Let us now praise old bags. I'll put it another way. Do you
~ remember? I hope you do. 'I’hinking— when I'm that old. lwon‘t treat children like this. [won't patronise them. pretend that they can‘t understand. suppose that. just because they‘re rather short and unencumbered with the hairiness which is the primary badge of adulthood. they don’t have perfectly reasonable perceptions of what's good and what's bad. I remember thinking it — at various ages. When I was three. and hospitalized to undergo an operation which was then fashionable — namely. the removal ofthe tonsils— I learned that adults lie.
"I‘his won‘t hurt.‘ said the nurse. approaching with a loaded syringe. Fair enough. I thought. But it did! Of course it did! Not much. but enough to reckon that a little truth might have been a useful preparation. We're up to it. we three year-olds. We can cope. Just tell us the truth.
Later. ‘I)o you want white lemonade or pink lemonade'." Another nurse (trusted. believing she was doing the right thing. wielding two cups of syrupy liquid ).
‘I’ink.' I said. daringly. Well — wouldn't you'.’ I mean — pink lemonade! I might have learned. I should have known. It was medicine
- of the least palatable kind. I supped.
"I'hat‘s not lemonade.’
‘Ahf she said. with all the treacherous logic of ultimately omnipotent adulthood (which is also. I maintain. a matter ofphysical size ) — But you asked for it! And forced the hellish bloody drops down my powerless throat.
Well. you have your own stories — I could make a Booker-winner out of mine. The point is: the best endeavours to retain a proper memory of how it feels to be patronised at any short age are prone to defeat. Inev'itably. it seems. adulthood. defined as a dismal twinning of self-interest and fatigue. takes over.
And it‘s happened to me. IIerewith. I come out. It‘s better to announce it publicly and frankly. so that nobody feels the need to share behind my back the perceived but unconfirmed truth: I am an (albeit
Sheena McDonald becomes an Old Bag.
freshman) ()ld Bag.
Which is to say. I cannot thole The Modern Child. The experience is not direct — I do not work or live with children. I meet them. at friends’ homes. where they live by virtue of their birth. And in public places— like the dress shop where I browsed last week. in co-incidental company with two large-ish children. awaiting. with their father. the appearance oftheir mother from the changing room. She emerged.
‘Mummy.' a piercing soprano. fur-trimmed. well-shod. rang out. ‘You look silly in that dress!‘
A pause. I listen. aghast. No word of parental disapproval is heard. The Old Bag speaks:
"I'hat.‘ I said. firmly. so that the whole shop could hear. "I‘hat is a horrid thing to say to your mother!‘
Oh my. Not my business. What a busybody! After all. in these alternative times. her spontaneous comment might well pass for preco- cious wit. But not in my backyard.
Champion offree expression I may be. but I cannot abide the current vogue for letting — rather than helping— children grow up. And abrogating the responsibility of instilling good manners in the smart-but-short seems. to me. as bad as lying. After all. they‘ll have to find out some time. And so I offer the Instant Discipline Babysitting Service (don‘t worry. the word is. I avow. mightier than the rod). Send an alert and apparently omniscient child to me for the weekend and he’she will return unscathed but convinced that jumping on the best furniture in the front-room is a non-essential gesture. that rushing into grown-ups‘ time in your pyjamas. kicking your mother. demanding that the company ‘stick-em-up‘. and lying on your little Rupert-emblazoned back and screaming is a preparation for the Siberian wastes ofthe unlit cellar. and not a winning social gambit.
After all ofwhich. it won‘t surprise you to learn that [greet the oncoming 0f Saint Valentine's (who?) Day with considerable suspicion. Ifthese villainous midgets are the natural biological outcome of looking in the glass at midnight in the hopes of perceiving the intended mate reflected therein. it might be smarter to hit the sack at eleven and Band-Aid the letter box.
/ / (we. we
Sean Young is one ofthe bright prospects olthe American cinema whose already flourishing career has been given a major boost by her appearance in the smash hit thrillerNo Way Out. Only 28. she has appeared in Blade Runner. Dune and the BBC adaptation of Tender Is The Night. Now. asthe fun-loving but troubled woman at the centre olthe intrigue in Roger Donaldson's remake of The Big Clock. she sharedthe screen with Gene Hackman and Kevin Costner. ‘They‘re very different.‘ she claims. ‘Gene is like an old pro; nothing needs to be a drama. nothing needs to be scratched at and he's always where he‘s supposed to be on thetirst take. Kevin is less experienced and more ambitious because he's at the beginning of his career.
Although Sean viewed No Way Out as an opportunity to enhance her professional standing and explore a challenging character, the film was not without its demerits. particularlythe demands of a steamy sex scene in the backseat ota stretch limo. ‘l was very relieved when it was over but it was importantthat Susan wanted to bethere and be hungry in the scene so I just made that my obiective tor the day. Kevin was very nervous and I had to spend a lot oftime calming him down and telling him to breathe.‘
The concrete result of No Way Out's American success has been the increase in scripts winging her way and the fact that she no longer needs to audition for roles. She has recently completed The Boost. a kind of harrowing update on Days Of Wine And Roses where the addiction is cocaine instead of alcohol. ‘I really see it as a tragedy and it’s certainly the most taxing role I've played. One of the things the movie really shows is that it's not cocaine that really makes you an addict. it's the fact
Sean Young and Kevin Costner
' that you already have this
; inside you. The couple
move to Santa Cruz because they "pull a geographical" and say “well. it‘s notme it's where we live. that's where the problem is." So
1 they move and then they
realise that’s not what it is—
you are what makes you an
Looking for light relief alter the emotional depths otThe Boost. opposite James Woods. Sean is now in the market for ‘aboutlour musicals‘. Among the other temptations are two comedies and the lady is clearly going to be no strangerto our screens in the coming year.
No Way Out is scheduled to open at the Odeon Glasgow on 5 Feb and the Odeon Edinburgh on 19 Feb.
Taking on the challenge of a '
brand "9‘" 099:3 pmduct'o" 2 Museum. at an overall cost
within the financial limitations of a revival. Richard Jones has evidently got his own ideas about Mozart's ‘Cosi tan tutte'. Only 30 years old and hailed as one of the most brilliant British theatrical directors around. his new production of ‘Cosi’ will be Scottish Opera'sfirst in 21 years. ‘Not like the old production' is his first comment. continuing by saying ‘The i set is very unusual with one quite unusual shape in the middle.’ And not giving away any secrets. he says 'lt's quite technical. but not over elaborately so.‘ Jones goes on to explain ‘lt's about how people comelo terms with being human rather than trying to live to impossible standards. It's
framework of a ludicrous story. but in the hands ofa
most extraordinary work.‘ Jones is no strangerto Scottish Opera. as he says ‘I go back quite a way. lwas an Arts Council trainee director in 1982 and I've done lots of things lorthem ever since‘. which have
, includedthe highly-praised
Scottish Opera Go Round production of Verdi's ‘Macbeth‘. (Carol Main) Cosi tan tutte opens at Glasgow's Theatre Royal on Saturday 6 at 7.15pm with further performances on Tuesday 9. Friday 12. February 20. March 16and
4 June (matinee) and at
Edinburgh’s Playhouse on March 10 and June 22.
Glasgow will bethe enviable possessor ota
theatrical scoop when it I hosts the British premiere
of Peter Brook's The Mahabharata in April this year. The production has been hailed as the great director's masterpiece. It tookthirteen years to
prepare and condensesthe
ancient Indian epic poem The Mahabharata intoa nine-hourthree-play cycle. It needs a specially prepared site. with a mud floor and a stream olnatural water. and has previously
' been shown in a quarry and
a gas works. In Glasgow it will be housed in the old Transport
(provided by funding from Strathclyde Regional and Glasgow District Councils.
the Scottish Arts Council and Arts Council of Great : Britain. and sponsorship
from Renault Trucks). The event marks the beginning of a five-month festival of activity in the city.
. _ I complementingMayfest and the Garden Festival and
suggesting what's to come in 1990. when Glasgowis
European City of Culture.
The production was
persuaded to come bythe
written within the
District Council's newly-created department of in charge of co-ordinating events for 1990. Originally it was to go to London as well. but the problems of housing the production there proved insurmountable. ‘We wanted ltto come regardless of whetherit went to London or not.‘ says Bob Palmer. Festivals Unit Director. ‘We felt something of this stature should be seen in Glasgow.’ Peter Brook. for his partts delighted thatthe production is being seen in Glasgow. ‘ilis company respondsto vitality lna community.’ says Nell
Z'I'he List 5 — 18 February 1988