Travels with my Aunt features fantastic central performances
- Lorna Irvine
- 9 May 2017
Giles Havergal's romp through the sixties underbelly remains a potent satire
This revival of erstwhile Citizens Artistic Director Giles Havergal's adaptation of Graham Greene's classic, directed by Phillip Breen, should feel like it's preserved in aspic, with little left to say. The eerie design by Mark Bailey suggests as much, with bowler hatted statues of crusty old English stereotypes to the side of the stage.
Yet, Travels with my Aunt brims with energy, with fantastic central performances by Tony Cownie and Ian Redford. Cownie's meek, uptight Henry is countered by a plethora of eccentrics and criminals, as the sixties kicks down the old establishment.
Some racially dubious accents notwithstanding (Joshua Richards' drug-dealing Wordsworth feels an ill fit in such a timeless production), the globetrotting encounters with wide-eyed hippy naifs and the titular Augusta, a woman who didn't so much embrace life as molest it, are as poignant as they are hilarious, with some visually inventive segments and Latin hip-swinging choreography by Kally Lloyd-Jones. It's far away from the tourist trail, into an uncertain, dangerous terrain, and all the richer for it.
Citizens Theatre, Glasgow, until Sat 20 May.