writer Duncan McLean about the perils of trying to have a night on the town in Aberdeen.
Merry Mac Fun Show Fri 29 & Sat 30 Nov. 9.45pm. £2 (£1). The zany trio in one of their unique promenade revues (see panel).
The Twelfth Day of July Sat 30 Nov. 11am. £1 .20 (80p child). Only public performance ofTAG’s new production for teenagers; an adaptation ofJoan Lingard's novel about a Protestant and a Roman Catholic teenager (see Review). NB Joan Lingard will be present at the performance and will do a book-signing afterwards.
Play and Landscape Tue 10-Thurs 12 Dec. 8pm. £2.25 (£1.75). An ambitious and encouraging double bill performed by the Great Western Theatre Company of Beckett‘s Play and Pinter‘s Landscape.
O TRON 38 Parnie Street. 552 4267/8. Box office Tues-Sat. Noon—10pm. Bar with food.
The Marble Madonna Thurs 28 Nov—Sun 15 Dec. 8pm (excluding Mons). Members £2.50. guests £3.50, concs £1. Premiere ofa new play about a love affair in Dublin by Sean McCarthy. directed by Michael Boyd. (See panel).
O BEOLAM THEATRE Forrest Road. 225 9893. (Tickets for this show from Book Fair. Victoria Street).
Chromo Zone/Naked Light/Julia Clarke Wed 4—Sat 7 Dec. 8.30pm. £2.50 (£2). A triple bill: Catalyst Theatre Company‘s extraordinary experimental theatre using movement and fluorescent paint to
create unusual visual images. together with a performance by Naked Light Film Foundation and a performance based on Buto movement by Julia Clarke. 0 CASTLEBRAE STUDIO Castlebrae High School. Craigmillar. Peter and Penny‘s Panto Mon 9—Sat 14 Dec. 7.30pm. £1 (50p). Craigmillar Drama Group present a Christmas panto for Advent. O CHURCH HILL THEATRE Morningside Road. As You Like It Until 30 Nov. £2.50 (£1.50). Tickets available from Usher Hall Box Office and J. & A. Cruickshank. opp. theatre. or at the theatre just prior to performance. Leith Theatre in Shakespeare‘s comedy of masked identity set in the Forest of Arden. Thunderbirds F.A.B. Thurs 12 & Fri 13 Dec. 8pm. £2 (£1.50) stalls;£1 .50 (£1) balcony. (Tickets available Wilson Groat. photographer. 3 Churchill Place and Dept of Recreation. 249 High Street). Mime Theatre Project in an extraordinary production combining 3 foot models ofThunderbirds l and II. worn on the head, with mime. Thunderbirds was neverlike this. . . O KINGS 2 Leven Street. 229 1201. Box office Mon—Sat 10am—8pm. Bar. Rest. [D] [E] Aladdin Sat 7 Dec—Sat 22 Feb. 7pm. Mats 2.15pm (Mats Wed 1 1, Sat 14. Wed 18. Fri 20. Sat 21 . Mon 23. Tue 24, Thurs 26. Fri 27. Sat 28. Mon 30. Tue 31 Dec and on into New Year).
Stanley Baxter stars as Widow
Twankey in this year's Kings’ panto, bringing together the same line-up as last year in a new show with music and dance to the fore.
O NETHERBOW 43 High Street. 556 9579. Box office Mon—Sat 10am—4pm. 7—9pm perf. evgs. Cafe [El
Strikers Until Sat 30 Nov. 8pm. £3 (£2). Last few days of Donald Campbell‘s new play focusing on the generation gap and attitudes to work by bringing together the issues oflast year‘s Miners‘ Strike with those of a footballer's career.
The Bear and The Deep Freeze Tue 3—Sat 21 Dec. 8pm. £3 (£2). A double bill for the Advent period of two wintery plays: Chekhov‘s one-act The Bear and Robert Kemp‘s The Deep Freeze. both funny tales of unusual romances. And if the plays don‘t thaw the winter‘s chill, the mulled wine and mince pies in the interval certainly should . . .
O ROYAL BLINDSCHOOL Craigmillar Park 667 1100.
Sean McCarthy‘s new play (Tron Theatre, Glasgow— see Listings) has one thing in common with his first- it begins with two people in bed. In ‘Rise and Shine’ (1973) ‘the most successful play I've ever written‘, they never quite get up — because there is nothing to get up for. In ‘Marble Madonna’, the situation is somewhat different. The play begins with a couple who have been having an affairwhile their respective children appear in the same panto, facing up to the dilemma of whether or not to continue the relationship. The setting is Dublin, and the play has taken McCarthy three years to write, following a recent return to Dublin when he was struck by the strange contradictions between the outlook and lifestyle of some of his peers and some of the anachronistic aspects of the society around them.
‘There’s a whole new middle-class generation who grew out of the 60's baby boom and are living this strange existence - one foot in the present and one in the past.‘
McCarthy, in equal parts actor and author, first joined the theatre in his native Ireland, beginning at the Abbey theatre, Dublin, when he was 19. He learned to act while already in the trade, as it were, an opportunity which is now rarely possible in the way he experienced it - one which he regrets may largely have passed: ‘In those days there were three elements in the theatre —Ihose who’d been in the acting profession for 50 years, those in the middle and the young ones. lt‘s sadly a situation you don‘t often get in theatres nowadays because the money is sotight.‘
McCarthy returned to the Abbey in 1979 to work for four years as script editor and associate director. While there, he wrote ‘Childish Things’ and mounted his own translation of Ibsen‘s ‘A Doll‘s House’, but found, for the most part, that the responsibilities of the job, though enjoyable, left him relatively little time to write himself.
Christmas Show with Haggis the Clown Wed 4 & Thurs 5 Dec. A special show anticipating Christmas in which some high-ﬂyers will appear on stilts!
O ROYAL LYCEUM Grindlay Street, 229 9697. Box office Mon—Sat 10am—6pm. 10am—8pm on perf evgs. Bar. Rest. [D][E]
Hamlet Until 30 Nov. 7.15pm. £2—£5. Theatresaver holders£l off. A strong and illuminating production of Hamlet with a clear sense of direction and a great deal of life. Hugh Hodgart‘s production is staged on a set hanging heavy with memory and remembrance of the dead — a theme thrown into even sharper relief than usual throughout. Kevin McMonagle makes a mercurial Hamlet, full ofenergy. both physically and mentally, and despite a couple of leaden performances and a tendency for the production to go off at tangents sometimes. this is well worth seeing.
Merlin Wed 4 Dec—Sat l 1 Jan. Various times: 7pm 4. 6, 7. 13. 14. 20.
His writing (plays include‘The Fantastical Feats of Firm MacCool‘and‘The Buroo’) developed in tandem with his acting, ‘I write from within the theatre — it‘s a kind of extension of it. I only got serious about it gradually.‘ This will be the first time, however, that he has appeared in one of his own plays (he plays one half of the two-hander), for while the opportunity has arisen before, he has always preferred to keep the objectivity that distance allows.
Theatregoers in Edinburgh will probably most readily associate him, at present, with the stage of the Royal Lyceum Theatre; he played Long John Silver in their production of Treasure Island and has appeared in several of the Lyceum's recent productions. The Lyceum is, In fact, a theatre of some significance for McCarthy. He ran the Young Lyceum Company during the mid-seventies (taking over from Kenneth Ireland) at a time when Bill Paterson and Alex Norton were also
23. 27. 30, 31 Dec and 2, 3.6—1 1 Jan; 2pm7. 14.21. 26. 28 Dec and~l& 11 Jan; 3pm 23. 24. 27. 30, 31 Dec and 2 & 3 Jan; 5pm 21 . 26. 28 Dec and 4 Jan;8l)m 21. 26. 28 Dec and «Han. Also schools performances at 10am on 9—12 and 16—19 Dec and 2pm on 4,5,9—13.16—19 Dec and 7—10Jan. £2—£5. Concs for Theatresaver holders. Special prices for schools performances. When Arthur. heir to the throne. is kidnapped by the wicked Morgana le Fay. Merlin and friends have to set about rescuing him. For children of any age from five upwards.
O THEATRE WORKSHOP 34 Hamilton Place. 226 5425. Box office Mon—Sat 9.30am—5.30pm. Bar. Cafe. [D] Robin Hood and The Towers of Silence Wed 4—Fri 20 Dec. (Schools perfs). Sat 21 Dec-Sat 4 Jan. 2pm and 5pm (also 7.30pm on 28 Dec. 3 & 4 Jan). No perfs 25 Dec. 1 & 2 Jan. No 5pm perfs. 24 and 31 Dec. No 2pm 3 Jan. £2.50 (£1.50). An hour ofwild happenings as Robin Hood together with Little John meet adventure on
there. It was an exciting time— McCarthy also appeared in ‘The Great Northern Welly Boot Show‘, which first unleashed writers like John Byrne and Tom McGrath onto an appreciative public- not to mention a certain Billy Connony.
After the expansive mood of the seventies, McCarthy finds the difficulties faced by theatre at the moment rather dispiriting, but he nonetheless has plans for the future. He hopes to tour his new play to Dublin and so to start a two-way traffic of productions between Scotland and Ireland, taking some of Scotland's young writers over there and introducing us to some of Ireland‘s talented writers. His new play marks not only a step in that direction, but also a move forward in the more general plans at the Tron, where Artistic Director, Michael Boyd is gradually increasing the number of locally written plays and in-house productions. (Sarah Hemming).
The List 29 Nov— 12 Dec 15