ROUGHS at the Edinburgh Fringe


Roughs posterFrom a playwright of such towering intellectual reputation Roughs is one of Becket’s most difficult texts. (Published as Rough for Theatre I and Rough for Theatre II ) To run them at the Fringe takes courage and a lot of balls. Not many will understand the message, if there is one, or see the point, or follow the story, of the two back to back sketches performed with such black and white intensity The first sketch metaphor, of the blind beggar and the crippled cynic, alone and alienated from any emotional supports is perhaps a commentary on our current political austerity, but it is hard work to make it comprehensible. Beautifully performed, it still leaves you confused. The sketch then performs a metamorphosis and becomes the second Becket sketch, utterly unrelated to the blind beggar and the crippled cynic, it becomes two business men bureaucrats discussing the life of a man who may be about to commit suicide. This is even more difficult to follow or understand. You need to be a hard core Becketian to truly appreciate it. At at times your sympathy would be with the suicidal man standing on the window ledge. You have to see this if you are at all interested in Theatre and writing. But it is not a fun filled afternoon. Quite apart from the performance, it is surely the case that the quite startling poster for this production is simply the finest piece of artwork on the fringe.

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