Review: StAnza 2020

I’ve put off my review of this year’s StAnza Poetry Festival because, with all the current weirdness, I figured it might be good to hear about past events during a time of festive dearth. Well, that’s my excuse, although the truth is that there is so much to say about StAnza, even though I was only there for a day.

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Review: The Three Sisters

When approaching Chekhov, the big question is this: are his plays funny, or tragic? On a rare trip to Bedlam Theatre, I was curious to see how the EUTC had tackled this tricky issue in The Three Sisters. As director Sara Cemin said of the play, it is “the classic every actor dreams of starring in and every director dreads putting on.”

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Jamie Robson: Live the lie truthfully

My introduction to Jamie Robson was through a series of confusing emails (due to our similar names) between The Fountain, myself and Edinburgh Short Film Festival, which I was reviewing at the time. As luck would have it, he had a spare ticket for the Festival’s Opening Night at the Filmhouse. My introduction to his acting was in one of the films shown that evening, My Loneliness is Killing Me. His introduction to me as a writer was my review of another ESFF evening, where he was on the post-screening discussion-panel.

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Review: Little Women

In my review of Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird I wondered whether we might see Saoirse Ronan’s eponymous character in a future film. To an extent, playing Jo March in Gerwig’s adaptation of Little Women, Ronan is embodying another incarnation of the same character, insofar as the film seems to be another veiled autobiography for this writer-turned-director. Casting Ronan a second time, if the gossip is correct, was not Gerwig’s original intention, but since the actor insisted on playing her, it was such a ‘Jo’ thing to do that the director couldn’t say no.

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Review: Conventiality Isn’t Me, ESFF 2019

In the ESFF trailer that I mentioned in one review a tiny clip beguiled me: someone on a motorway bridge drawing an imaginary white line on the road below. I had to wait until the penultimate night of the festival to discover this was from a quirky film called On the Road where a man controls motorway traffic as if he is playing with toys, or a computer screen. Yet the cars are ‘real’ – which makes this five-minute film even more surreal.

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