Thurs 19 Feb. Sat mat 7 March. 3.15pm. Tickets as for The Hypochmzdriak. C hekhov‘s masterpiece about the three sisters Prozorov and their unfulfilled longing to move to Moscow. A version by Edward Bond. directed by Ian Wooldridge. O THEATRE WORKSHOP 34 Hamilton Place. 226 5425. Box office Mon—Sat 9.30am—5.30pm. Bar. Cafe. The Image Machine Until Sat 7 Feb. 8pm. £2.50 (£1.25). Theatre Workshop‘s latest performance project. involving a professional and volunteer company. See Review. Mometum Bush Fri 13 and Sat 14. See Dance. GebbThurs l9—Sat 21 Feb. 7pm. Sat mat 2.30pm. £2 (£1). Rainmaker Picture Story Theatre. a new children‘s theatre company. founded by two members ofThe’atre dc Complicite. Tim Barlow and Jos llowben. Though aimed specifically at children who are deafor hard of hearing. they should appeal to all. bringing Complicite's highly successful visual comic style to the strange tale of (iebb — a railway journey that takes an unexpected twist . . . 0 THOMAS MORTON HALL Ferry Road. Peacemaker Sat 7 Feb. 11am and 2.30pm. £1 adult: 50p child. TAG Theatre Company in two public performances of their show at present touring schools (aimed at 5—9 year-olds). It's a delightful. funny play by David Holman in which two countries— the land ofthe Reds and the land of the Blues. are separated by a wall. Two ofthem accidentally meet — what happens next“? lnventively performed by the cast of four. the production gets the children in the audience to decide the final outcome — both fun and instructive! 0 TRAVERSE THEATRE 112 West Bow. 226 2633. Box office Tue—Sat 10am—8pm; Sun 6—10pm. Bar. Rest. Tickets also available from the Ticket Centre. 22 Market Street. Seats from £2. Sundays ALL SEATS £2 (non-members £2.50). The Busker Until Sun 8Fcb. 7.30pm. Temp members £4.50; Econ members £4; Full members £3.50; Student. ()Al’. UB40£2.5() (members £2). Roughcast Theatre Company in their production of James Kelman's play. See Review. A ‘Mystery' Play Tue 10—Sun 22 Feb. 7.45pm. Tickets prices as for The Brisker. Winged Horse Touring Company. who recently mounted Robin Munro's epic Cry ofSpain, in a mystery play about which nothing will be revealed till the lights go down. You pays your money . . .
O Jotters Wildcat Theatre Co begin a tour of their new musical show. written by David MacLennan and David Anderson on a subject of recent topicality — education. For further details please tel: 041 954 (XXX).
Crawfurd Theatre. J ordanhill (.‘0/1ege. Glasgow Thurs l9—Wed 25 Feb. £3.40 (£2.50). 04] 954 (XXX). Tour continues until April.
ZOThe List 6— 19 February
Shows to catch before Sun 8 Feb.
Bedlam Theatre, Edinburgh In ‘War Music’, Christopher Logue takes the superbly evocative lyricism of Homer's epic, the ‘lliad’, and adds to it a contemporary voice, developing with insight the heroic passion of the original into recognisable emotional conflicts. This adaptation of the pivotal Books 16—19 in the poem is remarkable in that it makes accessible and intimate one of the most idealised and detached forms of literature, the epic, without depriving it of its heroic grandeur and universal implication. Peter Florence, sole actor, conveys with much dexterity the various personae, deftly co-ordlnating remorse and brutality, fear and triumphant exuberance as the conflict between
Greek and Trojan unfolds. Movement on stage is choreographed delightfully and being executed with great poise and timing, the shifting moods of the play are given further dramatic effect. One criticism might be that though protracted descriptions of violence echo the original, a more digestible performance might omit some of these as they take up much of the one hour and forty minute programme.
‘ Elizabeth McGrath, Bninton Theatre.
Peter Florence (above), Bedlam Theatre
Regardless of this, the merits of both actor and play fuse to give a refreshing and inventive portrait of the bitter and brutal passions contained in Homer's epic narrative. (Conor McCutcheon)
ROMEO AND JULIET
Brunton Theatre, Musselburgh
Both the strengths and limitations of Mervyn Willis's Romeo And Juliet lie in its combination of an urgent sense of energy with a beautiful simplicity.
Set in a sometimes eerily-lit magic circle, Willis’s production has a timeless quality, which throws the main lines of the story sharply into relief, and brings out very strongly a feeling of fatality and of some dark elemental struggle going on beneath the surface.
Matthew Wandsworth and Elizabeth McGrath brings a freshness and vitality to Romeo And Juliet that makes their
brief, complete passion entirely believable. Yet their energy also has a darker dimension, seeming to be both propelled by, yet in contest with, some deeperforce that is larger than themselves. They appear both central, and pawn-like - a fact gently emphasised by Bill Murdoch’s sympathetic performance as the wise Friar Lawrence.
The sharp definition of the production brings its own weaknesses however. Juliet’s nurse played by John Mitchell as a pantomime-like dame brings comic relief, but leaves scenes demanding emotional complexity laundering, and subtlety is what is most lacking from the production. But the combination of Jeffrey Taylor’s music, casting a spell-binding web over the action, and the almost balletic sense of movement combine to give the whole production a mesmeric feeling of foreboding that lingers on when it has finished. (SH)
The Busker, written and directed by James Kelman, has in its intimacy the feeling of a radio play. From a Birmingham shopping precinct Kelman extracts three people, a Glaswegian man and a woman, plus a London
busker, their point of reference.
The encounter is put across with the minimum of resources. The ideas are all carried in the dialogue and the devices of action, set or lighting almost entirely avoided. The man, insufferably irritiating, verbally needles the busker until he accidentally prises off the busker's public mask. The London accent is shown to be a sham and the Glaswegian is exposed underneath. The busker has not fully reconciled his past to his present and meeting his two compatriots does nothing to narrow the gap. Nursing insecurity and self-doubt, national confidence is not in theirworld view, and the man and the woman are two small chips at a larger frustration and belligerence.
Bringing the three together encounters some dramatic problems not entirely overcome. There is an inherent difficulty in conveying a boring situation without become boring itself and though long pauses can be accommodated by radio (on radio a long pause need only be short) or prose, on stage they feel too literal. A more inventive device seems to be called for.
John Cobb is fully persuasive as a needling individual who won’t go away, entirely making the character his onw, and the overall encounter is enjoyable, although ultimately it feels more like prose than play. (Sally Kinnes)
THE IMAGE MACHINE
Theatre Workshop, Edinburgh.
The Image Machine is a piece of performance art presented in collaboration with The Slide Workshop, which combines, with Theatre Workshop‘s usual eclectic flair, a spectaular array of content and form. It tacklesthe whole range of institutions instrumental to processing the human image— such as advertising agencies, the visual media and the printed word. These disparate forces take on an anarchic corporate identity, and we are subjected to a glimpse of its internal workings in six almost fully merged sequences.
At one end ofthis melee is the mob, caught in the huge swelling of the human image, digested and shaped by the Image Machine. At the other end is an enormous papier mache Capitalist, complete with cigar, resting on his multiple chins and reaping the profits of his creation (the Image Machine).
Unlike Heaven on Earth, Theatre Workshop's last production, this is a highly polished and slick affair, put together in justthree weeks by a conglomeration of 60 volunteers under the guidance ofAlan Spence, Alasdair Nicolson and Andi Ross, from an original idea by Mary Walters. The only hint in the performance of the brevity of thetime in which it was conceived is the somewhat unscrupulous compression of its many ideas into just
one hour. Stretching it out might alleviate some of the confusion for the audience without detracting from the quality of the performance art. (Ben Simms).