Preview for the week: 18 – 24 January, 2010

Jan 18 2010 | By More

It’s a quiet week on Edinburgh’s stages, at least in term of the number of shows. But just feel that depth as John Dove’s excellent new production of The Price gets into full gear at the Lyceum and a certain Connie Fisher turns up at the Playhouse. There’s more singing at the Festival theatre – from that famous Scottish Kettle – and the Brunton starts out its own busy Spring season.

At the Royal Lyceum, Arthur Miller’s big hit The Price (to Saturday 13 February) provides a satisfying start to the year. It’s a piece which, in the right hands, has comedy and depth, as estranged brothers Victor and Walter pick over their dead father’s belongings with furniture dealer Solomon.

The Price: Sally Edwards (Esther) and Greg Powrie (Vincent) are dwarfed by Michael Taylor’s mountainous set. Photo by Tim Morozzo

It must be said that director John Dove’s hands are the right ones. His previous form with Miller at the Lyceum is strong and this continues the trend. Those who have seen previous productions of the play in Edinburgh in recent years should be nicely surprised.

Both Greg Powrie as Victor, the brother who sacrificed all to stay at home and look after their father, and Aden Gillett as Walter, the one who went off and made something of himself, are in great form. James Hayes doesn’t overdo the key comic role of Solomon, which adds gravitas to the whole.

But it is Sally Edwards, seen recently at the Lyceum in Copenhagen, whose performance as Victor’s wife, Esther, really expands and pulls out the play. By making the play’s internal resonances all the more powerful, she succeeds in giving it an added edge of relevance to contemporary times. If, indeed, such a thing was necessary. Towering over the playing area, Michael Taylor’s mountainous set of old furniture, built to last by a society which wasn’t, just adds an extra layer to an excellent production.

At the Playhouse, The Sound of Music arrives on Tuesday for a five week residency. Connie Fisher made her name auditioning for Maria on national TV, winning BBC 1’s How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?, but her success on the stage has nothing to do with hype and everything to do with her own abilities. She is scheduled to perform in all performances, excluding Monday evening and Wednesday matinees. A big family treat.

At the Festival Theatre The Singing Kettle – Pyjama Party arrives on Friday morning for a three-day run of matinees. Packed with sing-along favourites for the kids, the kettle opening formula has changed little over the years, although the personnel are slightly different. Cilla, Artie, Gary and Kevin are having a pyjama party and everyone is invited. There’s a clock that springs to life when anyone falls asleep and as well as favourite songs like My Aunt Came Back, Hokey Cokey, Leap Frog and the brand new Pyjama Party.

Out at the Brunton in Musselburgh, Yester Primary School present King Loth on Wednesday and Thursday. This brand new Scottish musical written by James Ross and Robin Hiley, commissioned to celebrate Scotland’s year of Homecoming, is based on the legend of the man who gave his name to the area of Lothian. A tale of conflict, love and integrity in an often violent and unpredictable world.

On Friday, the Brunton becomes a A Wee Home From Home for one night only as plan B reunite the original creative team to bring the show which was first produced two decades ago to a new generation. Returning to Glasgow, Frankie knocks on a door to find no one home. With time on his hands he wanders the streets of his past and is swept up in the ensuing explosion of memories and emotions. Performed by Michael Marra and Frank McConnell, and directed by Gerry Mulgrew, this is a production full of warmth and charm – with undertones of menace.


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