How lost can you feel in the countryside? According to Simon Longman’s new play, Gundog, a good deal. Longman’s rural family of shepherds are a sad lot. There’s Becky – school drop-out, couldn’t see the point of learning anything, `they don’t do lessons in shepherding’ – Anna, her older sister, quiet, monosyllabic, dependable. And Ben, their angry, troubled brother, who turns up from time to time having been away but forced to return. He has no skills, other than being on the land. Continue reading →
Last year, I wrote: `Recalling the year past …I’m struck again by the richness and talent of so many shows I’ve seen, particularly in the smaller and off-West End and Fringe venues.
With the demise of the repertory system, it is the fringe and alternative theatre that has stealthily and often in unrecognised ways provided the apprenticeship and forcing house in recent years for all that is best in our theatrical, cinematic and televisual life.
We take it so for granted, the unstinting hours, the passion, the labours of love, for little remunerative reward, that forms our cultural backbone. ‘ Continue reading →
Seiriol Davies’s How to Win Against History is not quite like anything I’ve ever seen before. But then again, it is. A pastiche, a satire, a brilliant piece of aesthetic camperie on a par with some of the best, wackiest shows of the alternative, gay scene of the late 1980s and ‘90s by such as Bloolips with the inimical Bette Bourne, Davies is absolutely in the tradition of Lindsay Kemp and probably Oscar Wilde – had Oscar performed as much as written. Continue reading →