The Titanic Orchestra* (Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh)

Posted: August 25, 2015 in Theatre


The saying that humour does not travel could provide the explanation for Hristo Boychev’s comedy failing to make any impact in Edinburgh. The Bulgarian writer’s play (translated by Steve King) centres on four tramps stuck in a railway station waiting for a train. It has the absurdist feel of Samuel Beckett and, in its later stages, it takes on board obscure existentialist themes, but Russell Bolam’s dragging production hits the buffers early on. The big mystery is why the esteemed Scottish actor John Hannah should have chosen to become involved. At this performance, audience members began to walk out after about 10 minutes, but, to be fair, there were a few pockets of laughter (from Bulgarians perhaps?) towards the end. As a postscript, news stories of refugees trekking along railway tracks in Eastern Europe may lead to questioning whether Boychev was on to something of modern relevance. But, no, that is just a fleeting thought; this is still a turkey.

Performance date: 18 August 2015

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