The shipyard painter, political activist and razor-sharp cartoonist Bob Starrett has just written a new book The Way I See It on his eventful life and times. Below we reprint one of his stories and review an essential read
The Horizon started off life touring as Tales From The Bar Of Lost Souls. Now retitled and drastically updated, this production by Andrew Quick and Pete Brooks for the Imitating The Dog company still has the feel of a work in progress.
The one-act play combines cinema - a staple of Imitating The Dog - with live theatre and animation. It is, for the most part, visually beautiful as sections of the projection screen slide open to reveal the actors and stage behind.
But it is let down by a rather flimsy plotline about a visiting sailor (Adam Nash) who gets a local singer (Laura Atherton) pregnant and then resorts to desperate measures to bring in money.
Told from the perspective of the dying sailor (Jonnie Moran) as he's reconciled with his daughter (Fleur Huygues-Despointes), it suffers from experimentation over character development. As such, the pain of love and betrayal is never fully explored.
This is also true of some of the presentation, which can at times be clumsily obvious - as when fireworks explode across the screen as the sailor and singer climax.
It's far more successful in the impressionistic scenes, as when the sailor walks down a fast-moving and animated street, drawing emotion from the chanson which reflects this French language surtitled production.
The level of ambition within the production, together with the company's long-standing commitment to amalgamating different mediums, means that 6 Degrees Below The Horizon is too interesting to be a complete failure.
But there is still scope for draft number three to strike it lucky.
Tours until May 9, details: www.imitatingthedog.co.uk.