? MAINLY AFTER DARK
This is the British premiere of Anne Devlin’s translation of Arlette Namiand‘s play, which won critical acclaim in Paris. It is a stark production of a play whose subject is topical enough - teenage motherhood. But the issue of teenage pregnancy is not directly confronted. Instead the text explores the emotional traumas of three 16 year-olds contemplating the births of their unwanted babies.
Samia. explosive and violent. tended to dominate the more stoical Monica and lewd Gil. We watch the girls struggling to come to terms (literally) with their pregnancies. using the crude forceful language to be expected of those unwillingly trapped by nature. But it is hard to sympathise with characters who do not appear to be learning much from their experiences. It is a competently acted piece. but in the end a bleak portrait ofthree hard-bitten young girls. (Michael Mendenhall) Mainly After Dark, Almeida Theatre Company, Traverse Theatre (venue 15) Grassmarket. Tickets: 226 2633. 27, 29Aug
EAT YOUR HEART OUT
This new. full-length chamber musical — premiered at last year‘s Festival and fully meriting its revival this year— is one of the most vivacious and appealing musicals I‘ve seen this side of Off-Broadway. where this sort ofsmall scale show is a speciality. and spectacle is substituted by wit and intelligence.
It‘s certainly got a New York air too. in its characterisation of an arty crowd meeting for dinner. swapping couples. and planning to put on a show. This plot may seem a bit naive. but it's set off by a startlingly accomplished and mature musical score. virtually through-sung. with strong echoes of Stephen Sondheim in its exhilarating use of characters singing different lines simultaneously.
Written by Nick Phillips and Meg McDonald. and with a cast ofseven under the direction ofthe former, it's a highly ambitious work. but one that pays off. It‘s a breath of fresh air. beside the monster musicals curently polluting the West End. Eat your heart out. Andrew Lloyd Webber! (Mark Shenton) Eat Your Heart Out. National Student Theatre ( '(nnpany. St Mary ’3 Hall, St Mary '5 Street (venue I9) 55 7 4829. Until 30 Aug, 7—9pm. £3.50 (£2.50).
Just when the witless Footlights Revue upstairs at the Assembly Rooms makes you think that Cambridge Comedy is dead. it resurrects itselfdownstairs in the same venue (with a second daily showing elsewhere). in a two-man company called Foot and Mouth. Appearing in Edinburgh under the National Student Theatre Company umbrella. they‘re a refreshing reminder that Cambridge University
1 can still produce class comedy.
; It all starts with good material. of
1 course. the lack ofwhich seems to be
Lthe downfall of so many would-be
46 The List 22 Aug — 4 Sept
comedians; but Rob Millner and Richard Thomas have more than jusr the ability to tell a joke or pull a face (though Rob manages a wonderful trick with his arms. which keep turning inside out on him as he frantically tries to complete a piano solo). Their comedy — much of which revolves around their accomplished abilities as pianists — has the right sense of contained anarchy; and when it stops for a song about a pet oyster wishing he was a fish in the sea instead, beautifully sung by Rob Millner. it is sentimental but heartbreaking. (Mark Shenton) Sour Grapes, NS TC, Foot and Mouth, Assembly Rooms (venue 3), George Street. 226 242 7/8, 22-23 Aug, 12 midnight; also at St Mary's Hall (venue 19), St Mary's Street, 55 7 4829, until 30 A ug (except Mon 25). 12 noon. ‘
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Food For Thought feels like a made-for-television issue play. the issue here being anorexia. It is effective rather than good. While undernourished in the writing. though. this National Student Theatre Company production is extremely ﬂeshy and tangible in the performances.
The victim of the disease is Abigail. played by Gabby Chiappe with remarkably acute sensitivity and vulnerability. When she tears at what she imagines to be the loose ﬂesh on her bare. ﬂeshless stomach. repulsed by it after sex with her boyfriend. or when she violently attacks the food she loathes. stuffing it furiously into her mouth. this is a performance that captures terrifyingly her decline.
All the supporting performances are just as well realized in their smaller way. Together with that extraordinary lead performance. this cast manage to give the play a greater resonance than it really merits. (Mark Shenton) Food For Thought. National Student Theatre Company. Richard Demarco Theatre. George Heriot’s School, Lauriston Place (venue22) 22-23 Aug, 6. 45pm.
Derided by his 18th century contemporaries. Laurence Sterne's Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy has been given a new lease of life by Michael Parsons' adaptation ofthe novel.
The play concentrates. in fact. not
f so much on the life and opinions of , the nomical hero. Tristram. but on a
series of bizarre. comic characters. Tristram‘s Uncle Toby. wounded we know not where. during a foreign campaign. panders entirely to an obsession with model fortifications. Despite a very firm 18th century context the play deals perceptiver with issues that are here today — obsessions with self. insensitivity to others. and as a result. an inability to form trusting. mutually dependant relationships. (Helen Davidson) The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy. Oxford Theatre Group, Johnston Terrace Theatre, 2 Johnston Terrace (venue 94), 226 5985. Until30Aug (not Mons), 6-7.20pm.£2(f1).
0 Music is listed as diary: by day, than by city, than by event.
FRIDAY 22 Glasgow
0 BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra Concert Hall. Broadcasting House. Queen Margaret Drive. Tickets: Room 209. BBC Broadcasting House. G 12 SDG. 7.30pm (audience to be seated by 7.25pm). Free by ticket. Norman del Mar conducts the Theatre Overture by Kodaly and Glazunov‘s Symphony No b.
SUNDAY 24 .. Edinburgh
0 SI Giles’ at Six St Giles” Cathedral. High Street. Admission at door. 6pm. Free. The Roxburgh 'I'rio provide entertainment this evening in the magnificent surroundings of St Giles’.
=WEONESOAY 27 ’ 1
0 Contemporary Organ Music S‘I‘ Mary's Cathedral. Palmerston Place. Admission at door. 6pm. £1.50. Musicby llenryk Mikolaj Gorecki. Messiaen. Judith Weir and Paul Patterson played by Michael Bonaventure somehow escaping the Fringe programme.
THURSDAY 28 Edinburgh
0 Contemporary Organ Music Church ofSt Andrew and St (ieorge. (ieorge Street. Admission at door. 1pm. £1. First performance of Lyell Cresswell’s The Urim and the Thummin played by Michael Bonaventure along with pieces by Judith Weir and Elisabeth Lutyens. Glasgow
0 Jenuta 'I‘ron Theatre. 38 Parnie Street. 552 4267/8. 7.30pm. £4 ( £3 Tron members). Extra dates: Sat 30 Aug. In the wake of recent great success. Scottish ()pera Go Round
Willie Corr. master cabinet maker atwork on the movable set for Scottish Opera Go
continues its policy of taking opera to all types of venues. Janaeek‘s Jenufa. opening in Glasgow With a
cast ofseven. pianist and an easily transportable set. tells the tale of I.aca and his love for Jenufa. Virginia Kerr sings the title role.
SATURDAY so Q
Glasgow 0 BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Concert I Iall. Broadcasting House. Queen Margaret Drive. 'I’ickets: Room 20‘). BBC Broadcasting
House. (i 12 SIX}. 7.30pm (audience
to be seated by 7.25pm). Free by ticket. Principal ConductorJerzy Maksymuik takes the BBC SS() through an exciting programme of Shostakovich's First Symphony. Voyager by Scot'ish composer John Maxwell (ieddes and. to start. Serenade for Strings by Wiren.
0 Jenuta 'l‘ron Theatre. 38 Parnie Street. 552 4267 8. 7.30pm. £4 (£3 'l‘ron members). See 'l‘hurs 28 for full description.
~ SUNDAY 31 Edinburgh
0 St Giles' at Six St (iilcs’ Cathedral. High Street. Admission at door. (rpm. I’ree. Braying the post—Festival doldrums. llteZ/o-soprano Elizabeth Ilarlcyjoins St (iiles‘ Assistant ()rganist. Morley Whitehead fora refreshing recital in this regular seriesofconeerts.
WEDNESDAY 3' Glasgow 0 Sheila Nelson String Workshop
(ilasgow Artchntre. 12 Washington Street. 221 ~152b. “lam-12.30pm and 1—3.3(ipm. £5 (£3 IiS'I'A members). A day for string teachers. In the morning. Sheila Nelson demonstrates her approach to group teaching of beginners and the second session concentrates on experiments with techniques and repertoire. 'l'eaehers are advised to bring their on n instruments. ()rganised in
conjunction with the liuropean
String 'lieaehers Association.
Hound‘s production otJenuta atthe Tron. See Tues 28.