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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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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Kyoto, A Play, a Pie and a Pint review

Published in The Guardian © Mark Fisher


3 out of 5

Oran Mor, Glasgow

David Greig has long been fascinated by the contrast between public and private. His characters are always finding themselves in airports, stations and hotel lobbies, places where no one feels at home. This is how it is for conference delegates Lucy and Dan as they stumble into a chilly hotel room in a former communist state for a night of illicit sex.

Since the first frisson of attraction passed between them in Kyoto during a UN meeting, the two have been as sexually repressed as the characters in a Victorian novel. Their 10-year relationship has been defined by negotiations, banquets and presentations, a world in which they feel infantilised and ncapable of developing ordinary human contact.

They project this sense of alienation on to their fellow delegates, whom they regard less as human beings than as nation states. "Nigeria are in twin beds, sharing," says Lucy in a line typical of Greig's wry eye for the surreal. At 30 minutes, Kyoto covers a surprising amount of ground, but underplays the politics of international relations. Although less charming than 2007's Being Norwegian, a kind of companion piece, it is amusingly performed by Matthew Pidgeon and Vicki Liddelle. The first of five joint ventures between A Play, a Pie and a Pint and Edinburgh's Traverse, Dominic Hill's production provides a thoughtful lunchtime diversion.

© Mark Fisher, 2009

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