Ben Harrison

14 articles

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The Typist tells an emotive tale with flamenco and theatre

10 Feb 2015

The personal and political come together in this story about one of Spain's child refugees

New company Kam-Ri's flamenco production, The Typist, is a powerful testament to the human spirit. Focusing on Esperanza, one of Spain's child refugees Los Ninos de la Guerra of the Civil War, it reveals the scars she bears as an adult 20 years later.

Letters Home

27 Aug 20143 stars

Four snapshot stories of exile at 2014 Edinburgh International Book Festival

Consisting of four short scenes and an unnecessary epilogue set 'backstage' where the actors turn back into civilians, Letters Home is surprisingly slight for a two hour flagship production at the Book Festival. Only Grid Iron's own Ben Harrison deals…

Factor 9

5 Aug 20144 stars

A shocking true story about contaminated NHS blood, performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Prepare to be physically shaken by Factor 9. The show from Inverness' Dogstar Theatre – which has already toured to rave reviews – alternately elicits tears, nausea and trembling rage that this true story could ever have been allowed to happen. It tells…

Edinburgh International Book Festival 2014 interview: Shaun Usher, Simon Garfield and Ben Harrison

31 Jul 2014

The blogger, the author and the theatre director discuss the value of letter-writing

Roald Dahl was once sent a dream in a bottle by a young reader named Amy. Kurt Vonnegut spent Christmas in 1944 locked in a tiny box car en route to a Dresden work camp. Anaïs Nin believed sex doesn’t thrive on monotony. Katharine Hepburn had…

The Authorised Kate Bane

23 Oct 20123 stars

Comic exploration of family life by acclaimed playwright Ella Hickson

'Write what you know' is the standard advice given to aspiring dramatists. But how do you edit your own life to make it fit for dramatic purpose? Up-and-coming playwright Ella Hickson's new piece for Grid Iron tackles this dilemma head-on, focusing on…

Grid Iron's Ben Harrison talks Ella Hickson and The Authorised Kate Bane

7 Sep 2012

The promising young dramatist is bound for great things

Ella Hickson. If you don’t know her name already, you’re sure to soon. Author of the award-winning drama Eight – in which eight very distinct characters are explored in monologue – the young dramatist is currently under commission to the Royal…

Hadda and Hassan Lekliches!

7 Jun 20124 stars

One Day in Spring goes out on a high with a rich trip through Morocco's troubled recent history

The National Theatre of Scotland and Oran Mor’s One Day in Spring season goes out on a high at the Traverse this week, with a second outing for Jaouad Essounani's energetic two-hander, which takes a trip through Morocco’s troubled recent history with a…

The Tree of Knowledge

12 Dec 20113 stars

David Hume and Adam Smith point out obvious pitfalls of 21st century life

The central conceit of Jo Clifford’s new play is an interesting one. Two influential figures from 18th century Scotland find themselves in early 21st century Edinburgh, surveying the world they helped create. The witty lines flow thick and fast, as…

What Remains

8 Aug 20113 stars

Plenty of creep, not enough deep

There is something in all of us that relishes a scary story, and Ben Harrison’s production for Grid Iron certainly doesn’t stint in this regard. Set at the medical school of Edinburgh University, this piece alludes ceaselessly through music and visuals…

Why Frank Wedekind's seminal play Spring Awakening still resonates

27 Oct 2010

Grid Iron unleash new production at Traverse, Edinburgh

Frank Wedekind’s seminal drama Spring Awakening has experienced a renaissance in recent years. The often banned 1891 play, which portrays 14-year-olds grappling with ideas of sexuality, death and religion in the prohibitive climate of late 19th century…

Huxley’s Lab brings together Grid Iron and Lung Ha’s theatre companies

31 Mar 2010

Designer babies, excessive recreational drug use and rampant promiscuity may seem like very modern concerns, but in 1932 Aldous Huxley had them all covered. His chilling science fiction novel, Brave New World depicted a time when all humans are made to…

Barflies

13 Aug 20094 stars

Smart, accomplished tale of schism’n’booze

Ben Harrison’s production, adapted from a series of Charles Bukowski short stories, is very much what you might expect in terms of subject matter, but its treatment at the hands of Grid Iron, brings a certain whimsical élan to the squalor. That the…

In vino veritas: Grid Iron's Barflies

24 Jul 2009

Steve Cramer meets the team behind Barflies, Grid Iron’s new piece about drinking and creativity

‘An alcoholic is someone you don’t like who drinks as much as you.’ Dylan Thomas’s observation about alcohol abuse and the selective moralism that goes with it, seems an apt way in to the new show from Grid Iron in which the work of another tippler…

Dressed to thrill

10 Apr 2008

‘Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.’ Mark Twain’s wit might make a mockery of a favourite truism, but there’s much to be gleaned from the sentiment he satirises. From Macbeth’s alarmed cry to the witches, ‘Why do…