Treading The Borders

…great writing performed by professional actors in interesting venues


Excerpt from a review by Althea Stentiford of "Marrakech"
from the launch performance at Paxton House, Scottish Borders, on 22 October 2011

To read the entire review click here.

In the Picture Gallery we are seated beneath a grand cupola that crowns the magnificent artwork on loan from the National Gallery. Tonight the company play to almost a full house and in the subtle lighting the two dimensional painted onlookers appear like extra faces in the audience. Marrakech is a piece that depends on accurate timing to achieve the laughs, and the company execute themselves well to stop it slipping too far into sit-com land. Houston Green is excellent as the dry Vivien tolerating her needy partner and the ever-petulant Kerr successfully makes you wince as he indecisively meanders around her like a toddler. In the end they are both spoilt, and reveal the hypocrisy in their relationship based on their lies and delusions. Walter sits dreaming about travelling but all that stops him is his dependency on her, and Vivien decries his apathy but what Walter lacks at home she mirrors at work. We’ve all seen relationships like this and the accuracy of the nitpicking and analysis of minutiae is splendid.

Excerpt from a review by Althea Stentiford of "I Can't Remember Anything"
from the launch performance at Paxton House, Scottish Borders, on 22 October 2011

To read the entire review click here.

This is a delightful piece of theatre to watch, with one-liners and laughs aplenty. Well crafted by Millers pen, Sproul-Cran directs with a light touch and allows the performers to fully inhabit their roles. Kerr is ambitious with his portrayal of Leo’s Parkinson’s disease symptoms; to maintain the relentless shake is no mean feat, but he makes a good attempt and offsets it with an excellent New England accent and deep timbre in his voice that encapsulates the old man’s age. Houston Green is eerily duplicitous as she manoeuvres around her desire to consume the alcohol, trying to always appear to be breezy and not want to be a bother to anyone. An added bonus is the rousingly comic dance scene as the pair attempt to gyrate to the syncopated beat. Simple lighting cues and sound effects added to this performance in the extravagant Painting Gallery of this 18th Century Palladian Country House and, within this unique background, it was a most enjoyable indulgence.

Review by Julian Cotton from the Border Telegraph - 23.11.11
from the performance at the County Hotel, Selkirk - 19.11.11

Treading the Borders is a newly established theatre company which aims to bring to the Borders drama which is perhaps more edgy and perhaps more relevant to modern living than the kind of theatre the Borders is accustomed to seeing.

On Saturday, November 19, the packed and appreciative County Hotel in Selkirk proved there is an appetite for this kind of adventurous double header tackling universal themes – the midlife crisis of Walter in Marrakech and the deeper pains of old age incarnate in Leonora and Leo in Arthur Miller’s poignant I Can’t Remember Anything. Marrakech has the deceptively light air of a British sitcom, the Miller play a more heavy-duty American feel to it, but the shared theme of emotional interdependency dovetails perfectly. Superbly directed with a light touch by Robert Sproul-Cran, who clearly recognised the protagonists in both plays teeter on the edge of personal catastrophe and demise, but doesn’t allow them to plunge over the precipice by being over demonstrative or mobile. Jane Houston Green and Jacques Kerr bare the characters’ souls with subtle, but powerful intensity as we peer uneasily at our common humanity, our inability to act, fears of loneliness and death. Deep Stuff. Treading the Borders has made a hugely promising start. If it builds on this by taking more risks in the future it will be the genesis of something really exciting for Borders theatregoers.