Review: Dance of Death – Citizens Theatre, Glasgow

First published in The Times, Tuesday May 3 2016

Four Stars

August Strindberg wasn’t the first playwright to portray marriage as a fight to the death, but his vision of a man and woman locked in symbiosis has certainly echoed down the years. The influence of his 1900 play The Dance of Death can be felt in everything from Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? to pretty much every sitcom marriage of the Seventies and Eighties.

Continue reading “Review: Dance of Death – Citizens Theatre, Glasgow”

Review: The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black, Black Oil – Dundee Rep

First published in The Times, Tuesday September 22 2015

Four Stars

When John McGrath’s landmark political drama debuted in a small venue in Aberdeen in 1973, the effects of the discovery of North Sea Oil on life in the Highlands were only just beginning to be felt. Forty years on, Joe Douglas’s joyous revival for Dundee Rep subtly updates the script to include references to the independence referendum and the current debate on land ownership, but it’s remarkably faithful to the substance and raucous spirit of the original.

Continue reading “Review: The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black, Black Oil – Dundee Rep”

Review: Yer Granny – King’s Theatre, Glasgow

First published in The Times, Friday May 29 2015

Two Stars

The 1991 BBC adaptation of Roberto Cossa’s La Nona featured no less a comedy legend than the late Les Dawson in the title role. By the same token the cast list for this National Theatre of Scotland production reads like a who’s who of Scottish comedy, with Rab C Nesbitt star Gregor Fisher returning to the stage for the first time in 30 years to tackle the pitiless 100-year-old matriarch who literally eats her family out of house and home.

Continue reading “Review: Yer Granny – King’s Theatre, Glasgow”