Theatre Uncut: Dalgety & Fragile by David Greig

Theatre Uncut is one of the few good things that has come out of the knock to public spending put in place in 2010, said to be the worst since World War II: it is from these cuts that the company gets its name, as a kind of protest against austerity equalling the limitation of creativity. It is also very impressive in what is manages to achieve on a nonexistent budget, and fills the room with supporters of the arts who get a sense of being on the brink of something special.

The company has, in its three years, approached a number of its favourite dramatists to write short pieces for them to perform and to make available, rights free, across the globe. One such playwright is David Greig, whose short works Fragile and Dalgety are being presented by Theatre Uncut in a double bill this Fringe.

Much in line with the spending cuts, we are given only one actor for the two characters of Fragile, and so we take the role of Caroline, reading our lines from a screen. This provides great entertainment for an audience already enthused by its close quarters with such a vibrant company. In the play, the character we adopt is representative of the immovable majority of the UK, accepting of the political state of affairs, feeling it beyond reach. Our resonant voices are many against the confident single note of Jack, played with great strength by Syrus Lowe. As we read our lines self-consciously, Jack's are driven and passionate, the sound of committal to a cause. Fragile is a short, sharp and impactful - just what is needed to rally an army.

On the long stage we are seated around, our attentions are then directed towards the other end, for Dalgety, based in the bay of the same name, across the Forth from Edinburgh. It is certainly not a happening place, which is excellently put across in the police station setting, where there is little to report in the way of crime or indeed the social lives of the constable and sergeant on duty. The two, very different and excellent fun put together, are then thrown into absolute madness as the play reveals its absurdist intent. Though enjoyable in its ridiculousness and clear in its message, Dalgety does not pack quite such a punch as Fragile. Yet it is truly forceful theatre, engaging through to the end and again acted with great sensibility by Lesley Hart, with wonderful comic feeling from Johnny Bett.

These two pieces stand in their own right as highly worthy of your time and attention and together are a pretty formidable force. Never mind those cuts, theatre's doing just fine.

Since you’re here…

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Mama Biashara
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Performances

The Blurb

Fringe First, Herald Angel and Spirit of the Fringe award winners present a double bill of David Greig plays written for the international action event. Directed by Emma Callander and Hannah Price.

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