Review: Clybourne Park – Brunton Theatre, Musselburgh

First published in The Times, Monday September 23 2019

Three Stars

The playwright Lorraine Hansberry died in 1965 at the age of 34 but her small body of work has resonated down the decades. She inspired her friend Nina Simone to write the hit song To Be Young, Gifted and Black. Her play A Raisin in the Sun (1959), about the struggles of a black family to improve their social and financial fortunes, is endlessly revived.

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Review: A Streetcar Named Desire – Macrobert Arts Centre, Stirling

First published in The Times, Friday September 15 2017

Two Stars

The Scottish company Rapture Theatre, which specialises in revivals of classic plays, has mainly focused in the past couple of years on the great works of the American stage. After a production of Arthur Miller’s All My Sons and a triumphant imagining of Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? it was inevitable that the company, led by artistic director Michael Emans, would get around to staging Tennessee Williams’s most celebrated drama.

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Review: Democracy – Theatre Royal, Glasgow

First published in The Times, Saturday September 10 2016

Two Stars

Michael Frayn’s multi-award-winning play is ostensibly about the “Guillaume affair” that led to the political demise of Chancellor Willy Brandt of West Germany in 1974. It is also a meaty history lesson on a fascinating chapter in European history and the first moves towards rapprochement between the Eastern and Western blocs. On its debut in 2003, Frayn’s exploration of the complexities and seeming contradictions of Brandt’s regime was also viewed as an allegory of the pragmatism and triangulation of the New Labour era.

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Reviews: All My Sons – Theatre Royal, Glasgow; My Name Is . . . Summerhall, Edinburgh

Published in The Times, Thursday September 10 2015

All My Sons: Two Stars

My Name Is . . . Three Stars 

Rapture Theatre has not had its problems to seek in reviving Arthur Miller’s first major success for a Scottish tour. First, Paul Shelley, the lead actor, was forced to withdraw from the production due to illness. Then, on opening night, female lead Trudie Goodwin fainted midway through the second act, bravely soldiering on following a temporary halt in proceedings.

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