Edinburgh review: Medea – The Hub

First published in The Times, Monday August 15 2022

FOUR STARS

Liz Lochhead’s celebrated adaptation of Euripides first took Edinburgh by storm in 2001 in an award-winning production by Theatre Babel at the Assembly Rooms, with Maureen Beattie in the title role. It has taken more than 20 years for the play to make the short journey from New Town to Old, and from the Fringe to the international festival, courtesy of Michael Boyd’s revival for the National Theatre of Scotland.

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Review: Creditors – Lyceum, Edinburgh

First published in The Times, Thursday May 3 2018

Four Stars

August Strindberg wrote Creditors in 1888 as part of the creative torrent that also produced his most famous work, Miss Julie. Both plays exhibit the visceral dialogue and intense exploration of shifts in power within relationships for which the prolific and influential Swedish playwright is known, while also giving vent to his mordant and rather contradictory view of women. He was known to refer to Siri von Essen, the first of his three wives, as “the vampire”, though he also maintained that “the presence of women tends to elevate men”.

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Review: Expensive Shit – Traverse, Edinburgh

First published in The Times, Monday August 8 2016

Three Stars

“I used to dance,” says Tolu, the protagonist of this new one-act play from the award-winning writer/director Adura Onashile. “When I danced the world would disappear.” Tolu (Sabine Cameron) still plies her trade with music rumbling faintly in her ears, but there are fewer opportunities to dance these days. She attends the women’s loo at a nightclub somewhere in Scotland, dispensing bottled water and toilet paper to a dressed-up clientele.

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Review: Last Dream (On Earth) – Tron Theatre, Glasgow

Published in The Times, Wednesday April 8 2015

Four Stars

Kai Fischer’s brief, beautiful piece of immersive theatre brings together two seemingly disparate stories. The more familiar tale is that of the first manned flight into space by the Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin. Fischer places this alongside personal accounts of migrants from sub-Saharan Africa attempting to cross the Mediterranean into Europe.

In different hands this combination might have appeared contrived, but by maintaining a tight focus on the first-person point of view, the Glasgow-based director and designer achieves a subjective, at times quietly devastating portrait of human courage in adversity.

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