? Whispers writes from a darkened room, with a warm damp towel on his head and his feet in a bucket of hot soothing water after the rigours of the festival, but has enough life left in him to lean toward his keyboard and type his regular missive to you, dear reader, with his one good hand. And what occurs to him is the power of good Scottish theatre has done itself this festival. The NTS has excelled itself with its two productions on what becomes a truly international stage in Edinburgh each August. Black Watchand Realism will provide benefits far beyond the NTS itself in heightening the profile of Scottish theatre, and one hopes that the whole community will benefit.
? Meanwhile, it was good to see the Traverse have such a strong festival. Recent years have seen the murmurings about the Traverse’s conservative programming, particularly of its own shows, begin to rise to an audible cry, and one hopes that their superb visiting season during the festival will turn down the volume of criticism for the sake of Scotland’s only purpose built New writing Theatre. Certainly, later on in the Autumn, an Arches - style season of smaller scale experimental theatre looks promising for the building, which Whispers wishes well, as ever.
? Meanwhile, over at the Tron, Whispers hears glad tidings on the grapevine from another building that has endured some tough times of late. Gregory Thompson, whose production of The Pull of Negative Gravity a couple of years back at the Fringe alerted many to a young talent on the up, has, Whispers hears, been appointed to the post of director at the Tron. With such productions as Molly Sweeneyand Romeo and Juliet behind him at the Citz in the last year, there’s no doubting Thompson’s ability. The challenge of running a building might present the young man with a mountain to climb much greater than that of an individual production, but Whispers wishes him, and the Tron well in this new departure.