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If it's hard getting to the top. it‘s doubly hard stayingthere. The BoxerBenny Lynch (see Theatre listings) punched his way outofthe Gorbalsto become Scotland's first world champion. Itwas 1935. He was 22. The real battle soon transferred to outside the ring: Lynch and the booze. The drinking bouts followed the arena bouts. alleviating after-fight pain and announcing his social ‘arrival‘.

Thedecline was rapid andabsolute. Aged only 25. Lynch was stripped of his titleslorbeing nearlyhalfastone overweightbefore aworldtitle defence fight. The 20.000 that had packed Central Stationto welcome hometheir new world championthree years before. now booed Lynch into the arena in Paisley. Ayearlater. aged 26. the formerworld champion wasgiving localexhibition bouts around Scotland. Thedeclinethroughdrinkcontinued and Lynch died in1946. afriendless alcoholic on the streets of Glasgow. He was 33.

The authorofThe BoxerBenny Lynch. PeterArnott says. its a sad story. but notjust sad. In this production there's no wayit‘s been playedforsentiment. directed or acted for sentiment‘. After eachperlormancethere isadiscussion withthe audience. Arnott's play using laughterto loosen people up. yet provokethoughtforthe dialogue afterwards. Thispolicy worked well when The Boxer Benny Lynch played at the last Mayfest.

‘One ofthethingsthatimpressed me wasthe intensitywith which people would approach me with Benny Lynch stories‘. says Arnott. 'A lot of people still own apiece of Benny Lynch. He‘s

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stilltheirproperty. Therefore you‘re dealing with people who have an investment. Andlcouldn‘tpossibly pay attentionto everybody who cameto me with anotherversion, because mine would have disappeared.‘ But. ‘l altereda line ortwo here orthere.‘

I asked Arnott how constricted he‘d beenbythe actual data of Lynch‘slife. ‘lthinkltooka bitofpoeticlicence in terms ofthe actual incidentsinthe play. | hopelwas beingtruetothe essence ofthe story—as | sawit. ‘oome ofthe incidentsinthe play are true, but embellished. Some are entirely fictional. And some are an amalgam ofseveralthings into one scene. It's not a documentary play. It‘s arise andfall play.‘

Distillingthe essence of Lynch‘slife into a stage play of less than two hours

in ne\t issue of [he I 1S1.

O GLASGOW UNIVERSITY DRAMA STUDIO \\ ext ()aadi‘aiigle. Limerxit} .\\enue.

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0 KING'S THEATRE Hath Street. Him tilliee \ItuirSat l:lttliill Hpni ll‘alS [Di [I l Phune l‘tttllkIIILIS. I teket (eiiti'e. ( fiiiidleiiggx \Itin Sat Ill..“ll;lill ti. lilp:ii..553 The Pyjama Game l iiul Sat -33 let». T..“lli‘lil. Sat iiiat .7 1llpiii ('heelx pi'ieexmth theatre.

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is a challenge. ‘There are twelve scenes as in twelve rounds,‘ says Arnott. ‘although that‘s not particularly played on. The idea is to have twelve encounters between Benny and the world and its various aspects up and down the social ladder.‘

Insidethe ring Lynchwasformidable. Outside he lackedthejudgementto cope. He was soon isolated from the world and the people he understood. Whenthe fall came Glasgow had turned its back. When they turned out in theirthousands, it was not to offer help. butto paytheir last respects.

The Boxer Benny Lynch, performed by United Artists (Scotland), plays The Tron, Glasgow, from 25 February—9 March, thentours in and around Edinburgh and Glasgow until 12 April. (Ken Scott)

VI The adiudieator is l 'isdeaii I’. \Iurr} and the m eiall \\ innerx. annuneed «in Saturday e\ening. will git HIT to the divisional linalx in \iareh. Will) the [TtISSII‘IliI_\ then tit pi'neeeding tn the Semitixh finals in .‘\pril. The Sponge Room, The Saliva Milk Shake and Legge‘s Eleven l‘liui-x in Tel). T. l5piii. ( )ii the \eeiind exerting «it the etuiipetitiiin. Ruthei‘glen Repertnrt I'heatre hi‘ing us l/Ii' .S/ti lite'i' /\)r mm l‘\ Keith \Vatei'hitthe and \\'illi\ l Iall. ( i.ltl.ll‘tllli I’heatie ('tiiiipam pi‘exent The Saliva Milk Shake In I Iim ard Hientun \\ hile the .‘\pe\ Haters l). t i. .\ learn gixe legee'x / /i'i m "u Ilai'r\ (ilaxx, Confusions. The Madam aridHissthe Villain Ill 11 l'e't. T 15pm. Rutheigleii Repkentix this e\ening ix ;\lan .\\el\lmuiii\t urifiiwwix. I)i‘uineh.ipe| l’ari\h ( ~huieh I). (i. present Hie Hat/am h} (Men (‘heiell and the New \‘ietiu‘t I’la_\ei‘\ present Hm Hie I'M/uni in .\.R. Ia_\ lift and ii. ( 'ii\\itlt\. Dod‘s Dilemma.ASeparate Peace and Where It's Due Sn 3.3 I'elt. “. 15pm. 'I'he linal exeniiig ill the etiiiipetitiun has the \‘eu \‘iettu't .\ leaiii presenting Mimi's lH/i'fillllii ht I)t)tl. the ( iai'eltiehhead I’litfief‘S iii xi Separate l’i'iii'e h I ttllt Stiippard and 'I‘he .-\pe\ I’la_\ei\ I H i. It l'eaiii in Where lr'x lliie h_\ I Iari'_\ ( ila\.\. Grand Concert Sun I} IVeh. “. 15pm. L2. (ilasgmx (iiand ( )pera Siieietvx annual grand eeneert. YourKind ofMusic l-‘i-i 23a Sat 1 Mar. “Fllpiii. L2.5ll i L: ). "\tiealixe” in a piit piiurri (ll lllll\iL' lltllll tipera ti» tipei'etta. lriiin pai‘liiur liltlSIL' Itl light ia//. O PAVILION Ill Reiilield Street. 333 IN“). BU‘K UllieL‘ \Iillt Sat lllani Spin. Har, Clannad Sun I} I'eh. L-l. (See \IllSiL‘l. Confessions ofaNaughty Hypnotist Wed It) Tel» Sat l Mai”. I ue 4 Mar I‘lri T \Iai'. T..“lli‘lli. LT5ll. L5. L2. \‘V'ed. all seats Ll. :\iii)tlier \him Hunt the h; pntitist Ritlte‘l'l I Ialpei‘ii. Mitre perltirinaneex ltillim latei in \iareh. ° QUEENS PARK BAPTIST CHURCH lSt) ()ueeiixlh'ixe. Getto Grips l-‘rijl lei».

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0 THEATRE ROYAL I It ipe Street. 331 1334 33: ‘lilllllleredit eard\). Him iilliee Mun Sat Illain lupin ( T._“lll)ilt tin perl e\g\l Har. Hullet.

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PeterSkellern I'Tl I l . T Tllplit. L3. L4. L5.

Mahagonny Wed 5. Sat B Mar.

T. 15pm, Semitish ( )pei‘a (See (‘Iassieal \quiel.

II Trovatore 'I hurs ti \Iai. T. 1 5pm. (See ( ~laxxieal Sitisie).

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