Monday, 19 May 2014

CATS 2014: Shortlist for Male actor and Thoughts


Adam Best (Raskolnikov), Crime and Punishment, Citizens Theatre, Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse and Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh
Looking pretty hardcore in this photo (credit: Tim-Morozzo), Best got to play a dream part: the existential hero of Dostoevsky's novel that saved me from wondering whether it was okay to break the law if I was cool enough (it isn't). A big role, that addressed the audience on matters philosophical and went increasingly wild as the guilt heated up, Best's performance was an intriguing mix of bad-ass and sensitive poet. Just like Raskolnikov himself...

Jimmy Chisholm (Bob Lawson), The Collection, Rapture Theatre in association with the Beacon Greenock
While Tam Dean Burn played the guy you really wouldn't want turning up to the door, Chisholm pulled on his natural stage presence to present Bob Lawson, Scotland's answer to that one in Death of A Salesman. In a play that is earnest and horrific (shades of the fast-talking bastards who hide behind lovely adverts for extortionate loans), Lawson's tragedy is the problem of giving a shit in an industry of shits. 

Sandy Grierson (Ivor Cutler), The Beautiful Cosmos of Ivor Cutler, Vanishing Point and the National Theatre of Scotland presented in association with Eden Court
Being Ivor Cutler was always going to be a tough gig: add in (Grierson's own co-written) version of the man, who dances in his imagination, and a storytelling structure that has Grierson jump between himself and Cutler, then Grierson had a showcase for versatility. Sometimes he was Ivor the confused older man, sometimes the laconic singer, other times the cheeky outsider. 

Scott Reid (Thomas), A Perfect Stroke, A Play, a Pie and a Pint presented by the Traverse Theatre Company
A month after seeing this, I can't decide whether Reid's Thomas was a victim or predator. It's a tough ask to play a schoolboy having at go at seducing the teacher, and Reid's big red face when he got angry suggests he'll be playing Lear at some point in the future. With McKnight's script awkward and subtle, Reid's role was pivotal for the sense of sexual unease. He is doing some acting exercises in the photo (credit:  Lesley Black), I think. Perfectly innocent

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