Coriolanus by York Shakespeare Project: theatre review

Number four in the countdown to completion of the York Shakespeare Project, Coriolanus serves up a simmering vision of strategic class war in ancient Rome via nineteen-eighties Britain. Images of Margaret Thatcher lurk in among bin bags and protest placards stating ‘Give Peace a Chance’ and ‘Corn not Scorn’. Plastic sheaths metal fencing upstage, veiling Frairgate’s black box space as a breeding ground for conspiracy and uprising in this effectively subtle, minimalist production. A disjointed score of upbeat eighties pop music and Thatcher’s ‘U-turn’ speech set the tone for the unsettling tale. Continue reading

Colder Than Here: A season to grieve in

Wildgoose continue their run of plays new to York with Laura Wade’s first published script, Colder Than Here. The text is gentle, poetic, acutely observant. It dwells on familial responsibility, what we expect and need from those closest to us, how we remember each other in ways we have forgotten our younger selves. Continue reading

Dress for strong currents and wade into The River

Director Andy Love of Wildgoose Theatre continues his vein of delivering hitherto unseen plays to York with this sumptuous psychological drama by Jez Butterworth, set in a log cabin near a river, somewhere in modern England. The specifics of their surroundings are white noise, while the minutia of the dialogue is honed to a piercing point. Poetry and illustrious speeches furnish what appears to be a confident, if burgeoning, dynamic between The Man (George Stagnell) and The Woman (Claire Morley). These are people at home with each other, themselves and the outdoors. Continue reading

Yorkshire Scandals: Art Reporting Life

It is a bittersweet time for the arts and the news in York, what with the only paid local arts critic role being threatened with redundancy. The city’s independent art scene thrives as ever, and we strive to document the full, rich programme of events taking place in our city. Inevitably, where the money dries up, other resources follow, and we are looking at a future with decidedly less coverage. So what happens to the art that’s doing its own reporting? Continue reading