appeared at the Traverse in previous years with their SSDF entries. See Review.
Wallace - Guardian ol Scotland Tue 7—Sun 19 Apr. 7.30pm. Prices as for Blitz! The Theatre Co-operative, who recently produced Burke and Hare at the Traverse. in a new play by Patrick Evans taking a fresh look at the War of Independence. See Panel
6020 Yoshimasu Fri 3 Apr. 7.30pm.
£3 (£1.50). Plus 50p membership charge for non-members. A major Japanese poet giving his first readings in Britain Yoshimasu explores language. reading and improvising poetry to jazz accompaniment. He will be accompanied here by his wife Marilia and live music.
The performance. partly in Japanese. partly in English. is a rare chance to see him. See also Tron. Glasgow
A NATION FIT FOR HEROES
‘lt’s a Boys’ Own story really. We’re just trying to give the lie to the Boys’ Own story.’ Patrick Evans is talking about his new play ‘Wallace’ which opens at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh on Tue 7 April (see Listings). Following on the heels oi Jeremy Raison’s moving play ‘Blitz!’ (see Review), ‘Wallace‘ should also bring a new focus to a period of Scottish history and again develop the Traverse’s positive response to the problems at reconciling its tinancial restrictions with its new writing policy, by encouraging collaboration and visiting companies.
‘Wallace’ is presented by Theatre Co-Operative, whose last production ‘Burke and Hare’ (also written by Patrick Evans) played the Traverse’s ‘Pick of the Fringe’ with considerable success. That play dealt with violence, yet when Evans lirsl embarked on the story at Wallace, he found himself unprepared. ‘ltlrightened the lite out oi me. I was dealing with things I just didn’t understand. It was an extraordinarily violent time and Wallace was an extraordinarily violent man. He wore somebody’s skin round his waist as a belt.’
Evans is more than aware that he is playing with tire: taking on a crucial period of Scottish history and one of Scotland’s national heroes. He hopes, however, to cut through some oi the myths without reducing the importance of the men involved or the issues at stake: ‘There was a tremendous amount ol heroism about,’ he says, ‘but it was the heroism at a people.’ He sees Wallace as a people’s leader, ‘It was a three-cornered power struggle between the imperialist power, England, who invaded Scotland to help pay tor the war in France, and two strands ol the national movement: the common man’s movement and the resistance of the high leaders at Scotland, who saw Wallace as a threat.’
His play then is very much about the common man ol the time and the intensely violent atmosphere around him but trom this Evans wants to draw outmore enduring themes: ‘I want to show how people react in a menacineg desperate situation. Even in the most
desperate times there is a logical way in which they react. People respond almost like animals— it you corner an animal it bites.’
The play’s subject has largely dictated its epic structure - like ’Burke and Hare’ it will be episodic, juxtaposing highly contrasted scenes on a minimalist set. Fortheir next
project however Theatre Co-Operative will be moving away from this minimalist approach, with an amazing-sounding tour-hour performance piece called ‘The Burghers’ Tale' by Alan Sharp. ‘We hope to convert the inside at a hall into an 18th-century theatre, where people can perlorm on tables,’ explains Evans. ’ltwill involve tire-eating, a band, dancing and eating - more of an
event than a piece of theatre.’
His immediate concern though is with the problems at adapting ‘Wallace”s set for a tour of Scotland that encompasses both a too-sealer studio and a woo-sealer proscenium arch theatre. The tour marks a step lorward tor the comapny, who have already been through several sea-changes since they set up last year. Their basic policy has stayed with them however— to present not so much socialist theatre as ‘theatre by socialists“: ‘We try to do something in a broader context, that is not didactic but is responsible, challenging, entertaining theatre.’
Evans leels the historical subjects ol his plays help him to avoid didacticism — ‘I don’t think I could control my anger writing modern stories‘ — but contemporary relevance oi the period at the Wars of Independence is certainly not lost on him: ‘It is a play about modern Scotland and about English economic imperialism. It’s about the subjugation oi any people and the nature of resistance. Ultimately, though, it’s a play about defeat.’ (Sarah Hemming)
o The Traverse Theatre have just announced their spring season and new writing. See Coming Soon section.
O The Warld’s Wonder A new touring production by Theatre alba of a play by Alexander Reid. writer of The Lass Wi' The Muekle Mou'. Set in the make-believe village of Dubbity. the story tells of how magic unravels an evil spell cast on a pair of young lovers. and continues Theatre Alba‘s policy of reviving plays written in old Scots. See panel. For further details please contact Theatre Alba on 031 226 2427.
Tron Theatre. Glasgow Tue 7—Sun 12 Apr. 8pm. 04] 552 4267: Tei't'ot Row Student Union. Edinburgh (Part of Edinburgh Folk Festival). Mon l6—Wed 18 Apr.
0 Mugshot Cumbernauld Theatre‘s good-humoured entertaining spoof Chandleresque thriller, written and directed by Robert Robson. and
featuring sleuth MacMarlowe as he prowls the streets of Glasgow. For further details please contact Cumbernauld Theatre on 0236 737235.
Langholm Academy, Dumfries and Galloway Fri 3 Apr. 7.30pm. Tickets at door; Greenock Arts Guild Theatre. Greenoek Sat 4 Apr. 7.30pm. 0475 23038; Househill Community Centre, Priest/t ill, Glasgow Tue 7 Apr. 7.30pm. 041 88] 0263 8083: Carluke Recreation Centre, Carluke Wed 8 and Thurs 9 Apr. 7.30pm. 0555 51384; Cumbernauld Theatre Fri 10 and Sat 11 Apr. 7.45pm. 0236 732887; Springwell House, Gorgie, Edinburgh Tue 14 Apr. 7.30pm. 031 337 1971; Village Theatre. East Kilbride Wed 15 and Thurs 16 Apr. 7 . 30pm. 03552 48669; Harbour A rts (.‘entre, Irvine Fri 17 Apr. 7.45pm. 0294 74059.
MON-SAT 20 MAR to 11 APR 7.45 pm Sat Matinee 4 APR 3.15 pm
Tickets from £2.50 (031) 229 9697
THEATRE ALBA ON TOUR— SPRING 1987
by Alexander Reid
Opens TRON THEATRE, 7th—12th April : 8pm Edinburgh Folk Festival, 16th—18th April : 7.30pm Touring to Elgin, Buckie, Stonehaven, Macduff, Aberdeen, St Boswells, Selkirk, Greenock, Ullapool, Lyth, Glenelg, Poolewe, Islay, Ardrishaig, Dundee, Cumbernauld, Strathaven, Tayport and Irvine.
For further details, please call 031 226 2427.
TRON THEATRE GLASGOW TUES MAR 31 to SUN APR 5
REID HALL BRISTO SQ EDINBURGH TUES 7 to SAT 11 APR
rm. ctr; or ﬁll. umck -R ONL WOMAN MUSI‘AL
The List 3 - 16 April 23