Rapture Theatre in Quarantine

Restrictions may be lifting, and people getting out and about more, but normal life isn’t quite back yet. For those who are still a wee bit wary of wading back into the current façade of normality, Glasgow based theatre company, Rapture, continues to post a weekly theatrical treat in the form of Rapture Mini Bites.

These short performances feature actors who have performed with Rapture over the years, and each Friday they are introduced by Rapture’s Artistic Director Michael Means.

Across the five Fridays in the month of July, we had another range of solo filmed performances from actors who have previously performed in Rapture productions.

Following a warm and open introduction, Frances McNamee performs Oscar Wilde’s monologue for the character Mabel Chiltern from his play An Ideal Husband. Frances gives, well, an ideal performance of what she confesses to be a coveted role for her, delivering her lines somewhere to the side of the camera lens, letting the viewer feel they are being made privy to a private piece of gossip rather than being the direct recipient of it. She smoothly switches accents from her native NE England to Mabel’s southern chirrup with ease in this three minute treat. Frances appeared in Rapture’s production last year of the Bruce Norris play, Clynebourne Park.

It seems a Mini Bite series can’t be complete without a bit of Shakespeare and this month it was provided by Michael Moreland who appeared in Rapture’s production of the Arthur Miller play All My Sons and then in Democracyby Michael Frame.  Dressed in polo shirt and Harrington jacket, Moreland gives a delivery of blue-eyed intensity of the Macbeth monologue ‘If it were done…’ against a pleated curtain that gives the impression of his being in a photo booth.  (Maybe he was!)

If the English bard makes an appearance, it’s only fair that our Scottish one does too and renowned Scottish actor, Billy Mack, came up trumps. Mack, who starred with Rapture in Neil Simon’s comedy Last of the Red Hot Loversand more recently in Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire,gives a strong rendition of Burns’ satirical poem Holy Willie’s Prayer with his eyes cast suitably heavenward as he delivers the mealy-mouthed words.

A warm and beautifully enunciated rendition of Effie Morrison’s poem The Red Balloon was delivered by Jackie Morrison (not sure if the pair are related). The poem, written in Scots, is about a child’s journey from joy to sorrow following the purchase of a red balloon and Morrison brings an authentic voice to the interpretation that is a real pleasure to listen to. Jackie also appeared last year in Rapture’s production of Clynebourne Park. 

Add to the Ben Stratton singing his own song One To One and you have a fine theatrical medley to entertain during the pandemic. Stratton also appeared in Clynebourne Park.

Rapture Mini Bites will continue each Friday via their website throughout August.

Irene Brown

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