ONE MINUTE Tron Theatre. Glasgow, Tue 1 & Wed 2 Jul

l was crestfallen on the day that Princess Diana died. My grief knew no bounds when I realised that the Liverpool v Newcastle fixture, which had yielded seven goals and plenty of spectacle in its previous incarnation that season, was cancelled. Something of great potential had been snuffed out for no good reason, and it was sad about the lady, too. It really was sad, as it is if any thirtysomething woman with a couple of kids dies, but the outpouring of grief from millions of folk who didn’t actually know the lady was downright frightening. We live in a society where the reality of our own lives is obfuscated by celeb culture. and the sudden squall of the quickly-forgotten story supplants our own sense of crisis and tragedy. We simply don't know what reality is any more.

Our culture thrives on this kind of grief, and by mid- summer, when parliament (another false reality) is in recess, if journalists can’t find children who are murdered, one suspects they‘d do the job themselves. No doubt, by the time you have the chance to see Simon Stephens’ One Minute there‘ll be a child murder in the headlines. This isn‘t because they only happen from June to August, but because most of the celebs are in Tuscany. But all the glamorised horror, and carefully choreographed mourning on TV. encapsulated in theatre as far back as David Halliwell‘s KD Dufford Hears KD Dufford Ask KD Dufford How K0 0’]! Make KD Dufford in the 605. tells no real story of grief.

This is the territory explored in Gordon Anderson’s production, a joint venture between his own ATC and the Sheffield Crucible. ‘I talked to Simon Stephens about the back story, which is about the

24-Sat 28 Jun

Shell we dance?


Good grief

disappearance of a child, following five characters from the mother. to a possible witness and her friend. to the police officers investigating the disappearance through a year following the event. Simon said that playwrights shouldn't do what journalists do: you get a sense of all the emotional furore around it, but he avoids all that talk of "good" and “evil” - the almost religious area that‘s created around it by the media.‘

Avoiding all the ghoulish sensationalism, Anderson wants his audience to see into character, the how‘s and why‘s of our treatment of grief in the contemporary world. ‘lt‘s about how grief is quite surprising. It talks about whether you grieve together or alone, whether you identify with some great public icon. someone in the public gaze, or someone who isn’t. Ultimately, though, it's about these characters. Simon‘s a very human sort of writer and the observation of these people is amazing. It’s surprisingly uplifting at the end.‘ Perhaps we could all feel uplifted if we live our own lives, rather than replacing ourselves with the box in the corner of the lounge. (Steve Cramer)

ov's'ren wms North Edinburgh Arts Centre. Tue

Stage Whispers

F30 {loading the boa/as

Jeremy Raison