Theatre review: The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar – Perth Theatre

First published in The Times, Wednesday March 30 2022

FOUR STARS

Audiences are accustomed to seeing Roald Dahl’s children’s stories on stage. Matilda and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory were turned into blockbuster musical hits, while David Wood’s faithful adaptations of James and the Giant PeachThe BFG and The Witches are mainstays of the Christmas season.

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Review: South Bend – Gilded Balloon at the Museum, Edinburgh

First published in The Times, Friday August 10 2018

Four Stars

Like many teens of his generation, obsessed with The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and mad with love for Blossom Russo, the playwright and actor Martin McCormick was soaked in American culture long before he set foot on US soil. A spell in California as an exchange student did nothing to quell his enthusiasm. The sojourn brought him a legion of friends, attracted by his cute Scottish brogue, and his first serious girlfriend.

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Review: The Sky is Safe – Summerhall, Edinburgh

First published in The Times, Tuesday August 22 2017

Three Stars

The latest production from Dogstar Theatre, the Scottish company that created the award-winning The Tailor of Inverness, falls into two distinct parts, the one powerful and engaging, the other less so. Matthew Zajac’s script is built on stories he gathered about the experiences of women fleeing the escalating civil war in Syria. Their names initially appear on a screen at the back of the stage, and by the end of the show we feel as though we know all of them intimately; so versatile and forceful is the performance of Dana Hajaj, the actor who gives voice to these women.

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Review: Crude – Shed 36, Port of Dundee

First published in The Times, Friday October 14 2016

Three Stars

Any mention of North Sea Oil is most likely to bring to mind the city of Aberdeen, which has weathered the ups and downs of the industry for over 40 years. So, it’s refreshing that this ambitious exploration of oil production and its human and environmental impact, is brought to us by Grid Iron Theatre Company from Dundee, a city at the forefront of Scotland’s efforts to secure a slice of the lucrative oil rig decommissioning industry.

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Review: The Devil’s Larder – Custom House, Leith

First published in The Times, Friday October 23 2015

Three Stars

Grid Iron, the site-specific specialists, first staged their adaptation of Jim Crace’s fragmentary novel exploring our relationship with food in a branch of Debenhams after hours. A decade on and the backdrops for Ben Harrison’s touring remount are no less intriguing, ranging from a newly restored 200-year-old Custom House to a hotel on the windswept northern Scottish coast.

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