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Mark Fisher
Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
Follow me on Twitter at MarkFFisher, WriteAboutTheat and LimelightXTC I am a freelance journalist and critic specialising in theatre and the arts. Publications I write for include the Guardian and the Scotsman. I am the author of The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide: how to make your show a success and How to Write About Theatre: A Manual for Critics, Students and Bloggers. I am also editor of The XTC Bumper Book of Fun for Boys and Girls: A Limelight Anthology. From 2000-2003, I was the editor of The List magazine, Glasgow and Edinburgh's arts and events guide.
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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Yarn by Grid Iron

**** Verdant Works, Dundee

Mark Fisher
Thursday May 1, 2008
The Guardian

Edinburgh site-specific company Grid Iron specialises in after-hours trips into half-familiar spaces - airports, department stores, play parks - always immersing the audience in a world somewhere between reality and make-believe. Each location brings its own costumes, but nowhere has the idea of dressing up been so much to the fore than here in Verdant Works, a jute museum built in a former cloth factory. Working with Dundee Rep, the company interpret the idea of textiles in two ways. One is as storytellers, spinning a line, telling a yarn. A thread of red cotton marks our journey through four spaces, while a metaphorical thread sews together the patchwork of monologues, anecdotes and sketches performed by the six-strong company.

The second theme is about the way we are defined by what we wear. Out of the dressing-up box come stiff Victorian suits, as constricting as presbyterianism; Elizabethan motley that is comically cumbersome, and a floor-length woollen scarf, a symbol of carefree youth. We see clothes full of sexual potency, whether it is the ledger-keeper's Freudian nightmare about his mother, or the woman who uses her burka as a means of erotic liberation. All this is underscored by the child in an Indian sweatshop, realised in puppet form, who dreams of escape while sewing cheap garments for the decadent west.

It is more static than many of the company's promenade shows, but no less inventive. Rich in ideas, vivid in execution, this Yarn forms a delightful fabric that takes time to unravel.

· Until Saturday. Box office: 01382 223530.

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