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Showing posts from April, 2018

James Pfaff: Alex & Me

Street Level, Glasgow until July 1st Four stars
‘Ever been Changed by Someone?’ asks the nightclub-coloured neon sign from the corner wall of Glasgow-born artist James Pfaff’s intimate excavation and reconstruction of his own past. As the words beam out in scrawly hand-writing, given the extent which Pfaff has been so profoundly affected by his subject, the words might just as well be Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve)?
Such a hormonal rush of doomed amours is all over Pfaff’s document of a road trip he made in 1998 from Toronto to New Orleans then back north to New York. He did all this with a woman called Alex, a muse who lingers still in this ever expanding homage to her that was first captured in a book curated, as with the exhibition, by another woman, Francesca Seravalle.
Laid out alongside a whole pile of scrap-books, Pfaff’s prodigal’s return is both a purging and a taking stock, a not so secret diary of fleeting moments which are captured, contained, immortalised…

Kay Mellor – Fat Friends - The Musical

Things have got bigger since Kay Mellor first wrote Fat Friends, the Leeds born writer’s diet-club-set comedy drama, which ran for four series between 2000 and 2005. In the intervening twelve years since the series ended, female body image has taken an even more self-conscious turn and diets have grown faddier, while obesity has been on the rise despite this.
It seems timely, then, for Mellor to revisit the world of ardent slimmers Kelly, Betty, Lauren and co, bringing things bang up to date for an even more confusing world of gut-busting exercises and calorie-burning yarns. Mellor has done this by way of Fat Friends – The Musical, a brand new touring stage show which has already checked in to Edinburgh Playhouse prior to runs in Glasgow next week, with Aberdeen to follow.
“I’ve wanted to do a musical for years and years,” says Mellor. “I wanted to watch something sat in an auditorium where the power of music can elevate a moment and an emotion onstage. A producer had come to me to writ…

McLuckie’s Line

Citizens Theatre, Glasgow Three stars
Poor McLuckie. It looks like the compulsive gambler turned accidental jockey and even more accidental actor’s luck has all but run out in this new one-man monologue co-written by Martin Travers and Martin Docherty, and performed by Docherty for Broke Lad productions. Sitting in a funereally quiet hospital waiting room, McLuckie ponders his fate and how he got here as his past life flashes before his eyes in a series of bar-room yarns and routines worthy of anyone born to perform.
Growing up in working class Glasgow, McLuckie flits between the pub, the chip shop and the bookies with assorted n’er do well pals. Chance lands him not just betting on the gee-gees, but riding them as well, before falling at the first fence and finding himself at drama school.
This is where the fun really begins, as McLuckie finds himself playing Puck in a rave take on Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream before being forced to endure the inevitable longeurs of unemployme…

Gut

Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh Four stars
Maddy and Rory are the most perfect first-world couple imaginable at the start of Frances Poet’s new play, given a broodingly forensic rendering by director Zinnie Harris in this production for the Traverse in association with the National Theatre of Scotland. There they are, finishing each other’s sentences off over a civilised glass of wine while their three-year-old son Josh sleeps in his bedroom next door.
As they share barely-there nudge-nudge innuendos with Rory’s mother Morven after putting Josh in her care, Morven lets slip an incident involving outside forces who may or may not have brought harm to her grand-son. The chain of events this sets off almost brings Maddy and Rory’s world collapsing in on them, and only a leap of faith and a possible blind eye to go with it can save things.
Poet’s play is troublingly in tune with a current wave of TV drama that picks at the psychological sores of a post-Yewtree climate, when the old certainties o…