Review: The 3000 Trees

3000 trees by George Gunn - Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2014. Pic: Comp
3000 trees by George Gunn - Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2014. Pic: Comp
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THE location, a small petrol station in the far north of Scotland. The date, 5 April 1985. Willie MacRae, a nationalist politician on his way to counter government plans to dump Dounreay’s nuclear waste into the sea, has been delayed by flooding.

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Stuck with him is government agent Oliphant. MacRae believes Oliphant has been sent to bump him off for his extensive study of NATO activities in Scotland, while Oliphant maintains MacRae is suicidal.

Hours later, McRae will be found on a moor with a bullet in the back of his head.

A story that’s long been waiting to be told, George Gunn’s engrossing play couldn’t be more timely. In the run up to the independence referendum, it examines the British government’s lust for total Scottish control.

There’s a beautiful poetic rhythm to Gunn’s dialogue, too, and the atmosphere couldn’t be more gripping.

It helps that Scotland’s (arguably) best actor, Jimmy Chisholm, plays the role of MacRae, while Clark Gable look-alike Adam Robertson radiates as the sinister Oliphant.

Helen Mackay as the petrol attendant also shines. Questions remain, though: Was McRae assassinated? Or did he kill himself?

While the initial investigation was botched and covered up, a new investigation has, thus far, been declined. We can only imagine.

Until 24 August