Gagarin Way on Leith Shore

February 12, 2013 | By More

Gregory Burke’s modern classic gets new outing.

Publicity image for Gagarin Way

Publicity image for Gagarin Way

By Thom Dibdin

Gagarin Way, Gregory Burke’s debut play, is to get a brief revival at the The Loft, above the Granary pub on the Shore this week.

Black Dingo productions in collaboration with A Company Called Andy  will be staging Burke’s vicious comedy about socialism and the emasculating effect of redundancy, from Wednesday to Friday.

It’s a mix which has just got more relevant in the years since it was first produced, as director David McFarlane told the Annals: “Gagarin Way to me was a rallying cry for the socialists of Scotland’s working class coming out of a long period of Conservative rule that did very little for the people of Scotland.”

The original Traverse production of 2001 brought Burke together with John Tiffany for the first time – they went on to create the NTS hit Black Watch. It is set in a Fife warehouse, where Gary and Eddie have kidnapped a management consultant, sent from head office to assess their firm’s viability. Tom, a naive security guard, gets caught up in stand-off.

It is fine, splenetic stuff, which asks hard questions of the supposed paternalistic notion of benign capitalism.

“Now, as we plunge into a triple dip recession under a Conservative government that has sold out the lower classes,” adds McFarlane, “Gagarin Way might now be more of a death rattle – but one that no less need to be heard.”

Mindless violence

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The cast is Brian Hill as Eddie, who is out to exercise his love of mindless violence, with Martin Restrick as Gary, who just wants answers, and Rob David as  young Tom. Derek Elsby plays Frank.

Black Dingo Productions is a not-for-profit organisation with “a DIY ethic, established to help the development of grassroots theatre in Edinburgh and to keep the city’s stages thriving year-round.” All profits from new professional theatre company A Company Called Andy go to the central fund for Black Dingo Productions’ work.

Included in the ticket price for Gagarin Way is the option to stay a little later and catch comedian Keara Murphy with an exclusive preview of her Mice and Men, ahead of her appearance at the Glasgow Comedy Festival.

According to Murphy’s publicity: “Whilst preparing her annual Burns Supper speech, a wee mousie popped its head out from under Keara’s couch to ask, politely, if he could share her rice. After a courteous conversation involving a hammer, Keara pondered the line in Robert Burns’, To A Mouse: “A daimen icker in a thrave’s a sma’ request”.

“Should Keara grant the mousie’s request or lay down fifty shades of warfarin for the wee blighter? If we continue to treat mice ‘humanely’ will they eventually take over the telly? – It’s already happened in Leith!

“And, what of men? Are they not just gigantic mice? After extensive on-the-job research, Keara thinks this may be so. Therefore, like Rabbie Burns before her, Keara muses the parallels between the species and laments.”

The companies join a vibrant fringe theatre scene on the Leith Shore area with Siege Perilous also producing work at Malmaison, where they will be staging Too Long the Heart by David Hutchison next week: 21-26 Feb.

Gagarin Way
The Loft at The Granary, The Shore, Leith
13,14,15 February 2013 7.45pm
£8 (£6)
Ages 15+
Tickets on the door in advance from: blackdingoproductions@gmail.com

ENDS

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