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Theatre: The Curse of Iain Banks, Gilded Balloon

WITH the preponderance of monologue, not to mention an exposition and resolution that are described rather than displayed, one gets the impression Maxton Walker would rather be writing a novel - and an Iain Banks one at that. One suspects he'd do it rather well, too.

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This is a show for the aficionados, though a ridiculous premise is surprisingly well wrought. Ian Banks (note the one ''i'') has a problem in that a member of his family dies every time his namesake publishes a book. The search for the source of the curse takes in secret passages, the Forth Rail Bridge, and the man himself. Those who are better read Banks-wise, will make proper sense of it, though energetic performances from Gordon Rennie, Sarah Gudgeon, and Alun Cochrane, along with vigorous, taking it seriously directing from David Roylance, at least makes a surreal drama out of a strange homage.

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