ARTYFACTS: Edinburgh Festival: Gagarin Way

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Edinburgh Festival: Gagarin Way

Four figures in one room, lots of violence, Scottish vernacular (read swearing) and an excellent script by Gregory Burke, written a few years ago, but I never got round to seeing the damn thing.

It draws on Fife's radical past to pit three political types against each other and a captive, who turns out also to be 'fae Fife'. Many political works have their day and date quickly, but recent events in international politics have made the theme even more relevant today. It's a powerful invective against global forces treating locals with disdain. Even more relevant as Fife is fighting desperately for jobs, while no more than a short drive away, the same company is closing a facility in Kilmarnock.

The venue is tiny and as there's a coshing, a fight and two brutal murders, this works well. The acting, however, was a little uneven, and I struggeled with the unexpected cleverness of the dialogue, which seemed a little too polished and smart-arsed for three guys in a factory. This is quite common in Scottish writing, where the natural quips come too thick and fast to be realistic.

The captive, Frank, is also a curious character, almost willing his death. He attacks their utopianism but to what end? I was lost here.


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