'In this way I shall preserve many things that would otherwise be lost in oblivion. I shall find daily employment for myself, which will save me from indolence and help to keep off the spleen, and I shall lay up a store of entertainment for my after life.'

For James Boswell posts please follow the labels on the right.

This blog mainly contains reviews from the Edinburgh Festivals from 2008 to 2010 which I wrote for the Edinburgh Festivals Magazine. These reviews cover everything from comedy to contemporary dance; children's theatre to Handel.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Apples Review


This is a tale of Northern poverty, drug and alcohol abuse, promiscuous sex and rape. It is also, if you’re feeling clever, a half hearted metaphor about Eden, complete with Adam, Eve and the Apple.

The show is powerful and well acted. ‘Brutally honest’ is also one, perhaps slightly lazy way, of describing the first stage-adaptation of Richard Milward’s debut novel. It does, indeed, cram in everything, from domestic violence to lung cancer; rape to infanticide. 

Yet one suspects – as with many great works documenting the lives of grimy plebeians – that the script has gone slightly overboard. From Juvenile to Hogarth; Dickens and ‘Shameless’, there is always more than a hint of the literati revelling in the grotesque lives of others. It seems removed, not simply from patrician comfort, but reality itself; the poor, like the rich, surely enjoy the same basic sins and aspire to similar virtues in life? Use similar frames of reference to define their morals and have the same positive and negative experiences in life?

Nevertheless, Milward’s script does pick up on the often unnoticed failure of the baby boomer generation to translate their hollow and vague optimism about life to a younger generation. The mantras of Dad’s records about love, loving and, er, loving to love, do not translate well into this youthful world of shagging, drug abuse and hangovers. 

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