Dir. Gareth Nicholls, Tron Theatre, 9th-25th March
Extreme projectile vomiting, the stench of ruined fresh tulips, and a ball pool surrounding a set of a furnished middle class living room are what remain mulling in my head after seeing Glasgow’s production of Yasmina Reza’s God of Carnage.
Dir. Suzy Willson, Tron Theatre, 3rd – 4th of March
Upon arrival at the theatre, the audience is offered a menu, reading: “this performance may contain nuts”, a napkin and a dram of whisky. Before even having the time to take a seat, the ballad has somehow already started. The Red Chair, or The Tale of the Man who was so Fat He Growed Into the Chair He Was Sittin’ Upon is the story of a caricatural, dysfunctional family told by the incredibly expressive Sarah Cameron, completely in Scots dialect.
Dir. Sir David McVicar, Theatre Royal, 23rd Feb – 4th March
While this opera is at its heart a simple love triangle involving siblings, Pelléas & Mélisande is shrouded in so much mystery and intrigue that what might happen next is anyone’s guess. The story itself is straightforward – a Prince finds a young girl and proceeds to marry her and bring her home where her affections for the Prince’s brother quickly begin to cause issue. This, however, becomes somewhat confusing as the story is told, with vague and seemingly unnecessary symbolism obscuring the plot.
CCA, 27th Jan – 12th March
Forms of Action reminded me that I should really spend more time at the CCA. An exhibition with many different collaborating artists, it explores socially engaged art practices in a fascinating way. I was completely engrossed by the first room, where fables or folktales and their illustrations were waiting on the walls to be read and interacted with. The videos accompanying them were truly fascinating, the most thought-provoking an interview with a translator based in Marrakech who described translation as both a dialogue and a new creative process.
Dir, Dominic Hill, Citizens Theatre, 2nd – 19th November
The Rivals wraps you into its hysterical, stereotypical world before the play officially begins. As the audience enters the theatre, live music tinkles in the background, actors cover their face in a mask of white paint and rouge, towers of fake hair perch on the heads of tottering, flamboyant women, faces are pulled, legs unpleasantly scratched and mirrors inspected. Enter the 18th century world of absurdly complicated manners, incomprehensible notions of elegance and honour, and fantastic dress.
Byres Road Book Festival, Oxfam Bookshop, 23rd September
The Oxfam Bookshop on Byres Road is warm and inviting on a crisp, grey, autumn day, even more so when it is packed full of people, from students to fidgeting children, as is the case on the 23rd of September. The unusual amount of visitors this afternoon is here not just for second-hand books or to support Oxfam, but to watch some of Scotland’s best poets perform.
GSDC, Mitchell Theatre, 17 – 18 Feb
One of the dances of Glasgow Student Dance Company’s show ‘Illuminate’ opens with the words of Chimamanda Adichie, sampled in Beyonce’s song Flawless: “We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls ‘You can have ambition, but not too much. […] We teach girls that they can not be sexual beings in the way that boys are. Feminist: A person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes.” The whole show seems to be a celebration of Adichie’s words, a celebration of female strength and girls, or any way they may identity, coming together and standing together.