The Dogstone **


Traverse Theatre Company/National Theatre of Scotland Debuts, Edinburgh
Thursday 6th November – Saturday 15th November 2008

The second new piece of theatre in the National Theatre of Scotland’s Traverse Debuts is two short plays, beginning with The Dogstone by Kenny Lindsay. A simple piece about young man’s relationship with his now deceased father, told through a serious of monologues and interchanging scenes. The play begins at the end as the young man packs up his Father’s flat, before jumping back to a time when his father told him old Scottish stories before bed. The scenes then show the gradual destruction of the two’s relationship and the Father’s progression into alcoholism.

The story telling methods used in this piece calls for very intense performances from the two actors; Scott Fletcher as the son, Lorn, and Andy Gray as the father, Danskin. Both actors had to develop drastically over the course of the play and their intentions to do so should be admired. Yet, the play suffered from a few problems because of this particular story telling method. It has become a trend in the past few years to have a character, or a couple of characters, talk to audience to tell the story and create a connection between them and the audience. This technique has been proven very effective in many productions but in this production it failed – it felt like a relationship was being forced between the character and the audience, resulting in nothing. The monologues dominated so much of the piece that the action was limited and dramatic tension was not created.

Overall, Kenny Lindsay’s play has attractive elements and it will be interesting to see what he writes in the future. However, in this reviewers’ opinion, the potential of The Dogstone was not fully realised in this production and was perhaps not suited to the theatre world at this present time.



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