As in most of his plays, Coward hints at more than just farce in Hayfever. The condemning, cutting edge to his voice is evident, and is not lost in this production.
The comedy centres on the Bliss family and, in particularJudith Bliss, delightfully portrayed by Edith Macarthur. Dramatic, sadistic and theatrical in the nicest sense, she commands the rest of her family with the sell assurance of Boadicea as they set about the mental destruction of their guests; the simpering Jackie Coryton, the hearty Sandy Tyrell and the more sinister couple, the predatory Myra and the diplomatist Greatham.
Yet even these two well-oiled cogs in the social machinery find themselves seizing up underthe steady tire of the Blisses as they struggle to lind a sense of reality in a weekend empty of any meaning and sincerity.
Coward cleverly switches our alliance from hunters to victims, but the final scene as the haunted visitors- once so sell confident, now quivering wrecks — seek the comfort of London, creeping past the arguing Bliss family, leaves us in no doubt as to the victors and rightly so. We cheerlorthe triumph over social lalseness.
Hugh Hodgart‘s direction and the brilliant portrayals by the cast, particularly Edith Macarthur and the deceptivelytame David McKail, bring outthe best in Coward, keeping the sharp edge at his comedy keen. (Rupert Callender)
Traverse Theatre/Kirkcaldy College Theatre Arts Programme
The Clydebank child-evacuees in Jeremy Raison's Blitz! are truly revolting and completely convincing. They squall, greet, holler and clout theirway from Clydebank to their rural placements. There, the ‘oiily nahce' welcoming committee is even more oil-putting, as they receive the lorlorn evauees with distaste and coldness. Ironically, civil war breaks out between the locals and the evacuees. Witch-like spinster do-gooders and spiteful children heighten the desperate homesickness oi the evacuees who find themselves in an alien world.
Wee Bridy's plaintive cry ‘Ah'm lost, Ah’m lost‘ encapsulates the poignant sense oi desolation ielt by the generally resilient children. The gentle
adaptation of the well-loved classic by Charles Kingley.
The Desert Song Mon 6—Sat 11 Apr. 7.30pm. Sat mat2. 15pm. £4.50. £3.50. £2.50. Half price cones Mon eve and Sat mat. The Bohemians Lyric Opera Club in the Harbach and Hammerstein musical.
Andrea Chénier Wed 15—Sat 18 Apr. 7.30pm. £2.50—£7.50. Tickets available from Anne Watson. 6 Duncan Street. in advance. and from theatre box office from (3 Apr. Edinburgh Grand Opera in the Scottish premiere of Giordino‘s opera. See Classical Music.
0 MANDELA THEATRE Gateway
comedy oi the situation is never far
away—for, Paddington Bear-like, Bridy ‘
has a large label round her neck giving hername.
Eerie live music, played by members of the cast (all students at Kirkcaldy College), accompanies and introduces the action very eiiectively- bringing portents oi the blitz, supporting the skips and dribbles oi dalt Billy, evoking the yearning for home.
Amidst the apt disarray oi the set, designed by Heather lnnes, the Kirkcaldy students give a slick and wholly professional performance.
Exchange. 2—4 Abbeymount. 661 0982. Cafe and Bar facilities during performances.
The Miracles Wed 8 Apr. 7.30pm. £1 (50p). Final new play from the Edinburgh I’laywrights‘ Workshop‘s season of new plays presented in a workshopped form: a play by Jessie MeMurray about a woman who miraculously helps her child to walk. 0 NETHERBOW 43 High Street. 556 957‘). Box office Ilium—4.30pm; 7—9pm perfevgs.
Room With a Revue L1 mil Sat 4 Apr. 8pm. £2 (£1 .50). Fairly Solid Theatre ('o in a revue.
« 3‘ '. h. _ *\ Above: Andrew Price and Edith Macarthur in Hay Fever Below: Pauline Crawford and Liane
Craig in Blitz!
Particular credits are, in this case, too numerous to mention. Baison has scripted and directed the play brilliantly. He has been wise enough to utilise the considerabletalents of his youthful cast to their best effect. It is a project well worth repeating and deserves a further showing in Glasgow. Catch the play while you can.
The Edinburgh Puppet Festival Wed H—Sat 18 Apr. The Netherbow hosts again the annual Edinburgh Puppet Festival with puppets of all shapes and sizes making an appearance. For full details of times ol'shows please see Kids page.
0 OOEON CINEMA (‘lerk Street. 667 7331.
Robert Halpern Every Sat until end Apr. Midnight. £2.50. The hypnotist returns to Edinburgh.
0 REID CONCERT HALL Bristo Square. Colette Tue 7—Sat 11 Apr. 8pm. £3 (£2). Bobok. a new theatre company intent on showing musical work. in a presentation of the life of the
infamous French actress. See also Tron. Glasgow and Panel. 0 ROYAL LYCEUM Grindlay Street. 229 9697. Box office Mon—Sat 10am—6pm. 10am—8pm on perf evgs. Bar. Rest/Cafe. [D][E] (TheatreSaver Concession Cards cost £1 . last all year. give £1 off the full price each time you come for you and a friend — available to OAPs. UB40s. Students. disabled. under 24 railcard holders. YTS scheme and young people under 18). Hay Fever Until Sat 11 Apr. £2.50—£5.50. TheatreSaver holders £1 off. Sat mat 3 Apr. 3. 15pm (All seats £2.50). An excellent production of Noel Coward‘s 1920s' comedy ofmanners. directed by Hugh Hodgart. See Review. 0 SPRINGWELL HOUSE Ardmillan Terrace. Gorgie. 337 1971. Mugshot Tue 14 Apr. 7.30pm. £1.50 (£1). Cumbernauld Theatre Company in their toun'ng production of Robert Robson‘s spoof Chandleresque thriller. set in Glasgow. See Tourin ). o TEVIOT ROW STUDENT UNION Teviot Row. The Warld's Wonder Mon le—ch 18 Apr. 7.30pm. £3 (£2.50) Theatre Alba present Alexander Reid‘s magical play as part ofthe Edinburgh Folk Festival. See panel and Touring. O THEATRE WORKSHOP 34 Hamilton Place. 226 5425. Box office Mon—Sat 9.30am—5.30pm. Bar. Cafe. It's Not the End of the World Until Sat 4 Apr. 8pm. £3 (£2). ()ne ticket free with every ten bought. Start of Theatre Workshop‘s new touring production. an adaptation by Jack Klaff and Bob Sinfield of the book Humanizing Hell, by George Delf. The question the play asks is: are nuclear weapons illegal under International Law‘.’ It follows the tale of Sarah and Gordon whose answer is. yes. Directed by Bryan Elsley and with a strong cast. the comedy has live music by Iain Johnstone. See also Touring. Huck Finn Thurs 9—Sat 11 Apr. 7.30pm. Sat mat 2.30pm. £2 (£1). Forth Children‘s Theatre. young veterans of the Fringe, present ad adaptation of Mark Twain‘s Huckleberry Finn. A large cast of 10—18 year-olds take us to mid-19th century Mississippi where the relationship between young Huck and a runaway slave Jim. develops in stark contrast to the racism. prejudice and slavery around them. See also Kids page. 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). Blitz! Until Sun 5 Apr. 7.30pm. Temp members £4.50: Econ members £4; Full members £3.50; Students. ()APs. UB40s £2.50 (members £2). An excellent new play written and directed by Jeremy Raison. bringing the experiences of children evacuated from Glasgow before the Clydebank Blitz vividly to life with some original and inspired direction. A collaboration with Kirkcaldy College, who have
22 The List 3 — 16 April