Friday 24 August 2012 | By

ED2012 Theatre Review: Alan Bissett – The Red Hourglass (Alan Bissett and Sacha Kyle)

ED2012 5/5 Reviews ED2012 Theatre Reviews

Telling the stories of several spiders trapped in a scientific Institute, these comic monologues may sound like a nightmare if you suffer from arachnophobia, but they’re never short of mesmerising. A playful, instantly engaging presence, writer and performer Bissett evokes more sympathy for his anthropomorphic arachnids than you’d think possible. With straightforward staging and assorted accents, he moves silkily between a bantering Scottish house spider, a revolutionary Venezuelan tarantula, and a drawling, deadly Black Widow, played as a seductive, psychopathic Southern Belle. Hidden under the humour, though, there’s a web of subtext, as Bissett expertly weaves in themes of inequality and exploitation. Confronting stereotypes of class and gender without getting tangled up in moralising, this is sophisticated, completely captivating theatre.

National Library Of Scotland, 15-25 Aug (not 17), 7.00pm.
tw rating 5/5 | [Dave Fargnoli]

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