Pause With A Smile – Theatre Review – The Arches/Traverse

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Yasmin Ali


Tickets for Platform 18 shows (14-17th April) on sale now from Traverse Box Office: 0131 228 1404 //

Pause With A Smile

Photo courtesy of The Arches.

‘Pause With A Smile’ is an hour’s interactive dialogue of incidental anecdotes brought to you by the excellent double-act Gary McNair and Kieran Hurley. Written and directed by Platform 18 winner Gareth Nicholls, the show is a quality production which is bursting with ideas.

Pause… features an action-packed script densely populated by stories detailing a series of incredible coincidences. These are reeled off in quickfire succession to a bemused audience, who are left to ponder on their likelihood and plausibility. Each story begins with ‘Here’s one for you…’, used as a key pointer for anticipation.

These anecdotes are both charming and engaging, with the actors making use of many props on set to animate their narration. The set is styled like an old farmhouse, with many ornaments and figurines used in puppetry-style storytelling, often to comedic effect. Other use of props is more poetic such as the placing of figurines on a projector to produce a ghostly silhouette reminiscent of Shadow plays.

Audience participation was encouraged through the distribution and surrender of fifteen analogue and digital audio devices along with character names. Audience contribution was used to further humanise one of the main anecdotes of the play, both in representing their respective characters and in the music held by their recorders.

Through clever scriptwriting, delivery and theatrical devices, Pause….did provoke a smile, and some pensive reflection, on how strange and wonderful life can be and how we should all thank heavens for happy coincidences, big and small.

Theatre Review, 6/4/11, 7pm, The Arches

Running time 50mins approx.

Director: Gareth Nicholls

Actors: Gary McNair & Kieran Hurley

‘Pause With A Smile’  runs at the Traverse, Edinburgh 14-17th April 2011 – don’t miss it!!

About The Arches

The Arches as a venue offers a great variety of plays and concerts at excellent prices, allowing everybody the opportunity to experience an alternative, entertaining night out.  It is actually the better-known club nights and gig-signings that help fund the theatrical and arts shows that are part of the venue’s core artistic ethos. Watch out for upcoming coverage, including previews and reviews of 22nd April’s Nightwalk – a celebration of fashion, electronic music, photography, visual art and everything in between.


This annual New Work Award supports the Scotland’s best emergent theatre makers by offering them a unique opportunity to stage a fully funded production at the Arches and the Traverse Theatre (also in conjunction with the National Theatre of Scotland).  – The Arches, March 2011.


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