Theatre Uncut

Traverse Café Bar

Spine by Clara Brennan

Spine is the standout play from this set and deserves many more outings, especially if Rosie Wyatt is able to reprise her moving performance.

A deceptively simple concept sees a penurious student visiting a wacky old lady left to care for herself in the community with help provided only every other day.

What makes the meeting special is the oldster’s mission to protect the books from closing libraries for a future generation.

While this sounds mad to the representative of the Twitter generation, she is won around by the end of what becomes a true tearjerker.

A Chance Encounter by Mohammad Al Attar, translated by Clem Naylor

This play by Syrian playwright Mohammad Al Attar takes place in Beirut, where so many Syrians have entered voluntary exile to escape civil war.

There, a businessman (Thadd McQuade) meets a younger fellow (Umar Ahmed) with very different political views in a guilt trap. What emerges is a partial picture of the internal struggle that continues in Syria to this day.

Indulge by Andri Snaer Magnuson

The third playlet emerges from bankrupt Iceland and sees that country’s predicament through the analogy of ad executives representing a global corporation.

Like the country, its image has gone down the pan to such an extent that the seven deadly sins are required as an inspiration for renewal. In a cast that also features Phil Nichol, Matt Roper and Harry McEntire, Molly Taylor as the chief creative shines.

250 Words by Steff Smith

The week’s rapid response play has been sparked by an article in the Independent on 31 July. Blythe Duff plays a corrupt banker whose exposure leads her to seek a public catharsis at Tate Modern, threatening to become Damien Hirst’s latest fatal exhibit.

Her efforts are challenged by Ros Sydney as the museum worker who finds herself caught up in the drama.

Reviewer: Philip Fisher

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