Dog has his day?

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THEATRE is a medium often used to tackle the bigger issues.

From politics to social problems, there are plays which tackle difficult subjects and leave you with more questions than answers.

This week, Stark Theatre are looking to do just that.

The troupe — formed in 2006 by a group of Strathclyde University graduates — first appeared in Live! with a lighthearted show promoting café and performance culture together by taking playful pieces to coffee shop audiences.

A Dog Called Redemption, however, is a different affair.

The uncompromising production directed by Peter Lamb is (pardon the pun) a stark look at what it’s like to live on the streets — and the team guarantee that the audience will be moved.

Curtains open on two homeless men wandering the streets in seek of comfort, warmth, sustenance — but more importantly, empathy and acceptance, companionship and understanding, affection and love.

The relationship between the two is a strange bond based on different circumstances, yet a common loss — and each tells a tale of being forgotten by the society around them.

The Matthew Landers-penned show first appeared at the 2008 Fringe, achieving five star ratings and appreciative nods to its biting humour.

Stark remains true to its original ideals, using minimal sets, lighting and props in order to focus in on characters and the dilemmas they face.

Now on its seventh production, the theatre group is still homeless itself: with no physical base, it chooses venues to suit each piece.

It’s perhaps no surprise, then, that this week’s stage is Avant Garde — one of the many trendy, arts-focused bars and venues to have popped up around the Trongate in recent years.

The tagline used for A Dog Called Redemption is a reference to Labour leader Ed Milliband: that mental illness is “the biggest unaddressed health challenge of our age”.

Stark looks set to tackle it head-on — and it might just be worth a trip to the city to see.

n A Dog Called Redemption runs from today until Saturday (Nov 8-10) at Avant Garde on King Street. 7.30pm performance, and tickets cost £7 from 08444 155 221 or