Based on Donald Smith’s novel ‘Between Ourselves’, which tells of famous Scotch poet Robert Burns’s time in Edinburgh, ‘Burns: Rough Cut’ attempts to unpick Burns’ moment of crisis. Beguilingly, the play begins with a video of Gavin Paul (Burns) speaking; think low-budget BBC period drama. Yet from there on in Paul is wrong-footed as he struggles to regain the momentum, even though his performance is admirable and his acting is more or less faultless. In its favour, the play provides an interesting history of Scotland and Scots literature, but many of the literary references went straight over my head, and I struggled to stay engaged. Hardcore Burns fans will take much from the show, however, as will anyone with a passion for Scots history.
theSpace @ Jury’s Inn, 3-25 Aug (not 5, not 19), 5.05pm
tw rating 3/5 | [Alexandra Wilks]