Stephen Jeffreys' adaptation of Hard Times as performed by Glasgow‘s Tag theatre company captures the very essence of Dickens’ novel. Almost without exception the eighteen
characters portrayed by the company of i
four are the perfectly constructed combinations of psychological development, symbol and grotesque characture that Dickens created . John Cobb as at various times the young toadying Bitzer, the dangerous
i gentleman suitor Harthouse and the ; union spokesman, Slackbridge, and in : particularasthe bombastic factory
owner Mr Bounderby, and ring master Sleary, moves from character to
: character creating with enormous
3 economy from a few strong gestures or T mannerisms complete cameos.
: Equally impressive is Eliza Langland
; who seems to turn the jealous
~ ‘aristocratic’ Mrs Sparsit into an ? almost likabiy obsessive spinster
merely by the fidgety maintenance of gold rimmed glasses on the end of her
. play by Paul Stebbing and Alastair
Cording that takes a contemporary approach to Shakespeare‘s
= enigmatic work ’The Tempest‘.
seeing in the mysterious island tale illumination on conditions in Central
O TRON 38 Parnie Street. 552 4267 /8. ; Box office Tues—Sat. Noon—10pm.
Bar with food.
What a Way to Go Until Sat 15 Feb (excluding Fri 7 and Sat 8 Feb). 8pm.
Members£2.5().Guests£3.50. Concs£1 off. Russell Hunter in W. E Gordon Smith‘s wryly comic show.
Macondo Fri 7 Feb. 8pm. Members £2.50. Guests £3.50. Concs£1 off. A
A rare visit to Glasgow from Facets
Performance Ensemble from
Chicago. in a stage production based on the Columbian writer Gabriel Garcia-Marquez’s ‘One Hundred Years ofSolitude‘. (See Panel).
' The Book of Lear Sat 8 Feb. 8pm.
Members £2.50. Guests £3.50. Concs£l off. Facets Performance Ensemble in a strange and unique
. work based on Shakespeare‘s King
Lear. The production was developed in the desert and draws on Bedouin
: folklore. music and myth and The
Dead Sea Scrolls and is also being prepared for film. (See panel).
The Overcoat Tues 18—Sun 23 Feb.
8pm. Sat mat 22 Feb at 5pm. A Tron
Youth Project involving 20 young
people between the ages of 14 and 22 in a staging (adapted and directed by Hamish Glen) of a gentle. funny and moving tale by Nicolai Gogol about a quiet little civil servant whose life
changes with the acquisition of a new overcoat. Music by Bill Murdoch.
o ASSEMBLY ROOMS 54 George Street. Edinburgh. 225 3614. Bar
open one hour before performances.
during and also after performances.
1 Vincent Friell while making the difficult role of the irresponsible ‘whelp‘ come
’ alive didn’t quite convince with the
reformed Gradgrind. having failed to create the necessary caricature of the hard man of fact. Tamara Kennedy,
however. was painfully moving as the
daughter who as her imagination is
I awakened by illicit love is tortured by the realisation that her and her
brothers lives have been ruined. The director, Ian Brown has brought
an effective haste to the production
with the actors coming out of character
‘ to speakfothe audience almostbefore
I 5 I, A. Hard Times is, like A Christmas Carol, an allegorical table but one that
is complicated by direct reference to i social conditions and by real suffering.
Coketown is a factory town and there is
a strike on. The hard man of facts
Gradgrind may repent but his son and daughter have had their lives destroyed through deprivation of imagination.
1155 and from Assembly Rooms one hour before perf.
Dssian Tue 18 Feb. 8pm. £2.50 (£1.50). ()ne ofScotland‘s best travelled and best-loved folk bands.
5 (SeeFolk). : Ege Bam Yasi Wed 19 Feb. 9.30pm.
£2 (£1.25). In concert. (See Rock). Hard Times Thurs 20—Sat 22 Feb. 7.30pm. £2.50 (£1 .50). TAG
: Theatre Company in a new ' production of Stephen Jeffreys‘ adaptation of the novel by Charles
Dickens. (See Review).
Events at the Assembly Rooms continue until 6 March —see next issue of The List for details.
0 BRUNTON THEATRE Musselburgh. 665 2240. Box office Mon—Sat
10am—8pm. Bar. [D] [El
Female Parts Until Sat 8 Feb. 7.30pm. Prices vary between £3.75 and £1 .50 depending on night and concessions. A comic look at women. by women. written by the
Italian husband and wife duo.
also Sat lunchtime. Tickets available
in advance Mon—Sat. l()am—Spm
from Usher Hall, Lothian Road. 228 i
partners in comic anarchy. Dario Fo and Franca Rame.
Private Lives Tue 1 l—Sat 22 Feb. 7.30pm. Prices vary between £3.75 and £1 .50 depending on night and concessions. The unexpected awaits Elyot and Amanda. recently divorced from one another and honeymooning with their respective new spouses. in Noel Coward's elegant comedy.
0 CHURCH HILL THEATRE Morningside Road. Tickets usually available from Cruickshanks opp the Theatre.
One Act Play Festival Thurs 6 — Sat 8 Feb. 7pm. A competitive festival of one act plays organised by the Edinburgh District ofthe Scottish Community Drama Association. The adjudicator is Arthur Skelton. and the overall winners. announced on Saturday evening.will go on to the divisional finals in March, with the possibility then of proceeding to the Scottish finals in April. Tickets are available on the door. at the Usher
. a scene is over creating both a
seemless quality to the action and an effective sense of fable telling. A simple black and red set with in the background a metalically unsympathetic personification of industry, together with emphatic use of sound provide all the contextthat is needed for the raising of contemporally relevant themes and forthe presentation of a moving and assured
piece of theatre. (Nigel Billen)
Hall and at ('ruikshanks Newsagents opp theatre. For details of plays see below.
A Slight Ache and Perfection City Thurs b Feb. 7pm. Edinburgh Civil Service Drama Society present Harold Pinter‘s A Slight Ache. while the Mercators Drama Club present David Shellan‘s Perfection City. Ritual for Dolls. Cup Final and Getting
and Spending Fri 7 Feb. 7pm. Leitheatre get to grips with Ritual
for Dolls by George MacEwan
Green. the Centre Players present Cup Final by Charles Mander and Liberton Kirk‘s production is Getting and Spending by David Campton.
Let’s Be Devils. Shelter and Between Mouthfuls Sat 8 Feb 7pm.
The final evening of the competition brings the Crown Players to the stage with Let's Be Devils by Nevil Malun. Leitheatre with Shelter by Alun Owen and finally the Mercators Drama Club with Alan Ayckbourn‘s Between Mouthfuls.
Dancing performance Thurs 13 Feb. 7.30pm. The Irene Axon School of Dancing.
The Anniversary Wed 19—821122 Feb. 7.30pm. £2 (Cones available). Edinburgh Civil Service Dramatic Society in a black comedy by Bill Macilwraith about an overpossessive mother and the feverish attempts by her three sorts to escape her influence. Tickets available on the night at the theatre and from Sheila Clarke on 664 8163.
O KINGS 21-even Street. 229 1201. Boxoffice Mon—Sat 10am—8pm. Bar. Rest. [D]
Aladdin Until Sat 22 Feb. Mon—Sat 7pm. Mats at 2.15pm Weds and Sats. £5.50—£2.50. Ilalfprice concessions available on some days. Still going — the longest running panto this season in Edinburgh and Glasgow. with Stanley Baxter as Widow '1‘wankey. O LYCEUM STUDIO Grindlay Street. 229 9697 (or 7:84 Scotland 557 2442). Bar.
DOING THE CAKEWALK ‘ -' S .3 ’1 e: i. :1 "l ;-‘ 5 3 it" 3 ,. .. wig . :_ h f I 5 d: .c * " r " ‘ N N A ‘ h. t .
‘ . . . More of a happening than a play. . a sort of baroque musical cabaret. . .' Pat O’Connell is scrambling around in the English language for some suitable combination of words to describe ‘Scarlatti‘s Birthday Party‘ (See Dueen’s Hall, Edinburgh). Billed as a celebration of the 300th birthday of Bach, Handel and Scarlatti himself, the production, presented by Natural Theatre Company, was first commissioned by the director of the Scarlatti Festival in Berlin last
summer, and has since then been on
the road around Britain. The five-strong company present a celebration of the life and times of
Scarlatti — a man about whose
personality little seems to be known , except that he wrote 555 sonatas for harpsichord, some to pay off gambling
3 debts, and that he once entered a
harpsichord playing endurance contest against Handel.iiatural Theatre Company approach both him and his contemporary music with what might be termed a degree of unorthodoxy— Scarlatti himselliplayed by Ralph Dswick, one of the founder members of the fifteen year old company) appears as a temperamental pantomime dame, serenaded by his own music and that of his contemporaries played with mischevious accuracy on a variety of unusual instruments, such as a vaccuum cleaner and a squeegee mop.
‘You don’t need to know anything about Scarlatti to enjoy it,’ says O’Connell, who at one stage during the proceedings sings all three parts of a trio — but you may leave knowing more than you had anticipated . . . (Sarah Hemming).
The List 7— 20 Fe.be