have it finished or performed in full until her death in 1977 when the embargo was lifted. Scottish Opera’s production which opens at the Theatre Royal in Glasgow on 21 Dctoberwili be the British premiere of the completed three act work (by Viennese composer Friedrich Cerha) in English.
Wonderful Radio 1 is about to break new ground and not for the first time in its illustrious career. Later this month- on Sunday, 25 Oct at 7pm to be precise — it stops spinning vinyl for all of45 minutes, to broadcast a play. So adios Annie Nightingale; buenos dias Alex Renton. Aiex Renton? The already twice-mentioned Mr Renton. twenty-six and a )oumalist with The Independent, enters the Guinness Book of Records with his play, ‘Dancing with the Dragon.’ ‘Sounds like an adaptation of a Bruce Springsteen hit'. I comment. ‘Everyone says that’, says Renton. convincingly camouflaging his irritation.
The play which Radio 1
listeners will hear was first written in 1983 and was called ‘A Twist of Lemon'. (‘Sounds like an adaptation ofThe Beatles’ song “’A Taste oi Honey", I’m tempted to say, but manage to resist.) It reached the Fringe in 1984. ‘How did it go down?’ “Fairly well,’ says Benton. ‘The Scotsman liked it. The Festival Times hated it.’
Peter Gill spotted it and snapped it up lorthe National Theatre, putting it on at the Cottesloe. Then Radio 4 broadcast it in ’86 and that was how it came to the ears of the mandarins of Radio 1. much to the delight of the eggheads in the
vaults of 4 who have been
trying for donkeys“ agesto
get drama on 1 with
conspicuous unsuccess. The play is scheduled as
part of Radio 1’s continuing ‘Drugwatch’ campaign and in its first manifestation was a monologue featuring a public schoolboy addicted to heroin. Radio 1 wanted something its listeners could relate to so the play had to be entirely rewritten. The main character is now the assistant manager of a supermarket in Sussex who manages to ruin his own life
and that of those close to
him. So is it didactic?
: ‘Inevitably’, says Alex
Renton. ‘You can’t write a play which glamorises
heroin. That’s whatthe
govemment’s first poster campaign did. Fifteen-year old girls now have the
; poster on their bedroom
walls. But I'm notiust
: writing a morality play. l’m
not interested in that’.
The potential audience is daunting - a possible 6-8 million listeners will hear
_ the play, which includes
. language strongerthan
' anything usually used on
i Radiol.‘They hadtotalkin
a language that people
' would believe,’ says
: Renton. His play is no soft
5 option and perhaps closer
g to home than some people
would expect. ’It’s notabout the upper-class or kids
hitting smack on housing
‘Dancing with the Dragon’ is broadcast on Radiol on
Housekeeping,Blll Forsyth'slirstlilminthree years. has already begun to
acquire the plaudists ofthe
community. At the recent Tokyo Film Festival, Forsyth received the Best Script Award and a special Jury
Adapted from Marilynne Robinson's novel,
3 Housekeeping is set in smalltown Canada during the 1950s and tells of two
orphaned sisters and their relationship with the eccentric, itinerant aunt Sylvie, played by Christine Lahti. Literate, magical and beautifully photographed, Housekeeping is described by Forsyth as-‘a comment on the way we try to anchor our lives in practical things, and the character of Sylvie is a statement againstthat
in the way she lives. It is also about transience in all its toms-transience of affection, transience of life.’
Housekeeping can be seen at the London Film Festival on 24 November and is scheduled for release in Scotland during December. Bill Forsyth, meanwhile, returns to Scotland early in the New Yearfor his nextlilm Rebecca’s Daughter, based on a previously unproduced script by Dylan Thomas.
At this year's Festival Ralf Ralf (alias the two brothers Jonathan and Barnaby Stone) had audiences packing in to the tiny Traverse downstairs theatre to see “The Summit‘. This hilarious show. poised somewhere on the brink of cabaret, presents the audience with two inhabited suits both talking politics in incomprehensible gobbledegook.
Yetthe gobbledook is instantly understandable and as the two brothers progress through all the stages oi a summit conference—from suspicion, to hostility. to debate, to amicable union- they manage to create a performance that is at once entertaining and profound, speaking volumes about the barriersto super-power communication and about the nature of language, sub-text and body language.
They return to Scotland lorthe ‘New Work. No
Definition' season at the Third Eye Centre, Glasgow and the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, bringing back “The Summit’ and also showing their first full-length performance. “The Hour’. (Sarah Hamming).
The Hour. Third Eye Centre, 3 Nov, Traverse, 10-15 Nov; The Summit, Third Eye Centre, 6 & 7 Nov. (See also Pages One and Four).
Janet Smith did not want to be a ballet dancer. Early on she wanted freedom from the classics and once she felt the expression of improvisation there was no turning back. i Eleven years on from the formation of Janet Smith and Dancers. freedom is what she has got. She travels once a year to study underiazz dancer Max Maddox, wherever he might be teaching. This year it was Italy. Following that, she went to Jogyarta with her husband, the choreographer and ex-Director of Ballet Rambert, Robert North, to swap dance notes- teaching classes in contemporary, for lessons in the traditional forms of Indonesian dance. Earlier, she had choreographed a piece for the National Youth Dance Festival using Sweet Honey In The Rockfor harmonic inspiration.
Now she joins her group ! againtotourScotland (they have made one-off forays in the past) for the lirsttime. But looming overthe
excitement of their opening in Glasgow were some nagging linancial worries. Increasing overheads and government pressure to look for sponsorship threatens the revenue funding Janet Smith managed to secure four years ago. ‘lt's just a question of which companies can hang on the longest now,’ she says. The tour to Scotland was made possible because of Scottish Arts Council funding, more available for visiting companies now that there is no national contemporary dance company to support. Passing over that cloud though, Smith’s enthusiasm and commitment for dance is unshakable. ’Dancing is something rooted in us all. Everyone should be able to enjoy and physically relate to dance on stage.’ But for companies today trying to get this across is a constant battle. ‘Dance has been stifled in this country since medieval times,’ she says. adding that the post-modem phase and its intellectual approach has not helped to break down inhibition. “Indonesia is different. “Dur stay there coincided with the dry season and a full moon. Dance there is not separate from spiritual or practical lite and the performance that night had more people, about 200, on stage than there were watching. Everyone. including the farmers, knew the steps and loined in. In Britain, materialism is placed first and you have to fight to get people interested.’ (A.B.) See Dance Page for details ofJanet Smith and Dancers’ performances at the Mitchell Theatre, Glasgow 22—24 Oct.
ENDSLEIGH INSURANCE SERVICES
The List would like to apologise to Endsleigh Insurance Services lorthe comment which was inadvertently included in the Student Guide published as a supplement to the last issue. The List recommends that students should take out insurance to cover their belongings and that, if they can afford it. they should give serious consideration to taking out life insurance as a first step to providing for their needs in later life. The List would like to assure readers that Endsleigh insurance Services are a reputable company who, in common with some other major companies. have many policies designed to meet the particular requirements of students.
The List 16— 29 October 3