Midsummer (3 stars)

This article is from 2018


David Greig revival is all a bit much

Written by David Greig as a kind of antidote to his previous weighty and politically-minded shows, and first released in 2008, this new revival, relentlessly directed by Kate Hewitt, is essentially a deconstruction of romantic comedies with Edinburgh as the location.

Cynical Helena (Sarah Higgins) and insecure, small-time criminal Bob (Henry Pettigrew) find themselves strangely drawn to each other at a wedding, yet despite the odds (sexual insecurity, too much navel- gazing, feckless decisions) their relationship endures.

The elegant duo Eileen Nicholas and Benny Young play older versions of the couple, and bring real poignancy and spirit, with the stamina of actors half their age. They run around trashing the place, weave through the audience and climb up and down ladders with ease: it's absolutely astonishing to witness.

Yet, for all of the energy, terrific writing and gorgeous lighting by Tim Mascall, there is a sense of suffocating tweeness. Gordon McIntyre's whimsical songs, although beautifully played by Clarissa Cheong and Reuben Joseph, don't feel equal to the would-be anarchic scenes of fetish clubs, drinking and wild sexual abandonment.

It's not without its charm thanks to the superb cast, and moments like a Greek chorus of 'Bobs' in Bob masks; sex as a sports event, and Nicholas doubling up as a dodgy gangster have an inventive mischievousness, but Whatever Gets You Through The Night did it all far better, and with greater truth and integrity.

The Hub, until 26 Aug (not 21) 8pm, £32 (concessions vary).


  • 3 stars

It’s midsummer weekend in Edinburgh. It’s raining. Two thirtysomethings are sitting in a New Town bar waiting for something to turn up. David Greig and Gordon McIntyre’s exquisite miniature Midsummer is expanded and enlarged with a live band bringing to life its heart warming songs and irresistible humour, in residence at…