Corona Classic Cuts
Oran Mor, Glasgow, until Sat 29 Jun
King Lear in 50 minutes looks a pretty tall order, but it’s just one of four canonical classics reduced to lunchtime length in this new season from Oran Mor’s A Play, a Pie and a Pint. Producer David MacLennan has extended the usual run at Oran Mor into Scotland’s summer season with a view to extending its repertory into old favourites.
The season incorporates Tam Dean Burn’s version of Congreve’s The Way of the World and Lorca’s The Shoemaker’s Wonderful Wife as adapted by Paines Plough’s Roxana Silbert and directed by Rosie Kellagher, along with a a second Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra directed by Kenny Miller. But how will they cut them down? ‘Ah, that’s the challenge,’ says MacLennan. ‘What to leave out? That’s what I call the tricky thing. I’m glad I’m not directing any of them, I think I’d be too indecisive. There’ll need to be some difficult decisions, and there’ll no doubt be some members of the audience waiting for particular bits that they won’t get – I guess it’s one of those situations where you keep in the big soliloquy if it’s central to telling the story, or it’s a particularly important aspect of it. Even then there might be too much – they might have to shorten them.’
For all his obvious excitement at this new pared down approach to big, scary texts, MacLennan stresses that the primary aim of his theatre hasn’t changed. ‘It’s an experiment, but I have no intention of diminishing the new work we do – we’re running this when the theatre is normally dark, so this is a quick and easily digestible bite of the classics, which we’ll repeat if people come to it.’