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Theatre Review: The View from Castle Rock ****

Michael Cox reviews a 'poignant, humane and touching' production.

There is something wonderful about the way The View from Castle Rock is collaboratively presented: it's a Stellar Quines production that is on both Fringe and International Book Festival programmes, performed at St Marks—which stands in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle, the very titular ‘Castle’.

A theatrical adaptation of stories by Alice Munro, the play looks at the 19th century trek a family make from Scotland to Canada. Along the way, we not only get to know the family but some of the people in their lives—both on and off the ship they're sailing on.

And it is terrific stuff. The five-member acting ensemble play a collection of characters as well as a key member of the Laidlaw family, and every turn rings true. Linda McLean’s script constantly surprises, mixing the tragic with the hilarious to create a moving piece. Every moment is well-drawn, fully realising both plot and character—even for a tale that lasts only a short minute.

Director Marilyn Imrie has stitched together a wonderful production: poignant, humane and touching. At times subtle, other times over-the-top theatrical, the production constantly engages until its bittersweet ending.

Performing until August 29th before embarking on a short tour.

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