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Forbidden Stories

Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh Three stars
Imagine a country ripped in two as easily as you’d tear a piece of paper in half. Then imagine hundreds of thousands of people displaced from their homes and forced into the other half of the country. Fast forward a few years, and think about what might happen if some kind of prodigals’ return ushered in an uneasy peace of sorts.
That’s only part of the complex, still unfinished history of Cyprus, the former British colony (natch) riven by divisions between Greek and Turkish Cypriots that have resulted in invasions, land grabs and a mess of collateral damage. The deeply personal consequences of all this are explored here by the Edinburgh-based Ludens Ensemble. With support by the European Capital of Culture Pafos 2017 and the Greek arts-based Syn Festival, a four-strong ensemble present a semi-verbatim collage of anecdote and experience drawn from testimonies from both sides of the divide. Accompanied by live video feed, shadowplay and a fusion of …

Lois Weaver - Split Britches and Unexploded Ordnances (UXO)

Lois Weaver and Peggy Shaw were in an old army barracks in New York when they first heard the phrase that would give them the title for their new show for Split Britches, the avant-garde queer feminist theatre company the pair co-founded in 1980.
“The base had been used in the Cold War, but was now mainly used as an art space,” explains Weaver, “and I went for a walk around the space, but before I went I was told to be careful where I stepped, because there were unexploded ordnances there. I’d never heard that term before and asked what it meant, and was told it was unexploded bombs. Because we’d been working with elders, and because both Peggy and I are elders, the phrase was the perfect metaphor for us. We all have our unexploded bombs and things we’ve always wanted to do but have never done.”
The incident planted the seed for what would become Unexploded Ordnances (UXO), which is currently on the London leg of a British and Irish tour which stops off in Glasgow next week as one of th…

LJ Findlay-Walsh – Take Me Somewhere

When Take Me Somewhere infiltrated Glasgow’s arts venues last year, the pilot edition of this new festival of experimental theatre and performance took with it the spirit of the Arches. This new entity was founded by Jackie Wylie, the former artistic director of the labyrinthine arts lab and club space which, situated beside and beneath Central Station, was underground in every way. When the Arches closed in 2015 after Glasgow Licensing Board turned down the venue’s application for a late license following advice from Police Scotland, its absence left a damaging hole in the city’s artistic infrastructure.
Arriving on the scene two years later, Take Me Somewhere was a reclaiming of the energy which had driven the Arches, and made it one of the most significant arts spaces in Europe. It was also a form of closure, as many of the tireless team of individuals and pioneers who had developed their skills at the Arches reunited to tie up loose ends in a way that was effectively getting the ol…