Traverse Theatre: Letter of Last Resort and Good With People are two excellent pieces from two of Scotland’s best contemporary voices, but what they have to do with one another is a moot point. Certainly the nuclear threat comes up in each and that may be that. My companion speculated that they were too short to stand alone – maybe.
Letter of last Resort exploits the Yes, Prime Minister format, but with a female PM. Dear John takes on a quite other and sinister opening to a letter. Philisophical musings raised issues of chilling importance, but rendered them laughable.
Good With People featured the impeccable Blythe Duff who is really an underused theatrical actor of extraordinary skill – more please. The script had moments of pathos, beauty and illumination, but was eventually unsatisfying. The effect of bullying on the relatives of the bullied could be explored to greater length. The creation of a bully could also have been probed more clinically and perhaps more sympathetically. Yet again, I wondered why there were so few characters. Has drama become only story-telling?
I came out feeling I had had a really good theatrical experience, but yearning for another show like Austentatious (I see the Scotsman have given it a well deserved **** – you read it here first, folks) where I could laugh in amusement – and relax. I’m sort of longing for entertainment at this stage in the Festival experience, rather than clever occasional, in-jokes.
By-the-way why have cast lists/programmes gone out of fashion?