THE ROYAL ACADEMY MOVES BUT THE DRAMA
CONTINUES AT THE
Robert Dawson Scott reports
I WHILE THE RSAMD looks torward to seeing which shade or pale blue the Queen Mother will be wearing this spring (see Roanna Benn's article on page 10), the luture or their old home, which includes the exquisite and Grade B listed Athenaeum Theatre, is still in the balance. The three buildings which used to make up the Academy have been provisionally sold to a lirm ot property developers Kelgrove. But Kelgrove don't really want the Athenaeum ilselt; they only took it on because RSAMD insisted on selling the site as a whole. Commercially, because at its listed status, inside and out, and its rather decrepit state, it's a liability. So arrangements were made to ensure that it a buyer is tound lor the Athenaeum on its own the whole sale price goes straight back to RSAMD who in turn have a statutory duty to get the best possible price tor any assets they dispose ol. So when would-be cinema impressario Robert Perryment appeared on the scene last week with a cast-iron otter tor the building (which he wants to turn into an upmarket cinema club) everybody thought that that was probably that. Neither ot the other two interested parties, the
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Scottish Youth Theatre and the Athenaeum Group (the latter is an ad hoc grouping led by actor/director Harry Gibson who wants to establish a national resource centre tor Scottish theatre as a whole) appeared to have the cash. The RSAMD, not wishing to be seen to be responsible tor signalling the end at this tamous theatre as a live venue, have cunningly, but technically correctly, placed the ball lirme in Kelgrove's court who have now to decide whether or not to accept Perryment's otter. Kelgrove, however, are in no hurry and as yet the otter has been neither accepted nor retused while they wait to see it any other organisations can come up with more attractive proposals — more attractive, that is, to Glasgow District Council as
planning authority— at a realistic price.
Watch, as they say, this space.
I ONE OF THE more signiticanl visitors to this year‘s Maytest will be the Maly Dramatic Theatre at Leningrad. On their lirst visit to the West they are bringing a new Soviet play, Stars in the Morning Sky, by Alexander Galin. One has to hope Glasnost or not, that they will not make the same mistakes as
their big brother, the Maly Opera and Ballet Theatre at Leningrad, who came to that other Festival in the east a couple at years ago with an opera called ‘Maria Stuart' by one Sergei Slominsky. The music wasn't up to much but the real trouble was that their producer never quite grasped why relations between Mary and John Knox were a touch luke-warm. II he had, he wouldn’t have had Knox appearing wearing a prominent crucilix and earnestly crossing himselt, would he? I YOU WILL HAVE seen that the long-running conlrontalion between artist Ian Hamilton Finlay and Strathclyde Region has ﬂared up again. The gist is that he says his studio, built in the lorm at a Greek temple in his garden in Lanarkshire, is a work or art, and they say it‘s a shop because he sells his work trom it. Strathclyde have now sequestered Mr Finlay's assets. Mr Finlay is responding by withdrawing trom all work in Scotland, including the Garden Festival who have commissioned a piece trom him. I wonder how much his
lury has been luelled by the knowledge that Strathclyde Region, who also have a pavilion at the Festival, have built theirs in the shape ot- you guessed it— a Greektemple.
I HOW MANY TIMES do you have to complain to British Telecom betore
they do anything about it? According to Glen Bennett, who runs Edinburgh's newish publicity distribution service, Edinburgh Arts and Entertainment, the answer is 52. That's how many times he complained in a two week period that Directory Enquiries across the U.K. were giving his number to people enquiring about the Gold at the Pharaohs exhibition. What they wanted was the City Art Centre but it took Mr Bennett all his time to persuade B.T. that what was threatening to engult his business, which only has one incoming line, was actually happening at all. More than his tairshare, lwould say.
— DEACON BLUE COMPETITION PAGE 54
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4The List 4— 17 March 1988