Stage Whispers - theatre news and views

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  • 27 November 2006

Stage Whispers

For those of you in despair at the lack of theatre other than pantos and Christmas shows at this time of the year, Whispers has glad tidings. If you look long and hard enough, you’ll find that other kinds of theatre are still out there, if largely buried under all the tinsel and frivolity.

Sharman Macdonald, whose The Girl with the Red Hair appeared at the Lyceum a couple of seasons back, is a writer with a distinctive voice, whose work is not as frequently seen in Scotland as it might be. Over at the Ramshorn in Glasgow, this situation is to be remedied with a production of her early play, When We Were Women, a piece set in wartime Scotland. In it a young woman falls in love with a naval Petty Officer and they marry. But the sailor is obsessed with another woman, and in fact already married, and this moves the action from love story to tragedy. Macdonald’s allusive semi mythic style treads a delicate balance between naturalism and some other richly poetic form, and often has a hypnotic quality, which one hopes we’ll see here. You can see the piece until Saturday the 2nd of December.

Meanwhile, at the Traverse, the end of the Cubed season, a tremendous piece of small scale theatrical dynamism Whispers hopes to see repeated, there are still more readings of new work, which might well be seen as full scale productions in the future, presented under the title Rehearsal Room 11 by the mighty Stellar Quines. Among them, expatriote Aussie writer Ariadne Cass’s The Girl Who Insisted she Wasn’t explores the unusual locale of the Fijian Isles, where a young girl reflects upon the native myths of her country while ethnic violence begins to break out around her. Vivian French’s Baby Baby has much to say on the subject of teenage pregnancy, while the third text, a collaborative piece titled Women on the Brink discusses the links between depression and creativity. These are all effectively works in progress, yet if the earlier efforts along these lines by Stellar Quines is anything to go by, they’ll be well worth the admission.

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