ThE­ATRE ThE LONE­SOME FOX­TROT new town tHe­atre (Venue 7) HHHHH

The Scotsman - - Fringereviews Hotshow -

ON A FRINGe short of gen­uinely in­ter­na­tional work, it should be a de­light to wel­come this new show from Nochty Pro­duc­tions of Strath­don, which brings to­gether the Rus­sian di­rec­tor Vasily Senin, and a Scot­tish and Rus­sian cast, in a short and vivid stage ver­sion of An­drey

Plati­nov’s anti-Stal­in­ist novel

Fro.

Set in a small town some­where in europe in the mid-20th cen­tury, the show tells the story of a young woman whose hus­band has gone away to take part in some mag­nif­i­cent Utopian project in the east, leav­ing her alone with her old fa­ther, an el­derly sta­tion­mas­ter.

Senin’s pro­duc­tion fea­tures some ex­quis­ite vis­ual im­agery, and some mem­o­rable se­quences of dance and move­ment. There’s a bril­liant use of sim­ple do­mes­tic ob­jects – large metal bowls full of wa­ter, the fa­ther’s rail­way warn­ing light – to evoke the at­mos­phere of the time, and to sym­bol­ise pow­er­ful emo­tions of hope and yearn­ing, ec­stasy and ful­fil­ment.

The show be­gins to fail, though, when­ever the char­ac­ters open their mouths to speak; the stylised ap­proach that works so well in the dance se­quences jars painfully against the nat­u­ral­ism of speech, and the weight of unin­spired di­a­logue. But in some ways this is a mem­o­rable de­but, and Nochty Pro­duc­tions de­serves bet­ter luck next time in the search for a style that meets their as­pi­ra­tions.

JOyCE MCMILLAN

Un­til 29 Au­gust. To­day 8:30pm.

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