Love The Sinner
Tron Theatre, Glasgow
Neil Cooper
Five stars

How do you bring a broken city back to life? In the case of Imogen Stirling’s epic contemporary reimagining of biblical mythology, you drag a magnificent seven self-destructive sinners out of isolation, then bring down the rain in apocalyptic fashion.

At the centre of the tumult is Sloth, a woman confined in a high rise overlooking a place that looks a bit like Glasgow, only darker. As she finally steps outside in search of redemption, some of the city’s other eight million stories come into view.

Through the figures of Envy, Greed, Gluttony, Pride, Lust and Wrath, Stirling lays bare a litany of quiet desperation that gets under the skin of lives lost to loneliness, addiction, nihilistic excess and other everyday tragedies as they cling on to whatever they can for comfort.

READ MORE: Actor known for groundbreaking gay role in A Taste of Honey

Originally commissioned by Vanishing Point Theatre company and Luke Holbrook as a solo spoken word show, director Matthew Lenton’s production scales up Stirling’s poetic vision for a full blown theatrical assault.

The Herald:

While Stirling’s words remain its heart, sound and vision are crucial. The live presence of musician Sonia Killmann accentuates Sarah Carton’s original score with slow burning beat driven intensity. Alisa Kalyanova’s neon lined set, Ellie Thompson’s moody video projections, Simon Wilkinson’s lighting design and Mark Melville’s sound design all conspire to bring Stirling’s murky world to sensurround life.

READ MORE: Where to see the hit musical inspired by songs of Runrig

If this is Stirling playing god as she narrates her inner city fable of beautiful losers weathering the storm over the show’s seventy-minute duration, her creations aren’t that hard to recognise.

As the seven gradually come blinking into the light, they reveal what might just be the first post Covid meditation on what it means to be human as we attempt to reconnect. In Sloth’s case, at least, as she comes up for air, her deep dive into enlightenment is a wake up call that becomes an epiphany of life renewed.