whether to go commercial. but since it's actually Cannon-type oicinemas that mum and dad are going to viewa movie in lwent with the deal.‘

Made without interierence ior {1.250.000 on locations in Liverpool. Business As Usual ieatures a strong cast that includes Cathy Tyson and John Thaw and gives Glenda Jackson her best cinema role in years. ‘II I had to enterthe star system I thought who whould be the lace who could be Babs in the movie? Itcouldn't be Susannah York or Vanessa Redgrave; they lookto posh to me and they don't have the roots. Glenda's actuallyirom Birkenhead and she was just the obvious choice. So. Isent herthe script and she rang me and said she was interested and we got to know each otherverywell.’

Although critically well-received. Business As Usual has been a box-oilice disappointment perhaps indicating a lack oi proper promotion orthat there is no longera cinema audience lorsubtly shaded serious tales otcontemporary Britain. Undaunted. the energetic Barrett is now writing ‘a scriptiora gangster psychotic love story set in South London. I don‘twant to be pigeonholed as a political lilmmaker. Well. not until the third one.‘ (Allan Hunter)

Business As Usual can be seen atthe Filmhouse. Edinburgh. 11—16January. See Film Listingsior details.


Don'tbe tooled iiyou‘re oilered. probably in a pub. a copy oi Grobsnik International Funnies. a comic containing a cartoon strip called The Broos. This tamin oi Social Security claimants has 'absolutely nothing‘ to do with the long running (it uneventiul) saga that appears in The Sunday Post. it hasn't even anything to do withthe iiitieth anniversaries at DC Thomson's Beano and Dandy now being celebrated everywhere— including on a special Arena programme (see Media listings).

The Broos arethe creation oi an Edinburgh based illustrator who calls himsell Martin X (or sometimes. Angelo). The pseudonyms are necessary because D.C. Thomson iamously do notshare Martin‘s attitude to copyright. While Grobsnik. which is being promoted by the pressure group LOSS (Lolhians Oppose Social Security Cuts). is intended by its creators to be cut up and republished as oiten

Post'takeaveryserious ' viewoiany"passing-olt"' oltheBroons.

these two lamilies is purely

and in as many places as possible. the editor oi The Sunday Post reacted diiierently when he spotted a strip reproduced inthe Edinburgh community newspaperthe Leith Leader. In a letterthe Post asked tor the source oithe strip and reminded the Leith Leader's publishers thatthe

Ma Broo and Family replied on behallol LOSSto the Sunday Postthus:

‘Any similarity between


Community Soap? Scottish Variety Pack? No. these are not new consumer items on yoursupermarket shelves. but two luture projects irom the House at Merry Mac. The Merry Mac Fun Co have achieved unparalleled lame with their ‘Fun Shows‘ over recent years. which developed irom a satirical look attartan images oi Scotland. The company

have branched out in various directions—

presenting several plays

superiicial. The diiierences I

' are so great as to lead usto

suspectthatyourletteris notjust capitalist arrogance. butalso an attemptata bitoi privatisation.‘

The lettercontinues by explaining helplullythat 'The "Broos" detest the "Broons". They regard them as stupid Tory “eejits”. The “Broons” live in Never-Heather Land. in a but‘n‘ ben. whilstthe “Broos” live in Thatcher‘s Britain and couldn‘t allord a but ‘n' ben even iithey wanted one—whichthey don‘t. (They are still opposedtothe sale oi ( council houses. incidentally)“

The letterends. aitera . philosophicaldiscussion oi the art oi Mayakovsky. with the hope that ‘We will hear no more irom you on this matter‘. As yet history doesn‘t relate whatthe Sunday Post made olthis

ingenious detence.andthe

adventures oltheiamily whose diiierent characters embody diiierent aspects oi the British Labour movement (Granpaw Broo is a unreconstructed Marxist whilst Paw Broo is a Kinnockite Labour man) is lreely available (50p).

The third issue oi Grobnik should be out this month which as well as more stories irom the Broos. promisesthe cartoon adventures oithe Merry Mac Fun Co- and there's more about them elsewhere onthis page. (Nigel Billen)

(The Sharny Dubs. lLove You Baby But I Gotta Run and The Country Doctor)— and have now diversitied iuriher. oilshoots Iorming the new cabaret groups The Comedy Casuals and Whackhead.

'Whackhead‘. explains John McKay. one halt oithe group. ‘is about daring to be dumb.‘ Clad in silly shorts and pork pie hats. Ed Whackhead and Johnny Whackhead are now embarking on several cabaret dates in the Central Belt. where. in a coniection oi sketches. songs and raps oiten political they aim to be 'Surreal. intense. physical and as stupid as possible. We're boxing cleverwith stupidity.‘

Though very diiierent tromthe Fun Show. their cabaretwill develop some olthethingsthatmembers oi the Merry Mac Fun Co have learned. ‘I thinkwe outgrewthe Fun Showa bit.‘ says McKay. ‘But lthink what people liked about it wasthat itwas robustand celebratory. A lot oicomedy nowadays is Iull oI downer jokes and a bit reiined.‘


The new shows will build on this robust reputation. In May many oi the Merry Macs recovene Iortheirnew ‘Variety Pack‘. a touring showthat harks back tothe old 1930s Variety Shows. with a little oi everything. and is scheduled to tourto Wales and Ireland aswell as Scotland. Perhaps even more enterprising isthe wonderlul idea tor a ‘Community Soap' this Spring - a soap opera that will tour regularlyto various community centres. playing a new episode in a story oi Everyday Edinburgh Folk every week. McKay himsell. meanwhile. has yet another iron in the tire. writing a new play Dead Bad Dog tor the Traverse Theatre‘s twenty-iiith anniversary season later this year. (Sarah Hemming) Whackhead appear onthe Glasgow Tron Theatre's ‘Five Past Eleven Show' on 15Jan and atthe ‘Fight Alion‘s Bill Cabaret Benelit‘ at Edinburgh's Calton Studios on 9 Jan. See Cabaret.


On paper. 1988 seems set to be a boom yearior Scottish tilmmaking with projects irom Bill Forsth and producers Gareth Wardell and Paddy Higson alreadytaradvanced. Adding to the airol optimism is Wally Butler with his independent leature on Benny Lynch ‘the


greatest ilyweight the world has everknown‘.

Butler brings a wide range oi experience to the task in hand irom his days as a periormer to his direction at Coronation Streetand his current positionteaching a Film and TV course in Manchester. The iilm has been inspired by his love oi pre-war Glasgow and his admiration iorthe Benny Lynch biography byJohn Burrows. It all goes according to planlilming should be completed by Easter. The cast includes Johnny Beattie. Stewart McGuigan. Charlie Sim and newcomerEamon O‘Neil as Lynch. ‘There had been some publicity aboutthe iilm and he phoned me up. I did have someone in mind already but it was ataII orderto lind someone who looked like Lynch. could light like him and be believable. Eamon has actedin amateurdramatics. , he‘sthe captain olhis boxing-team at Strathclyde University and he's innocent enough to be able to be directed. He is areal bundle oi energy and has an old-iashioned iace that's

right lorthe part.‘

Butlerplansto use black and white documentary iootage oi Lynch‘s lights and has cut his ambitions according to the dictates ot a low-budget. sell-linanced enterprise. He has allowed loriive weeks oililming in Glasgow. and is supported iinancially by a consortium oi lsle oi Man businessmen with interests in the boxing proiession. He has been assured autonomy and will insist on it. ‘This is notgoig to be Rocky 17. it's notthat type oi iilm and ii itcomes to the crunch at being compromised I could put the script in a drawerand lorget about it.‘

With shooting already in progress. Butler is keen that the linished Iilm be seen in Scotland this year. ‘ldeallyl would like thelilm's premiére to be during the Garden Festival. Starting in March. during Eamon‘s Easter holidays. and allowing lorthree toiour months torpost-production. it is possible thatwe could be linished iorAugustor September but itwill be tight.‘

Keep watching your screens. (Allan Hunter)


The List 8— 21 January 19883

Benny Lynch