Tag Archives: Easterhouse

REVIEW: EASTERN PROMISE FESTIVAL – Pauline and the Matches

If gold medals were awarded for sheer eccentricity then the collective behind Pauline and the Matches would be world-beaters.

A group of multi-media performance and sound artists create a performance and installation based on Heinrich Hoffman’s cautionary tales, Hoffman best known for his work Der Struwwelpeter (Shockheaded Peter) demonstrating the disastrous consequences of children’s misbehaviour. This work appears to be based on Die gar traurige Geschichte mit dem Feuerzeug (The Dreadful Story of the Matches), a little girl plays with matches and burns to death.

Giant matches, drawing lots to squash tiny straw doll Pauline’s, walking spotlights, cigarette smoking legs, tinfoil blanketed screaming and drumming women, a bicycle-driven panoply of instruments and a man with a shed-load of cassette tapes, are only a small sampling of what’s on offer.

Chaos abounds and the main presenter of the work (who looks as if she’d rather be anywhere else than here) appears not to have a full grasp of what she’s meant to be doing.

Amusing for all the wrong reasons.

 

 

REVIEW: EASTERN PROMISE FESTIVAL – Sita Pieraccini presents Make a HOO

Sita Pieraccini’s work Make a HOO is billed as: “a play set in the tropical hills and the Sri Lankan plains which witness a young woman’s journey as she strives to reconnect with her identity and the world she lives in”; save for some pre-recorded sounds from the Sri Lankan forest, this rambling mish-mash does nothing to either evoke a sense of place or stimulate discussion or the emotions.

Several years ago, I saw a production about the ancient myth of the Phoenician princess Europa, a show  I thought was the worst thing I have had the misfortune to endure, however, Make A HOO surpasses even that in awfulness. It is one of those works that makes you question the very reason for its existence, other than the self-indulgence of the creator.

Comprising something akin to visual and aural torture, there is no dialogue, Pieraccini performs to a pre-recorded soundtrack of natural and industrial noise, and her movement skills are not particularly well developed. There is little artistry or originality to the choreography. It captivates neither the eyes nor ears.

The themes this professes to address: “connectedness/disconnected-ness with nature”, need to be explored and discussed, however this laboured and poorly executed work does nothing to further the conversation. At one point there are the sounds of wild forest animals, one can’t help wish that the creatures of the night would eat her up and be done with it.

The kind of show that makes you lose all faith in the visual arts.

REVIEW: Damned Rebel Bitches – Platform, Easterhouse

From the Clydebank Blitz in WW2, where Ella and her older sister Irene are orphaned, through emigration to New York in the 50s, a return to Scotland after widow-hood, to the streets of New York in 2012, Sandy Thomson’s Damned Rebel Bitches, part of Luminate the creative ageing Festival, is a joyous celebration of the women of the war years and an inspiring rallying call that life can be lived to the full, no matter what your age.

It’s 2012, and Ella’s grandson Cameron has disappeared in New York, with Hurricane Sandy looming, 80-year-old Ella packs her backpack and her walking poles and heads to the Big Apple with her 86-year-old sister, to sort it out.

Using age-blind casting and with the eras intertwining using flashback/forward, this is a vastly ambitious work, full of big ideas, and all the more compelling for that. This truly is a rollicking tale that flies by in the blink of an eye, belying its two and a half hour running time.

Ella is a survivor, a risk-taker, there’s a spark that is present throughout her life, and a never diminishing fire inside, and veteran actress Tina Gray shines as this feisty and fabulous woman. This ain’t no ‘nice old lady’, this is a woman you know would have your back in the toughest of times. This is an 80 year-old who is Tinder, Facebook and life-savvy, who can hot-wire a car and wield a gun if need be. Gray is more than ably supported by her fellow (younger and multi-national) cast mates Eilidh McCormick as older sister Irene, Geoffrey Pounsett as Canadian husband Pete and Jeremiah Reynolds as American grandson Cameron. Each turns in a perfectly judged and utterly compelling performance.

As Bette Davis said, and as quoted in the play: “old age ain’t no place for sissies”, but what an adventure it can be. This is stand-out storytelling: life affirming and above all hugely entertaining.

Reviewed at Platform, Easterhouse, Glasgow.

You can still catch it at:

Irvine Harbour Arts on Fri 6 October 2017

Paisley Arts Centre on Sat 7 October 2017

WHAT’S ON MAY: Children’s Show Night Light at Platform

As the black bird sings everyone gets ready for bed. Mister Night starts his rounds watching over everyone. All are quiet, except for one little girl. With help from a little moon dust, she joins Mister Night to explore the dark and beautiful light that emerges…until the blackbird sings again to start a new day.

Teater Refleksion and Andy Manley (creator of White) are internationally regarded for their poignant and poetic shows for the very young. Cozy-up in our beautifully designed tent and come on a journey to a magical universe.

Night Light is commissioned by Imaginate, co-produced with Red Bridge Arts and supported through the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund, as well as The Danish Arts Foundation and the Municipality of Aarhus.

Night Light (10.30am + 1pm)

26 May 2017

3-6 yrs
£8.50 / £5 / £4

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