First published in The Times, Monday December 10 2018
The Snow Queen is no stranger to Dundee Rep. The most recent production of Hans Christian Andersen’s tale, in 2012, starred the aptly named Emily Winter in the role of the icy monarch, negotiating a pine forest on stilts.
As one of the longer-serving members of the Rep ensemble, Winter also appears in this latest incarnation, though this time in the role of the Summer Princess, ruler of a balmy, fruit pastille-coloured region the heroine Gerda (Chiara Sparkes) has to pass through on her way to the frozen north.
Continue reading “Review: The Snow Queen – Dundee Rep”
First published in The Times, Friday September 15 2017
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.
Continue reading “Review: A Streetcar Named Desire – Macrobert Arts Centre, Stirling”
First published in The Times, Saturday September 10 2016
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.
Continue reading “Review: Democracy – Theatre Royal, Glasgow”
First published in The Times, Friday April 1 2016
Was there ever a more maligned creature in folklore than the wolf? The creature’s appalling public image can be traced all the way back to Aesop, and in European fairy tales the big bad wolf is either a predatory beast, devouring grandmothers and innocent young girls without remorse, or hoist with his own petard: lured to the boiling pot by little pigs and mother goats.
Continue reading “Review: Little Red and the Wolf – Dundee Rep”