Sunday, July 27, 2014


Tron Theatre Artistic director states " Edwin Morgan's Dreams & Other Nightmares – Liz Lochhead's play about her friend
and fellow poet Edwin Morgan first appeared at Glasgay! in 2011, a year after
Morgan's death aged ninety. Set in a care home and based around conversations
with Morgan's biographer, Lochhead uses this a jumping off point to look at
Morgan's life as a gay man living a private life beyond his poetry in a vivid
eighty minutes of memory, imagination and poetic longing."

According to the description "Edwin Morgan’s last room in a nursing home in the West End of Glasgow.  Everything’s reduced to the barest essentials, just a bed, a wheelchair and a desk.  On a dark ordinary Friday afternoon in winter, middle-aged James, the poet’s biographer, friend and helper, there to do routine admin with the frail eighty seven year old, hears this urgent question from a deeply disturbed Morgan, who then recounts a series of vivid dreams, nightmares in fact, which have been disturbing him.
Images, poems, remembered lovers, regrets, rough trade, propositions accepted or avoided, truths, desires and lives surround the bed.  James, the listener, is disturbed too, trapped in his task like a reluctant interpreter/psychiatrist/amateur Freudian."

This review is from The Scotsman Newspaper from when the play originally came out earlier in the decade.
"The scene is a Glasgow care-home where Morgan lay dying, in the last year of his life; the key relationship is the one between Morgan and his friend and biographer, a fictional version of the real-life James McGonigal. Morgan feels he cannot write any more, but is suddenly assailed by three vivid and terrifying dreams. He clutches at James, and asks whether he thinks it possible that “a person could live two utterly different lives, without either self being aware of the other?”
Out of that central thought, Lochhead weaves a complex 80 minutes of memory, imagination, conversation, and poetry, in which Davie McKay plays both a lovable Morgan and – with less success – a cheeky, streetwise character who represents the poet’s “life force”. Part tribute to the intensity of a homosexual life that spanned the ages of secrecy and openness, part powerful reflection on Morgan’s modernity and restlessness, and part loving portrait of a city with its own double lives, Lochhead’s play is as rich as it is memorable; and even in its most awkward moments, the three actors – including Lewis Howden as the biographer, and Steven Duffy as a series of lovers – deliver it with a passion and care that speaks volumes, not least about the love that surrounds the immortal memory of Edwin Morgan."
The video below is the "Off The Page" programme featuring Edwin Morgan discussing his childhood and what , for him , was a bad period for Western Poetry post-war.

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