Ticketmaster Summer in Stages

Age of Arousal

Linda Griffiths
Stellar Quines Theatre Company
Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh, and touring
(2011)

Age of Arousal publicity image

A less arousing production would be difficult; this play about the struggles of women was a struggle to get through and I felt the audience's suffering was perhaps worse than that of the suffragettes.

The episodic method of presentation made the play broken and lacking in flow and, combined with the worthy nature of the material, it made you feel like you were watching back-to-back school assemblies. The style - grey, clinical and minimalist - did not do anything to remove this feeling.

The costumes designed by Edinburgh College Art were sometimes imaginative, but at times just plain crazy, fine for a student fashion show but rather distracting and out-of-place on stage. I felt like I was hallucinating when a woman at one point entered wearing a giant sieve.

The performances themselves were quite at odds with the crazy costumes, being at times quite moving and able to bring out some of the human side of the story. Were the play centred more around the actors and less around the abstract set and costumes it might have been a more involving and better production.

Overall Age of Arousal had a very odd feel and it was difficult to concentrate on what was going on. It also took forever to end so at least they managed the former if not the latter part of the title.

Until Saturday 12 March

Reviewer: Seth Ewin