Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014: three Scottish theatre productions
- Lorna Irvine
- 28 July 2014
This article is from 2014.
Homegrown Fringe theatre highlights include MacBheatha and referendum satire Spoiling
Befitting a nation deciding its future shape, Scottish theatre is thriving, as evinced by the diversity on offer at this year's Edinburgh Festivals. Whether provocative, crowd-pleasing or challenging, there are grand, universal themes being grappled with – of friendship and identity, power and politics.
John McCann's Spoiling is a wry satire: Scotland's outspoken Foreign Minister deviates from the script, and hilarity ensues. Featuring a strong central performance by Traverse favourite Gabriel Quigley, it's sure to provoke audiences, whichever side of the referendum debate their allegiances lie. 'John McCann's writing has a real electrical charge and his timing subject-wise proved irresistible in terms of our Festival programming,' says the Traverse's artistic director Orla O'Loughlin. 'I'm proud that this provocative, heartfelt, funny play from one of last year's Traverse Fifty writers is part of the Made In Scotland showcase.'
Director Sam Kane has two of Scotland's best-loved comedy actors in Andy Gray and Grant Stott, playing Graham and Ross two middle-aged men who form a friendship through a somewhat incongruous shared love of Shirley Bassey in Kiss Me Honey, Honey!. For Kane, there’s grit amidst the glamour too: 'My take on the success of the piece is the absolute realness, no frills. Andy and Grant play their respective roles so brilliantly it’s impossible not to get whipped up in the comedy as well as the misery too. Last year I found myself laughing like a drain and sobbing like a baby.'
Another Made In Scotland presentation, White Stag Theatre Company's critically acclaimed MacBheatha re-imagines the breakdown of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth's relationship. Translated into Gaelic, it is suitable for English speakers, White Stag producer Paul Coulter explains: 'The translation by Ian MacDonald, adapted by Uist actor David Walker is true to the original script and the language brings warmth and truthfulness to the characters, whilst building the tension for anyone who may know the script but not necessarily understand each word.'
Spoiling, Traverse Theatre , 228 1404, until 24 Aug (not 4,11,18), £13–£18 (£8).
Kiss Me Honey, Honey!, Gilded Balloon, 622 6552, until 24 Aug (not 21, 22) £12.50 (£11.50).
MacBheatha, Summerhall, 0845 874 3001, until 24 Aug (not 18), £12.50 (£9).