Blood and Roses

Sandy Thomson
Poorboy
St George's West

At its core, Blood and Roses is effectively a 90 minute radio play of the kind broadcast in the afternoon on Radio 4.

It focuses on three generations of women from a single Scottish family and then extends in various directions. The family is apparently descended from Isobel Gowdie, a woman burned as a witch. By the last generation, they also bring in some Russian blood and with it separate histories plus the myth of Baba Yaga.

After meeting at St George's West, visitors wander around the streets of Edinburgh's West End, praying that the rain will hold off. Along the route, they make four lengthy stops to admire installations, based on collages, and finally, to be inspired by St Mary's Cathedral.

While doing so, they hear about the three headstrong women, each of whom fell head over heels in love with potentially unsuitable men, although the outcomes vary.

While the story is diverting, the add-ons provide little extra, which is a pity.

Reviewer: Philip Fisher