Tuesday, 20 August 2013

God Bless Liz Lochhead - and the politics of art

Can a play that deals with the drama of restaging Scottish Makar Liz Lochhead's Tartuffe under the
gaze of a reality TV camera, showcasing the talents of four of Scotland's leading thesps (Juliet Cadzow, Kate Donnelly, Andy Gray,  and writer Martin McCardie), ever be described as political? Well, this being Scotland, the answer is of course Yes!

In the process of this funny and sharp drama in which the blood and terror of the previous tour of the work resurfaces, the current realities of arts and culture in Scotland are highlighted. Having to produce the play with only three actors, because there is no cash for more leads to compromises in quality. Gray's dialogue between Tartuffe and Orgon with himself as a split personality is laugh out loud funny! As is the need for actors to accept the unacceptable to maintain themselves in work. "Thank God for sectarianism." Says Portia (Cadzow). "Otherwise there would be even less work!"

Well worth a tenner of anyone's cash, this show is by turns bitter, humorous and sad, and it serves to remind us that ultimately, everything is political. Are we back to the days when we have to rely on wealthy patrons to produce quality art?
  • God Bless Liz Lochhead is a FairPley production at the Assembly Rooms. Till the 25.

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