The Breathing House - respectability and desire clash in a gothic atmosphere
Acclaimed production of Peter Arnott’s Edinburgh-set play gets Tron run
Scott Cadenhead is reluctant to call himself the ‘artistic director’ of Rekindle Theatre, a new Glasgow-based theatre company, opting instead for ‘driving force’. The group will perform what will be only its second production at the Tron in January, a revival of Peter Arnott’s Edinburgh-set play The Breathing House, which won awards and critical acclaim following its world premiere at the Lyceum in 2003.
Formed on the back of Cadenhead’s Masters at RSAMD, the aim of the company is to ‘rekindle’ under-performed classics. He says: ‘Quite often in theatre, it’s only the greatest hits that are revived. I’ll always go and see those plays but I thought it would be interesting to have a company that looked for those smaller gems that don’t get the chance to be performed again.’ For Cadenhead, Arnott’s play distinctly falls into this category and the experience of seeing its original Edinburgh run has stayed with him. Set in the 1860s, The Breathing House is shrouded in a gothic atmosphere that pits public respectability against dark private desires. But despite its definitive Edinburgh setting, Cadenhead is sure that the play will also appeal to audiences in the capital’s main cultural rival.
‘It is very Edinburgh specific,’ he admits, ‘and I think the humour of how the characters speak about Edinburgh will play differently in Glasgow. But while Edinburgh is certainly a character in the play, its core is definitely the relationships between the characters. It’s a universal story that I’m sure will be welcomed in Glasgow as well.’
Tron Theatre, Glasgow, Wed 26–Sat 29 Jan