Short Term Listings
BOOKS and CDs
LETTERS TO EDITOR
Writing for CurtainUp NYC Weather
|A CurtainUp Review
By Lizzie Loveridge
Victoria is an epic work, three plays featuring the people of a Scottish village set in the years 1936, 1974 and 1996. It is by thirty year old David Greig and parts of his writing are lyrical and poetic.
Considered as a whole, the three and a half hours worth of plays are sprawling and overly ambitious. The work strikes me as being in the wrong format in the small studio space of the Barbican's Pit. It would work better as a novel, or as a radio or television serial where one would have time to absorb and savour the characterisation.
The performances are excellent but there is just too much going on as the action moves through the lives of a dozen people over sixty years. The 1936 laird is taken with Hitler's ideas of Aryan supremacy and naturism, while less privileged villagers leave to fight in the Spanish Civil War. The Victoria of the title is in fact three women, all skilfully played as young women by Neve McIntosh -- one a the minister's daughter and maidservant who leaves for South America only to return generations later; another, an American geologist who survives a helicopter crash; and the youngest, a wealthy young girl who discovers a diary written by her grandfather about the war in Spain. The whole may be a metaphor for the state of the Scottish Highlands and what constitutes Scottishness as the century progresses.