Arts Review: Wind Resistance – Karine Polwart (Celtic Connections)

Dir. Wils Wilson, Tron Theatre, 25th – 28th January

Karine Polwart’s one-woman show is an intimate, tender thing to behold. A tapestry of folk concert, autobiography, fireside anecdote and feminist lecture, Polwart pulls together disparate mediums and narratives to create something akin to the original Highland Ceilidh – not only song and dance, but also community meeting and personal storytelling.

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Arts Review: Wind Resistance – Karine Polwart ( Celtic Connections )

Dir. Wils Wilson, Tron Theatre, 25th – 28th January

Karine Polwart’s one-woman show is an intimate, tender thing to behold. A tapestry of folk concert, autobiography, fireside anecdote and feminist lecture, Polwart pulls together disparate mediums and narratives to create something akin to the original Highland Ceilidh – not only song and dance, but also community meeting and personal storytelling.

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Arts Review: Shoot The Sissy

The Art School, 7th March 2017

This performance is one of paradoxes so stark I am left speechless and puzzling. Both intimate and public, grotesque and beautiful, painful and inspiring. Nando Messias manages to effectively erase the boundaries of gender, performativity and agency.

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Arts Review: The Crucible

Dir. Douglas Rintoul, Theatre Royal, 12th – 17th June

It’s common knowledge that Arthur Miller’s The Crucible was intended to draw obvious parallels between the mania of the 1692 Salem witch hunt featured in the play and the paranoia of McCarthy-era America. Hunting for fictional witches and hunting for would-be Communists amounts to pretty much the same thing: displaced terror and unnecessary disruption. But politicised theatre has a habit of remaining relevant for long after its envisioned lifespan, and as director Douglas Rintoul states, ‘there’s a palpable sense that this 1950s play is for now’. It’s clear that in their recent performance of The Crucible, Selladoor Productions are intent on creating another analogy: between the terrified, socially anxious, misogynistic society of colonial America and today’s skewed political climate. Reassuring, eh?

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Arts Review – Shopping and Fucking

Dir. Julia Midtgard, Stereo, 5th – 7th June

Shopping and Fucking. That’s the title of Mark Ravenhill’s 1996 play, and it’s one guaranteed to weed out the faint-hearted among us. It’s a name that might leave anyone of a prudish disposition hovering outside the box office, unsure of how to proceed. ‘Can I have tickets for Shopping andShopping and Fu– oh, never mind’, you can practically hear someone spluttering before turning away and heading off home, ticketless. Shopping and Fucking isn’t for the easily perturbed. It’s that provocative.

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Arts Review – The Red Shoes

Dir. Matthew Bourne, King’s Theatre, 8th – 10th June

Matthew Bourne’s latest offering, The Red Shoes, is a real visual and imaginative treat. Based on the acclaimed 1948 British film starring Moira Shearer, which itself draws heavily upon and features a ballet adapted from Hans Christian Andersen’s ominous fairy tale ‘The Red Shoes’, it’s certainly a ballet with a lot of intertextual influences.

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Arts Review: Penetrator

Dir. Julia Midtgard, The Old Hairdressers, 1st-2nd June

If in-yer-face theatre is ‘the kind of theatre which grabs the audience by the scruff of the neck and shakes it until it gets the message’, then Anthony Neilson’s Penetrator performed by Fear No Colours Theatre leaves the audience and their neck scruffs well and truly shook. However, as for the translation of a message, the play explores the hypermasculinity and aggressive sexuality masking subdued desire which penetrates the lives of the play’s three characters: Max, Alan, and Tadge. Yet despite this expedition into masculinity, the writing at times collapses into what feels like one elongated, homophobic rape joke.

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