o DIRECTIONS AT ONCE
The trials and tribulations of directing two shows simultaneously have obviously not affected Morag Fullerton. She remains full ofcheery optimism about both Trumpets and Raspberries. appearing on the Fringe, and H099, The Shepherd Justified an International Festival event
The two plays in question could hardly be more different. Dario Fo‘s Trumpets and Raspberries is a rollicking farce based on a case of mistaken identity. This is. in fact. the play’s second year on the Fringe. since the Borderline company feel that despite playing to near capacity audiences last year they still ‘haven‘t covered the full market‘. One reason for this popularity. Morag believes. is what she describes as the play’s ‘winning mixture of political farce and comedy‘ which Scottish theatre-goers seem to appreciate.
One can but admire the versatility ofany director who turns so successfully from Fo‘s laughter-laden antics to the
altogether more low-key Hogg. Frederic Mohr‘s one-man show (premiered at the Ettrick Shepherd Festival in 1985) with Donald Douglas in the title role portrays the little-known man behind the author of Confessions of a Justified Sinner, Hogg’s deep and dark investigation of an obsessive (‘alvinist‘s mind. On first reading Mohr‘s script Morag found herself ‘hooked‘ by the story ofthis ‘forgotten genius‘ She
was particularly lucky. she says, in finding an actor such as Douglas, who brings a tremendous warmth and charisma to the part.
The link, iflink there be, between the two plays, must surely lie in the humour of both pieces and Morag admits freely that she has ‘a strong penchant for comedy‘.
Trumpets and Raspberries, Borderline Theatre Co, Moray House Theatre, Canongate, Royal Mile (venue 61) 7—30Aug, 7.30—9.45pm. 9. I3, 16. 20, 23, 27, 30 Aug, 2.30—4.45pm also. £4 (£3.50). IF]
CABARET Glasgow-based Redheads are presenting their hard-bitting, gritty cabaret at this year’s Edinburgh Festival. Strong on collaboration. Peter Mullan, Marie Claire McGuinness, Kate Donnelly, Peter Arnott and Libby McArthur spoke about their conception ofA Big Red One.
They want contact with their audiences. Here are specialists whose commitment to their work (or is it play?) is profound. Their skill is in confrontation and they‘ll confront anyone about anything which harbours the faintest hint of hypocrisy, whether it’s in the drawing room, typing pool or your own back yard.
They are voracious in their appetite to expose the dross and injustices ofeveryday life; Toryism, Royalty, the DHSS, landlords, fascism and family planning; they spare no hand that might wish to feed them and they thrive on tearing at the ankles and more, of the so-called powerful.
Unlike standard parodic fare, Redheads cabaret is without cynicism. Their aim is not to capitalise on the instant humour possible simply by peddling Glaswegian accents and working class tough stuff: ‘easy laughs for
Yahs‘). Instead they want to push beyond, to situations of essential comic paradox, eliciting gut laughter
Papers radio series about an unemployed schoolteacher marooned in suburbia, Wright readily identifies with the
fish-out-of-water Maxudov. He also
sympathises with the playwright’s frustration at Stanislavsky’s method-acting dogma. ‘All this searching for the inner truth ofa
character can be disastrous. I think it T
shows a lack ofhumility to try and
put a ‘real person’ on stage — then the ,
text is a mere platform and fantasy goes out of the window.’
Wright partly chose to do Black Snow because he felt people have ‘ponderous heavy images’ ofthe Soviet Union. ‘There is a very light, fantastical side to Soviet literature which remains under-exposed. I admire Bulgakov because he had a very hard life but never lost his sense of humour. Being able to laugh in the worst days of Stalinism - I think that’s tremendous.’
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before he died in 1950, being found equally offensive by both blacks and whites. Just as he was beginning to make progress, he was arrested on a drugs rap and ironically. he last appeared at a Policeman‘s Ball
trying to regain his ‘ cabaret card.‘ ‘It
would be easy to say it broke his heart’ says Sinclair, ‘but I believe he had an unbreakable heart.‘
Lord Buckley’s Finest Hour. John
Sinclair, Heriot Theatre (venue 7). 30
Grindlay Street. Tickets 229 35 74. Aug 11-30 (notsun 17). 12.30am £3. 75 (£2. 75). John Sinclair also appears in the British premiere of Eduardo Pavlovsk y ’s The Boxer. The Yorick Theatre Company. St Cuthberts Hall (venue 50) Kings Stables Road. Aug 13-16. 20-23, 25, 26, 29, 30pm 3.50 (£2. 75)
from Sheer despair. When I met Wright in London he
.pcople have“) see thatyou know was recording Black Snow forthe. . ._ i what you’re talking about and thai world Semce and I Wondered 1‘ "15 9““ g_ “a | they can inﬂuence what yd“ do» really more of a Radio play. But he is q} 9
(Peter Mullan). It is vital, repercussive theatre. Redheads demand response and are willing to risk all for their shrewdly aimed provocation. (Sally Freedman) Redheads — A Big Red One, Redheads, The Crown Theatre, Hill Place (venue 53) 24—30Aug, 9.30pm. £2.50 (£1) Tickets: 667 7588. [F]
SHOW BUSINESS Mikhail Bulgakov’s Black Snow, a satire of the theatrical and literary life of Moscow in the 19205 and 305, seems a particularly apt choice for the Edinburgh Frince. Adapted and performed by Brian Wright, it describes the tortuous triangle between writer, actor and director, and to Wright, whose career encompasses all three roles, it has a strong contemporary flavour: ‘Almost everything suffered by the protagonist has happened to me in the British Theatre.’
The protagonist, Maxudov, a thinly disguised Bulgakov, is suddenly swept from his squalid 7th floor room and miserable job at the Shipping Gazette and plunged into the glittering world of the Moscow Arts (independent) Theatre. There
undaunted by the prospect of an hour and a halfmonologue on a bare stage. A series of vivid vignettes, quick changes in mood and pace from the burlesque to the lyrical and the sheer brilliance of Bulgakov’s prose should, he feels, do the trick.
Judging from the script itought to be 3‘
one ofthe funniest and most thought-provoking plays around. (Lucy Ash) Black
Snow, Brian Wright, Assembly Rooms, 54 George Street (venue 3) Tickets: 226 2427/8. 1 1—16 A ug,
7. 45pm. £4.50 (£3); Gilded Balloon Theatre, 233 Cowgate (venue 38) Tickets: 225 4463. 18—30 Aug, 12.45pm. £2.50 (£2). [F]
John Sinclair, one time producer of such acts as Foreigner first became aware of Lord Buckley when he was touring with Hair and shared a room with two black actors. Enthralled by their ‘hip semantics’ patter he first thought it was the creation of a black comedian before discovering it was the work of a white American,
Richard Buckley. ‘He was one of the '
great’, says Sinclair. ‘He wanted to do his “hip semantics” which involved turning stories from The
Playinpioi Time 7 Arthur Miller’s Playing for Time
caused some controversy when it was
first shown on American TV with Vanessa Redgrave in the main role. The play, being given its European premiere by Studio Theatre Productions, tells the true tale of a Jewish woman in a Nazi concentration camp and her life with one ofthe orchestras that the Nazis formed from prisoners. The musicians played people off to the
gas chambers, amongst other things.
Director Michael Leeds, who has worked with Miller himself, finds the play truly disturbing because it portrays the Nazis not as monsters but as people: ‘while they don't
become identifiable for the audience
they do become accessible’. It‘s a play, he feels, that is both illuminating and necessary. Playing
Hogg: The Shepherd Justified, Presented by the Traverse Theatre, St Cecilia’s Hall. 11, 12, I4—16Aug, 7.30pm; 13 Aug, 3pm also. Tickets: Festival Booking Ofﬁce, tel 225 5756.
he is confronted by the great Stanislavsky (alias Ivan Vasilievich) who grandly crucifies both play and bewildered playwright. As creator of the satirical Penge
Bible and literature into hiptalk and spouting them like a jazz soloist.’ Unfortunately, Buckley with his exaggerated English aristocratic persona never really caught on
for Time, Studio Theatre Productions, Netherbow Arts : Centre, 43 High Street (venue 30) 3 Tickets: 556 95 79. 11—30 Aug, 2.30—4pm. £3 (£2). [F]
" List 8:2—1'August 11