Kyoto ****


A Play, a Pie and a Pint, A Co-Production between Oran Mor and the Traverse Theatre
Glasgow, Monday 9th March – Saturday 14th March 2009
Edinburgh, Tuesday 17th March – Saturday 21st March 2009

While the world remains drunk in the bar, an intoxicated would-be couple stumbles into a hotel room to enjoy, a much anticipated, night of passion. Although, from the offset of David Greig’s new two-hander play, the eventual fruitless conclusion of their intentions is apparent, an enthralling and smart piece of theatre results.

Kyoto is the first in a series of five plays in co-productions between Glasgow’s Oran Mor and Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre, where it is set to open on the 17th March. Moving the pie and pint to the Traverse Theatre is a natural progression of the Oran Mor lunchtime legacy and the two companies are inherently linked by their commitment to new writing. Kick starting the series with a new David Greig piece will, potentially, prove to be a calculated move, as Greig’s work attracts a lot of attention and he is quickly becoming a much admired Scottish playwright.

Domini Hill, current Artistic Director of the Traverse Theatre, directs a brief stolen moment between Dan and Lucy, a diplomat and a scientist, who have missed many chances to be together over a decade worth of climate change conferences. Hill keeps the action simplistic, leaving the characters to stumble in a typical hotel room in near darkness and allowing the audience to look into the action as if looking through a window. What unfolds is an unmistakable metaphor for current global warming debates reflecting in the attraction between the two, yet resisting the temptation to lecture on issue. Instead, much humour is found in the situation, assisted by the charming performance from Matthew Pidgeon and Vicki Liddelle. Both actors create authentic characters, allowing for silences and tensions that would naturally exist, as well as a showing a genuine connection and passion.

Criticisms could be made about the limitations of the scenario Greig creates, as the action is slightly shorter than the typical a Play, a Pie and a Pint length. However, the little that is said is said very well and within a short time Greig manages to explore social issues, as well as human issues of aging and attraction. It may only be pint size theatre, but enjoyable and poignant all the less.



One Response to “Kyoto ****”

  1. Great review. I love Oran Mor’s “Kyoto”. It’s a really intelegent theatre piece.

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