A Clockwork Orange, Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh
Alexandra Spencer-Jones’ adaptation of Anthony Burgess’ classic novel won rave reviews last year when it debuted at the Fringe. A year on, it seems even more relevant as a commentary on the “disaffected youth” of last summer’s riots.
In one scene, the droogs’ uniform is even replaced with hooded tops and baseball caps in a direct nod to modern youth culture.
High art constantly pushes up against ultraviolence: Alex’s poetic “nadsat” language is used to hurl colourful insults; fight sequences are performed with slow-motion, balletic moves - and they’re set to soundtracks from Beethoven to the Scissor Sisters, causing the mood to shift between a drunken night at a gay club (a re-imagining of Burgess’ Milkbar) to a hostile encounter in a dark street.
Scenes of sexual violence are given an added disturbing edge by the all-male cast, who replace the novel’s heterosexual scenes with enacted male-on-male rape. The black and white set, with orange highlights, provides a bare canvas for lurid light projections which add to the menacing tone.
Martin McCreadie, who plays Alex, is charismatic, muscular and infinitely watchable. Starting out with sneering, youthful arrogance, his downfall as he shakes, balled up and screaming to Beethoven’s Fifth is all the more poignant for his former prowess and machisimo.
8-26 August, Box office: 0131 556 6550
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 2 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 3 Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations
- 4 Sir Winston Churchill’s family begged him not to convert to Islam, letter reveals
- 5 UK weather: 'Coldest night of the year' tonight as freezing temperatures plummet to -10C
Downton Abbey Christmas special 2014, review: Love is everywhere, actually
The Boy in the Dress, TV review: David Walliams' Boxing Day treat is a celebration of being different
Exodus: Gods and Kings banned in the UAE for 'religious mistakes'
Game of Thrones is most-pirated TV show of 2014
Doctor Who and the BBC 'promoting a gay agenda', viewers complain
Millions of Britons struggling to feed themselves and facing malnourishment
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Nigel Farage: Ukip leader named 'Briton of the year' by The Times
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk