Wednesday, September 26, 2007

"Rupture" - September 2007

"Rupture" had caught Statler's eye during the Fringe, and as it was developed through the National Theatre of Scotland Workshop that had brought us the very good adaptation of "Venus As A Boy" it didn't take too much convincing for us to make the midweek trip through to to The Traverse in Edinburgh.

It was also of interest due to the involvement of a number of people we've seen in other things - we're considering doing a Scottish theatre equivalent of the Degrees of Kevin Bacon.

Davey Anderson (in collaberation with the company) has managed to pull together the interconnected lives of 6 people in a tightly written and directed show, and it's strength lies in its pacing. The characters are quickly drawn with minimal fuss, and the cutting between different scenes and the rearranging of the deceptively simple set to allow this verges on choreography.

Brian Ferguson gave a comedic tragic performance as the overly keen to be liked doorman security guard Stewart. There was a guilty pleasure in the chuckles in the audience as we laughed at, not with him, as he interacts with the others, and in particular with the entrepreneurial Polish immigrant Monika (Agnieszka Bresler) and desperate businessman Colin (Neil McKinven). There were good performances from all the cast with Gabriel Quigley as Colin's wife Tracy, Owen Whitelaw as her neddish younger brother Derek and Molly Innes as the just plain weird Caroline completing the strong ensemble.

We'd seen Agnieszka before as eponymous heroine of the Glasgow College of Nautical Studies performance of "Lysistrata", which was one of the shows we've enjoyed most this year. Another face from a student performance was Owen Whitelaw and it was good to see those we've seen appearing in shows with a wider audience.

This wasn't by any means an out and out comedy, the humour was just that found in everyday situations and was counterpointed by some deep, dark blackness. However it all gelled together well for me and I was desperately hoping for a happy-ish ending.

Traverse 1 is fast becoming one of my favourite places to watch theatre as the versatile performance space means you never know quite what to expect. What started off as a fairly straight forward set went through two main transitions, the first of which still makes my head hurt.

Photo by Eammon McGoldrick, used with permission.

2 Heckles

Statler said...

Although I really enjoyed "Rupture" I left a little disappointed as I didn't feel the show had managed to "shove a stick of dynamite under the audience" as Anderson had suggested in the pre-show publicity rounds. But maybe I'm just too hard to shock these days.

I enjoyed the cast performances and the script/direction had some impressive and memorable moments, but I'm just not sure that the whole was greater than the sum of the parts. In some ways it felt a little like a showcase for the talent rather than a show with a great deal to say for itself. And while Brian Ferguson clearly has a talent for comedy he often seemed to be channelling John Gordon Sinclair circa 1981.

Bluedog said...

I am afraid I was not convinced by Rupture. I liked the acting, and thought the set design and lighting in particular were outstanding.

However, for me, the material simply did not quite hang together in the way it might have done, and in the end I was unsure just what to take away from this.

And also, I have found that New Writing tends to work best when it is directed by someone other than the writer. It needs the discipline of another person to focus the performance.