The theatre element of the Edinburgh International Film Festival got off to a cracking start on Thursday, with This Story of Yours the first of three one-off rehearsed script readings in Traverse 1. In This Story of Yours, film director Gerard Johnson links up again with Peter Ferdinando – who stared in his films Tony (2009) and Hyena (2014).
There’s bundles of fun and bonkers B-movie mayhem in Little Shop of Horrors, the debut musical from TBC Productions, which is at the Studio on Potterrow to Saturday. Adapted from a Roger Corman movie from the late fifties, Little Shop has a wickedly knowing book and lyrics from Howard Ashman and a solidly rock-driven score from Alan Menken.
Miller’s 1949 depiction of the ageing, failing salesman Willy Loman as he struggles to comes to terms with the death of his dreams – and perhaps of The American Dream itself – has only gained in stature over the years. What some regarded as a merely a Marxist- derived critique of the US way of life has come to seem as much like high tragedy as anything English-speaking theatre has produced in the last century.
There is an undeniable poetic charm to Blue Raincoat’s Shackleton, at the Traverse to Friday and touring to the Tron next week. The Sligo-based company’s latest touring show, seen here in its UK premiere, shows how the 1914 trans-Antarctic expedition of Irish-born polar explorer Ernest Shackleton comes to grief.
Anne Frank’s diary of the time she, her family and four others spent in hiding in an annexe above her father’s business in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam, has made many appearances in different adaptations. Indeed, this version – a revision by Wendy Kesselman of an earlier dramatisation by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett – has already been seen in Edinburgh this year.
Written after Educating Rita and Blood Brothers, and very much in a similar tone, Shirley Valentine is the feel-good, feel-sad tale of a woman who realises that the best bits of life have passed her by. Here is regret and self-doubt written in the life a 42 year-old woman with grown-up kids – and a husband who uses the fact that he loves her to ignore her.