Old Tyme Musical Hall Sat 6 Feb. 7.30pm. £2.50. A traditional variety show.

Betty and Boaby‘s Macbeth Thurs I I—Sai‘l 3 Feb. 7.30pm. £3.50 (£2.50). Tony Roper and Elaine C. Smith in an irreverent version of the Bard’s classic. See Touring. Scottish Community Drama Association: Ayrshire Division Finals Wed l7—Sat 20 Feb. 7.30pm. £2 (Children and ()Al’s £1.50). The Scottish Community Drama Association local division finals. Three plays are pe rformcd each evening by local groups and the winners go on to the next round.

Wed 17: The Siege of.S'ehaslapul 'I‘erraceby John Waterhouse; Nothing [ii-er Happens By Robert McLeish and The (fray-Angel

by Stephanie Miller. Thurs 18: A Family Comedy by Marjorie Bowen: Camouflage by Keith Bayliss: ()ne Dog and His Man by Nancy McPherson. Fri 19: The Problem by A. R.Gurnie; The Anniversary by Chekhov and Barbeqiie by Cherry Boight. Sat 20: Zero by Michael Lynch; Home is (he Himtedby R.F. Gelderfield and The ( almanac/i Cup by Roy McCormick. I PAVILION THEATRE I21 Renfield Street. 332 1846. Box Office Mon-Sat 10am-8pm. Bar. The Rocky Horror Show Tue Z—Sai 5 Feb. Please check with theatre for timesand prices. The stage version of the cult movie.


Black Theatre Co-Operative have been going for just over eight years about the same length of time as Mrs Thatcher‘s government. ‘We came in together,‘ says artistic director Malcolm Frederick, laughing atthe realisation.

His company has maintained rather a different view of Britain than Mrs T over those eight years, however. Coming in on the wave of punk, theirvibrant, direct and challenging theatre, performed in community centres as well as theatres, captured a new audience. Over the years they have presented a wide range of work, often showing modern Britain from the perspective of living in the country as a black person, and have toured their shows throughout the country.

Their latest opens at the Traverse this month and goes on to the Tron in Glasgow. ‘We have always had very good, intelligent audiences in Scotland, and a very warm reception,’ says Malcolm Frederick. ‘And as a London-based company we want to do as much work as possible in the rest of the country.‘

‘Slipping Into Darkness', their new production, is a one-man play by Jamal All, which, using dark, poetic and funny images, draws a picture of Britain today. ‘I think it‘s the darkest work All has done so far,‘ says Frederick. ‘He paints a picture of ‘Girocity‘ and the 4 million people who live there. And it‘s very powerful. He‘s looking at it not just from a black person‘s point of view, but from the point of view of anyone who is downtrodden. He just takes a clear critical look at the country. And he asks, Is this country slipping into darkness?‘

Certainly things are not really getting betterforthe arts. Companies like Black Theatre Co-Op suffered quite badly when the GLC was abolished and like most small, vociferous fringe

theatre groups, are not prime candidates for big business


It is at a much deeper level that Jamal Ali levels his criticism, however, and he uses a strongly poetic, potent language and form to do so, which Frederick is finding both stimulating and challenging to work with: ‘lt‘s very hard to direct a one-man play anyway. And it Is also difficult for me because it is dealing directly with things in my life, that mean a lot to me, so it is quite difficult to stay objective. Calvin Simpson (the actor) says he is finding that the only way he can do it is to be completed committed to every line he can‘t just act it, because if he doesn‘t believe any part of what he is saying, it will show. It is so deep and richly poetic that we are all very exposed.’

Much of the most powerful and effective theatre at the moment does seem to be written in non-naturalistic, often precise and poetic language, making its point in a very theatrical, ratherthan naturalistic, way. Malcolm Frederick points to one of the Traverse Theatre’s most recent successes: ‘Man to Man', the one-woman play by Manfred Karge (performed by Tilda Swinton) with its fiercely alienating, yet strangely moving, style of presenting a person voicing rebellion against her world. ‘I think maybe we need to have this one person, who expresses for us, in a very stylised way, what we feel.’

‘Slipping Into Darkness’, which is touring the length and breadth of the country—from Scotland, to Cornwall, to Norwich, to the big industrial cities- has a very strong drive behind the power of its form. ‘lt‘s forcing people to look at this country,‘ says Frederick. ‘And it‘s saying: we must do something. Because we must. We can't ignore the fact that there are more and more young people sleeping rough. We can't retire behind the double-glazing and say, it doesn’t affect me because it‘s not my daughter that‘s turning to prostitution, it‘s not my fifteen year-old that‘s run away to London. It must affect us all because we all live in this society. Likewise the fact that it‘s a multi-cultural, multi-racial society. You can't live in Birmingham and ignore that. You can‘t live in Edinburgh and ignore the fact that the corner shop is run by a Pakistani man. We do live in a multi-cultural country and we‘ve got to make it work.‘

‘Slipplng Into Darkness’ is at the Traverse, Edinburgh and then the Tron, Glasgow. See Listings.

Rowan Atkinson Mon 8—Wed 10 Feb. Sec cabaret.

Robert Halpem Every Thurs. Fri & Sat from I] Feb. 7.30pm. llypnoticas ever. llalpern returns.

I THEATRE ROYAL Hope Street. 331 1234.

Box Office Mon-Sat l()am-bpm. (7.30pm on perfevgs). Bar. Buffet.

Scottish Opera Productions See Classical Music Listings.

I THIRD EYE CENTRE 350 Sauchiehall Street. 332 7521. Cafe open 1 lam-2.30pm Tue-Fri and during evening performances.

New Moves Sun 3 l st Jan—Fri 29 Mar. The Third Eye's extensive season ofdance performances and residencies continues—see Dance listings for full details.

Maisie and the Space Invader Sun 7 Feb.

TICKETS: £4.00 (£2.50).

' THEATRE WORKSHOP unicorn. beck Perrier Award Wlnm

THEATRE do COMPLICITE If that latest


Wed 10 - Sat 13 Feb at 8.00pm BOX OFFICE: (031) 226 5425


TAG and ANNEXE join forces to present a dramatic double bill by ANN MARIE Dl MAMBRO ‘JOE’ and ‘VISIBLE DIFFERENCES’

Two plays showing different aspects of racism in Scotland today. Onlythree public performances of this startling double bill. o 13 Feb PAISLEY ARTS CENTRE 041 8871010 0 27 Feb ASSEMBLY ROOMS, EDINBURGH O31225 3514 o 5 Mar DRAMA CENTRE, GLASGOW 041 552 5827


Feb 2—7 at 7.30pm Body Politic present TROY by Patrick Evans Feb 9—1 4 at 7.30pm Black Theatre Co-op present the World Premiere of SLIPPING INTO DARKNESS by Jamal Ali Feb 16, 17 at 7.30pm Rick Zoltowski in COMING HOME Feb18—21 Gary Stevens In DIFFERENT GHOSTS

Tickets £4 (£2 concessions)

Further details from The Traverse Theatre P 112 West Bow, Grassmarket, Edinburgh. Tel: 031 226 2633

by David MCNiven




Discover just ho w easy it is to become a threat to national security!

CRAWFURD THEATRE, Jordanhill College Wed l7 - Sat '20 February Tickets from: Wildcat Tel: 04l-954 0000 Ticket Centre Tel: 04l-227 55H

directed by David Anderson

The List 5 18 February 1988 21