We Are Spartaki

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We Are Spartaki

A play for 55p? You’d need to go a long way, arguably beyond this continent, to see that kind of value every day. Now admittedly, you have to pay a fiver (if you haven’t a concession) to see nine, and all are performed in 55 minutes, but still, that’s value for money. The folks behind the bargain are Spartaki, who you might remember for A Letter from Death Row – The Kenny Richey Story at the Scottish Parliament, and as you might guess from the title and company name, they’re committed to exploring equality and democracy.

But don’t let that deceive you, this night’s entertainment, performed aboard a docked ship in Leith, promises a good deal of humour. According to Karen Douglas, Spartaki’s artistic director, and a performer in this show, Celia Grainger’s short scripts contain a good deal of humour. ‘The ones we’re doing are a mixture of nine pieces, two are quite serious and the rest are comedy. Celia deals with a lot of serious issues like drug abuse, domestic violence and alcoholism, but she does it very cleverly, a lot of the time through comedy,’ Douglas explains. ‘It’s very punchy, quick set and costume changes, it’s a bit like Whose Line is it Anyway?, but theatre. To give you a sense of the tone, there’s one piece with me dressed as a nun in red leopardskin marigolds, torturing another actor dressed as a garden gnome.’ So, surreal humour, thoughtful content, clerical garments and gnomes, all for 55p – what more could you want?

Cruz, The Boat on the Shore, Edinburgh, until Sat 19 Jun

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