Sunday, April 18

Scotland

Angela – Royal Lyceum Theatre/Pitlochry Festival Theatre online
Scotland

Angela – Royal Lyceum Theatre/Pitlochry Festival Theatre online

Mark Ravenhill has taken us to some dark places over the years but none more so than with this unflinching account of his beloved mother Angela’s final dementia journey. But this debut audio collaboration between the Royal Lyceum Theatre and Pitlochry Festival Theatre is as much about class, thwarted ambition and shared memories as it is about a condition that affects nearly a million people across the UK. From the moment the young Angela – subtly played by Matti Houghton – changes her name from the too ‘common’ Rita to Angela you sense this is an intelligent working class woman with artistic ambitions. Her short am dram career is cut short by marriage to engineer Ted, and any ambition to take it further disappears. A pertinent point when the acting profession is increasingly posh a...
Hansel and Gretel – Scottish Opera on Screen
Scotland

Hansel and Gretel – Scottish Opera on Screen

Take your favourite childhood story but turn it into an opera. Sounds strange, doesn’t it? Well, I believe that the ‘Scottish opera’ took these two worlds and fused them together perfectly for any age to enjoy. Indulge in the breathtaking vocals and you might just find some darkness hidden behind the innocent sugar-coated façade. A mother tired of her son and her daughter misbehaving sends them off into the forest to pick berries, not knowing the dangers lurking within. Hansel and Gretel were taught to never speak to strangers. Although who could blame them for giving into the temptation of endless marshmallows, lollipops and pies galore! If only that wasn’t followed by getting kidnapped by a witch... The cast is made up of nine actors, four of them making up the ‘ensemble’ of the p...
Janey Godley’s Big Burns Supper – Live Stream
Scotland

Janey Godley’s Big Burns Supper – Live Stream

As Janey herself said at the end, ‘Ah’m knackert.’ This was as crammed a 90 minutes as one could wish for in celebration of Scotland’s famous poet. His global appeal was reflected in the comments box overflowing with a never-ending stream of greetings and toasts, viewers logging in from every conceivable time-zone. In this Covid-enforced YouTube version of the extravaganza - that usually takes place each year in the town of Dumfries - performances came in from far and wide. KT Tunstall beamed in a performance of ‘Everything Has Its Shape’ from Los Angeles, Donovan a rogue-ish version of ‘Sunshine Superman’ from Cork, Camille O’Sullivan’s rendition of Nick Cave’s ‘The Ship Song’ reached us from a beach near Dublin and Dervish performed ‘The Ploughman’ from a beautifully candle-lit room ...
Cosi fan Tutte – Scottish Opera
Scotland

Cosi fan Tutte – Scottish Opera

Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte is an ideal opera to be performed in today’s climate. A small leading cast, and a relatively light-hearted plot, Scottish Opera’s production, directed by Roxana Haines with musical direction by Stuart Stratford, brings the comedy into the modern world in a socially distanced performance exploiting the world of reality TV. The piece opens with exuberant music played by a masked orchestra behind screens, as the Chorus sit in the theatre’s boxes, making up the various audience members of the reality show which our couples find themselves competing in. The Chorus revel in their roles throughout the piece, creating some excellent emotional reactions from wistfulness, to excitement, to boredom, creating a real sense of a live studio audience to the television show we ...
The Magic of Christmas – Pitlochry Festival Theatre
Scotland

The Magic of Christmas – Pitlochry Festival Theatre

Perhaps the biggest nightmare for theatreland through the pandemic has been the loss of the lucrative festive shows they use to subsidise their riskier offerings during the year. So, like so many venues the team at Pitlochry Festival Theatre have been forced to offer their seasonal production online, which in all honesty is no replacement for the sheer joy of sitting in a theatre full of overexcited kids with adults in tow keen to relive their youth - all secretly hoping things will go wrong. It may be no substitute, but a four strong cast deliver a charming half hour show in the theatre’s garden as hapless elves Hari and Lari smash the fourth wall inviting cyber viewers to join a journey as they seek the missing North Star that guides Santa as he gives every kid in the world a pres...
The Creepy Cabaret Cabin – Edinburgh Horror Fest2020
Scotland

The Creepy Cabaret Cabin – Edinburgh Horror Fest2020

The Zoom/Skype/online world of Lockdown has provided ample opportunity for family members to wobble uninvited into our worlds of work and/or creativity and delivered unscheduled contributions. Thus it was as one sat down to review The Creepy Cabaret Cabin this evening, a collection (one says ‘a curation’ these days) of Drag, Burlesque and Circus performers undressing to various degrees spiced with blood, wine, food and scary stuff, the results alternately comic, stomach-churning and plain unsettling. ‘She’s drinking Irn Bru at breakfast!’ shouted my little one as Roxy Stardust opened with a tale of domestic shenanigans demonstrating that you should ‘ne’er underestimate yer Granny’. Sobering advice upon this evidence. And to the tune of ‘Hoots Mon’ by Lord Rockingham’s XI. Next up wa...
Declan – Traverse Theatre
Scotland

Declan – Traverse Theatre

Kieran Hurley’s powerful theatre work Mouthpiece has been transformed into a 25-minute short film Declan for Traverse Theatre’s online festival in lieu of the Edinburgh International Festival. Angus Taylor revives the titular role of Declan with ferocity, anger and tenderness. Although the script is only altered slightly from the original theatre work, the relationship between Declan and failing playwright Libby is compromised here, but we gain a more intimate insight into Declan’s home life and lived experience. Transferring Mouthpiece to film has allowed Declan’s artwork to come forth among animated sections of plot. Nisan Yetkin’s stunning and emotional animations bring interactions to life between Declan and an unseen Libby, driving the relationship between them with written dia...
Lucky 8 – The Space UK
Scotland

Lucky 8 – The Space UK

Glass Half Full Theatre’s Lucky 8, written by Stephanie Silver and directed by Amelia Lovsey, is an original look at dating at work and the effect different commitments at home have when looking for love. Marcy (Stephanie Silver) has a crush on a woman at work, played by Valenzia Spearpoint. Marcy is clumsy, awkward and suffers from self-confessed verbal diarrhoea, while Spearpoint’s character is confident and well put together in stylish linen clothing. Marcy develops a habit of watching Spearpoint from afar while trying to talk herself into asking her out, noticing that Spearpoint regularly consults a Magic 8 ball she keeps in her office, making Marcy believes that she believes in fate. One morning Marcy excitedly tells us she has told her mother, who has MS and whom she cares for...
Caitlin – ZooTV
Scotland

Caitlin – ZooTV

This disconcerting dance theatre piece from the Welsh ensemble of Light, Ladd and Emberton was first produced for the BBC’s #DancePassion series in 2019, and now receives a showing on the Zoo TV platform for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Caitlin was the wife of poet Dylan Thomas, known for his hard drinking and passionately lyrical poetry. After his death, she attended Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, and this is where we find her, in a circle of empty chairs. Just one other chair is occupied by the husband who caused her so much pain and distress with his infidelities and desertions. As she and Dylan fight through the ups and downs of their tempestuous marriage, this dance sequence takes on an edgy, jagged tone with explosions of stylised violence and physical battling. It is a powerfu...
The Complete Works of Shakespeare*…*but just the Deaths (and the gory bits too) – The Space UK
Scotland

The Complete Works of Shakespeare*…*but just the Deaths (and the gory bits too) – The Space UK

Even though the title may be a tad too long, I could have carried on watching this play for much longer than its 45 minutes.  Taking their name from a quote in Macbeth, the Cream Faced Loons have done a remarkable job to stage this wonderfully refreshing take on Shakespeare’s plays in a digital environment.  Before the pandemic ‘the Loons’ liked to perform in site specific locations such as castles and parks but have adapted their style to You Tube and it showcases their versatility and unique take on the Shakespearean classics. The challenge is to perform all 10187 deaths that appear in Shakespeare’s 37 plays.  That seems rather a lot I hear you say, but all is made clear later on in the show.  Will you take up the challenge to tick off the deaths as the show goes ...