Review: The Importance of Being Earnest – Perth Theatre

First published in The Times, Monday March 9 2020

Four Stars

Creating a truly original production of Oscar Wilde’s great comedy is no easy task. Its very familiarity is a major part of its popularity. Much of the dialogue is so axiomatic that you can almost hear the audience pre-empting the actors.

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Review: Can’t Forget About You – Tron Theatre, Glasgow

First published in The Times, Thursday July 9 2015

Three Stars

Sweet, sensitive 25-year-old Stevie (Declan Rodgers) is wallowing in grief following a painful break-up. Relief comes in the unlikely form of Martha (Karen Dunbar), an attractive, unaffected but lonely Glaswegian widow more than twenty years his senior. Stevie encounters her in his local Starbuck’s.

Both are determined to keep the relationship that follows on a strict friends-with-benefits footing, but when their fling reaches the eyes and ears of Stevie’s religious conservative Mammy (Carol Moore) and fervent Protestant sister (Abigail McGibbon), Stevie and Martha are forced to confront the depth of their feelings for one another.

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Review: Happy Days – Tron Theatre, Glasgow

First published in The Times, Tuesday May 19 2015

Four Stars

The casting of Karen Dunbar as Winnie, the entombed heroine of Samuel Beckett’s 1961 play Happy Days, was always going to be an intriguing prospect. Though the actor and comedian has shown her “serious” acting chops on stage with a blistering performance as Rose in the National Theatre of Scotland’s revival of The Guid Sisters and in Phyllida Lloyd’s recent all-female production of Henry IV at the Donmar Warehouse, she’s still best known for her work in the BBC Scotland sketch series Chewin’ the Fat.

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