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PREVIEW ill ‘JEV/xl SINGLE SPIES King's Theatre, Edinburgh, Mon

24-Sat 29 Mar

lhe murk; exchanges between the Russian and UK rntellrrience serVrces that have captured so many column rnches over the last year or so were bound to have an impact on the theatre. It might seem an apt trrne to reapprarse two plays about cold ‘.'.'ar polrtrcs. and Alan Bennett's pieces on Guy Burgess and Sir Anthony Blunt < tWo oi the tour great spres tor“ the

l SSH produced by the British establishment here presented at the Kurds in a lush West End revrval starrrng Nigel Haver's and Diana ()urck, certainly arm to do thrs.

But each is about far more than spooks. In An [:‘rigr’rshman Abroad we wrtness Bennett's account of the real- lrle meeting between Aussre actress Coral Browne. rn Moscow while tourrng a production of Harrr/et at the height of the cold war. and Burgess. But although the prece speaks of Burgess's treason. rt rs at least as much about exrle. and the exploration of a dandyrsh, ostensrbh avuncular old man whose tragedy is that he can never return home.

A Quest/on of Attrrbr/tron focuses on a meeting between Blunt and the Queen. for whom he worked as (:hrel curator of art. Here again. the story of Blunts espionage activities rs alluded to. as the storx oi hrs spying is rn the process of being uncovered. but as

more a metaphor than a central plank REVIEW SCOTllSH pREMlEPl inviting home a rent boy (David Walshe).

of lldllJllVO. Instead, the two discuss SH'NING _c_'TY . . Michael Emans' production for Rapture explores the

the difference between the cOuntertert TOlbOOth' St'rl'ng' F” 14 8‘ sat 15 Mar the” tour'ng idea that we only ever see happiness in our lives in

and the. real, and whether thrs is ... retrospect. In a material world (money is a recurring

lllll‘Olliilll I” all - \m much a parallel By now, the admirers and detractors of the work of issue here) we are too constantly programmed to

30 Bllllll'b‘ DOEJUS l‘dllIOIISllt Conor McPherson will have divided firmly into their aspire to the next thing, without appreciating simple

rSte\ e Cramerr separate groups. The author of such acclaimed pieces pleasures, being loved by someone else chief among as St Nicholas and The Weir might be said to paint with them. Each character is debilitated by guilt at their last words, not physicality, as most of his work seems to emotional move, and consequently paralysed in their revolve around monologues of rare grandeur, but with present life. The action, as ever, is static, not helped by little to offer the eye. William Winter’s rather murky lighting, while Karen

Shining City is no exception. In it, a Dublin analyst Tennent’s office/lounge room design is uninteresting,

(Fintan McKeown) has just finished his training after though the stage action, in fairness, does little to help leaving the priesthood under a cloud. John (Michael her. What redeems it, though, is the language, which is Glenn Murphy) becomes an early customer, and his tale particularly beautifully delivered, through the casual, of seeing the ghost of his wife, from whom he’d lilting expletives of Murphy's shattered sales rep, separated some time before her death, becomes a catching both humour and pathos in single phrases. central enigma. But our shrink has issues of his own; This message from the emotionally bankrupt Celtic having just left his wife (Melanie McHugh), and new Tiger speaks to us anywhere in the West. born child, he begins to experiment with his sexuality, (Steve Cramer)

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