Adam Smith, Le Grand Tour
A multi-media production on the life of the famed theorist
This article is from 2013.
Calling Adam Smith a production is doing it a bit of a kindness. It instead comes across like a slapdash presentation inspired by Smith’s legacy put together by students who had a month to prepare but decided to throw luck to the wind the night before.
That isn’t to say that it’s all bad. It is performed with finesse and has two very spirited performances. But what the production is trying to accomplish is mysterious: it’s too serious to be a work of comedic absurdity and too disjointed to be a history lesson. It’s also too smart and has too many good ideas to be considered a flop.
Even more frustrating is the programme, which is filled with passionate writing and interesting insight into the rehearsal process. If only a fraction of that creativity and coherence found its way into the final work, the company would have a hit on their hands. Instead, the production might make for a slight pass from a sympathetic university lecturer, but as a theatrical work it is a noble fail.
Institut francais d’Escosse, 225 5366, until Aug 26 (not 12, 19), 3pm, £10 (£8)