Review: The 39 Steps – Murthly Village Hall, Perthshire

First published in The Times, Monday June 11 2018

Three Stars

No one is quite sure who coined the phrase “writing about music is like dancing about architecture”, but the enduring sentiment could just as easily be applied to the obvious incongruity of “staging” a radio play.

 

Watching actors poised in front of microphones, scripts in hands, while their co-stars rhubarb in the background, creating crowd noise, may not sound promising, and yet, done well, it can be surprisingly absorbing. Mull Theatre’s ingenious production of Whisky Galore, set in a BBC studio and based upon Compton Mackenzie’s radio adaptation, has been regularly revived to appreciative responses since it premiered around a quarter of a century ago.

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Review: The Lover – Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh

First published in The Times, Thursday January 25 2018

Two Stars

The weaving of dance elements into drama has become so widespread as to be unremarkable, even if certain productions tack on passages of movement in such marginal ways that they seem almost afterthoughts. Unusually, this adaptation of Marguerite Duras’s novel, created by Fleur Darkin of Scottish Dance Theatre and Jemima Levick, the artistic director of Stellar Quines, professes a 50:50 split between the two forms. While sporadically effective, their collaboration fails to capture the visceral power of its source.

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Review: Midsummer (a play with songs) – Dundee Rep Community Tour

First published in The Times, Monday October 26 2015

Four Stars

Outside, the wind is blowing the leaves around in the street, but inside the Bharatiya Ashram, the sun is shining. Granted, there may be something a little disorientating about watching a play set on the longest day of the year a mere week before the clocks go back, but this revival of David Greig and Gordon McIntyre’s sparkling romantic comedy proves the ideal pre-winter warmer.

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