Review: Dublin Oldschool – Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh

First published in The Times, Thursday August 11 2016

Three Stars

 

The capacity to operate live performance by remote control is an idea whose time is yet to come. Audiences to this two-hander, which arrives on the fringe following success in its native Dublin, may find themselves longing for the development of such technology to be brought forward. The play packs so much into its 60-minute running time that it inspires a gnawing desire to put the action on pause, to recap and, most crucially, to vary the decibel levels.

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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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