Tron Stripped: Bliss + Mud
Just a year into his tenure as artistic director, Andy Arnold is already transforming the Tron into one of Scotland’s most innovative producing theatres. His latest outing, Tron Stripped, offers up a double bill of North American plays: Bliss, by Quebeçois writer Olivier Choiniere (translated into English by Caryl Churchill), and Mud, by Cuban-American playwright Maria Irene Fornes. While there are stark stylistic differences between the two, Arnold believes the two plays complement each other ideally.
‘Bliss is almost a fantasy piece about fame and the absolute obsession people have with celebrities,’ he says. ‘It becomes quite a grotesque, nightmarish piece but it’s very funny and fast-moving. Mud, on the other hand, is rooted in white trash America, in a room in the middle of nowhere, and becomes almost like a Greek tragedy.’
According to Arnold, Tron Stripped is part of a company-wide ethos to produce original content that is ‘stripped back’ – Bliss and Mud both use the same cast – and it could become a yearly fixture. Despite his own admission that this is credit-crunch-style theatre, Arnold describes the double bill as ‘the most off-the-wall piece we’ve done yet’. And it seems his ability to take such risks is in no small part due to his audience.
‘The Tron has a great audience base,’ he says, ‘and I think they’re willing to try new things – they’ve given me the confidence to push the envelope a bit more.’
Tron Theatre, Glasgow, Wed 29 Apr–Sat 9 May