12.08.2011

The Times kirjoittaa Päällystakista Edinburghin Fringe Festivaalilla

Ryhmäteatterissa aikanaan kantaesityksensä saanut Esa Leskisen ja Sami Keski-Vähälän Päällystakki sai ensi-iltansa ke 3.8. Edinburgh Fringe Festivaalilla Pleasancen Queen Domessa.

The Timesin teatterikriitikko Libby Pruves kirjoittaa 12.8. lehdessä näin:

The Overcoat is a delight: an adaptation of Gogol’s mournful Russian tale by the Finnish group Rhymäteatteri, re-adapted by Catherine Grosvenor into the sharpest, sweetest of satires on the banking crisis. The tale of the clerk Akaki and his new overcoat is extended into a contemptuous potted history of modern banking, technology and society; yet Gogol would recognise its heart: a beautiful performance by Billy Mack as the kindhearted clerk.

His life is told in quickfire style, with playful character changes and witty props. In respectable 1950s Scotland, he deploys his neat clerical skills under a traditional bank manager, alongside Aggie and Maggie, the mumsy typists. The first computers arrive — great boxes dumped on desks, amid panicked attempts by Aggie to shake her keyboard looking for her lost work.

A barrow-boy 1980’s boss takes over, shouting: “Lend, lend, lend! Or you’re sacked.” The ERM crisis is a balloon that flies fartingly off. A man staggers in with a tangle of wires: “This is the internet. You’ll soon get the idea.” A third boss hires only bullied temps and forces everyone to oversell the “Sahara Opportunities Fund”. Akaki is persuaded into buying an oversize Armani overcoat by a style consultant. As things implode a fourth boss, Euro- Sven, announces: “We are selling fear!”

Akaki’s anxiety medications spawn a gang of mocking, personified side effects, he loses job and coat, and at the Big Society window is told to become a volunteer “or set up a free school?”. For all the larks, the end is poignant, with Gogol’s conclusion: “Any sorrow may be borne, as long as it is part of a story.”

Thank you, Finnish government and sponsors. For, as a more frivolous show illustrates, Fringe economics are senseless. In Flyerman (at Surgeon’s Hall), Steve Davis and David Kurk conclude with a demonstration of how even full houses mean losing £620. “So,” they explain, “we’ve worked out that you each owe us twenty quid.”

www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news