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through a selction of his ageing recollections.

Easy. flowing and sophisticated. Gallant has an acute eye for social behaviour and patterns. Detached though she seems from her characters. as iflooking on them with a wry authorial smile. she nevertheless portrays not only understanding for her tyrants. but admiration also. as they infuse her otherwise drably genteel Parisian world with vivid. unsentimental colour. (Rosemary Goring)

o The Fly On The Wheel Katherine Cecil Thurston (Virago £3.95) ‘1 can't cut my life out on a sort of patten. It must be what I want it to be. or nothing at all.‘ A heroine who thinks like this amongst the Catholic bourgeoisie ofturn-of-the-century Ireland is inevitably doomed. So when Isabel. daring to assert both her independence and her sexuality. pursues an affair with a respectable pillar ofthis Mass and tea~party centred society. the plot moves inexorably to its tragic and somewhat theatrical climax. Thurston is an acerbic narrator and a competent controller of her cast of characters in their fast-flowing plot. Good reading for autumn evenings. (Elizabeth Burns)

0 According to Dora Bryan Dora Bryan with Kay Hunter (The Bodley Head £10.95). Bryan‘s fifty-year career encompasses almost every facet of the entertainment world from pantomime to the National Theatre. working men‘s clubs to


:‘x LIVING LEGEND Promoting his new "greatest hits‘ album. 3.8. King will be at the Edinburgh Playhouse. 16 Oct and at the Pavilion Theatre. Glasgow. 17 Oct.

Classical Music 1‘: FEMME FATALE Scottish Opera‘s

new production of Berg's Lulu directed by John Cox with Beverly Morgan as the ill-starred Lulu opens on Wed 21 Oct. Theatre Royal. Glasgow. NB There will only be one performance in Edinburgh on Wed 28 ()ct. Playhouse. Their revival of Mozart‘s Seraglio moves to Edinburgh also for one night only on Fri 30 Oct. '

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award-winning film actress in Shelagh Delaney’s A Taste of Honey. Here she recalls life as an all-round trouper. wife. mother and Brighton hotelier. highlighting the domestic pressures ofa hectic career drive. Undoubtedly ofinterest to her fans but otherwise yet another helping of unremarkable showbiz memoirs. (Allan Hunter)

0 Dance and Skylark Naomi Sim (Bloomsbury £12.95). Edinburgh-born Alastair Sim was one of the great comic actors of this century and a man who firmly believed that his work should speak for itself. He rarely. ifever. gave interviews. resolutely refused to sign autographs and had a deep-rooted antipathy to personal publicity. Respecting his wishes. his widow Naomi has steadfastly refused to authorise any proposed biographies and instructed close friends and colleagues not to cooperate in any such ventres. It is therefore with a degree ofamazement and expectation that one approaches her own book. subtitled ‘Fifty Years with Alastair Sim'. Alas. the shutters of his privacy are still firmly protected in this perverser unbalanced book.

The book is short. lacks an index. and the authoress spends halfthe text recalling her own spartan. wholesome and peripatetic childhood. The reader is hard-pushed to sustain interest throughout recollections of her dogs. farmyard holidays and aunts before

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a EXTRA DATE Sun 25 & Mon 26 are SOLD OUT for Chris Rea but there will be an extra date at the SECC. Glasgow on 27 Oct.

fir DOUBLE BILL Tne celebrated twins from Fife. The Proclaimers will be at the Glasgow Pavilion. Wed 11 Nov and at the Usher Hall. Edinburgh. Sat 14 Nov.

Classes 0 BODY LANGUAGE A great

opportunity to learn the techniques of mime from the celebrated Peta Lin in Mime Theatre Masterclass. organised as part ofthe Festival of Mime and Mask Theatre. Scottish Centre for Physical Education. Cramond. Edinburgh. Mon l9-Sat 2-1 Oct.

Theatre SOUL ATTRACTION Second new

production in the Tron's autumn season is Marlowe‘s Doctor Faustus with John Bett and Forbes Masson. Tron. Glasgow. Thurs 5—29 Nov.

‘32 STEAMIE SUCCESS Wildcat's hugely popular show. The Steamie will be at the King's. Edinburgh Mon 9 Nov-Sat 1-1 Nov (early booking strongly advised) and at the Brunton Theatre. Musselburgh. 16—21 Nov (returns ONLY).

«2 POUND OF FLESH Ian Woolridge will be directing the Edinburgh

mercifully arriving at her first

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encounter with Alastair Sim. She was 12. he was 26 and they were scarcely to be separated until his death in 1976. Unfortunately. after the excruciating detail ofher childhood the next fifty years disappear like snow off a hot tin roof. Sim‘s career is cursorily examined. their domestic routines are discreetly discussed but one is left wanting something far more substantial. Perhaps a full-scale biography"? (Allan Hunter)

0 Dead Man's Chest: Travels Alter Robert Louis Stevenson Nicholas Rankin (Faber£l4.95). Who wouldn’t like to follow in Stevenson's footsteps? Nicholas Rankin‘s quest for RLS began in a secondhand bookshop in London where he bought Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and found. tucked at the back. the Borges-like Fables. In London he reads to blind Borges who gives him a pebble. a talismanic touchstone to take with him on his travels. Stevensonians could make the journey in the dark Edinburgh. England. the (‘evennes. California. the Pacific. Samoa; travelling by donkey. on foot. by boat and train but Rankin updates it. interleaving autobiography and uncovering virgin facts. As near as the modern age will allow he follows Stevenson‘s route (though. wisely. passing up the opportunity to relive an uncomfortable ride on one of Modestine's successors). He sleeps a night in RLS‘s childhood home in

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Lyceum's Merchant of Veni Fri 3() Oct.

0 PLAYING UPThe Glasgow Citizens' season continues with Pinter‘s No Man’s Land. which according to Kenneth Tynan may well owe more than a passing resemblance to the ingenious and elaborate rules of cricket. given Pinter‘s passion for the game and the naming of its four characters after famous turn of the centurycricketers. Fri 6—21 Nov.


fi' PUNCH LINES Cabaret gets into full swing with the Alexander Sisters at the Traverse 16 8.: 17 Oct. and at the Gateway Exchange. Edinburgh. 12 Nov; Liz Lochead at the Traverse. 23 & 24 Oct. and John Sparkes at the Gateway. 29 Oct.


it CITIZENS SOAP Radio 4‘s first new drama serial for 36 years. Citizens about everyday Yuppies in London. will begin on Tues 27 Oct. produced by Anthony Quinn and Marilyn Imrie. formerly with Radio Scotland in Edinburgh.


a MINOR SCALE The Scottish Chamber Orchestra's popular Piccolo Pack returns fora three week series on Sat 17 Oct. Oueen‘s Hall. Edinburgh; Goldilocks and the Three Bears will be at the King's.

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l. - lot Row and visits the leper colony in Hawaii where Stevenson played croquet with the children. There is an eerie. beguiling quality to the writing for Rankin is not only stalked by the tubercular ghost of Stevenson but by his modern mentors. Borges and Graham Greene. Greene. a distant relative of RLS. once contemplated a biography but abandoned it when he realised J. C. Furnas was on the same trail. It is our loss. Dead Man '5 Chest is not the book Greene would have written. but there is much of it he would have been happy to.

(Alan Taylor)

0 In The Pink Caroline Blackwood (Bloomsbury £1 1.95) Today more people hunt foxes than ever before and more oppose them doing so. Caroline Blackwood clearly abhors such barbaric ‘sport’ but is careful to avoid hysterics in this engaging and sprightly essay. Hers is a clear. journalistic and revealing insight into a pastime many regard as the last bastion of Englishness. As the blurb says. she allows the facts to speak for themselves and mostly they utter obscenities. Despite the protests of anti-hunt groups (some as fanatical as the ritual killers) hunting prospers. thanks in no small measure to the car-hunters who clog country lanes in the hope ofcatching a glimpse ofpetrified Basil trying to evade his slavering pursuers. What could be more absurd. futile and cruel‘.’


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Edinburgh from Mon 19 Oct for a week and the highly imaginative touring company TAG begin a new production. Cowboys and Indians by Gurmeet Mattu for 14 years and above at Portobello Town Hall. Edinburgh. 2 Nov and the Assembly Rooms. Edinburgh Tues IO—Thurs 12 Nov.


a news TRIPS r0 AMSTERDAM The Third Eye Centre will be taking Glasgow Style. the work of 1() of its most exciting young designers. to Amsterdam. this year's City of Culture. in December but before that it will be previewing the work in Fashion Shows at the City Chambers. Glasgow. Mon l9—Wed 21 Oct.

Dance a STRETCHING POINTS After a bleak

period for dance things begin to look up in Oct/Nov. Janet Smith and Dancers. one of Britain's major contemporary dance companies make their first visit to Scotland. beginning a tour at the Mitchell Theatre. Glasgow. Thurs 22-Sat 24 Oct (NB they will not be going to Edinburgh). the funny and inventive Khoros Dance Theatre are at the Theatre Workshop. Edinburgh Fri 30 and Sat 31 Oct and Ballet Rambert returns to the Theatre Royal. Glasgow Tues 17—Sat 21 Nov.

44 The List 2—15 October