Review: Endgame – Citizens Theatre, Glasgow

First published in The Times, Monday February 8 2015

Four Stars

The experience of seeing actors famed for television roles taking to the stage can be disorientating, requiring an adjustment on the part of the audience, a further suspension of disbelief. In Dominic Hill’s revival of Endgame at the Citizens, the curiosity value of seeing David Neilson and Chris Gascoyne – for many years Roy Cropper and Peter Barlow in Coronation Street – transferred to the strange landscape of a Samuel Beckett play is swiftly defused by the fact that both actors are almost unrecognisable from the outset.

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Review: Waiting for Godot – Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh

First published in The Times, Thursday September 24 2015

Four Stars

What better way to kick off the Royal Lyceum Theatre Company’s 50th anniversary season than with a play about two old friends who have stuck together, for better or worse, for half a century? This much-anticipated Beckett revival, directed by departing artistic director Mark Thomson, also brings the careers of its two stars full circle. While Brian Cox was a founding member of the original Lyceum ensemble, Bill Paterson first performed in Edinburgh in 1972 as part of Billy Connolly’s The Great Northern Welly Boot Show.

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Review: Happy Days – Tron Theatre, Glasgow

First published in The Times, Tuesday May 19 2015

Four Stars

The casting of Karen Dunbar as Winnie, the entombed heroine of Samuel Beckett’s 1961 play Happy Days, was always going to be an intriguing prospect. Though the actor and comedian has shown her “serious” acting chops on stage with a blistering performance as Rose in the National Theatre of Scotland’s revival of The Guid Sisters and in Phyllida Lloyd’s recent all-female production of Henry IV at the Donmar Warehouse, she’s still best known for her work in the BBC Scotland sketch series Chewin’ the Fat.

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