Writer: Douglas Maxwell
Director: Dominic Hill
Reviewer: Rachel Clark
Fever Dream: Southside is a show that begs for the construction of a united community; for Glasgow’s identity to be proud and prosperous; for us all to stand as one in the city that belongs to us. But it certainly has a strange way of conveying it.
The stage is dominated by Neil Warmington’s concert-esque platform design and the flickering‘Christ died for our sins’ sign recognisable from Victoria Road. The first act features the use of three doors – significant as each character is on the threshold of change. Peter and Demi are adjusting to life as parents while Peter yearns to escape Glaswegian soil, the two American Joe’s are struggling to fit in with the ‘monsters’ of Glasgow as they travel door to door to spread the word of Jesus Christ, Kuldev and Raj are developing a desire to break the glass and join the oligarchy thus departing from their lives as outsiders. Julia is a performance artist, or Lulu, or simply nothing. Most importantly, they’re all on the verge of madness, or perhaps on the brink of sanity. As the temperature rises in Govanhill and the separate storylines begin to intertwine in unexpected ways, it is unclear who is the craziest of them all as they confront their inner demons and question their existence.
Dealing with a surprising number of current issues from crime, religion and economic development to urban sprawl and immigration, the show’s preoccupation with identity, or indeed lack of it, keeps Glasgow at the heart of the plotline which loosely revolves around the preparation for a community rally. Maxwell’s play is supported by a strong cast of seven and intriguing contemporary music as designed by Michael John McCarthy.
The show’s positive, if somewhat blatant, message creates an entertaining political drama to be remembered. If that’s not enough, there’s also a talking pterodactyl, rending the Citz as a highly recommendable destination for the next two weeks.
Runs until 9 May