Review: Deathtrap – Dundee Rep

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First published in The Times, Saturday February 24 2018

Three Stars

According to the principle of Chekhov’s gun, if we see a firearm on stage in Act One, it must be used by the play’s end. Ira Levin’s thriller Deathtrap certainly sticks faithfully to the Russian’s view that everything we see on stage must have some relevance to the action. As the props on display include several pistols as well as daggers, swords, a mace and a crossbow, the audience spends much of the play bracing itself for the inevitable bloodbath.

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Review: The View from Castle Rock – artSpace@StMarks, Edinburgh

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First published in The Times, Friday August 19 2016

Four Stars

Over the past few years, the Edinburgh International Book Festival has included an increasingly ambitious theatre element in its programme. Previous productions include a starry staging of Alasdair Gray’s play Fleck and Letters Home, a co-production with Grid Iron, the site-specific company.

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Reviews: The Little Mermaid – Macrobert Arts Centre, Stirling; The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh

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First published in The Times, Monday November 30 2015

The Little Mermaid: Four Stars

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe: Three Stars

 

With its red-haired heroine, shimmering backcloth and bold, primary-coloured costumes, this year’s Christmas show at the Macrobert owes as much of a debt of influence to Walt Disney as it does to Hans Christian Andersen. The witty, up-to-date script and irreverent atmosphere are very much in keeping with what we’ve come to expect from the Stirling panto, however. We’ve barely taken our seats before Drop Dead Gorgeous Daz (played by Robert Jack in the same fright wig he wore last year as Wishee Washee) lets off the show’s first fart gag, and this pretty much sets the tone for the next two hours.

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