Edinburgh review: Bullet Catch

Written for The Stage

Bullet Catch

Like the magic trick it is named after, Rob Drummond’s Bullet Catch is not quite one thing and not quite another. It delicately sits between truth and fiction, playing with the intangibility of magic and human connection.

We begin with Drummond choosing a volunteer to shoot him. Perhaps understandably he takes his time over it. They’re going to be sharing a lot, and he knows the cost to each of them if it goes wrong.

The piece is structured around the fatal onstage shooting of Victorian magician William Henderson by labourer Charles Gaunt. Drummond is a warm, charismatic and consummate performer. But this isn’t a solo show, and he gives a lot over to the volunteer. The danger in this sharing of power is palpable – these are uncontrolled circumstances and anything could happen. What if the volunteer just refuses to do it, or worse?

Through Gaunt’s fictional letters, ideas of nihilism are movingly explored. The show isn’t really about a bullet catch, but what would drive someone to do one. Still, nothing can detract from the frisson of seeing a gun onstage or the feeling of fear when an utter stranger holds it in front of you. Even magic tricks can go wrong.

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Exeunt Critics’ Picks of 2011

LOTS of fabulous picks here by some people who really know their stuff including some expected and not so expected pieces. Wish I could have mentioned London Road, wish I could have seen Mission Drift…

Originally published on Exeunt

Of course we are wary of the arbitrary nature of these things, the artificiality of seasons, the ordering of experiences into peaks, the hierarchal maps they reproduce, the dangers of placing Fabulous ones next to Those who have just broken a vase.  However at some point you have to be practical.  Our critics have valiantly seen a metric stage-tonne of theatre this year, so what better to relive with sufficient context their most notable moments? And from here it looks like they have produced a list unrivalled for its scope, depth and surprises.  So without further ado-ing, and in no particular order…

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