Suburban angst returns
This article is from 2007.
Alan Bennett’s monologues, legendary for their television appearances in the 80s, also make for compelling viewing as theatre. Presented by Glasgay! and the Tron, there are five monologues in this series, which rotates as a double bill throughout the Fringe.
This reviewer caught the second half of one of these, which featured Ross Stenhouse in a finely measured performance originally acted in the television series by Bennett himself. A Chip in the Sugar tells the story, here relocated from the English provinces to those of Scotland, of a quiet living, repressed gay man, who has plainly cared for his widowed mother into his middle ages.
Their tranquillity is ruptured when she meets an old flame and geriatric romance begins to bloom. Bennett’s capacity to exact both comedy and pain from the details of quotidian lower middle class life, with its modest pretensions to the genteel, is of course legendary, and in Grant Smeaton’s production the text is exploited with subtlety and perspicacity. (Steve Cramer)
Assembly Universal Arts, 623 3030, until 27 Aug, 4.30pm, £12–£14 (£10–£12).