Review: The Weir – Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh

First published in The Times, Thursday January 21 2016

Four Stars

Show don’t tell – that’s the standard advice given to aspiring playwrights. Yet, Conor McPherson’s masterpiece, which premiered at the Royal Court in 1997, famously never shows us the ghosts that populate his characters’ bar room yarns and confessions. This poignant, sometimes funny and sometimes melancholy play goes back to the very basics of storytelling, requiring its audience to listen hard to a series of evocative exchanges and monologues that illuminate the characters and haunt the imagination.

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Review: Hedda Gabler – Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh

First published in The Times, Saturday March 28 2015

Four Stars

In this compelling new production of Ibsen’s classic, the elegant drawing room set, designed by Jean Chan, with its large windows offering views onto an interior room, increasingly comes to feel like a wooden cage. Curtains blowing in the breeze give some sense of the outside world that in no way diminishes this atmosphere of claustrophobia. At one point, as the play moves towards its devastating climax, the walls roll forward, shrinking the space still further.

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