Tag Archives: Traverse

“Horizontal Collaboration” by David Leddy

at the Traverse Theatre, Thursday 7th August 2014

Before I read Andrew Haydon’ review of Horizontal Collaboration, I had no idea it was based on a pre-existing narrative, let alone one with such a rich history of adaptation and appropriation. When watching David Leddy’s new play, I was entirely responding to this particular story as if it were the first time I’d ever heard it. Yes, I picked up the odd quote or intertextual reference, but this was a narrative which was falling on fresh ears (blame my cultural ignorance). I presume this is the case for lots of people in the audience, but I have no stats to verify that so it’s impossible to know. Either way, this is a poetic, sparse piece of writing which reaffirms Leddy’s ability to get inside our skulls and twist them about a bit. Continue reading “Horizontal Collaboration” by David Leddy

“Have I No Mouth?”

at the Traverse Theatre, Friday 9th August 2013

*Originally written for Culture Wars*

If I’m being perfectly honest, my heart sank during the first five minutes of Have I No Mouth. As soon as Feidlim Cannon mentions that his mother (Ann, who appears with him on stage) is interested in reiki healing and colour therapy and that the show would be about “healing”, the rational part of me began ringing its alarm bells, expecting a defence of alternative medicines. But the show does nothing of the sort. Instead, it offers an offbeat, deeply felt and theatrical look at the way in which we make ourselves better after traumatic events, considering how the theatre can help in this.

Feidlim lost his father Sean (and Ann her husband) in 2001, and his baby brother Sean about fifteen years earlier. Continue reading “Have I No Mouth?”

“Grounded” by George Brant

at the Traverse Theatre, Monday 6th August 2013

*Originally written for Culture Wars*

John Kerry recently pledged to put an early stop to drone strikes in Pakistan. The extent to which you believe this depends on your trust in politicians, but his statement certainly doesn’t mark an all-out end to drone warfare. According to the unnamed Pilot in Grounded, within five years their use will be widespread. And though its contemporary relevance is the reason for its immediate success, the play is also an extraordinarily human account of war and family which has an impact far beyond its resonance in 2013.

George Brant’s play takes the form of a monologue told by Pilot, whose story begins flying planes in live combat missions. Continue reading “Grounded” by George Brant

“The Events” by David Greig

at the Traverse Theatre, Sunday 4th August 2013

*Originally reviewed for A Younger Theatre*

Let’s get this straight: David Greig’s The Events is not ‘about’ the Norwegian massacre committed by Anders Breivik. It uses them as a source of inspiration and attempts to interrogate many of the questions surrounding it but never actively refers to its details, instead preferring to fictionalise an ‘event’ of its own so we may try to understand what happens to communities when these kind of atrocities occur. It’s a lyrical, knotty play which, through trying to comprehend, suggests that comprehension is impossible.

The director of the show, Ramin Gray, suggests in the programme note that “Every act of theatre revolves around a transaction between two communities: the performers onstage and the improvised community that constitute what we call an audience”. Continue reading “The Events” by David Greig

“Long Live the Little Knife” by David Leddy

at the Traverse Theatre, Sunday 4th August 2013

*Originally written for Culture Wars*

Even before Long Live the Little Knife begins we are lulled into its world of false realities, as we are handed a programme splattered in paint with a small “edition 20/200” printed at the bottom right. It looks and feels real, but just like the subject matter and form of the piece itself, there are more falsehoods at work than we’d like to believe.

David Leddy (who wrote and directed the piece) here explores the curious urge humans have to have a grasp on authentic objects Continue reading “Long Live the Little Knife” by David Leddy