Of Whales, Goats and other Literary Officers…

Feb 11 2010 | By More

By Thom Dibdin

At the Traverse on Wednesday night, to see the very wonderful Spymonkey’s Moby Dick for a review in Friday’s Evening News, and it seemed that the place had been flash mobbed. Not only was the performance sold out but they were turning people away.

The full house certainly enjoyed themselves, with the laughter levels rising so high at the zany, physical comedy that the actors were in danger of losing control of their audience. They are probably used to it, however, and the balance did not tip so far over that the flow of what they were trying to achieve was halted.

Fear not, if you were planning on seeing the show. There are still seats left every night up until the show finishes on Saturday.

Very pleased to be seated next to Jennifer Williams, the American-born poet who was one half of the rather wonderful SiLENCiO cabaret outfit that operated in Edinburgh for several years. She has just taken up the post of Literary Officer at the Traverse, which means that she gets to read lots and lots of scripts – and liaise with commissioned writers. Look out for more poetry events in the Traverse bar, at least once they have taken down the maze of fencing in Cambridge Street.

The talk at the Traverse is of goats. One is needed, it would seem, to appear in Edward Albee’s The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?, which Dominic Hill is directing in April. A general request put out to the collective Scottish Theatre community on Wednesday resulted in the offer of a choice from 16 live beasts. At least they were the right kind of animal if not, being alive, exactly suitable. Reeling and Writhing offered use of their stuffed, or otherwise replica, sheep, but were firmly turned down. The Traverse audience surely knows its sheep from its goats.

The designer could always go with the surreal look and nip down to the Playhouse and pick up one of the singing goats on sale in the foyer of the Sound of Music. A snip at £15, not only do you get Connie Fisher singing on about being high on a hill with a lonely goat-herd, but the thing nods its head and mouths the words in time, too. What’s not to love in a goat which does all that.


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