon on a forest path where a middle-aged man in a suit is sitting on a plastic container, making it hard for 17-year-old Jack to get by. Played by Stuart Bowman, always an intimidating actor, the man is just the kind of big bad wolf your mother warned you about: tricky and volatile.

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