THEATRE THE LAssEs, o Henderson’s Vegetarian restaurant and arts Venue (Venue 269) HHHHH
WRITTEn by Scots poet and writer Janet Paisley and debutdirected by her actor son David, this solidly-crafted and entertaining piece acts as a pseudo-biography of Robert Burns’ life, with one very telling difference in perspective. Here, the notorious womaniser and man’s man finds his times filtered through the eyes of five different women who knew him at various points. Although not all are completely intertwined with Burns’ life, their speech and attitudes give a resonant picture of the poet’s times.
Much of Janet Paisley’s renown comes from her writing in old Scots, and it’s a pleasure to hear her words performed with the joy and precision the cast of five women lend the Dumfriesshire brogue she has employed. Crammed with Scots acting talent (Suzanne Donaldson, Margaret Fraser, Carrie-Anne English, Pamela Byrne and natalie McConnon), the piece follows Burns’ life through monologues from the midwife who helped give birth to him to the neighbour who poignantly cares for this loveable rogue as he finally gives up the ghost.
In between, amid fearless and funny tales of smuggling and womanising, Fraser’s turn as a mother who’s as entranced by Burns as her pregnant daughter is blessed with all the best lines.
Until 29 August. Tomorrow 8pm.