In a world where we have so much choice, it’s hard to find something that really grabs us. So much of what we see on screen and stage, leaves us indifferent – yeah it was good we’ll say, but soon the experience will be hazy in our minds.
I can say with absolute certainty I will never forget seeing Gregory Burke’s Gagarin Way at the Dundee Rep. Directed by the wonderful Cora Bissett, this production is so visceral, so raw and so powerful I could barely slide my eyes away from the stage.
Described as a political thriller, it is set in a computer factory in Dunfermline. Without giving too much away, it’s about two disillusioned workers who plan a misguided protest against an unfair capitalist system, and romanticise the days when Fife was socialist, radicalised, and proud of it. But it’s much more. It is everything you could possibly want from a theatre production. It’s also a play that is almost impossible to review without robbing theatre goers of the opportunity to see the production blind, unaware of its many twists and turns.
But, what I can tell you is this; the tightly-written script is incredible. There isn’t a single word wasted in this highly-charged drama. The black humour running through Gagarin Way hits the spot each and every time. The laughs come thick and fast, each one louder than the last, and yet there’s an edge to them as the spellbinding drama unfolds, consuming us.
The acting is nothing short of brilliant. Michael Moreland is compelling as Gary, Ross Baxter, hilarious and endearing as Tom and Barrie Hunter, sympathetic and thought provoking, as Frank, but it is Ewan Donald, with his utterly electrifying portrayal of Eddie, who sets the stage alight.
And finally, Gagarin Way is a masterpiece. I envy each and every one of you who still has the opportunity to go and see it.