Paul Bright's Confessions of a Justified Sinner @ Summerhall
An intelligent, interdisciplinary performance that brings together video, live performance, and a degree of object fetishism, Paul Bright's Confessions of a Justified Sinner looks at the radical genre of performance that appeared on the Glaswegian theatre scene about ten years before the turn of the millenium.
Directed by Stewart Laing, written by Pamela Carter, and performed by George Anton, it is a play that reconstructs an adaptation of the homonymous James Hogg novel. While the novel is a simple excuse to examine the memories of a vivacious, raw, experimental, era, The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner was neglected during the time of its writing (1824) – after all, it was published anonymously – but it did not fall into obscurity due to its rediscovery in the next century by André Gide.
Of course, the play is not just about the plot in the book. Being a reconstruction of an adaptation means it is the theatre version of a 'Making of...' featurette that could be found on a DVD. It gives an insider's view to the events around Paul Bright's six-part magnum opus, and it pays attention to how the adaptation was put together, both in terms of logistics and style. It is built as an insider's tribute to the era it reflects, and hence is incredibly nostalgic, but also outlines how difficult life becomes when art and life are one and the same. [Eric Karoulla]