Pronoun. Lyceum Youth Theatre


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Sorry, but I just have to plug this.

I was at the opening tonight of Evan Placey’s Pronoun and I have to say it’s a brilliant piece of writing about sexual identity, transgender issues, gender stereotyping and adolescent identity.

Here’s what Placey has to say about it.

Evan Placey wrote the play for National Theatre Connections, of which Lyceum Youth is a regular contributor.  It will play on the main stage in the summer but you can see its development performances this week at The Traverse.  And I would urge you to do so.

It’s about childhood sweethearts Josh (Louis Plummer in a very funny and mature performance) and his girlfriend Isabella who is the (perhaps surprisingly female) transgender subject of the play.

Isabella changes her name to Dean in thrall of her movie idol James Dean who takes on a role that resembles the Moonboy character that is played by Chris O’Dowd in that he exists in an imaginary space.  It’s an important construct in the play and it works incredibly well because James Dean is played superbly by Keir Aitken.

It’s an excellent play;  thought provoking, intelligent and  challenging.

The cast universally rise to the challenge.

They are supplemented by a Greek Chorus of a dozen or so who had, earlier in the evening, presented a selection of short plays developed in the very laudable and interesting Traverse Scribbles initiative.

Eilidh McKellar. Hold Steady.


Our neighbour’s second single and another cracker.

You saw it here first!

See her live at;

March 8 – Proud Camden – London

March 19 – Oporto – Leeds

March 25 – Blues Kitchen – London

March 31 – Smokestack – Leeds

April 6 – Greystones – Sheffield

April 18 – Voodoo Rooms – Edinburgh

June 24 – The Islington – London

Recent reading. The Psycopath test by Jon Ronson


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I’m new to Jon Ronson.  This was a gift so I approached with no preconceptions.

At first I was bowled over by his really great writing style.  Self deprecating, very amusing and, well, bloggish.  But as the book wore on, despite remaining constantly interesting, I began to wonder what the point of it was.

It’s neither a text book nor a novel.

In fact it feels like a series of reasonably closely connected essays on a subject he does not profess to be expert in and yet has written at least four books on the subject.

That subject being, and I apologise for the crassness of his own byline, madness.  (A journey through the madness industry.)

It’s part Louis Theroux, part Michael Moore, part Bill Bryson but the sum is not quite as satisfying as any of them because I got the feeling he was pulling too many punches.

He has a go at psychiatrists, the pharmaceutical industry as a whole and the process of evaluating possible psycopaths (sociopaths) but he typically fails to land any real killer blows.

The result is a bit of a curate’s egg.

Sure it’s really well written, stylistically – and interestingly researched – but my question is; Why?

I’m not trying to put you off because I found it an interesting, and enjoyable, read but it really does fall into a category I can’t find or describe.

I will explore his back catalogue deeper nevertheless.