BWW Review: THE RED CHAIR, Tron Theatre, Glasgow
The Red Chair is described as a cross between a Grimm's fairy tale and an absurdist ghost story. It is the surreal folktale of a man who eats and eats until he becomes so fat that he turns into his chair and his wife is forced to cook for him and feed him constantly.
Told in broad Scots, I found The Red Chair a little hard to follow at times. While I am familiar with the words, I was having to concentrate so hard on the language that I wasn't really taking in the story at points. It is certainly descriptive and a graphic retelling of vomiting made everybody's stomach churn.
Sarah Cameron is an engaging performer, although at almost two hours The Red Chair is far too long. Cameron's monologue is undoubtedly impressive but it is difficult for one performer to hold audience interest for that length of time.
The staging of this piece was excellent. The Tron's Changing House makes for an intimate performance space and the use of lighting was eerie and atmospheric.
During a week where debates about eating in the theatre have been rife over Twitter, it seems timely to have a show that issues a "tasting menu" upon entry. The audience are asked to collect a dram of whisky from the bar on the way in and hold on to it for the next 90 minutes (which in Glasgow, feels like some sort of social experiment..). The performance is punctuated with cake, dates and chocolate at appropriate breaks in the story.
While the tale is beautifully told and the language is pure poetry, I did find myself getting a little restless and welcomed the refreshment breaks in lieu of a proper interval.
The Red Chair runs at the Tron Theatre until Saturday 4th March.