ANE SATYRE OF THE THRIE ESTAITIS Four stars
E I F The Studio Two performances
13.00 and 17.00
This was a workshop presentation of extracts from this massive drama followed by a panel discussion. The play written by Sir David Lindsay in the 16th century is a major Scots classic. It was performed only twice in the 1550s to royalty and commoners. Both text and author were burned, and only one copy survived.
It was revived in 1948 at the International Festival by Tyrone Guthrie and Robert Kemp. It is a vigorous, witty, bawdy work, in which a new king is led astray and corrupted but then later redeemed. It is critical of the then existing pillars of society, of the three estates of aristocracy, church and merchants.
It has much of the energy, humanity and profanity of the works of people like Chaucer and Rabelais. Characters have names that show what they represent, rather than having individual personalities. Thus, Maureen Beattie is Diligence, Neshla Caplan is the Fule and Please Yersel, Anneika Rose is Chastity, and so forth.
What was seen today was a series of extracts over about an hour and a half from a work that could take an entire day for a complete performance. The director and cast had only a few days to work on it and still actors had scripts in hand. However, the power of the work came over strongly.
Judging by the statements of director Joe Douglas and dramaturg Ian Brown, and from the questions and comments that came from the audience, there is considerable feeling that the work still has real relevance and that a new production could be a very good idea.
Watch this space. Something very interesting could develop over the next year or two.