Six Characters in Search of an Author
In Mark Thomson's funny and sure-footed staging . . . the six intruders are not only cast-offs of an unknown author's imagination, but also theatrical ghosts, haunting the netherworld between reality and illusion.
[Pirandello] engages us in an Ibsenesque plot about a dysfunctional family suffering poverty, sexual exploitation and suicide at the same time as showing it for the artifice that it is. The pull of the narrative keeps us on board, so we hardly notice we have been caught up in an esoteric debate about the nature of art, character and reality.
Newcomer Amy Manson gives the performance of the evening, playing the Step-daughter with tremendous sensitivity to the switches from irony to anger to humiliation, while Ron Donachie plays her father with an authority that makes his role as a sexual predator even more creepy. Their lingering presence at the end of the show, like spectres after the ball, leaves us with a chill sensation of the haunting power of the imagination.
The Guardian * * * *
This adaptation of Pirandello by David Harrower is an absorbing and thought-provoking look at the limitations of art in addressing truth and reality. Ostensibly a tragedy, it is also very funny.
Premiered in 1921, its touchstones include Waiting For Godot and If On A Winter's Night A Traveller, which also looked at identity, perspective and notions of reality.
Metro (Scotland) * * * *
. . . it's not so much an author [the Characters] are seeking but closure from the kitchen sink drama they're trapped in.
When Six Characters was first produced, Pirandello was kicking out at the glass ceiling of his art as well as pursuing a line of philosohical enquiry. Today, this looks like an envelope-pushing precursor of everything from devised and verbatim theatre to the attention-seeking flotsam and jetsam who make confessional reality TV such a freak-show.
The Herald * * *