City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

The Year of The Hare, Pleasance Dome, Review


By Kenneth Scott - Posted on 22 August 2015

Year of The Hare - Photo Credit Alan McCredie
2
Show details
Venue: 
Pleasance Dome
Company: 
Ryhmäteatteri
Running time: 
75mins
Production: 
Aleksis Meaney (director), Esa Leskinen, Sami Keski-Vähälä, Kristian Smeds (writers), Catherine Grosvener (adapter), Hanna Roisko (producer), Sarah McCardie (musical director), Jussi Kärkkäinen (sound designer), Janne Siltavuori (costume / set design), Ville Salmisalo and Ville Vierikko (video designers).
Performers: 
David McKay, Kim Allan, Martin Docherty, Sarah McCardie.

This is a fairytale of globalisation, corporate greed and of coming to terms with reality in a world gone mad.

As the show begins lurid banner statements are projected, from the prosaic “Think Global Act Local” to a more provocative “Death to Shopping Malls” and a philosophical “A Different World is Possible”.

As the characters at this point all have lovely long ears you can tell that they are fictional characters, or perhaps have their own reality - or are part of a dream.

Sleeping in front of the TV is Vatanen, a burnt-out anti-depressant pill-popping middle-aged executive struggling to achieve “strategic agility” in outsourcing paper industry jobs from Finland to South America. Once he was in tune with nature but now the nearest he gets is watching nature documentaries.

A get away is what he needs when sent to a weekend workshop to unleash his inner power. Driving off he lets fate do the steering and is met by a hare staring into his headlights. Taking the injured animal to a gonzo vet stirs memories of childhood times in magical places when the trees spoke to him. Finding himself simultaneously divorced and fired he sets of with Hare on a mad march north that will see them outlaws and fleeing into the wilderness, only to face a dark spirit.

Along the way they will visit the recurrent themes of globalisation, a world where money has become God and of communities stripped of their resources and their jobs. There are warnings of world food shortages, global warming and climate refugees.

The style is episodic and throws in philosophical discussion and karaoke in what becomes a bit of a Nietzshean panto. This is reinforced by the decision to give it a Scottish “flavour”, which is certainly not a showcase of the talent on offer.

The show, whilst comedic, questions the difference between reality and our dream state, warns against sleeping through life and promotes the opportunity to still wake up. Some scenes work well and the final filmed sequence pulls some of this together, but it is too late to save what comes over as patchy and haphazard.

Show Times: 5 to 31 (not 17, 24) August 2015 at 6.45 pm.

Ticket Prices: £8 (£7) to £10 (£9).

Suitability: 12+