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A Beginning, A Middle and An End, Tron Theatre, Glasgow

Herald Scotland: Photograph of the Author

Neil Cooper, Theatre critic / / Arts & Ents

Published / Arts & Ents

If Adam and Eve had feasted on home-grown avocadoes instead of apples, things might have turned out a whole lot rosier in the garden.

That's the impression you get from the domestic Eden built by Ade, Kane and Evelyn in Sylvia Dow's new play, lovingly directed by Selma Dimitrijevic for the London-based Greyscale company, in association with Stellar Quines.

A couple, giddy on the possibilities of each other, fall together, set up home and play happy families, knee-deep in a forest of plants and acquired memories that gradually fill up their room. That space is depicted via an extended wordless sequence that would put some furniture removal firms to shame, as the pair embark on a great adventure of magic moments and endless games of Scrabble. Things only darken with a seemingly estranged prodigal's return and a death in the family that comes gift-wrapped.

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All this is implied rather than told, in a very particular aesthetic employed by Dow and Dimitrijevic on Oliver Townsend's pin-board set, from the way the actors loll about eyeing up the audience as they enter while one of them strums a guitar, to the final, multi-lingual, life-affirming chorus. It's an aesthetic that falls just the right side of quirky, in what is essentially an extended meditation on life, death and the love that clutters up the place in between the two.

If Dow's ideas are big, there's an essential warmth to the performances of Jon Foster, Andrew Gourlay and Emilie Patry. This is accentuated by Scott Twynholm's lovely score in a play that recognises that, whatever happens, life goes on regardless.


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