Review: The Brothers Karamazov – Tron Theatre, Glasgow

First published in The Times, Monday October 16 2017

Two Stars

It takes a certain amount of chutzpah to condense a 900-page novel into a two-hour play. Richard Crane’s venerable stage adaptation of Dostoevsky is all the more intriguing when you consider that, in his version, only four actors enact the Russian master’s sprawling, densely populated saga.

 

Crane’s dramatisation was commissioned for the Edinburgh International Festival in 1981, with Alan Rickman and Peter Kelly among the original cast. This revival at the Tron reunites the script with Faynia Williams, Crane’s partner in the Brighton Theatre, and the director of that first production.

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Review: Greater Belfast – Traverse, Edinburgh

First published in The Times, Friday August 26 2016

Four Stars

In the long-running story of the United Kingdom’s constitutional make up and future, Northern Ireland is often treated as a footnote, as though eighteen years of peace have rendered the province unworthy of close attention. That situation may be changing, though, at least in cultural terms. Mark Cousins’ fluid documentary meditation on his hometown of Belfast was released earlier this year, and now we have this engaging, multifaceted exploration of the same city and her people from the musician and theatre-maker Matt Regan.

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Review: SpectreTown – Assembly Hall, Edinburgh Fringe

First published in The Times, Friday August 14 2015

Three Stars

Stoirm Òg – the bilingual English-Gaelic theatre company founded by writer-performer Elspeth Turner – caused a modest splash at the fringe in 2012 with the gothic Hebridean family drama The Idiot at the Wall. Turner’s new work, inspired by the folklore and storytelling traditions of the north-east of Scotland, further reveals a company of significant range and ambition even if at times both the play and this production feel a little overstuffed.

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