About Me

My Photo
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.
View my complete profile


Blog Archive

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Ducky, Borderline Theatre review

Published in The Guardian.

The Ducky review

Eastwood Park, Glasgow
4 out of 5

This play - DC Jackson's sequel to last year's The Wall - starts off light and breezy, charting the lives of a group of Ayrshire teenagers with a throwaway charm. It is neither adventurous nor deep, yet, in the middle of the second half, the play catches you unawares. Suddenly, you realise you care for these young people and their amplified sense of their own significance. Behind the rites-of-passage laughs, Jackson reveals a beating heart.

The Ducky rejoins the characters from The Wall two years down the line, as a traumatised Norma - exquisitely played by Sally Reid - recounts the reasons for losing her virginity. From "his hair was looking nice" to "the sun set pretty", it is a funny, poignant litany showing that Jackson has the popular touch of Willy Russell, packing tender home-truths behind a shield of first-rate one-liners.

Under the assured direction of Jemima Levick, the young Borderline company reminds us why it triumphed as best ensemble at last year's Critics' Awards for Theatre in Scotland, capturing the intensity, frivolity, vanity and insecurity of adolescence with fine-tuned detail. Like Reid, Hannah Donaldson, Finn den Hertog, Alan Tripney and Jonathan Holt play with a conviction that makes these teenage dramas seem as important as the characters believe them to be.

The result is a feelgood hit, in which the geeky boy gets the gorgeous girl and the brainy outsiders almost figure things out. It's also about birth, death and coming-of-age heartaches. That, and falling fully clothed into the "septic swimming hole" they call the ducky. Roll on part three.

© Mark Fisher, 2009

No comments: