’Hi. I’m Robert Englund and i play pizza-lace in all three Nightmare movies.’ Pizza-face is Mr Englund‘s rather afiectionate nickname tor Freddy Krueger. the disfigured. deranged. razor-clawed monster who slaughters teenagers in their dreams in Nightmare On Elm Street Parts I. II and nowlll.
‘I‘d always wanted to mess around with playing a monster.‘ says Englund. ‘I think it you got a couple at
drinks in most actors they'd be honest and say there’s a certain challenge there.
’l‘ve had several TV shows and a whole body at work so America knows Robert Englund‘s face. and since I was in ‘V’ they‘ve put a name to the lace. So I can enjoy playing Freddy and the minor celebrity status that goes with it. lcantalk to tans and attend conventions and enjoy all that without worrying about the so-called Boris Karloff syndrome. of being trapped playing a hip horror character.’
All olwhich sounds quite reasonable. And Mr Englund continues to sound quite reasonable as he starts to explain why they‘ve made so many
bloody sequels. ..
‘We make them torlittle or no money. We‘re trying to champion the independentlilm makerout
there. it shows what can be done with a low budget. with the hot young effects kids and the hot young scenic dudes. The two people that art-directed this are the guys that did Sid And Nancy.
‘80 we make our sequels because it puts more money in the callers torthose companies to make more movies and to distribute bettermovies . . .‘
Okay. lair enough. lt‘sa hassle-free. enjoyable- enough role andthere‘s some sound economic pragmatism behind the making of the movies, that
explains a lot. But then he says it. Halt waythrough talking aboutthis rather flaccid sequel to a sequel. Robert Englund says. ‘l don‘twant to intellectualise it too much. but. . .‘
And we‘re off. On Sub-texts. and how Freddy is modelled on Lee Harvey Oswald. and how he represents. ‘every reject. evey homeless manthat hasn‘tlitted in with the materialistic culture olthe 70s and 80s.‘ Thenthere‘s the ‘sexy. Freudian phallic stult‘ and the ’surreatism of the dreamscape‘ andthe ’imagination and intelligence' which separates them from the ‘slashermovies. orslice
E and dice or whatever you
want to call them.‘ There‘s the something ‘taboo and underground and a little anarchistic’ that the movies put back into the ‘totally regulated. homogenized and sanitized‘ American life. There‘s Elm Streetas ‘a symbol toreverything hite. Anglq-Saxon and 'roteslant. "
i ‘ .‘ *4,
There‘s. . . but, enough. Just how much more of this do we have to take? ’There‘s going to be a Nightmare lV. I’ll do lV because I‘m proud of Ill. but I don‘t know how we could top it without getting ludicrous. ’I won‘t do a Part V unless it‘s a prequel. without the make-up. a chance to develop the character. . . the monster and the villagers. . . seethe parents burn me alive... and maybe crawl into my pathetic lair in the woods. . .‘ (Richard Reece) Nightmare On Elm Street Ill opens in cinemas in Edinburgh and Glasgow on 6 November.
‘That doesn‘t actually happen in the show.’ says Tim Britton ol the image ota man with a house sprouting out at his head thatgraces the publicity material for Forkbeard Fantasy’s ‘Hypochondria‘. The image was chosen by the group as symbolic ol the show‘s theme of hypochondria— the idea thatyour imagination is out at control and growing out oi the top of your head — and while that may not actually occurin the show. there is little that doean.
Appearing in Edinburgh and Glasgow as part of the ‘New Work. No Detinition‘ season at the Traverse and Third Eye Centre. Forkbeard Fantasy have in tact being perlorrning their bizarre and comic shows nationwide for thirteen years now. Their productions range from the large-scale outdoor show to the intimate small~sca|e theatre production to somewhat weird and wonderful tilms. butthey all have in common a streak of unconventional humourand inventive. oflbeat use of sets.
.. The company. brothers _‘ Tim and Chris Britton
together with Penny Saunders. write. create and build all their own shows. Though they tell a story. they never do so conventionally. but are extremely visual: ‘We tryto create tantasy worlds that are nevertheless quite connected with reality. The sort of things you experience when you‘re half awake - that are quite disturbing. yet quite fascinating.‘ he explains. Though they aim to be entertaining and funny. there is a serious element to Forkbeard‘s work as well: ‘We try to make them work on several levels’. ‘Families often come to see our shows. so we’ll he. say, exploring a theme like the disturbing aspects oi how the mind works. and yet children will be able totind all the visual jokes.’
Tim teels that theirwork has developed overthe years. becoming increasingly accessible. but also tighter and more disciplined. ‘When we started we were more devil-may-care. The whole experiement was quite new then and we were partly reacting against the quite staid techniques of ordinary theatre. being quite challenging and anarchic. Now there is almosta respectable little world of arts centres — when we started there wasn't really
much like that.
The wide spectrum of new work being shown in the Traverse/Third Eye season to some extent illustrates his point. Forkbeard’s show is one of the comic ones. telling. in theirown inimitable visual style. the story at a hyopochondriac and his obsession with ‘Domestic Widllile‘. Looking back overtheir previous shows and films a preoccupation with worms. gnats. bugs and prehistoric monsters seems to emerge. ‘I suppose we do draw a lot on natural history.‘ agrees Tim. cheerfully. ‘Because human behaviour can otten be compared to the way animals behave towards one another. And insects have often inspired the sculptural gadgets we make because they‘re such highly advanced mechanical structures. Yes. insects can definitely be a source at inspiration.‘ (Sarah Hemming).
Forkbeard Fantasy Third Eye Centre. Glasgow and Traverse Theatre. Edinburgh. See Theatre Listings.
For the third time in just over six months. Glasgow is. almost incredibly. hosting a testival of contemporary music. First was the celebration ol Xenakis‘ 65th birthday in late May. then the triennial Musics Nova in September and now the BBC is
presenting a tourday Thomas Wilson Festival in honour of the Glasgow composer‘s 60th birthday earlier in October. Performances at Wilson‘s music are being given by violinist Leonard Friedman. the Edinburgh Quartet. the New Music Group of Scotland and culminate in the premiere ofWilson‘s Viola Concerto with James Durrant and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. Even though he lives almost literally on their doorstep. Wilson desribes his role in the BBC’s festival of his music as ‘a passive one' saying. ‘They did consult me about some at the concerts. but generally speaking I was only consulted when there was some sort ol problem. I didn‘ttake any part in activating it.‘ His reaction to it all though is ‘splendid. absolutely splendid‘. Not that his music is being performed only in this special testival. This issue‘s Classical Music section lists several pertormances olthe St Kentigem Suite in Glasgow and Edinburgh alone and. as Wilson explains. ‘The SCO are taking it to the Far East with a pertormance on 26 November in Tokyo. on 4 December in Hiroshima and 6 December in Nara. Alsoin December, the Royal Academy of Music in London are giving a
perlormance of Chamber Concerto and the Sinlonia for 7 Instruments is on at the Guildhall.‘ And all this is aparttrom many more live performances and numerous radio broadcasts. At 60. lite is showing no signs ol slowing upfor Wilson. ’The first thingl’m doing is a big piece lorthe SNO lorthe 500th anniversary at Paisley asa burgh in August. By all accounts it‘ll be a big do. in a social sense. with maybe the Queen there. The second thing I‘ve committed mysellto is a chambersymphonylor Paragon lor the early part at 1989 and then a piece tor the SCO and Scottish Philharmonic Singers intended lorthe Perth Festival in 1989.‘ And retirement? ‘Oh God no. No chance at all. I’ve never been busierthan I am now. And it‘s not likelyto diminish. I don‘t have any interest in retirement at all — I’ll just get carried out in a box.‘ (Carol Main)
Thomas Wilson Festival. Tuesday 10- Friday13 November. BBC Broadcasting House, Queen Margaret Drive. Glasgow. See Classical listings.
Aria is a bold and ambitious tilm designed to bring popular opera to our cinema screens. The brainchild ol Scots producer-director Don Boyd. the film invited an international potpourri ol directors to selecta segment of opera that was to their liking and then allowed them lree artistic rein to interpret it visually in any waythey desired. Boyd's choice ofdirectors rangeslrom DerekJarman to Robert Altman and lrom Ken Russell to Jean-Luc Godard. ‘The lirst criteria was a very subjective one; they had to be directorsthat l‘d admired in some form or another. The second kind of criteria I used was lwanted to have some people who were very innovative and had shown great style with music and image and were famous, and l wantedto balance thatwith some
2 The List 30 Oct — 12 Nov