Uncle Varick – King’s Theatre – Edinburgh

“I thought it was Uncle Vanya.”

It is. But someone Scottish-ized it and it became Uncle Varick. This was the play I saw in Edinburgh and it was a bit of a dud.

A professional production is a professional production and this had all the hallmarks of well-executed theatre. I was not disappointed in the production value or the quality of the acting. This play fell down because it was also well-trod theatre. Laying Scottish values on the play did not make it new enough. ‘Yelena,’ whose Scottish name I don’t remember, had a wonderful 60’s mod wardrobe which was probably the freshest thing in the play. I looked forward to her wardrobe changes. That and the reminder to add Sofya’s closing speech to my list for dramatic monologues were about all I got out of the show.

It was nice to be out of an evening with friends. You can never underestimate the persistent excitement of being someplace new and foreign. I was really happy to keep my play streak going. And perhaps it’s also good to know that mediocre happens everywhere. Even in the places you had dreamed of as perfect.



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