One of the more unexpected pleasures ol this year’s Edinburgh Festival has been STV’s Acropolis Now, an hour-long, twice-weekly series lrom the Gateway Studios on Elm Bow, teaturing a variety of acts from the Fringe perlorming before a studio audience.
From ropey beginnings —the first edition was slow and unsure of itself— Acropolis Now grew in coniidence throughout its three-week mn, giving an intormative and entertaining overview ot the Fringe Now there is talk the show will be revived as a late-night variety programme outwith the Edinburgh Festival.
Much ot the programme’s success
can be put down to the winning mixture I of co-presenters Muriel Gray (best I known for her work lorThe Tube as l resident canny Scots lass) and Jimmy 1. Mulville, lormerly a presenter oi ! Channel 4's Who Dares Wins and a respected comedy writer and producer. % Muriel Gray feels much oi the success was due to the risks taken by using 1 relative newcomers to arts ; programmes as presenters: ‘I think it was very brave oi Scottish Television to ask us to do it—we were the unknown element.’ Certainly tor Gray it must have been a happier experience than the drubbing she received some nights lrom the audiences oi Time Out’s bizarrely enjoyable ‘chat show’ held in the Elephant Tent iringe venue in the early, drunken hours oi the morning. Not that Acropolis was itselt a sale ' tormula. ‘I think the most important thing was that we tried something new’, says producer Bob Clyde, ‘and succeeded in our stated aim of tinding new people, some oi whom are Scots, - some at whom aren’t. I mean, it you
can't iind some decent acts at the 1 Edinburgh Festival, then the theory is 1 you must be nuts.’ (Man)
especially now we know that Bobby is to return next series restoring Southfork values.
0 Busalka (C4) 9—1 1 .5()pm. The highly acclaimed 1983 production of Dvorack‘s lyrical fairy-tale opera performed by the English National Opera and directed by David Poutney, who was until 1980.
Director of Productions at Scottish Opera.
0 Blood, Sweat and Tears (BBC 2) 9.25—10.25pm. Inspired by the story ofthe World Judo Champion. Karen Briggs, this is a televised version of John Godber‘s play which can be seen ‘live', performed by Hull Truck at the Glasgow Tron Theatre (See Theatre).
o lWas a Male War Bride (C4) 5—7pm. A French army officer attempts to accompany his WAC wife back to America and finds that his only hope of passage involves passing as a woman. Good-humoured comedy of errors with Cary Grant still managing to attract, even in drag. 1949
o Bodymatters (BBC 1) 8—8.30pm. Could men become pregnant? The popular medical series looks at this emotionally charged area of medical advancement.
o This Week (Scottish) 9.30—lopm. A return to the old name for Thames Television‘s flagship current affairs show. Jonathan Dimbleby on a rising star fresh from success with Yorkshire’s First Tuesday is the new presenter and with Roger Bolton as Editor, we can expect even greater emphasis on investigative journalism. First in a new series.
0 The Naked Civil Servant (C4) 9.30—11pm. John Hurt portrays Quentin Crisp in the repeat of the famous Thames Television biography of the effeminate
? own outlook over five decades. The
3 homosexual. Directed by Jack Gold 1 and first shown in 1975. it remains a masterly piece of television drama.
3 beautifully recreating the drab.
repressive atmosphere of (‘risp‘s youth abd tracing the changing attitudes and the changes in Crisp‘s
script was written from (‘risp‘s autobiography by the late Philip Mackie and the programme is part ofthe C4 tribute to him.
i o The Krankies Electronic Comic (BBC
1) 5.35—6pm. I can‘t stand it. Wee Jimmy's back. 0 The Great Egg Race (BBC 2)
I 7.30—8pm. Final ofthe egghead
contest of Heath Robinson contraption builders. The task today: to build a kite from dustbin
liners, string and tissue paper
capable of lifting a camera into the air.
0 Omnibus (BBC 1) 11.20pm—12.35am. Profile ofthe soprano who can be seen in action in Beethoven‘s Choral Symphony at the Proms on BBC 2 immediately before this documentary.
t o Psychol|(Scottish)
' 10pm—midnight. Cheeky and
g surprisingly effective sequel with
Perkins nasty Norman Bates deemed restored to sanity and allowed to
E resume his previous life at the hotel.
~ Psycho 3. directed by Perkins. is due in Scottish cinemas on 7 November.
o The Last Night otthe Proms (BBc 1)
Richard Baker introduces the noisy
0 Saturday Live (C4) Late night
repeat ofthe more hit than miss
comedy show. These are the edited
highlights of the show that had
different presenters each week.
including Robbie Coltrane and
1 SUNDAY 14 :
l 0 Weekend World (Scottish) 1 Noon—1pm. Brian Walden vacates
the chair in favour of writing for The Sunday Times it would seem — whatever next. Mathew Parris. who once tried to live for a week on what you get from the dole (that was when he was a Conservative) takes over. 0 Scottish Piano Competition (Scottish) 3.30—4.30pm. Televising of yesterday‘s new piano competition - see Classical Music Listings.
0 Russell Harty meets Dirk Bogarde (Scottish) 10.30—11.30pm. Bogarde will be appearing later this autumn on tv in a play he wrote.
0 Paradise Postponed (Scottish) 9—10.30pm. One ofthe major dramatic offerings from ITV this autumn. starring Michael Hordon. Based on the John Mortimer novel about pre-war days.
o Taggart (Scottish) 9—10pm. The final part of the tough crime series starring Mark McManus.
0 Talking to Writers (C4) The replacement for Book Four made by the same team and presented by the intelligent Hermione Lee. The format this time is ofone in-depth interview. Future guests include Julian Barnes and Marilynne Robinson and on the first programme Lee talks to Mario Vargas Llosa. the celebrated Latin American author. whose play Kathie and the Hippopotamus was recently given its British premiere at Edinburgh's Traverse Theatre.
0 The Possessed (C4) A co-production between the Almeida
' Theatre in London and C4, of
director Yuri Lyubimov‘s first theatre production since leaving the Soviet Union. Based on Dostoyevsky‘s novel it is the story of the destruction of a small town by terrorists. A parable for our time, the production has been highly acclaimed.
0 Scottish Report (Scottish) 8—8.30pm. The new series of ‘impact journalism' from Scottish Television that we‘ve all been waiting for. The first programme looks at the medical evidence linking cancer with radiation emissions from the Dounreay nuclear power plant. The programme is timed for a re-opening ofthe public enquiry.
o Equinox (C4) 8—9pm. ’What they don‘t tell you when they send you a computer‘. C4‘s science programme investigates — not so much WYSIWYG as WTDTYWTSYAC. 0 True West (C4) Sam Shepard's comedy drama portraying the relationship between two brothers — one a Hollywood scriptwriter, the
other a desert Hobo. The first ofthe fashionable American writer’s plays
to be televised.
Of the plays coming up over the next
fortnight the BBC offers some classic
writers like Arthur Miller (All My Sons Sun 14. R4 and World Service, 2.30pm). with Harry Towb and Constance Cummings) and Sean O‘Casey (the less well known Purple Dust Tue 16, R3, 7.45pm with David March and Sorcha Cusack and T.P. McKenna) together with new work like the first radio play by the former Head of BBC Television Drama in Scotland, Roderick Graham (Golden Oldies Thurs 18, R4. 3pm. in which the ‘golden‘ is a wedding anniversary. the ‘oldie’. the Scottish theatrical figure Callum Mill). What sounds likely to be an excellent use of the radio medium is The OtherThiei Sun 7. R4 and R Scotland, 9.30pm, in which award-winning author Robin Bell's poem is narrated by Bill Paterson who acts the part ofa thief in a burglary in a suburban house recorded on location in Edinburgh. Made complicit in his stealth and subject to both his instructions and threats is The Other Thief. the radio listener. Produced by John Arnott. Frank Finlay and Nicholas Grace, that impressively jealous and misconceived partnership Salieri and Mozart in the stage version of Amadeus. come together as two men in conversation on a park bench in Alt Opinion Poll, Jean Lessays prize-winning one-act play
(L ’Amareur de Sondages) on Tue 9, R3. 9.35pm.
Topical issues covered this fortnight in documentary fashion are drugs (and will we always be dependant on them?) in Dreamilower and the Toadskin Spell Wed 17, R4, 8.15pm with academics and professors from the universities of Lancaster, Glasgow and Los Angeles, and nuclear weapons. The While Train Sat 6. R4, 4pm. is a nuclear warhead-carrying train of lethal capacity. protested against by people from some 300 towns along its route every time it leaves the Pantex Plant in Texas.
Also worth looking out for are In the Psychiatrist’s Chair Sat 13, R4, 6.25pm, couched in terms of espionage when Dr Anthony Clare talks to a businessman~turned-spy, imprisoned by the Russians and spy-swopped back to Britain. Greville Wynne; The Mohammeds 01 Lewis which reveals along and unexpected history to the Indian restaurant in Stornoway on the Hebridean isle of Lewis, Tue 16, R4. 8.30pm and Stop Press Fri 5, R4, 8.20pm, in which Richard Ingrams, former editor ofthe much-sued Private Eye, looks at the cut and thrust of Fleet Street. the effect of new technology and who writes about whom. Finally, Uncle Clarence who died in Flanders in 1917, but whose photograph sat on the family piano and was sufficiently evocative
for his nephew, Alan Bennett, actor
and writer to journey to Flanders
and seek out his grave. Wed 17, R4, 9.40pm. (Sally Kinnes)
The List 5 4 isseptember 33