A Dead Man’s Dying, Traverse, Review

Rating
4
Show details
Company
Òran Mór in association with the National Theatre of Scotland and the Traverse Theatre
Production
Esteban Navajas Cortes (writer, Colombia), Davey Anderson (adaptor), Davey Anderson (director), David MacLennan (producer), Susannah Armitage (associate producer), Patrick McGurn (designer), Ev Buckley (sound designer), Daniel Dixon (stage manager), Jessica Phillippi (assistant director), Kirstin Hogg (assistant designer), Sarah MacFarlane (trainee producer)

Performers
Anne Lacey (Carmen), Mairi Morrison (Otilia), Barrie Hunter (Benigno), Lewis Howden (Agustino)
Running time
50mins

The set for this play  was more elaborate than the usual minimalist props for these lunchtime plays in the A Play, A Pie, and A Pint series. We were faced with an iron double bed covered in dark, heavy brocade. A long brocade drape held by a pair of bull’s horns with a crucifix below hung at the back of the bed. There is salsa music playing to set the Latin scene.

We are then faced with a scene of mourning. Rich ranchero, Don Tino (Lewis Howden) lies on the bed as prayers and requisite requiems are said by his ‘widow’, Carmen (Anne Lacey) and their devout peasant servants Otilia (Mairi Morrison) and Benigno (Barrie Hunter).

The four characters play a clever game of outsmarting, each group thinking the other stupid. Anne Lacey plays the part like a nouveau riche wife whose mask falls easily behind closed doors and Lewis Howden, who played a manipulated factory employee in the first play of this season, was equally competent as the lord and master here, even though there was farce and comedy that was absent in the The Company will Overlook...

This is a black comedy about deceit and sweet revenge that exposes the greed of the landowner and the length he will go to save his land from peasant workers living on his flood plain. Like sheep were valued over highland people, bulls were valued over Columbian people but this ranchero is hoist by his own petard in this salutary pantomime.

Show times

Wed 9 – Sat 12 Mar (1pm)

Plays for the remaining season:

The Confidant: Tues 15 – Sat 19 Mar, 1pm

All Tickets are £12 and include a play, a pie and a drink from the top class Traverse Theatre bar café.