ED2011 4/5 Reviews ED2011 Theatre Reviews

Ruskin Live! (Paul O’Keeffe)

By | Published on Wednesday 31 August 2011

This is a dramatic recitation of John Ruskin’s famously controversial four lectures delivered in Edinburgh 150 years ago. Feeling fresh despite their age, they attack the then-popular Grecian architectural movement. Although the architectural content of the debate has become dated, it is the arguments for personal enrichment through renovation that remain wholly relevant. Imbuing Ruskin and his text with wit and energy, Paul O’Keeffe’s performance as the stern writer holds the piece together. Though all found in the text, it takes an accomplished actor to draw it out and portray it to his audience, which O’Keeffe makes look easy. Expecting attacks against his lectures, Ruskin’s closing defence to his naysayers poignantly conveys the troubles facing any fresh thinking.

Scottish National Gallery, 15 – 19 Aug (not 17), 3.00pm (4.30pm), £8.00 – £10.00, fpp294.
tw rating 4/5