9 October - Theatre Society trip

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James III: A True Mirror ‘A True Mirror’ is a satisfying combination of historical authenticity with inflections of modernity: bags full of wit, bawdy humour, contemporary and indeed historical satire and profanity; at times flirting with the vulgar yet remaining tied to sophistication. Indeed, one left for the interval with a great sense of anticipation for the second half. Stellar performances from Jamie Sives and Sofie Gråbøl as King James and Queen Margaret make up for a script that is very occasionally a bit dull: there is towards the end excessive speechifying from Margaret, despite the humorous nod to Scottish independence: “What are you frightened of?”Gråbøl displays terrific stage presence and authority with flair for humour, whilst Sives is excellent at eliciting an addictive combination of hatred and fondness for his regal character, as the audience open their mouths in laughter and disapproval in equal measure. For me personally though, I left the auditorium feeling somewhat frustrated - I felt the play couldn’t make up its mind on what it wanted to be: a dark, insightful and sincere tragedy or a black comedy bursting with lasciviousness and vulgarity. To some that’s maybe the great thing about it – it’s a bit of everything. Regardless, at least one does leave with the satisfaction of knowing the answer to a uniquely Scottish question: “Just what do they wear under their kilts?”


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