Martin Smith and Ann Mackay in Bitter Sweet.
teacher who runs away with his pupil. Sari. played by Ann Mackay. The piece was written in 1929 so it has a certain curiosity value. And the tact that Noel Coward wrote the lyrics. music and the book is really quite a leat.‘ He explains that ‘it's the llrst time I've ever played the theatre here. so I'm kind ol nervous about it. I used to do a lot otamateur theatre and I imagine that lotwill be along. They’ll always be my greatest critics.‘
A permanent return to Glasgow seems unlikely. but his altection tor it is clear. ‘lt’s magical to look at Glasgow just now,’ he says. ‘lt's about time we
greatto see the city alive again.’ Although ‘Les Miserables‘ just tinished in November, and “Bitter Sweet' is touring lor 1 2 weeks. Smith has managed to write a musical ‘King'. based on the lite otMartin Luther King. being premiered in aid at Save the Children and the Terence Higgins Trust in April. ‘We are lucky.‘ says Smith. ‘to work in a business where racial predudice is virtually non-existent. I deplore what's happening in South Atrica and think that what Dr
lostthe gangster image. lt's
King said in histimeis something which should be
’ adhered to nowadays.‘
Keento pursue writing
g lurther. he says ‘I wantto
leave acting. I get more ota buzz out ol composing‘ and. although it’s a tairly certain bet he‘ll be there lor‘Bitter
Sweet‘. you can understand
when he says 'It can be a
task to get upthere every
night.‘ (Carol Main)
(See classical listingslor lurtherdetails.)
‘ STEVE PERRITT
Strange sights in Edinburgh are usually restricted to
Fetival time. so when
Perritt arrived on an electric '
ex-Fringe director Steve
lawnmowerlast week. you could belorgivenlor
thinking he’d got his seasons wrong. But no. the Fringe oltice‘s unexpected visit was to inspect progress on their new High Street box ottice and admin offices.
. openingthissummer. as
‘ part at a 30-day, 3DDD-mile tripto raise £300.000lor
‘The High Street in
Edinburgh,withalllts cobbles,has beentheworst onthewholejoumey.‘
Steve Perritt and vehicle.
Even belore Jonathan Pope's adaptation ot Frankenstein has opened at the Citizens' it’s a remarkable production. It's the lirst show. excluding pantos. to be directed by anyone except the ruling triumvirate since Di Trevis mounted the notorious ‘Desperado Corner’ in 1981. So how did MrPope getthe job? ‘Giles [Havergal] just phoned me up.’ When? ‘Last summer. sometime.’ Why him? ‘I don’t know.’ Mr Popetalks in short staccato bursts. never using a sentence when a monosyllable will do. Combined with his pugilist's teatures it’s laintly intimidating. So let me help.
Jonathan Pope is one at the brains behind the Shadow Syndicate whose stylish productions- ‘Nosleratu. Blood olAngels‘ - have been one otthe Fringe highlights at recent Edinburgh Festivals. The powers that be atthe Citizens' went to see their shows and liked them. hence the invitation to direct. Mr Pope admiresthe Citz directors tor ‘doing whatthey want’ but ilyou ask him what they liked about his work you run into the monosyllables again. He doesn't like labels. even to the extent ol denying any house-style at the Citz itselt. Do nottherelore suggest to him that Shadow Syndicate shows were ‘lilmic' or ‘cinematic’ with their short scenes and sudden intercutting. Do not suggest that he is good at making arresting stage pictures orthat it'sthe intricate sountracks which run continuously which distinguish Shadow Syndicate work. You are likely to get a short answer. You are nevertheless also likely to lind all thesethings in ‘Frankenstein'. because Pope is good at them and he has brought with him to the Citzthe brilliant musician. composer and soundtrack maker, Adrian Johnston. who contributed so much to that Shadow Syndicate style. In the absence ol labels one cannot ask
whetherthis show will be
‘like the others‘. But. well
. . . ‘We were much more interested in the (Mary Shelley's) novel thistime. We've kept very close to it. including all the llashbacks. Most people still think that Frankenstein‘s the monster. In tact it‘s a cross between a revenge tragedy and a Romantic love story.‘ There you are. straight trom the horse's mouth. Though not all in one sentence... (RDS)
j J“ 5."
UP N—‘i‘; '2-
Most p_e_ople still think that Frankenstein is the
monster’-Jon Pope. Above, rankenstein. the
"Christian Dale and John Malkovich in Empire olthe Sun.
man. from a 1934
illustrated edition oi the pe_rennially populary story.
EMPIRE OF THE
One at Steven Spellberg's most admired qualities has been his ability to see the world through the eyes at a child. In lilms like Close Encounters. E.T., and Indiana Jones. he has conjured up clnematlc realms ol adventure and wonderthat have made him the latterday equivalent at Walt Disney.
How he has tumed his attention to J.G. Ballard‘s novel Empire 0t The Sun (short-listed tor the Booker Prize). in which an eleven year-old boy suitors the alternate horrors and adventures ol lite in a Japanese prison camp during the Second World War. Tom Stoppard has adapted the book tor the screen and the resulting lllm has received six Oscar nominations.
Empire at The Sun has a Royal Premiere in London on 21 March and opens in Scotland on 25 Atarch. See Film Listings tor details and review.
The List lh’ —r 31 March 19883