Saturday, January 16

Scotland

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 ...
The Beat Goes On – The Space UK
Scotland

The Beat Goes On – The Space UK

With the Edinburgh Fringe Festival not going ahead this year, there has been a huge gap in the diary of both Fringe lovers and artists.  Wonderful venues such as The Space UK have not been able to host their usual Fringe events, so they have put on a digital festival instead.  This festival offers a real mix of comedy, theatre, dance and cabaret.  The Glummer Twins definitely come under the heading ‘comedy’. The Glummer Twins are a duo (as the name suggests), ‘The Beat Goes On’ is their reflection on how the last six months of lockdown have been for them.  The duo was formed by David Harmer and Ray Globe who were once a part of a comedy group called ‘Circus of Poets’ which also included Ian McMillan and John Turner. This 25 minute performance is packed full o...
Until the Ad Break – Maverick Charles Productions
Scotland

Until the Ad Break – Maverick Charles Productions

Maverick Charles Productions’ Until the Ad Break, written by Hugo Lewkowicz and directed by Emily Fitzpatrick, is a clever and surreal look at life in lockdown adapted from their previously sold out show, 21 minutes. Taking place during a lockdown recording of daytime magazine show, The Hello Show, the opening of the play is reminiscent of This Time with Alan Partridge, as we hear about the evils of quinoa and listen to the co-hosts, Dale Maxton (Bradley Pascall) and Francine Quick (Ellie Stewart-Dodd) bicker while off-air. But there is a twist. This episode of The Hello Show has begun 21 minutes before the apocalypse. Hysterical weatherman, Gabriel Spring (Emily Fitzpatrick) brings warning of fire and brimstone rather than the usual sunshine and showers and there’s a special guest ...
Defying GraviTT – Online@theSpace
Scotland

Defying GraviTT – Online@theSpace

One of the best things about fringe festivals is that you get to experience a range of shows that cannot quite be boxed into one category.  One day it might be jugglers or the circus, the next a political rant or an intense two-hander about the restaurant provision for vegans. As shows have gone online during the current pandemic, they have attained an additional status from performers isolated from others by necessity, not always from choice. Boundaries have increasingly become blurred as creators experiment. In Defying GraviTT, The Fabulous TT aka Tish Tindall brings her wry observational skills and musical prowess to a one-person show which considers lockdown from the perspective of “a menopausal madwoman”. Part video diary, part song cycle, part cabaret, Tindall’s piece has to...