The Pitiless Storm (4 stars)

This article is from 2014

The Pitiless Storm

David Hayman on blistering form in in Chris Dolan's political play, staged at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Anyone who’s watched David Hayman perform will know his skill for mastering the characters he plays. And he doesn’t disappoint here. Hayman is on blistering form in this one-man show that, while making clear its political intent, is ultimately a cracking piece of theatre.

Left-wing trade unionist Bob Cunningham (Hayman) is preparing for a meeting; tomorrow he’ll accept an OBE. We find him practising his speech, but things slowly unravel as he starts to question the party line he’s towed, his ‘strength in numbers’ mentality and Scotland’s place in the future.

Chris Dolan’s script is astutely measured, and Hayman carefully captures the heart of an honourable man as conflicted by his past decisions, as he is by his part in what’s to come. He reminisces about ex-wife Ethel, his dad, his son, and bickers with his younger self, as he tries to reconcile his old ideas with the cold realities of New Labour. Dolan ensures there’s enough laughs to balance the weightier moments, and Hayman is utterly believable as a man on the crest of a new wave.

Assembly Rooms, 0844 693 3008, until 24 Aug (not 11), 12.30pm, £15 (£13).

The Pitiless Storm

  • 4 stars

On the eve of the Scottish referendum, on the most important night of his life, a left wing trade unionist goes through a crisis of conscience as he is forced to question his political and moral beliefs in the face of a sea-change in his country’s political life. Starring David Hayman and presented by Fair Pley.