REVIEW – Watching The Detective, Traverse Theatre (A Play, A Pie & A Pint)


This isn’t a whodunnit? – more of a why do we do it?

In Paddy Cunneen’s original and gripping Watching The Detective, we are all present at a crime scene presided over by the Detective (a faultless Stuart Bowman). By the end of this hypnotic piece of deconstructed theatre, we’re less silent witnesses than active voyeurs; and our preconceptions of why we enjoy a good crime story have been crept up upon and assaulted.

Bowman prowls round the minimal stage, part Rebus, part CSI Edinburgh. Between cordoning off the Traverse 2 in crime scene tape, he pauses his internal monologue and phone calls to turn his investigative lights upon the audience.

“Who do you think I am?” he asks. It’s a good question.

Is he an actor playing a part; the personification of our fascination with ‘abjection’; or something else entirely? It’s a fascinating premise, well handled by Cunneen who also directs. And although those expecting a cut-and-dried case may be disappointed, Watching The Detective‘s line of questioning stays with you long afterwards.

The last in this year’s season of Plays, Pies and Pints at The Traverse, don’t be misled by Watching The Detective‘s premise – there’s plenty to see here.

Watching The Detective runs at The Traverse until 12 Nov. More details on the Traverse website.

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