Thursday, 2 August 2012

Exterminating Angel

Is this blog reading like a nervous breakdown yet? I haven't even arrived in Edinburgh and I am already flapping like a critic who has a choice between an eight hour Shakespeare marathon or a burlesque study of "real gender politics." So I would like to reiterate that I write in persona, an exaggerated version of my true self, and all the sardonic quips hide a desperate individual who just wants to be loved.

I did spend most of today in Edinburgh, however. I am going to give a shout out to one show because they gave me flyers on The Royal Mile, but did it with a reluctance that suggested that they would rather be performing and did not want to intrude on my stroll around the city. 

And they have this splendid eulogy from Tim Crouch, who reinvented Maevolio out of Twelfth Night in such a way that I felt compassion for the old puritan bastard.

"Exterminating Angel is one of those works that I know will influence my future thought and practice. I am already stealing from it.  It is an endlessly thoughtful piece of theatre - sharply structured and also breathtakingly free. It plays effortlessly with form, slipping under an audience's skin. It is vicious and barbed in its satire, but it is also ingenuous in its formal experimentation and narrative drive. Above all, it is its own piece of work."

It's party time for a bunch of bohemian types, and how they love each other's banter. Then they find they are locked in the dining room. Horror, or hilarity, ensues: it is difficult to say, because the cast make it up afresh, every time they perform. This might make it tough to review (could be crap tonight, great tomorrow), but it does make it fascinating. It sounds like devising and directing mastermind Jack McNamara has found a way to make improvisation more than a mere excuse for crap comedians not to bother rehearsing.

Pleasance Courtyard, August 1 -27 

Venue: Gilded Balloon Teviot – Debating Hall
Dates: 1st – 26th August Dates not performing: 13th August
Weekday tickets: £11/ £10 Weekend tickets: £10 / £9
Times:  14:00 (15:00)
Box Office: 0131 622 6552 / online

by Dylan Dougherty

Discover the greater freedom that exists only within bounds

Quinn is a curious young traveler.  He has come to America to reunite with his hobo father, Banjo, to ride the rails and feel the freedom of an antiquated American West.  Quinn and his father help a teenage runaway, Winifred, catch a boxcar out of Pocatello, Idaho bound for California’s sunshine...

When the boxcar door slams and locks, and a short supply of food and water threatens their lives, their grand visions of freedom are tested.  Trapped and stopped in a cold mountain pass, than can only wait and try to understand how they into their fix.  They bond, and discover the more sane and useful freedom that exists within bounds.  

Locked in the dark belly of a boxcar, bouncing down desolate train tracks in who-knows-where America, they have something. They have each other. They are bound together. The question is, can Quinn escape his freedom?

Set aboard a timeless symbol of freedom, this world premier drama tackles the modern cult of individualism and wonders what is it to be free.

The rhythm of the rails echo in live music.  “Bound” has the feel of a story told around a campfire, a magical Americana. 

Belgian director and installation artist Christoffel Hendrickx’s works include Bad End, EVAR and DeGrottenPrins.  American playwright Dylan Dougherty’s previous, The Montana Ranch, played at 59E59 in NYC and the 2009 Edinburgh Fringe to sold out audiences 

Bound brings together Hendrickx’s Antwerpian New Wave artistry and Dougherty’s unmistakably American script, based on his time riding freight trains, for a sensual, artistic and lyrical theatrical experience.  Bound is a truly international collaboration.  Noosfeer VZW is a nonprofit arts organization based in Antwerp.  

The music is arranged and performed by Dries Bongaerts, lead singer of new rising sun.  Art Direction by Maxim Meukens.


“Bound” plays at 13.00 from 2-27 August (excluding 13 August)
For further information, images and interview availability, contact Elisabeth Cappon at, Maxim Meukens +32474 393181 (Belgian mobile, works in Scotland)
or the C press office at 0845 260 1060 or

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