Earfull

Tron Theatre, Glasgow, Fri 23-Sat 24 Feb

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NEW WORK

If you like your theatre fringey, there are few greater assurances of quality than seeing the acronym BAC on the flyer. The Battersea Arts Centre might be in London, but the benefits of this creative hive of the arts have been plain to see in Scotland for years. Aside from its touring work and co-productions with venues like the Tron, the BAC’s contribution to our own theatre culture has been seen in many a strong Edinburgh Fringe show over the years. It’s also a haven for young Scottish artists in the south, fostering development we all benefit from. This is perhaps what is so shocking about the threat of closure that hangs over the venue, after the withdrawal of funding from Wandsworth Borough Council.

One only hopes that this latest contribution to the fringe arts scene will not be the last from this splendid organisation - but savour it, just in case. Actor Tim Barlow’s autobiographical piece (with verbatim speech to text support for the deaf) tells the story of his development of a disability as a young man in the army, after using new rifles that fired so loudly that they rendered him deaf. It was then a brave decision to train as an actor in his 30s, particularly given that by this time he had a family to support. By all accounts this is a warm and moving story of courage and enterprise in the face of disability. One hopes the BAC story will also finish up with warmth and happiness.

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