Beats (4 stars)

This article is from 2012


Tremendous recreation of rave culture

In 1994 the UK Criminal Justice and Public Order Act outlawed gatherings of more than 100 people with a soundtrack of ‘amplified music characterised by the emission of a succession of repetitive beats’. In the following years opposition to this most Orwellian of government interventions has found expression in books by the likes of Jon Savage, music by the Prodigy and Orbital, and now forms the basis of Kieran Hurley’s CATS award-winning play.

Hurley may be too young to have experienced the dance music explosion of the late 80s/early 90s but he does a tremendous job of recreating an authentic club atmosphere, enhanced by a thrilling live soundtrack from DJ Johnny Whoop and complementary visuals by Jamie Wardrop. His play is ostensibly a coming-of-age tale but Hurley uses his cast of characters to explore the wider political context, in particular the effects of Tory policies on central belt Scotland. This rich piece of writing is brought to life by Hurley in a hugely impressive performance, remaining seated throughout yet shape shifting effortlessly to create an array of fully fleshed, believable people.

Traverse Theatre, 228 1404, until 26 Aug, 11pm, £17–£19 (£12–£14).


  • 4 stars

In 1994 the Criminal Justice Act effectively outlawed raves – banning public gatherings around amplified music characterised by ‘the emission of a succession of repetitive beats.’ Beats is a new monologue piece written and performed by Kieran Hurley with Arches resident DJ Johnny Whoop, which garnered rave reviews at the…