Archive for March 7th, 2007

The Unconquered

A new play by Torben Betts performed by Stellar Quines.

I liked the last Torben Betts play, A Listening Heaven,  I saw at the Lyceum in Edinburgh which won Best New Play at the TMA awards, but I really struggled to get to grips with this play, seen at The Byre before going on a national tour.

There seems to be a permanant military coup going on.   There is a couple in a house with a rebellious daughter who rants on about everything very loudly.    A soldier bursts in, rapes the daughter.    Forward to pregnant daughter and soldier now a capitalist businessman who now wants to marry daughter, to father’s delight.    It does not have a happy ending.

Black and white cardboard set, black and white cardboard props (including cardboard guns), black and white costumes, black and white make-up and wild dragged-through-a-hedge-backwards haircuts.     It was a caricature.        

The Unconquered was flagged up in the press as a challenge, and I tried really hard with this.    But I am afraid it was a deeply tedious evening in the theatre.    The worst for a while.   

Why is it that the weakest Scottish Theatre gets to tour, and the best enjoys limited runs?    

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Superb concert in Perth by the Scottish Ensemble.    They are truly a world class outfit.

Favourite of the night was Elgar – Serenade played stunningly well.   And Introduction and Allegro tackled head on.    Just when you thought that you knew a piece inside out, this group come along and add completely fresh ideas.   Normally played by an entire string orchestra, here only 17 players brought an entirely new energetic and light approach.

 I was not sure about the Takemitsu pieces – he is a film composer, so perhaps it would have been better with some images to look at!    They were very well played, but never really went anywhere.

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