‘ ' r .~ ,. . i ‘There is A Happy Land', the latest i production irom 7:84 Scotland Theatre Company, (Churchhill, Edinburgh and Touring) has all the hall-marks at ‘A Blockbuster’ — strong characters, good ; tunes, and tar its predominantly Scottish audiences at least, a patriotic pull on the heartstrings.
John McGrath, 7:84’s writer/director/guru, describes it as a ' ‘concert ratherthan a play— music . linked by stories.’ It otters a panoramic viewoiHighland history, beginning with the coming oi Christianity to Scotland and ending with the arrival oi Hato in Stornoway.The theme is an old iavourite with 7:84; the continued exploitation oi the Highlands. But McGrath has remained true to his ethos that politics and ‘a good night out' are . notmutually exclusive. Quick to emphasise the quality oi the music
Non-members £3.50. (‘oncs £1 off. Alasdair Gray‘s new play. which. following the unlil'ely story of Mungo McGrotty's devious rise to fame in Whitehall. develops into lurid satire on the powers that be. Gray‘s script has the qualities of a comic strip— often funny. idiosyncratic. but skimpy on substance and Michael Boyd‘s production plays its values up to good effect. A wacky rotating set in the shape of a huge garish crown. by Peter Ling, keeps things moving at a dizzying pace. and the cast. amazingly staying upright. plunge with relish into Gray‘s grotesque characters. Kevin McMonagle as the outrageously cliche-ridden Scot. McGrotty. is suitably unpalatable. while Julia St John becomes the original model of the Sloane ranger as the minister‘s daughter he bribes into bed — meanwhile Russell Hunter as Sir Arthur and Vivienne Dixon as his reptilean secretary make a deliciously gruesome twosome.
O BEDLAM THEATRE 2 Forrest Road. 225 9893.
The Birthday Party Thurs 24—Mon 28 Apr. 7.30pm. £2. £1.75 students. £1.25 members. Harold Pinter‘s now classic comedy of menace presented by EUTC. in a production directed by Angus McFadyen.
O BRUNTON THEATRE Musselburgh. 665 2240. Box Office Mon—Sat 10am—8pm. Bar. [D] [E]
Music ior Everyone Fri 25 and Sat 26 Apr. 7.30pm. £1 .50 (75p). A concert from the Children‘s Choir of the
I excellence’. Ossian, the talk group, are
(‘beautiiul and unusual'), he guarantees that this alone will make the production ‘enterlainment par
again working with 7:84, playing songs which in some cases are over a ' thousand years old.
The characters in the stories are described as ‘eplc’, and include a Highland Robin Hood called Hugh, a previously unsung hero hailing irom Sutherland rather than Sherwood. Filming oi the play is due to start in May, and McGrath has just iinished work on the lilm oi another oi his plays, ‘Blood Red Roses'. Elizabeth MacLennan, now in her 21st year with 7:84, plays Bessie Gordon, trade unionist and mother oi two, who takes on the power at the multinationals. the
[ iilm, to be seen in the autumn, is a joint
venture between Channel 4 and Freeway, the lilm branch oi 7:84. For a man who devised ‘Z-Cars' and has been largelyresponsible in Britain tor the concept oi ‘taking theatre to the people', it is strange that John McGrath, in his own words, has only “popped in and out at television' during
' his career. This is mainly because he
believes that working tor television oiten means ‘working torthe establishment'. With Channel 4, he seems at last to have iound a way oi combining the popularwith the idealistic: ‘Blood Red Hoses’ has been adapted, but notdiluted, iorthe small screen. (Liz Wilson).
Collegiate Church. Musselburgh.
O CHURCH HILL THEATRE Morningside Road. Tel: 447 7597. There is a Happy Land Fri 25 and Sat 26 Apr. 7.30pm. £3 (£2). Tickets available Usher Hall. 2281155 and (‘anongate Music 557 3090. The folk group ()ssian join forces with 7:84 Scotland theatre company to present dramatic episodes from Highland history based on Gaelic songs. Written and directed by John
: McGrath. (See Touring and panel). ' 0 CRAIGROYSTON COMMUNITY
CENTRE Pennywell Road. 332 7360. You’ve Got to be Kidding Wed 30 Apr. 7.30pm. £1 (50p). Spare Tyre Theatre Company in an all-woman cabaret. offering a comic look at the
2 issues surrounding being, or not i being. a mother. Bar. (See Touring).
O KING'S 2 Leven Street,2291201. Box office Mon—Sat 10am—8pm. Bar. Rest. [D] [E]
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Until Sat 19 Apr. 7pm. Wed and Sat mat 2pm. Adult £4.50. Child £3. ()AP (mats only) £2.75. School
parties £2.50 per child. The
inimitable Roald Dahl's highly successful tale ofCharlie‘s escapades
in Willy Wonka‘s chocolate factory,
presented by Armand Gerrard
Management in association with the
Nuffield Theatre, Southampton. directed by Kim Grant. Children of all ages bring plenty of chocolate. Macbeth Wed 23—Sat 26 Apr. 7.30pm. £2.50—£6. Verdi‘s opera presented by local amateur group, Edinburgh Grand Opera.
The Gondoliers Tue 29 Apr—Sat 3
May. 7.30pm. Sat mat 2.30pm.
_[ roses n : _ - MA"! ousoow / Monday 21 m, Saturday 26 Apr” Monday/Friday at 7.30pm
Saturday at 5 8. 8pm
STEPHANIE LAWRENCE & PETER DAVISON
in the Hilarious Adult Comedy
THE OWL AND THE
TONY & SANDRA RITTON DICKINSO
a; i ‘\ IN THE POST LONDON PRESENTATION OF '
, THE . SEVEN YEAH lTCH
Monday 28 April till 3 d b RMC Saturday Buoy * ( ponsore y i .
Monday/Friday at 730m“. . Saturday at 5 8. 8pm
TICKETS £4.50. £4.00 8 £3.50 Monday - Two for one; Tues/Friday & Saturday matinee - OAPs, Students, unemployed and children half price,
Book through an y 0/ our computerised Box Oﬂmes at
KING'S mam MITCHELL THEATRE TEE TICKET CENTRE Bath St Granvtlle St City Hall Candlenqqs
iZm-Spﬂoc~$ot 10.30m-6309nMon-Sat. ENQUIRIES 041 552 5961 I CREDIT CARD HOTLINE 041 2275015
///, 3‘71» .
The secrets behind the free enterprise scandal! Performances at 7.45 pm nightly. Seats from £2
Tel 031-229 9697
’——-—- PERFORMED AT THE LYCEUM THEATRE BY
l £1 .50—£4. Tue, all seats two for price ! ofonc: CAP and child half-price Sat mat. Parties one seat free with every ten bought. The local amateur group, the Gilbert and Sullivan Society in the operetta by. . . Gilbert 1 . LYCEUM STUD") (yrindlay Street and Sullivan- , 229 9697. Bar.
' LEW” COMMUNITY CENTRE [ The Harrow Road to the Deep North Kirkgate Centre, Leith. 554 4750. 1 Until sat 19 Apr. 7.30pm. £2
You've Gotta be Kidding Tue 29 Apr. (£1.80). Edinburgh Youth Theatre, 7'30Pm- £1-50(£1)- Spare TV” a group of 14—21 year-olds drawn I
‘ Theatre Company in an all-woman
[ cabaret offering a comic look at the
I issues surrounding being. or not
i being. a mother. Refreshments. (See ] Touring).
The list is rift-mi: l—Mayg