visually spectacular and dramatically dynamic art using masks. music and exuberant performance and infused with ancient rituals. The Purulia Chhau troupe bring the first ever performance ofChhau to Britain as part of the Commonwealth Music Show. See separate Listings.
0 BRUNTON THEATRE Musselburgh. 665 2240. Box office Mon—Sat 10am—8pm. Bar. [D]
No theatre performances this issue. 0 GATEWAY STUDIOS Lcith Walk. Terry Neason Show Wed 1-9 July. 7.30pm. Free tickets are available for the recordings of Scottish Television‘s new cabaret show. See Cabaret listings for full details.
0 KING'S THEATRE 2 Leven Street. 22‘) 1201. Box office Mon—Sat 10am—8pm. Bar. [D]
It‘s a Madhouse Mon 2‘) June—Sat 4 July. 7.30pm. Sat mat 2.30pm. £4—£6.50. Mon eve and Sat mat all seats £3.50. ()APs. Students. ‘ L'B-llls. Disabled £2 off Stalls and (irand Circle seats Tue. Wed and Thurs. Bill Kenwright Productions present Alan Bleasdale’s comedy set in a Northern hospital. (iiz a job. Maggie.
Festival '87 Mon 6—Sat 18 July. 7.30pm. £3.50. Concs available for Parties. lJB~10s. ()APs. Children. Students and ()verseas Visitors — please contact box office for details. Evenings of traditional Scottish song and dance with Bill McCue and Mary Cameron and special effects by Water Sculptures of Lancaster.
0 NETHERBOW ~13 High Street. 556 957‘). Box office “lam—4.30pm; 7—9pm perf evgs. Cafe. [1)] [E] The Scottish Play and Doctor Who? Thurs 25 and Fri 26 June. 7.30pm. £2 (£1). Donaldson School for the Deaf's highly acclaimed mime company in two plays that were selected to appear in the London finalsofthe National Deaf Children‘s Society Festival of Performing Arts. The ‘Scottish play' is the one by a certain W. Shakespeare. shown here in a shortened mime version. Doctor— Whn." is a spoof Frankenstein. This is My Country Tue 30 June—Sat 1 Aug. 7.30pm. 2.30pm also on Sats 4. ll. lt’. 25.1uly and Sat 1 Aug. A dramatic anthology of Scotland written by W. (iordon Smith and presented by the inimitable Russell Hunter and Anna Price. Orange Souffle \Ved l—Fri 3 July. 1pm. £1. A new series oflunchtime plays presented by The ()xygen House. founded by Janet Dye and John Mitchell who feel that ‘there is a wealth of rarely seen. top quality short work by leading writers crying out to be rediscovered.' This first is a play by Saul Bellow (author of Her/.og). in which the working relationship between an aged millionaire and a middle-aged prostitute is disrupted by the arrival of her nephew — or niece'.’ . . . Heads and Skinny Spew Wed 8—Fri 10 July. 1pm. £1. More lunchtime theatre from The ()xygen House. This week they present two plays by Howard Brenton. radical playwright and author of The Romans in Britain. ln Heads Megan attacks her
love problems with an axe — in Skinny Spew we follow the adventures ofSkinny in the Queen Elizabeth Home for Orphaned Little Bleeders.
0 QUAKER MEETING HOUSE The Pleasance. For tickets details contact Theatre Workshop on 031 226 5425. Nae Trust Tae The Custocks Thurs 2—Sat 4July. 7.30pm. £2 (£1). The latest ofTheatre Workshop‘s much-acclaimed performance projects. this is the work of the Youth Theatre Groups at the theatre. Using dance. drama, music and mime. they will turn the courtyard and Quaker Meeting
House into the 18th century to tell the tale told by ‘Indian Peter‘ Williamson. kidnapped from Aberdeen as part of the slave trade that developed after the famine riots of 1740. See panel.
I THE ROSS BANDSTAND Princes Street Gardens.
Home is Heavenly Springs Fri 26 and Sat 27June. Fri 6pm: Sat 1 and 6pm. 50p. A rare chance to see the extraordinary exhibition cum rock performance group Sudden Sway. with their interactive exhibition about the quality of modern life. Rizzio's Revenge Sun 281unc. 2.30pm. £1 (50p). The Edinburgh
Renaissance Band and Edinburgh Early Dancers in a programme of music and dance from the time of Mary Queen of Scots.
O ROYAL LYCEUM (irindlay Street. 22‘) 9697. Box office Mon—Sat 10am—6pm. 10am—8pm on perfevgs. Bar. Rest; Cafe. [DHE] ('l‘heatreSaver Concession Cards cost £1 . last all year. give £1 offthe full price each time you come for you and a friend — available to ()APS. LIB-10s. Students. disabled. under 24 railcard holders. YTS scheme and young people under 18).
The School for Scandal Until Thurs 6 Aug. 7.45pm. Sat matson 11 and 26
PLAYING WITH FIRE
John Clifford’s Playing with Fire is Faustus through the looking glass. The Faust figure is no man of high estate and unequalled learning, but a poor untutored woman, Justina, played by Celia Gore Booth. An unsuccessful alchemist by trade, yet another disastrous attempt at turning stones into gold accidentally conjures up the devil. (Not for her is the careful necromancy which Faustus uses to summon Mephistopholes.)
However, this is not a Lewis Carroll parody and the few direct references to Marlowe’s play aren't intrusive. While there are ironic parallels— instead (for instance) of Faustus travelling to the Court in orderto ridicule the Monarch, here the king is absurd all by himself,
, and comes calling on Justina -the
play's action has to communicate fresh ideas. It is here that the Playing with Fire disappoints. What could have been a forceful but simple message about human desire appears merely simplistic. Justina and her husband are written naturalistically and might have been effective as characters in a moral fable about gold where the story carries the meaning. But here, Justina is herself made to philosophize about
life’s injustice and her challenge to the devil’s agent is wildy implausible. While Jenny Killick‘s production is impressively staged and there are some very witty moments, Clifford‘s account of the accidental damnation of an alchemist, spins uncontrollany away from its Faustian starting point, serving only to remind how stable Marlowe's dramatic universe was. (Nigel Billen).
Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh Batherthan carve a new interpretation out of sets, settings and characterisations, Hugh Hodgart‘s School for Scandal has attempted to allow Sheridan's wit a broad and uncluttered run. Designed by Colin MacNeil, the scenery is mostly two- dimensional; the fabric ofthe society comes coarsely painted on flats, and the costumes, although elaborate, evoke a bewigged theatrical 18th
century of uncomplicated associations.
The acting is equally unambiguous. Snake, the amoral servant who services the scandals of the play and the machinations of the plot, played by Graham Valentine, literally wriggles like a snake in his part. Sir Benjamin Backbite backbites and Lady Sneerwell sneers quite well. The two brothers Joseph and Charles Surface, whose loyalty to their rich uncle Sir Oliver Surface is tested in the play, don‘t look below the surface of their characters and as the elements of the farce wind
up in the later half of the play—a two-timing wife hides from her husband behind a screen while he is forced to hide in a cupboard -the laughs come freely enough.
But for much of the play, as the actors demonstrate a remarkable and somewhat unpleasant range of vocal contortions and the mannerisms become ever more manneredithe play is made to seem laboured. Crude farce survives, we might conclude, but isn’t enough to sustain a play overthe years.
An anachronism embalmed for display in its own farce, even No Sex Please We're British was eventually wheeled out of London‘s West End. The Lyceum's production wouldn’t convince anyone who doesn’t know Sheridan‘s play that School For Scandal is a great and enduring comedy. In the end itwas like looking at an old Punch cartoon where only the broadest grotesques are still funny and you long not to have the joke explained but to snigger at the reader’s mocking captions. We will see if Glasgow's Citizens' will be able to bring School For Scandal alive when it opens their new season this autumn. It shouldn’t be as hard as the Lyceum makes it look. (Nigel Billen)
Shown at 7 Maritime Street, Leith, Edinburgh. Run finished.
Several ARP Officers led us shuffling in semi-darkness round a disused warehouse in Leith. all the while barking orders, such as, ‘Mind the sandbags! Extinguish all cigarettes.’ This was ‘Evacuation', another imaginative community drama devised and scripted by Janet Fenton, centring on true experiences of inhabitants in Leith during the Second World War.
‘Right, stop there!‘ And we halted for a while before a brightly-lit scene of domesticity, rich in period detail. A sharp contrast with the dilapidated surrounds, the whole was successfully evocative of the debris of war's senseless ravages.
The power of ‘Evacuation' lay in its authenticity. The standard of acting was unimportant as this cast, drawn from the local community, ranging in age apparently from eight months to eighty years, shared with the audience an on-the-spot re-enactment of local history, before uniting at the end in a rallying chorus of the ‘lnternationale'. (Ness Baison)
The List 26 June - 9 July 21