TRUE MARRIAGE SCOTTISH DANCE THEATRE: SEE TUE 19. A snlllotthe oxters is an action normally taken in private. But all is exposed in Scottish Dance Theatre’s new programme being given its world premiere at this year’s Meylest. When the whill oi the aerosols dies down, out come the llpstlcks underthe carelul direction at PeterRoyston. choreographer ol ‘Consuming Passions’. Playwright and poet Liz Lochhead adds the seductive words oi advertising ‘Red Cyclamen and Lace’ and David Mcltlven a score oi hissing

cans oi cover-up spray. Rehearslng at their new base at Jordanhlll College. the ‘excellent lacilities’ are giving the company room to breathe. But, they ask in thelrcoquettish snilis and smears. how long can we ilaunt our own vanities in the lace at a disappearing ozone layer?

Atthe end olApril. SDT was joined by Douglas Nielson. a choreographer lrom New York with passions oi a ditlerentkind on his mind. At the drop ota top hat, the company oi six leap into the intro ior ‘Just Married’. a piece he has specially created ior them ‘It's taster than they’re used to’ he says. ‘more body changes‘. But even alter onlylour days’ rehearsal they were moving with speed and precision.

The linished productwill be decked out in the costume at marriage, hooped white gowns, morning suits and canes. Sounds stagey. but Nielson is not attempting to glamorize cynically. “I've shown marriage positively.’ he says.

Following the vows. the three couples are supportive and trusting in the beginning. For richeror poorer gives the bride a succession ot toasters and the dance in the middle. ‘getsa little messy. like llle’. In the end though. it is the commitment ‘till death us do part' which Neilson sees as the beauty olthe institution.

Because ota busy schedule. Nielson will be back in America arranging a move to Arizona when the company pertorms his piece. Will he notmiss seeing the result oi his

work? ‘Yes. but ltwlll belong to them by thattlme. It’s like pushing a boat into the water. You have to let go.’ (Alice Rain)


CDMRADES: SEE SUN 3. Glasgow Film Theatre 3 May

The Scottish premiere at Bill Douglas’s Comrades will reveal a slightly dltterent version to that shown during lastyear's London Film Festival. , Douglas admits to being a compulsive tinkerer. but

iustllies his attitude on the groundsthat ‘ii you’re going to do a job. you mightes well tryto do it right. It’s dlllicult to say when alllm isllnished —when you show it to an audience. you learn new things irom their reactions. and you haveto think about the things that throws up.’

His meticulous attention to detail is obvious in this stately. elegant evocation olthe human drama behind the arrest, conviction and deportation to Australia oi six Devonshire labourers accused oilorrnlng an illegal secret society. That organisation was, oi course. an earlytrade union. and the Tolpuddle Martyrs have passed into labour history. but Douglas's lilm ls nota political one. The director has no doctrinaire points to make. only a storyto tell.

It is told. as always in his work. largelythrough pictures; he believes that images should do the real work on screen. ‘ll I can use the image. then why have unnecessary speech? I'm inclined when writing alllm to see dialogue as a way oi establishing the atmosphere between shots. balancing the relationship between words and images. From choice. I much preler to concentrate on the image.‘ That acute sense oi visual values marks Douglas out in a British cinema which traditionally emphasises the literary- this is one director whose lilms demand to be seen ratherthan heard. (Kenny Mathleson)


THE GDRBALS STORY: SEE WED 6. When 7:84 Scotland open David Hayman’s production ol The Gorbals Storythey will bebringing back memories at something ola phenomenon. The original 1940s productiontoured much oiScotland and England in a tourthat lasted over lour years. Its extraordinary box—oltice success was due in no small partto its achievementin rellecting the problems at the urban working-class Scot oithetime. Set inthe communal kitchen olan eight-llatted tenement in

{ was; I

Russell Hunter (seated) in the original 1940s production at Gorbals Story.

the Gorbals. the play not only charted the quarrels and laughs and loves at Glasgow tenement-dwellers. but censured the housing conditions whichthey sultered.

Since then the urban working-class lilestyle has become the raw material tor countless popular dramas. The audience at the 1940s, however. who rushed to see Gorbals Story. were more used to seeing Scotland portrayed in tartanry and rural tweeness. and responded to seeing their own lives on stage with sometimes daunting enthusiasm.

Russell Hunter, who played ‘Johnnie Martin—a newsboy' throughout the run oi the 1940s production. remembers audiences, particularly in Glasgow, who treated the periormance as absolutely real. ‘They believed what they saw, and tried tojoin in.’ One large lady in a hat threatened to get involved in an on-stage wrangle when she leltJohnnie Martin was getting the worst of it.

The Gorbals Story was truly populartheatre. and Glasgow Unity Theatre. the company who created the play. was a truly popular theatre company. Formed it 1941 the company was itseli amateur— the actors. director and stage-manager at The Gorbals Story all turned protessional overnightwhen the play took all. Although they were amateur. Russell Hunter remembersthat they were there. at number7 Scott Street. every night.

The accessibility oi The Gorbals Story is borne out by the lactthat duringthe run oi the play tourGlasgow Unity amateurcompanies were operating. Having seen the play on tour. people would travel to Glasgowto take part in a style at drama which said something to them and aboutthem. As Russell Hunter puts it. ‘ltwas something very importantto them. but they didn't know it until they saw The Gorbals Story.


s. g t!

Glasgow Unity Theatre collapsed. unable to survive without public lunding. ora home oitheir own. butthe legend olThe Gorbals Story survives— hopelully7284 will make it live again. (Julie Morrice).


‘He always has enormous

ldeas.’ says Lady Polwarth. the Scottish governor ol Live Music Now! at its iounder. Sir Yehudi Menuhin. ‘I think he wanted to get real ratherthan canned music back into the community’. And two years ago she was given the task at extending the Live Music

Now! scheme into Scotland.

ltis not enough however that the music is live. it has also to be music at excellent quality. The scheme, which began in 1977, takes young musicians under 27 years oi exceptional quality, who are just at the outset oi their careers. It is veryimportant that they have notiusta musical talent. but also the capacity to communicate. promote and explaintheir pieces in periormance. Withoutthls abilitytheir concerts would tall veryilat in the particular venues they go to. The scheme aimsto take concerts to places which would otherwise have little inthe way oi live music, bethey homeslorthe elderly. prisons or special schools. Dcsionallythere is a ‘lollipop’ venue. like a country house or a wedding.

Registered as a charity, the scheme pays its musicians who may give between ten and twenty concerts each yeara minimum oi £50 per concert. Dne dllliculty at setting up the scheme in Scotland was that so many musicians leave Scotland to lind work in the south and it is hoped that as the scheme develops and otters concert experience more may be encourage to stay.

Last yeartwo musicians on the scheme won the Glasgow Herald Maylest award and this yearits Scottish-based musicians will be periorming a total at iilty concerts atvarious venues during Maylest. (Sally Kinnes)

. .‘l



Scul‘Itor George Wyllie introduces the Straw Locomotive. I once saw a cartoon which depicted a bespectacled engineer standing beside a large

half-built locomotive and saying ‘I used to be a watchmaker until my eyes went bad.‘ My own eyesight is pretty good. but my spinal column and its extensions. are getting weary of acting as a human fork-lift for heavy scul?ture. My wife Daphne has taken early retirement from her old job as a scul?tor‘s labourer. and suggests that at my age I should be making works ofwrist-watch proportions. There is, however, something perverse about scul?ture. for instead of twiddling at something through a magnifier. I have to keep running farther and farther back to see what I’m making a process which in itself is strenuous. This time I‘d say I have to run back about five-hundred yards. because I am building a bigger than lifesize Straw Locomotive which is to hang on the bigger than lifesize Finnieston crane.

For the technically-minded. the Straw Locomotive is a 4-6-0. it is 40ft x 8ft x 14ft high. weighs about 7 tonnes, including about 3 tonnes of selected long-bladed golden hay which took some stuffing. The power of the Straw Locomotive is such that it has attracted Joan Bakewell and TV film crew to its birthplace in Greenock. She told me that she would like to see it getting stuffed. Life is curious.

This scul?tural extravaganza is sponsored by the easy-to-rememberTSWA-3D project, which is a national event to inflict art on the unsuspecting public in nine major sites in the UK. Glasgow‘s site for this demonstration of public art which is art the public cannot avoid is the big crane at Finnieston. To be strictly accurate the big crane is really a big cran. On Clydeside. a cran is somehow mightier than a crane. and so TSWA-3D should have called it a cran. It belongs to the Clyde Port Authority. who have been great. and unflappable about the whole thing.

The first thing to notice is that a hook hanging from a crane is like an upturned question-mark scul?ture rides again! From such a hook. and between the years 1865 and 1962. there has dangled the total of 18,0(XJ— repeat —eighteen thousand locomotives being exported from the North British Locomotive Works in Springburn. Glasgow. to nearly every country in the world Costa Rica, Java. Burma. France. Mexico.

. Egypt. and so, on and on. like the click ofwheels

on a railway track even to Japan, yes. Japan. Not bad. Springburn.

The Straw Locomotive will be ceremonrously paraded along the Old route from

the works to the docks and suspended on the crane on 4 May, 1987.

Without the straw, the locomotive is easy to explain for. by way of Finnieston crane the abundant energy of Springburn was exported in locomotive form to energise the world. To this day many NB locomotives are still working. and in remote places that energy is not yet dead.

With the straw. the locomotive rs not so easy to explain. Straw is warm and colourful and so were locomotives. Locomotives are as sturdy as straw is flimsy, yet nowadays in Springburn it would be easier to lay hands on straw than a locomotive. Every year there is new straw. but seasonal regeneration seems to elude locomotives.

A mix of straw and locomotive is just right for making a scul?ture. and that is exactly what the Straw Locomotive is. In high suspense it has been designed to ask a scul?tural question. Is it possible that this exercise in imagination will induce in you. the actors. an inquisitive response to the question Where Is The Great Energy ofSpringburn Now?

Route: Leave Springburn Museum 11am Sighthill— Springburn Road— N. Hanover Street— round George Square along St Vincent Street - Finnieston Crane arr 12.30pm approx.

The List 1— H May9