Lyceum Christmas Tales may have been born out of necessity, but the whole enterprise has taken on a beauty and importance of its own.
In The Dark Carnival Vanishing Point and The Citizens (in association with Dundee Rep Ensemble) have crafted a strangely fascinating but oddly frustrating entertainment – theatre-cum-gig-cum-cabaret that impresses in fits and starts.
Our Fathers, at the Traverse to Saturday and then on tour, has a great deal of talent behind it. The end result is amusing and entertaining but ultimately somewhat too frothy.
Masterful: Vox Motus’ Flight is an emotional and powerful work of art – an experience like no other that stays with you long after leaving Edinburgh’s Church Hill Theatre.
Mythic emotion: Meet Me At Dawn, a new play by Zinnie Harris presented by the EIF at the Traverse, is a sombre but beautifully open-hearted depiction of love, loss and regret.
Extreme care has been lavished on the Lyceum’s Glory on Earth. It has a clarity to its storytelling and performances, backed up by some excellent staging, but never engages the heart or mind as fully as it promises.
Black Beauty, the Traverse’s show for all ages this Christmas, co-produced with Red Bridge, is a million miles from a straight adaptation of the children’s classic but provides more than enough fun for everyone. After Edinburgh, it embarks on a 2017 tour.
Well performed: Strong performances and notably high production values distinguish Grain In The Blood at Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre, but an initially chilling ambience is not sustained.
Compelling: Epic in scope, huge in sweep and utterly human, The Iliad at Edinburgh’s Lyceum is a powerful production.
Superbly judged performances and a clever, organic approach to staging make for an effectively spooky time in the Lyceum’s production of Conor McPherson’s The Weir.
“Two winter’s tales”: Tracks of the Winter Bear, the Traverse’s pre-Christmas show which plays up until Christmas Eve, is an odd beast.
If the Lyceum dominated the winners list at Sunday’s Critics Award for Theatre in Scotland, it was the Arches closure which dominated the speeches.
How could it not. The ceremony was held at Glasgow’s Tron Theatre and the five minute walk to the Tron from Central Station starts opposite the entrance to the Arches. More to the point, the Tron is where the Arches founding director, Andy Arnold, is now artistic director.
The winners and the critics’ citations in full:
The Royal Lyceum dominated the awards at the Critics Awards for Theatre in Scotland, held at the Glasgow Tron theatre on Sunday 14 June 2014.
The Royal Lyceum has triumphed at this year’s Critics Awards for Theatre in Scotland, with three productions winning a total of six gongs between them. Further nods for Edinburgh-based companies have gone to two Traverse co-productions and to Catherine Wheels Theatre Company.