Review: Nativity! the Musical Rating 85%

Review: Nativity! the Musical

Coventry meets Hollywood in Nativity! the Musical, a festive explosion of joy, glitter and feel good escapism. It’s fairly impossible not to leave with a smile on your face after a couple of hours in the company of this energetic cast, made up of largely, small children. Nativity! was of course a hit British film, with two sequels, now reincarnated as a stage production.

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Review: Life Is A Dream Rating 80%

Review: Life Is A Dream

Life is a Dream is a new dance show by Olivier Award winning choreographer Kim Brandstrup from Rambert.
Based on Calderon’s 1635 tragicomedy, Life is a Dream is Rambert’s first full-length narrative work for several decades. It is presented as a piece of hybrid storytelling through dance, where evocative staging and orchestral excellence are equal bedfellows to the performers.

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Isabel McCue MBE: Something should be done to really stimulate people

Theatre Nemo, a charity with a mission to break down the stigma and isolation associated with mental health issues and help to reduce suicide or suicidal thoughts by supporting people to feel good about themselves is celebrating it’s 20th anniversary. I had the fortune of stumbling upon this humbling organisation, rewarding founder Isabel McCue MBE with an Outstanding Woman of Scotland award at the Saltire Society’s event at the Glasgow Women’s Library.

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Review: Birds of Paradise 25th Anniversary Revue Rating 83%

Review: Birds of Paradise 25th Anniversary Revue

It was Halloween where most were out trick or treating, dressing up or if not, reminding us of their previous years costumes, but not us. We had a more wonderful occasion to be at instead, the 25th Anniversary celebration of Birds of Paradise theatre, the award winning company that created the acclaimed My Left Right Foot. A cabaret of acts including the marvellous Jess Thom (Touretteshero), Oasissay, Harry Josephine Giles, Laurence Clark and Toni Jerrett, there was much to remind the audience about why precisely a company like Birds of Paradise has lasted twenty-five years, and will hopefully last many more.

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Review: The Last Days of Mankind Rating 40%

Review: The Last Days of Mankind

As I take my seat at the Leith Theatre for The Last Days Of Mankind I notice the woman at the adjoining table has her phone out, texting. How disrespectful I think, this is an anti-war play. It was written a century ago! And today is Remembrance Sunday, the actual 100th Anniversary of the Armistice, for goodness sake! But I say nothing. I decide to take the high ground and concentrate extra hard on the work of art that is about to unfold. And there, in a nutshell, is the problem with this production.

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Isla Cowan: Imagining the world in twenty year’s time is an interesting project

To celebrate 20 years of The Lyceum Youth Theatre and Scotland’s Year of Young People, The Lyceum has commissioned five playwrights to pen short scripts that consider what life might be like for Scotland’s young people in 20 years time. One of the playwrights is Isla Cowan, who was a long-standing member of the Lyceum Youth Theatre.
Isla spoke with The Fountain about the project, her focus on climate change in the future with The View From Portobello and tips she would give to aspiring playwrights in the future.

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Review: It Is Easy To Be Dead Rating 100%

Review: It Is Easy To Be Dead

It Is Easy To Be Dead is a new work by Neil McPherson focusing on the life and death of Charles Hamilton Sorley, Scotland’s foremost poet of the First World War. Sorley was born in Aberdeen – making the location of its Scottish premiere fitting – and was educated in Cambridge, Oxford and Germany before war broke out in 1914. Having risen to the rank of captain in the Suffolk Regiment, he was killed in action in October 1915 aged just 20, and he has been described by Robert Graves as ‘one of the three poets of importance killed in the war’ alongside Wilfrid Owen and Isaac Rosenberg. His style has also been contrasted to that of the more patriotic Rupert Brooke, and the timing of the play’s run is appropriate given that this year marks the centenary of the war’s end.

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Review: STUFF Rating 84%

Review: STUFF

On a cold Wednesday evening it was pleasantly surprising to find MacArts in Galashiels nearly full for the touring production of STUFF by Sylvia Dow. The play began with two actors sitting opposite each other on a darkened stage with a stack of boxes at the back, the crash of thunder over the speakers, and what appeared to be an over acted rummaging amongst the boxes. It had a hint of the am-dram about it, but this was soon dispelled and is perhaps the only criticism of what was a quietly understated production in terms of both writing and set design; the apparent simplicity of each beguiling.

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Review: The 306 – Dusk Rating 60%

Review: The 306 – Dusk

The 306: Dusk is the final instalment of Oliver Emmanuel’s extraordinary 306 Trilogy: a thoughtful, compassionate and moving series of plays dealing with the ramifications of the First World War, exemplified by the 306 British soldiers executed for mutiny, cowardice or desertion by their own government. Unfortunately, this final chapter is the least successful of the three.

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Review: Macbeth Rating 45%

Review: Macbeth

Rufus Norris’ production of Macbeth gets off to a great start. The dark, grand scale set is suitably bleak and atmospheric. Three witches clamber to the top of poles almost the height of the proscenium arch. As they hang and slide with inhuman grace and their unnerving voices echo through the theatre, we begin to witness a high-brow production that’s well suited to a pre-halloween week run.

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