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Theatre Review: Them! ***

Michael Cox reviews a flawed production that is consistently entertaining.

We live in spoiler paranoid times. The National Theatre of Scotland’s production of Them! doesn’t give out it’s programme to audiences until the very end for fear of ‘spoiling’ the experience, so how then can one review this latest by writer Pamela Carter and director Stewart Laing?

The adverts state that the audience are watching a live chat show recording for a TV programme and that things change, including ‘space and time’. I’m willing to confirm that this is the case, though the crux of the production has far larger reaches than being a mere chat show format. Hosted by Kiruna Stammell (on brilliant, bubbly and hilarious form) the show is busy asking many questions about life, art and what the role of the audience is.

And that’s where it all comes apart, because while Them! is happy asking many questions, it spends little time on anything else. Like the know-it-all student who just won’t shut up, the production seems more intent on proving how clever it is rather than on just being clever, resulting in a production that is consistently entertaining but is still a bit up itself to be taken too seriously.

Them! performs at the Tramway until July 6th.

Tags: theatre

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