Theatre Uncut

Traverse Café Bar

From 06 August 2012 to 20 August 2012

Rating: *****

Review by Philip Fisher

For the second consecutive year, Theatre Uncut is proving to be one of the highlights at the Traverse, having moved into the more intimate café bar.

The first programme comprises four short plays about austerity and civil unrest in the UK, US and Greece, following a policy this year to attract writers drawn from around the world. This is all part of a programme which culminates from 12-18 November at the Young Vic and potentially any other venue where devotees choose to perform these tiny plays.

Each play was well performed by a crew of actors who had been given only one hour of rehearsal time, not that viewers would have known it.

In the Beginning by Neil Labute

This traditional two-hander, featuring Jimmy Chisholm and Scott Fletcher, sees a rich father and son having the age old left v right debate contrasting wealth creation and retention with distribution to the needy. The conclusion is sadly predictable and utterly timeless. It is, though, handled with considerable wit.

The Price by Lena Kitsopolou, translated by Aliki Chapple

The Price is an outstanding short piece of consumerist satire in which the predicament of the Greek economy is put under a comic microscope as a married couple (Iain Robertson and Julia Taudevin) shop for inter alia a cheap baby.

The Break-Out by Andres Lustgarten

The Break-Out is a kind of sci-fi melodrama about women (Miss Taudevin and Ashley Smith) imprisoned from birth but given the chance to break away from their symbolic capitalist society to freedom. “You can be comfortably miserable or scarily free” says it all.

London 2012: Glasgow by Kieran Hurley

The last playlet is a comedy centring on Olympics PR gurus (played by the ever-popular Phil Jupitus and Thom Tuck) trying to manipulate the news. It is especially timely, as the main issue to which they need to respond is the embarrassing failure to distinguish between the flags of North and South Korea.