Alan Bissett: The Red Hourglass

The Red Hourglass is a play written and performed by Falkirk author Alan Bissett. The HAC was the venue for the last performance of a tour.

If you were easily freaked out by theatre performance this would not be for you as you have to enter your seat under red lights while Alan Bissett sits atop a chair back leaning forward with his hoodie obscuring his face. Once everyone is seated he slips from his perch and takes on the persona of a Scottish house spider at a facility at St Andrew’s university. He tells the history of spiders with great humour and Scottishness. This character  segues into others – three male, two female, and the transformations are successfully created with a pair of boots here and a furry jacket there. Of course, it is all allegorical with political overtones where a spider has a voice that actually represents something untoward about modern society.

In the final scene we are left staring at a screen with an escaped spider coming towards us. I’m glad it wasn’t the big brute that scares our soldiers in Afghanistan….

It was very clever, very Scottish and over all too soon.