Get our free email newsletter with just one click

Propeller review at Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh – ‘heartfelt show about local activism’

Cast of Propeller at Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh Cast of Propeller at Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh

Get “Lockie” back on track! Welcome to the fictional Lockhaven Port, based on a typical corner of small-town Scotland largely forgotten by the powers that be in Edinburgh and Westminster. The teenage characters who live here have one dream: to leave.

But literally leaving – either for university, a weekend trip or a daily commute – is easier said than done. Like many back-and-beyond places, Lockie (as its nicknamed) used to have a local train service to Edinburgh. Now, it just has a “shitty bus”.

In the Network Ensemble’s Propeller, a group of local young people decide to launch a campaign to get the train service returned to their town. Or rather, in keeping with the bureaucratic rules of government, their first step is to get a ‘feasibility report’ conducted.

Caitlin Skinner’s production splices the train-saving story with snapshots of historic, people-powered protests, including the miners’ strike and the anti-Iraq War protests.

There are also passages of interpretive group dance, poetry and music (George Michael’s Faith turned into a transport protest song is a highlight). But despite the enthusiasm of the cast and some dry humour, the piece as a whole lacks cohesion and always seems in danger of becoming derailed.

We need your help…

When you subscribe to The Stage, you’re investing in our journalism. And our journalism is invested in supporting theatre and the performing arts.

The Stage is a family business, operated by the same family since we were founded in 1880. We do not receive government funding. We are not owned by a large corporation. Our editorial is not dictated by ticket sales.

We are fully independent, but this means we rely on revenue from readers to survive.

Help us continue to report on great work across the UK, champion new talent and keep up our investigative journalism that holds the powerful to account. Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue.

Subscribers to The Stage get 10% off The Stage Tickets’ price
Young ensemble perform a messy but heartfelt show about grassroots activism