The Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh buzzes during the Fringe with high expectation and this year, as so many years, it hasn’t disappointed. The quality of the drama on offer is second to none.
First up I saw GROUNDED by George Brant, directed by Christopher Hayden and performed with intense passion and conviction by Lucy Ellinson. What does getting pregnant do to the inflexible world vision of an elite Air Force Major? Does it introduce humanity? Does it vary inviolable self-belief? Does it chip away at only Americans are right? Can it drive you mad? Not actually a very attractive character the major nonetheless commands our sympathy and, ultimately, understanding.
I’M WITH THE BAND was a heady mix of music, poetry, hyped-up action and bad language to the point where you screen out the F and C words and piece the meaning together from what’s left. An extended metaphor about the possible break-up of the UK, it was entertaining and thought provoking.
CIARA by David Harrower was a one woman play for talented theatre performer, Blythe Duff. She handled the complex mix of related and interwoven stories with seasoned skill and understated comedic force that concealed and revealed tragic loss. Loss of a normal childhood, a brother, a father, virginity, trust, the prospect of a child and the Gallery that was the substitute child. Absorbing and in places overwhelming, Harrower’s words ask unanswerable questions about the forces that compose the Glasgow bad man and his woman. If you can’t see another play this year, see this one.