: ‘Look, he can’t get it up’, shouts a
groundling at Tytler before turning and
Ieering at the audience. Billed in the
programme as ‘an attempt to restore
the reputation of a remarkable man (and) a hymn to human endeavour against overwhelming odds’, Andrew Dallmeyer's new play about Edinburgh’s James Tytler, the first man in Britain to fly in a hot air balloon, has all the elements oi a farcical caper of sexual double-entendre. ‘Where’s my pussy’ is the catch phrase of one oi those sexless old ladies obsessed with cats who wanders on stage oblivious oi Tytler's frenetic attempts to become airborne.
Ayoung couple-the boy (Kenny
McKenna) is Tytler’s more
down-to-earth helper, the girl ‘no
better than she ought to be’ Edinburgh — '
flirt, make love, marry and, by the end
ofthe play have a child, in a sub-plot which highlights the sexual themes. By contrast, Tytler’s (Stuart Preston) marriage is on the rocks; his wile,
unable to see his vision, is more concerned with the household chattels —the laundry basket and the stove that Tyler will insist on taking with him into the sky. Tytler’s attempt to get his machine oil the ground is a metaphor iorthe failure of his life. It is not gravity that holds him down, but in the
f bedroom too much alcohol, and in
; society the thinly sketched stratosphere of hypocrisy and snobbery
Somewhere between a 16th century
. comedy, Barholomew Fair and Till
; Death Do Us Part, the producers have missed the real tone oi the play by trying to see proiundity in ballooning buiioonery. Tytler's hot air
action. See Kids. Open Day Sat 18 Oct. 11am—4pm. Free. A chance to look round workshop and see for yourself all the facilities they offer. Laughter from the Other Side Tue 28 Oct—Sat 1 Nov. 7.30pm. £2 (£1.50) (Except Thurs— see below). From the London Theatre Centre‘s Mixed Company. a play by Noél Greig that combines the tale of a friendship between two boys with a mythical tour of the ages. touching on imperialism and ecology. Laughter From the Other Side and Underthe Influence Thurs 30 Oct. 7pm. £2.50 (£1 .50). A double bill from the Theatre Centre‘s Mixed Company (see above) and Theatre Workshop‘s Theatre in Education Group who. in association with the Scottish Health Education Group, present May McCreaddie‘s play about alcohol and women. looking at society‘s attitudes to male and female drinking. The Silent Voices Speaking Out Wed 29 Oct. 8.45pm. £1. The London Theatre Centre's Women‘s Workshop in a drama workshop for women only taking a new look at history and examining who the ‘silent voices‘ were and why they were kept silent. Booking advised — only a limited number ofplaces. Creche available (please give two
20 The List 17 — 30 October
- experiments are funny but his hot air
ALLDON a.re« "
1:55:31 .2. ranting at society when he finally does reach for the heavens is funny too and not an element in Faustian Tragedy— or any othertragedy, come to that. Certainly society gets a bashing, but the play is no more revolutionary than its 16th and 17th century forebears. Tytler is a gift to the dramatist—the
days prior notice).
0 TRAVERSE THEATRE 1 12 West Bow. 226 2633. Box office Tue—Sun 10am—8pm. Bar. Rest. Tickets also available from the Ticket Centre. 22 Market Street.
Dreaming of Babylon Until Sun 26
Oct. 7.30pm. Temp members £4.50; 5
' Econ members £4; Full members £3.50; Student, OAP. U840. £2.50 : (Members £2). Concessions now
bookable in advance. First ofthe Pick of the Fringe — Kerry Shale displays his tremendous chameleon ability. Ingeniously sliding in and out ofcharacter in his one man show. he peoples the stage with the unsavoury ﬂotsam and jetsam ofsleezy underworld San Francisco. who surround his main character — a downtrodden. down-at-heel. self-styled ‘Private Eye'. C. Card — as he becomes embroiled in a shady affair. Shale‘s own stage adaptation of Richard Brautigan‘s novel is as elastic and deliciously black as his performance. (SH)
Burke and Hare Tue 28 Oct—Sun 2 : Nov. 7.30pm. Prices as for Dreaming
ofBabylon (see above). The second in the Traverse‘s Pick of the Fringe season: a play by Patrick Evans
1 putting the notorious duo into the |
f context oftheir own past and % contemporary society. Presented by | the Theatre Co-operative (formerly
. 9’ ‘ .ar
story of the second man to fly in a hot
« air balloon and to be totally ignored is
beautifully British. But Tytler is no
Scott of the Antarctic and the play is a funromp.Apitythenthat Hugh ' Hodgart's production didn’t address
itself to the play's true spirit. (Nigel Billen)
the Scottish Theatre Co-operative).
o The Albannach A recast. revitalised production ofJohn McGrath’s adaptation of Fionn MacColla's novel. Writing in the Twenties. MacColla lamented Scotland‘s repressed potential. lambasting the Kirk for depressing the poetry. song and spirit of the Highland people. through the figure of Murdo. a young and imaginative Highlander (The Albannach) who eventually leads a musical rebellion. McGrath‘s adaptation is a jaunty. sketched outline of the story that Finlay Welsh‘s production. now faster and tauter than before. brings to life with good humour. Vincent Friell. as Murdo. matures and gains in confidence before your eyes, taking on the elders of the Church who hover like disapproving black birds against the backdrop. (SH)
Tour continues round Highlands returning to Glasgow in early November. For further information please contact 7:84 Scotland on 031
0 Blood and Ice Winged Horse in a
I clear and sensitive production of Liz
Lochhead‘s richly imaginative play exploring Mary Shelley‘s creation of Frankenstein. Lochhead’s play is fascinating about the nature of
writing generally and about the preoccupations of the era in which Mary Shelley lived, but it is also extremely humane and often funny. and the cast bring out both the play’s comic touches and its intense atmosphere. helped by Minty Donald‘s beautiful ice-green set. For further details contact Winged
Horse on 031 226 2427.
Tour continues to England and Shetland then to:
Village Theatre. East Kilbride Tue 28 Oct. 7.30pm. 035 52 48669; Greenock Arts Guild Theatre Wed 29 Oct. 7.30pm. 0475 23038.
0 The Cry of Spain Winged Horse in Robin Munro’s play, a splintered chronicle of the Spanish Civil War using a complex stylised form that parallels the development of the war with that of a bull fight. It is a vivid, taut production that brings home sharply the bravery of those who resisted Fascism and the noble generosity of ordinary people who left everything to join the International Brigade. For further information please contact Winged Horse on 031 226 2427.
Johnstone Community Hall, Johnstone Thurs 30 Oct, 7.30pm. 041 889 3151.
O DesireCommunicado in their reworked production of R. L Stevenson’s allegorical tale about the nature ofgreed. set in a South Sea Island — with live music from the Tropics. For further details please contact Communicado on ()31 225 3398.
Cumbernauld Theatre, Cumbernauld Fri 17 and Sat 18 Oct. 7.45pm. 02367 32887; Springwell House, Edinburgh Tue 21 Oct. 7.30pm.031337 1971;5tudents ' Union Theatre, StAndrews Wed 22~Thurs 23 Oct. 8pm. 0334 . 74610/76161; HarbourArts Centre, Irvine Fri 24 Oct. 8pm. ()294 74059. Tour continues to N. Ireland.
0 The Lass Wi’ The Muckle Mou' Theatre Alba continue to tour their successful production of Alexander Reid‘s play in braid Scots about a lass ; with toothsome prospects. For further information please contact Theatre Alba on 031 226 2427.
Tron Theatre, Glasgow Until Sat 18 Oct. 8pm. 041 4267/8. Tour , continues round Highlands until 25 Oct. 3 o What Every Woman Knows The f Scottish Theatre Company starts up a new tour ofJ.M. Barrie‘s comedy. ' For further details please contact the Scottish Theatre Company on ()41
339 8777. , Adam Smith Theatre, Kirkcaldy Tue 21—Fri 24 Oct. Tue-Fri 7.30pm. Sat 5 and 8pm. 0592 260498; Eden Court Theatre, In verness Mon 270ct—Sat 1 Nov. 7.45pm. Sat mat 2.30pm. 0463 221718.
Forvenue details, unless otherwise specified, please see Theatre section. 0 CUMBEBNAULD THEATRE
The Nippy Sweeties Fri 24 Oct. 7.45pm. £2.75 (£1.50). A trio of talent with awesome success behind