finding out what is authentic in a world of

simulations and endlessly mediated truths.‘

There is. you‘ll have gathered. a genuinely radical and challenging spirit to this company. which looks to confront media hype and the fiction machine of tnass communication. ‘In America. we watch people watching the news and just zoning. tuning out. So we want people to look at how we are delivering a message. what‘s being said. and how it‘s being fed to you.‘ she explains.

The company. like so many young people of

recent years. have been radicalised by the experience of 2(X)l. ‘We were all in New York (‘ity on 9/1 I. being in college at the time. and we were thinking about apathy in young Americans. llaving all been in New York before. we don‘t tune out in three days‘ time. What disaster has to happen to make us act'.’ We vacillate on that line between going to the rallies in Washington. or joining the Peace (‘orps. We feel we need to inspire activism in people. to make theatre that‘s a social and political event. to break up the apathy as artists. It‘s like that lirancis Bacon quote: How do we make an that violently awakens its watcher to return back to life‘."

Their second piece. A Thousand Natural Sharks. speaks of the possibility of apocalypse that hangs over us in the aggressive colonialist atmosphere of contemporary geopolitics. It‘s a

version of Hamlet where only the younger

characters are included. transposed onto modern [TS politics. 'l.aertes is an aspiring politician. and he wants to inspire llamlet. who. because he has to be on TV. is in a role by birth and social status. where he can‘t act.‘ she explains. leaders contribute to the demise of democracy by taking away the true meaning of republicanism. and replacing it with what rcpublicanism has come to mean in modern day America. where it‘s subsumed by people like (ieorge W Bush.‘

And their work. which is both physical and ideas-inspired. can only be presented through the purer. more unmediated form of theatre. ‘We want to create a physical theatre. with the energy


of an athletic sports event. but we also want to forefront these great ideas that can antithesise the pop culture. We‘re coming at it from both angles. We think the message you get live. and the message you get that‘s mediated. not present in the room with you. are very different. and we want to point that up.‘

Kate McGrath. the daughter of the late John McGrath. the greatest dramatist and tnost influential theatre thinker of the post war period

in Scotland. and the great Scottish performer

lilizabeth Maclennan has. at 2(). gone a long way toward establishing a reputation of her own as a producer/director. In the former role. she‘s presenting live shows at the liringe. including the physical theatre piece. The Rare. which explores taboo areas of experience within fatherhood. ‘We want to engage in real work and real time.‘

she says. reiterating the young practitioners‘

choice of the theatre as the only medium for

radical thought. ‘We want to fill the audience‘s senses with energy and vitality. But it‘s something about engaging an audience. getting them to interact. without dragging them up on stage by the lapels. Once you‘ve bridged the gap. you‘ve got them with you. It‘s about grappling with something that is a truth. as well. It‘s like

the truth you feel when you hear a great piece of


Two other pieces at (‘ venue. by linglish acts. also look like reiterating the message of the medium. Imogen. Toby (‘larke‘s play about a father‘s experience of the loss of a child.

incorporates puppetry and a variety of other

resources of the theatre. as co-director Lydia


Fraser-Ward explains: '(‘ombining genres is very much what we do. Willi the dead child. we realised we needed the child on the stage. so puppetry was the only way of doing it. But we‘re also very conscious that puppetry can contribute to a sophisticated play. a real drama.‘ So too. children figure prominently in Nicky Silver‘s Bratat'lit/ (‘lzi/d. given its UK debut by the twentysomething Stateoftheart company.

This controversial but intelligent piece is one of

many about paedophilia this l‘ringe. Producer l.ucy Van Der lleede explains the hard work involving such controversial material. ‘We wanted to do something bigger. more serious. We could have done a big. cheesy musical with girls in tights out on the Royal Mile. but we didn‘t. We wanted this one.‘

Give Up! Start Over! (In the Darkest of Times I Look to Richard Nixon for Hope), C, 0870 71 5105, until 29 Aug, 12.15pm, £7.50 (£6.50); A Thousand Natural Shocks, C, 0870 71 5105, until 29 Aug, 6pm, £8.50 (£7.50); The Race, Aurora Nova, 558 3853, until 29 Aug (not 21, 28), 12pm, £12.50 (£9); Imogen, C, 0870 71 5105, until 29 Aug, 8.45pm, £8.50 (£7.50); Beautiful Child, C Central, 0870 71 5105, until 29 Aug, 6.05pm, £8.50 (£7.50).

18 2’5) Aug; 9001') THE LIST FESTIVAL MAGAZINE 57