The Red Chair is a feast of storytelling
- Lorna Irvine
- 7 March 2017
Sarah Cameron is a mesmerising performer in Clod Ensemble's masterful folk tale, told in Auld Scots
A glorious gutful of grotesques is served up for macabre delectation in Sarah Cameron's masterful folk tale, told in Auld Scots with a petite soupcon of French.
Cameron is a truly mesmerising performer, standing seemingly in a circle of Hell, wild eyes flashing as she spits out rapid fire lyrics limericks and tongue twisting prose like pips. The language is onomatopoeic, almost tactile at times, and as bawdy as it's chilling.
Focusing on a patriarchal gourmand who is literally swallowed by his plush scarlet chair, this neglectful beast is an ogre whose dangerous charisma is all too believable, first gorging, then choking on, masculine privilege. His retribution is starter, main course and vomit-inducing dessert when long suffering wife Andrula has her knives and wits sharpened.
There is more than a doff of the cap to Beckett in Hansjorg Schmidt's eerie lighting as Cameron depicts the bully's wayward daughter Queenie, tiring of neglectful parents. She is wonderfully rendered, almost an Angela Carter heroine struggling with self-harm and the trials of adolescent female fury, culminating in a plot twist that is a satisfying yet grisly counterpoint to her mother and father's battles.
Vengeance is best served with a wee dram. This is a tale to both warm the cockles and stir the soul – all easy to digest, but with a real after-kick.
Seen at Tron Theatre, Glasgow. Touring Scotland until Fri 31 Mar