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Gagarin Way

“A resonant, revelatory revival”

It’s nearly two decades since Gregory Burke’s darkly comic Gagarin Way first burst onto a stage, but Cora Bissett’s new production for the Dundee Rep makes it feel fresher than ever.

It is as brutal an expression of the destructive forces of international capitalism as it ever was – all that is missing is the term “neoliberalism” as left-wing idealist Gary (Michael Moreland) and uptight Eddie (Ewan Donald) kidnap company rep Frank (Barrie Hunter) in a human heist gone wrong.

Bissett’s direction draws out the musicality of the Fife vernacular. The pacing is superb and she has tightened the flow of the play by excising a handful slightly dated exchanges. Eddie’s wit might be obvious, but Donald gives him a dead-behind-the-eyes sense of danger too.

There is a levity and lightness to the comedy of the opening banter between Eddie and Ross Baxter’s young student turned security guard, Tom. When the heist goes wrong the comedy continues to leaven the brutality, but also adds tension as the approaching mayhem becomes clear.

Emily James’s realistic set gives Bissett space for a couple excellent visual gags, while grounding the production in the mundanity of working life in the supply room of a Dunfermline factory. Niroshini Thambar’s sound design both enhances the realism and underscores the tension.

The real revelation of Bissett’s production, however, is her depiction of Eddie’s violence as both a reflection of where we are now and a warning of where we could so easily be heading.

Cora Bissett: ‘Our society is changing: we need to represent and engage with that’


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Production Details
Production nameGagarin Way
VenueDundee Rep
StartsOctober 16, 2018
EndsNovember 3, 2018
Running time1hr 25mins
AuthorGregory Burke
DirectorCora Bissett
Set designerEmily James
Lighting designerKatharine Williams
Sound designerNiroshini Thambar
CastBarrie Hunter, Ewan Donald, Michael Moreland, Ross Baxter
Stage managerKaty Nicolson
ProducerDundee Rep
VerdictCora Bissett's sharp, resonant revival of Gregory Burke’s comedy about a failed heist
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Thom Dibdin

Thom Dibdin

Thom Dibdin

Thom Dibdin

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