TV Review: Elizabeth is Missing

Glenda Jackson is brittle and brutal in the excellent Elizabeth is Missing

“How about some Vera Lynn?”

True story, I’ve read Emma Healey’s novel Elizabeth is Missing and can’t remember anything about it, how’s that for dramatic irony… So Andrea Gibb’s adaptation for the television, directed by Aisling Walsh, held layers of mystery for me, as this murder mystery framed through the lens of dementia intersected with my own hazy recollections of what I thought was slowly coming back to me.

That murder mystery element is the driving narrative force across the two timelines of the drama. Grandmother Maud is trying to find out what has happened to her gardening pal Elizabeth who has vanished, but she’s haunted by memories of the disappearance of her sister Sukey 70 years ago and hampered by the onset of Alzheimer’s which is ravaging her life and her independence. Continue reading “TV Review: Elizabeth is Missing”

Review: Trainspotting, King’s Head Theatre

“Who needs reasons when you’ve got heroin?”

There’s something hugely exciting about In Your Face Theatre’s immersive take on Trainspotting which makes it clear why it was a hit on the Edinburgh Fringe last year but what it is equally thrilling is the change they have wrought upon the King Head’s theatre. The majority of the seats have gone, what set there is seems to sprawl across the entire space and as you enter the auditorium, you find yourself in the middle of a full-on 90s rave, glowsticks and all.

And this near-anarchic energy is a perfect match for Irvine Welsh’s modern classic, celebrating its 21st anniversary this year, its drug-fuelled hedonism and horror presented here with an uncompromising candour and imaginative directness that is most definitely, well, in your face. Directors Greg Esplin and Adam Spreadbury-Maher pull no punches in immersing folk in any number of bodily fluids with glorious disregard for your standard actor/audience relationship, making for an exhilarating hour. Continue reading “Review: Trainspotting, King’s Head Theatre”