Theatre review: hang – Tron Theatre, Glasgow

First published in The Times, Tuesday May 3 2022

THREE STARS

The prolific playwright, screenwriter, and director debbie tucker green (the lower-case letters are a hallmark) received acclaim for her 2011 play truth and reconciliation, in which victims’ families confronted perpetrators of political violence. hang, first staged at the Royal Court in 2015, imagines a society that has dispensed with restorative justice, opting instead for the death penalty, with victims of crime invited to choose the method of execution.

Continue reading “Theatre review: hang – Tron Theatre, Glasgow”

Theatre review: Moorcroft – Tron, Glasgow

First published in The Times, Tuesday February 22 2022

THREE STARS

We first meet Garry (played by Martin Docherty), the main protagonist and narrator of Eilidh Loan’s big-hearted footballing drama, on his 50th birthday. Judging by the virulence with which he pops his birthday balloons, he’s in no mood to celebrate, preferring to take refuge in happier times and the heady sensations of youth. 

Pic: John Johnston
Continue reading “Theatre review: Moorcroft – Tron, Glasgow”

Theatre Review: The Tempest – Tron Theatre, Glasgow

First published in The Times, Monday November 1 2021

THREE STARS

It is fitting that this new production of Shakespeare’s swansong should be opening on Halloween weekend when ghosts and monsters are out in force wandering the dark streets.

The show, adapted and directed by Andy Arnold, has a strongly Gothic flavour, with Prospero’s cell a forbidding library topped with lancet windows and characters moving in and out of the shadows.

Continue reading “Theatre Review: The Tempest – Tron Theatre, Glasgow”

Theatre review: Krapp’s Last Tape / Go On – Tron Theatre, Glasgow

First published in The Times, Wednesday October 6 2021

FOUR STARS

With his new production of Samuel Beckett’s one-act play, Dominic Hill’s tenure as artistic director of the Citizens Theatre has come full circle. A declared Beckett aficionado, Hill chose Krapp’s Last Tape to round off his first season in charge, back in 2012, with the late Gerard Murphy in the title role.

Continue reading “Theatre review: Krapp’s Last Tape / Go On – Tron Theatre, Glasgow”

Review: The Metamorphosis – Tron Theatre, Glasgow

First published in The Times, Tuesday March 17 2020

Five Stars

Vanishing Point, the Glasgow-based theatre company led by Matthew Lenton, tends to develop much of its acclaimed, highly distinctive work in rehearsal, often creating radical versions of plays such as Maurice Maeterlinck’s Interiors and John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera. However, the company’s stunning take on Franz Kafka’s novella The Metamorphosis (in collaboration with the Tron and Italy’s Emilia Romagna Teatro Fondazione) is remarkably faithful to its source, and it marks a culmination of Lenton’s concerns and signature style.

Continue reading “Review: The Metamorphosis – Tron Theatre, Glasgow”

Review: Maim – Tron Theatre, Glasgow

First published in The Times, Thursday March 12 2020

Four Stars

There is so much going in this collaboration between Theatre Gu Leòr and the band Whyte that it comes as something of a surprise to realise that the show’s running time is a tight 75 minutes. Maim blends movement, story vignettes and multimedia with the band’s characteristic fusion of electronica and Gaelic song to explore life in Scotland’s far-flung communities, notably the fragile status of the Gaelic language and culture. The result is a unique hybrid that works its spell slowly, exerting a powerful pull.

Continue reading “Review: Maim – Tron Theatre, Glasgow”

Review: The Ugly One – Tron Theatre, Glasgow

First published in The Times, Tuesday July 9 2019

Three Stars

This is the first time Marius von Mayenburg’s 2007 satire has been seen on a Scottish stage but there is much in Debbie Hannan’s production that will be familiar to those with even a sketchy knowledge of the horror genre. The trope of slowly unwrapping bandages from some strangely altered face has been so endlessly sent-up that it surely deserves a subgenre classification of its own.

Continue reading “Review: The Ugly One – Tron Theatre, Glasgow”

Review: Marie – Tron Theatre, Glasgow

First published in The Times, Monday April 29 2019

Three Stars

The life of Mary, Queen of Scots is the apparent inspiration for this new play from House of Mirth, though its tone is less conventional historical drama than something akin to Roald Dahl’s Tales of the Unexpected. The tragic monarch doesn’t even make her entrance until halfway through the hour-long show.

Continue reading “Review: Marie – Tron Theatre, Glasgow”

Review: Mammy Goose – Tron Theatre, Glasgow

First published in The Times, Tuesday December 4 2018

Four Stars

The annual Tron pantomime is not exactly renowned for its restraint. This year, every gaudy element has been dialled up to the max. The baroque colour palette of Kenny Miller, the designer, feels more intense than ever. The amount of glitter and PVC on display makes Lady Gaga’s stage costumes look refined. The script, written by Johnny McKnight, who also directs and stars as the titular matriarch, is dizzyingly dense in pop cultural references.

Continue reading “Review: Mammy Goose – Tron Theatre, Glasgow”

Review: Pride and Prejudice* (*Sort Of) – Tron Theatre, Glasgow

First published in The Times, Wednesday July 4 2018

Three Stars

The accoutrements of Sunday evening TV costume drama are present and correct in Blood of the Young’s refreshed take on Jane Austen. A chandelier hangs above an upright piano. A harp waits in a corner of the stage next to a row of high-backed chairs with floral upholstery. As the house lights go down we await the rattle and chink of the Bennet family’s best china plate being wheeled into the parlour for the benefit of gentleman visitors.

Continue reading “Review: Pride and Prejudice* (*Sort Of) – Tron Theatre, Glasgow”