still touring both , as well as the new
tshow Please, Please, Please. The company is different for each; Mick Barnfather, Linda Kerr Scott, Celia Gore Booth, Magni and McBurney come together for the latest, Houben and Barlow betimes collaborating on a show for deaf kids. Complicité’s ﬂexibility seems to mark the path forward. ‘We are very different on stage, it‘s one of our strengths. and we are, in truth very different people. So, ifwe’re going to go on working together, it‘s important that we make space for ourselves, that we work with other people. For me, too, whatever is in the future is such an unknown quantity, [can‘t bear knowing what I‘m doing too far in advance, because I want surprises. It‘s the difficulty with organising our work. We never like to book ourselves up in advance because we never know . . .‘ Outside there are no surprises, Brussels is as grey, as dank, as a day previous. We talk of the new show. That‘s why we‘re here, isn‘t it? ‘Well, there‘s a mother and a father and two sons and a girlfriend. There‘s three beds and washing and a table and two chairs and a bench. And they‘re all fairly horrible people. They‘re together, but don‘t know why they‘re together. They do love each other, but then they want to beat the shit out ofeach other. . . but you‘ll see all that.‘
But this is a philosophical morning; hangovers often are. McBurney on families: ‘This thing about families, I think having a relationship and a child gives people meaning. What you do in life is to try and acquire more wealth, but what everybody relies on to take care of their inner life is to have a kid.‘ McBurney on sanity: ‘I‘m terrified ofgoing mad, it‘s my biggest single fear. There can be nothing more lonely than being mad.‘ McBurney on. . . no, better leave it there. We went on for hours. . .
Theatre de Complicité‘s Please, Please, Please is at Springwell House, Edinburgh on 11 Oct, Theatre Workshop, Edinburgh from 12-15 Oct and the Tron, Glasgow from 18-22 Oct. See Theatre.
The Edinburgh Lyceum’s guest Macbeth and his Lady talk to Sarah Hemming.
Dame Sybil Thorndyke took to to express her love and support for reciting the 90th Psalm to discourage her husband. But there‘s more to it the notorious spirits of darkness said as well . . . to haunt the Scottish play‘. Julie ‘I believe she‘s going against her Covington and Jonathan Hyde look gender. 1 really do. The one thing ; comparatively composed. Jules and I were clear about when we z Sitting in the Lyceum bar, in a brief discussed her, was that we both once break between scenes, the Macbeths wanted to be called Jules. I off-stage are brimming with remember I once deliberately enthusiasm — despite the intensity of wanted to be called JUICS. because it , last week and said, I‘m playing Lady rehearsals. ‘We‘ve just been doing was a genderless name. And I M, in Edinburgh - legitimacy at last! i the banquet scene.‘ volunteers Julie thought about why it was that I i And I thought, my God, |ook what Covington. ‘And 1311']! don‘t know wanted to have a genderless name . . I‘ve written. It was a revelation my lines. . .‘ .that was what I thought was going i . a. .v .. — Covington, coiled quietly in a on with Lady Macbeth. That she was
chair, wears business-like. doing it for very, very powerful I surreptitious trainers beneath her reasons. Not just for Macbeth, as an long skirt — while Hyde completes expression of private love and the picture with a black track suit. bonding towards him, but also to Fitted out for energy, he is the more have an effect, some power, or any restless of the two. They have never certainty of herself, perhaps — I‘m worked together before, but are on ’ just trying to hang on to some type of entirely common ground as to their i integrity for her, despite the reasons for being here — courted by i situation she‘s in.‘ director Jules Wright. they both 5 On stage she may be the stronger of leapt at the chance ofplaying the : the two, determinedly pushing infamous pair. , Macbeth forward as he oscillates Hyde, Australian born, already between his desire and his reluctance
‘It‘s a very fast moving story. You go straight through it - and what‘s wonderful about it is the contradictions: Shakespeare gives you a villain with a poetic sensibility - which is wonderful?
The accessibility of the poetry to the actor has come upon Julie as a pleasing shock, ‘I wrote to a friend
Hanging on to integriiy
has an impressive string of to act. Off-stage, the roles are almost _
reversed: Julie. cautious, hinting at ‘ abom myself" after twenty ya?“— to self-doubts, Jonathan direct. 2 fl"? what had actually been some on . constantly egging her on with ; msrde about domg Shakespeare. But 7
, , I ° ' s conspiratorial playfulness. Are there for a“ that: 't docs" Watt?"- ‘ A any other Shakespeare roles she‘d Because 't 5 Very mus‘Cdl’ " has
Shakespeare parts at the National and Royal Shakespeare Company to his credit: ‘I have done quite a lot of Shakespeare, but usually under the umbrella ofone ofthose two
mammoth organisations — and like to play? Internalirhymc -,Just like Rogersand indccdthars one reason why“ ~wc“,yeS. . gshc ﬁngers, Hart lyrics do. It sso compact. It's appealed to me. When you mischeviously, ‘ . . . but I‘m not sure really 300d fun“ I mean 't really '5 : undertake to do a big part with, say, this is the place to discuss it . . . ‘ (‘I 800d fun: You go through a“ that
could sort out a couple of good roles
for you.‘ suggestsJonathan, darkly). , t ’ . . She capituiates with a grin; incredible. Her face lights up With
.1 certainly _ i think i probably_ ; infectious delight, like that of a small
we”, [may very well have missed i girl presented unexpectedly with a
Cordelia. [love Shakespeare’s bag-ofgoodies. But touch on the raw V
heroines that have great purity and : SUbJeCt. 0f Em“, and ail “"5 lovely 3 ., . g enthusrasm closes up llkC a shell.
§ Covington turned down the main
role in the Ric<>Lloyd-Webber
’ musical nearly ten years ago — and a
r fortune with it, to the astonished
: incomprehension of the press, from
.- 5 whose over-avid attentions she has
7 i frequently fought shy. ‘I don‘t
i understand it. lstilljust don‘t
understand it,‘ She folds back into
Q her chair. ‘But that is too naive. l
a», 4.34.}: § knowthatsomewhere alongtheline
. . «4 . . . £242: i‘ I have to be more worldly. . .Well. Ambltlon -a llhldlnous spur I perhaps I wasjust holier-than-thou "then. Because I wanted to make a moral decision. And I was struggling 3 to make that moral decision.‘
‘That‘s very rare.‘ mutters Hyde. We are back to ambition — only this time on a different tack. As an actor in the impecunious world of theatre,
the Royal Shakespeare, you‘ve got at least a year ofvery heavy playing before you, which can make you very, very nervous. And the burden of expectation is really quite unsettling as well.‘
For Covington the attraction was both equal and opposite. ‘lt‘s the first time I‘ve ever been offered a principal part in a Shakespeare play — that‘s my first and foremost reason for doing it. And it‘s a perk that it‘s Edinburgh. I love the city — and I just thought, this is going to be a terrific job all round: I‘m going to get to do some Shakespeare, which has been
about the metre and it tells you how i to say the lines. It really does. It‘s .
my secret ambition — my devouring ambition - for some twenty. twenty-five years.‘
Those twenty years have not seen her idle either. Launched by a Fringe appearance with the Cambridge Footlights in 1968, she has dug away at the many seams of her career, fighting to keep sight of her principles and out of the limelight. Though probably still best known — to her chagrin — for the tv series Rock Follies and the single Don '1 Cry for Me Argentina. she has constantly veered away from popular success and in search of more ‘serious‘ roles. She talks about Lady Macbeth with a characteristic combination of openness, energy and deliberation.
‘At the moment I‘m very hung up on how I don ’1 want her to be seen. . . I don‘t want to play a stereotype of a strong woman manipulating, conniving. I think she does go against something in herselfin order
goodness. I‘d like to play her.‘
The conversation turns, appropriately enough, to ambition. ls ambition a virtue ora flaw?-— Julie 5 is unsure. Jonathan is adamant: it‘s a 9 ﬂaw-.‘FOT a '0‘ OfPCOPle» ambition is just how long can you maintain your a major kind oflibidinous spur. You integrity? Hyde:.Evcry0nc.S driven Show me any really ambitious ' by expediency at some stage. It all person, I bet you they‘ve walked depends on how much you Over clLlite a '0‘ OIbOdleS- compromise. If you have a wife and
‘It certainly stands at the heart of Children and a mortgage, I suspect this "agedY- Bl" What compounds ' that one‘s moral basis becomes very the tragedy is that Macbeth, for his profoundly compromised. part, charts his moral decline with i She agrees, ‘I think it‘s fair game absolute ruthless accuracy. Once he I with the way things are set up just steps over that line, he turns into a | new But I think it‘s absolutley totally different person. It‘s what ‘ disgusting that actors have to happens~ [suspect With aanOd)’ subsidise their work.‘ ‘That‘ he says.
Who commits their “1'51 murder- ‘Is why I‘m so thrilled to be doing this.‘ I
The List 31 Oct — 13 Nov 5