Edinburgh Festival Day 2 / Reviews : Columbus: Blooding the Ocean

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The Independent Culture
The Traverse Theatre has opened its spectacular new premises with an experimental piece of new writing. Michele Celeste's commissioned play is set on Columbus's second return voyage from the Americas when the dream of the New World is crumbling. Instead of gold, the explorer brings the cannibal king Caonabo (played by the Wooster Group's Bob Wisdom) as a gift for the Infanta of Spain. The plot enables Celeste to develop a series of crudely handled parallels: between life and gold; between Spanish violence and Caribbean violence; and between Christian hypocrisy and savage integrity. The excellent subject matter is further burdened by a series of ridiculous dilemmas and the attempts by the cast to inflate the script with passion simply result in over-acting.

Traverse Theatre, Cambridge St (venue 15) 031-228 1404. 8pm. To 23 Aug. Also 25-30 Aug at 1pm.