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Tonight Sandy Grierson Will Lecture, Dance and Box

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Grierson's aim with this show is to introduce us to Arthur Craven, the infamous early 20th-century poet, boxer and all-round rascal, who also, Grierson tells us, happens to be the actor's great grandfather. Whether this is actually true remains ambiguous, as do many other details of the show, but Grierson is unequivocal: every word of this piece is the truth, so we'd better believe it. And whether we do or not, it's an engaging set-up, one that causes us to question the nature of storytelling, theatre and narrative authority.

Grierson is a master when it comes to interacting with his audience, assigning administrative roles, bringing audience members on board to play various parts in the story he tells and even instructing the crowd in the intricacies of paper folding. The key to Grierson's success here is the actor's easy-going manner, along with the wit and flair of the script, which was co-written by Grierson and his director Lorne Campbell.

Less persuasive is when Grierson moves from jocular to sincere in his attempt to impress upon us the importance of the show's underlying message. The piece's later forays into transubstantiation and moralising feel rather heavy-handed compared to Grierson's earlier passionate and funny exploration of Arthur Craven's life, making for an ending that ultimately fails in what it sets out to achieve. The majority of Tonight Sandy Grierson Will Lecture, Dance and Box, however, is hugely entertaining and imaginative and certainly worth an hour of your time.