Monday, 15 September 2008


Caught up with my friend Lara, who has just returned from a very successful Edinburgh, performing in the award winning Barbershopera! at the Pleasance. Happily the show's transferring to Theatre 503 in November, so I'll get the chance to see it which is very good news.

This evening, though, we went to the Lyric Hammersmith to see the National Theatre of Scotland's 365 - which had also had some rave reviews at the Festival.

The play by David Harrower, takes the stories of twelve vulnerable youngsters leaving their secure unit and finding their way in the lonely and often frightening world of sheltered accommodation. Harrower won great acclaim a couple of years ago for Blackbird and once again he deftly explores the cusp of adulthood through this new work.

365 borrows heavily in structure from the company's highly successful Black Watch, a montage of stories, reports, expressionistic choreography and a deeply emotive song track, on this occasion provided by the excellent Paul Buchanan lead singer and song writer from The Blue Nile. The most moving moments occur when the characters grim realities of trying to cope with even the most basic social interaction is dispersed into a fantasy fairy tale dream sequence where a more innocent childhood is offered and revelled in. A green balloon, leftover from an uncomfortable party, carries a girl, who hid in a cupboard, away. Moments like this make for an intricate and moving show.

Lara's a Hammersmith resident, so we got in for a £5 - it's a great incentive to encourage a local pride and commitment in your theatre and the Lyric is a bit of a West London gem!

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