Lace up, Space North Bridge, Review

Rating (out of 5)
Show info
New Celts Productions and Trig Point Theatre
Mikey Burnett and Joseph McCann (writers), Iain Davie (director)
Daniel Campbell (Stuart), Patrick Wallace (Teddy/ Pundit), James Garvock (Jack/ Father/ Pundit)
Running time

A fight to deal with boxed off emotions.

Stuart Macmillan is a promising young Edinburgh boxer. He is under fierce pressure to get to the top of his game by his ambitious trainer brother Terry and US promoter Jack. As the fight that will catapult him in to the world’s spotlight takes an unexpected turn, Macmillan faces a challenging inner battle as he faces his demons.

Within a three sided square ring the tension is palpable as Stuart (Daniel Campbell) stands laced up (actually velcroed up – but that doesn’t sound quite right!) and in the zone. In some ducking and diving between direct narration to audience and intense aggressive dialogue, written with an astute ear for Edinburgh dialect, the audience learns from these young men about inner conflicts and the hunger that sniffs out success.

The 3-strong cast perform extremely well together with Patrick Wallace and James Garvock taking on dual roles as slick talking miked- up boxing pundits as well as that of (respectively) brother Teddy the trainer and promoter Jack with Stuart’s Dad. Daniel Campbell is outstanding as he emanates strength and emotion just by standing with his back to the crowd ready to fight. His character Stuart’s verbal fight is a tour de force and his moment of finding “clouds on top of the mountain” is electric.

The writing and direction of this testosterone filled 50 minutes is as tight as a well-toned 6-pack. The boxing ring is a platform to act out tensions that go far beyond one on one combat. However, the inclusion of American Jack’s sorry past was only a distraction from Stuart’s central dilemma. Unresolved issues resulting in transference and long term revenge show a very male solution to complex human problems. Sadly any real redemption is lost.

This is the world première of a powerful play from two promising young Traverse 50 writers Mikey Burnett and Joseph McCann and the collective talent of new Scottish graduates from Edinburgh Napier and Queen Margaret Universities’. Well worth getting a ringside seat!

Suitability 14+
Aug 6,8,10,12,14,16,18,20,22 18:45