Theatre

Europe

Pitlochry Festival Theatre

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Keith Bruce

Four stars

ALTHOUGH he can hardly have foreseen quite how apposite a revival of David Greig's breakthrough play would be 23 years on from its Traverse premiere, Pitlochry's artistic director John Durnin must have known it would be the bleakest element of his summer season, for all the dark humour in the text.

Becky Minto's stylish staging, and especially the sound and lighting effects of the all-important passing trains that never stop at the borderland station where most of the action takes place, nevertheless received the sort of acknowledgment that the Theatre in the Hills still metes out. I'd guess Pitlochry regulars found other elements of the production (the language, the violence, the sex) more of a challenge, but the textual resonances with recent events could be missed by none. When Greig first had the opportunist Morocco describe state frontiers as a "magic money line", Prime Minister May's admonishing of a nurse with a very similar phrase was a long way in the future.

Racist rhetoric about immigrants "stealing our jobs" have never had to wait long for an echo during the same period, but the past week's provision of an incendiary device on the rail network was, one hopes, more exceptional.

The versatile resident Pitlochry ensemble once again prove they can turn their skills to the widest range of theatre in what is a profound and powerful piece. The contemporary tragedy is that the issues it raises have only become more pertinent and pressing.