Another first for ‘Shields

Photo by Sven Hagolani.
Photo by Sven Hagolani.

THERE’S no doubt about it – London 2012 has gotten under the skin of more than just sports fans.

The arts scene has produced a wealth of sport-meets-performance pieces recently, and the National Theatre of Scotland is the next to step up to the plate.

Commissioned by the United Cultural Olympiad programme for the London 2012 festival, Ménage à Trois is premiering 
at Tramway at the end of the week before moving south 
for the festivities.

Penned, directed and performed by one woman – Claire Cunningham, aided behind the scenes by mentor Gail Sneddon and on stage by Christopher Owen – this is a dark, haunting and yet blackly funny look at love, obsession, loneliness and manipulation.

Perhaps particularly fitting as the Paralympic Games loom on the horizon, the production follows one lonely woman and a 20-year relationship with her crutches, as she uses them to craft her perfect partner.

Cunningham’s piece poses the question: is it possible to find love when there are already three of you in the room?

The play is underpinned with choreography and video installations by Sneddon — used to immerse protagonist Claire in her own world, one of imagination.

Claire the performer, meanwhile, has been honing her dance work since 2005, developing what NTS calls “a new movement vocabulary”.

With all the buzz generated by the theatre company’s last production to come to the southside (a one-man Macbeth starring Alan Cumming, which premiered in Glasgow before heading to New York), it’s perhaps fitting that NTS should return to Pollokshields to give Ménage à Trois its first outing before playing to the London crowds.

Arts appreciators may — regardless of feelings towards the Olympic Games — well be relishing the fact that Glasgow-based companies are creating new and exciting pieces of theatre and showing them off to the world.

Ménage à Trois premieres at Tramway on Friday and Saturday. Performance at 7.30pm and tickets cost £10 (£8 con.)