FACE FOR THE FUTURE
He’s not exactly a new face: He’s kicked around the Scottish theatre for three or four years in this reviewer’s recollection, and probably longer, but Brian Ferguson’s 2006 has launched him as a substantial actor on the Scottish scene. A growing reputation was established in his work with Poorboy, the splendid Scottish site specific company, particularly in Bridgebuilders, the tale of seafaring pioneers in Dundee. Early this year he could be seen in the same company’s Falling, where he played a kind of Mephistopheles of the underground urban spaces of Glasgow. This showcased Ferguson’s gifts as a close up actor, as, in such tiny spaces as the lost property office of Queen Street Station he created a tremendous presence to be close to.
He has also shown a capacity for 'bigger' acting in proscenium arch theatre with his work in the January 2006 revival of Trainspotting. But perhaps the performance for which most audiences will remember him is Black Watch, the NTS Festival hit, in which his disillusioned soldier was a commanding presence. Ferguson shows the capacity for a natural and easy presence with an audience, which though it might sound simple, is one of the most difficult of theatre skills. A big future in larger scale and bigger budget projects beckons to Ferguson, though he’s indicated here and there that his natural home is in the small spaces created by such companies as Poorboy. Which way will he go? Whichever he chooses, one senses success ahead.