Saughton Drama Group. Edinburgh

l Prison. Run tinished.

At present. when most news about prisons tends to be bad news. it is good to be able to report on a positive development. Saughton Drama Group. made up entirely ol prisoners. has been active in Edinburgh's Saughton Goal lor live years now. the only such group in Scotland to open the doors to an invited public.

Their latest production. given three perlormances. was John McGrath‘s 'Events While Guarding the Bolors Gun‘. which locuses on the shitting relationships within a group ol soldiers. guarding an obsolete gun in a corner at Germany in 1954. Lance-Bombardier Evans. relaxing the rules torthe night guard. linds himselt in hot water. and is soon tangled up in trying to protect his guard from disciplinary action. As aggression or sympathy builds up between the men. the play raises plenty ol questions about authoritarian structures. and tor the cast. many at whom were serving lite-sentences. its themes must have cutpretty close to the bone (‘I cannot send a man to prison tor 18 months ot his Iile.‘ says Evans. at one point).

The production (directed by Raina Borthwick). though rather ragged to begin with. did wonders with a small stage and two lights. In the second act. in particular. the cast developed well the changing relationships between the men. Tam G. as the conscience- stricken Bombardier and Mick G. as GunnerD‘Rourke. with whom he runs into trouble. gave particularly strong perlormances. creating a vivid exchange between the two towards the end. Though some elderly ladies didn‘t go a bundle on the play's somewhat colourlul language. torthe most part the audience loved it. and this sort ol bridge-building production can only be positive lor prisoners and public alike. (Sarah Hemming)


Traverse Theatre. Edinburgh

Sue Glover‘s new play which opened the Traverse‘s twenty-lilth birthday season is a well-cralted attempt to capture the spirit ot the mysterious island ot St Kilda. Forcenturies. physically and spiritually cut otltrom the mainland traditions by its inaccessibility. the island sustained. mainly on a diet ol sea lowl. a devout almost mystical community olGaelic speakers.

This world is seen through a middle-aged minister (whose lite on the mainland has been a moderate tailure). his seventeen year-old new bride. an apparently mad woman who claims to be a lady banished by her cruel lord to the remote island. and her guardian/servant. a widowed islander who speaks English as well as Gaelic.

Sharon Muircrott as the young wile becomes the key to the events. It is she. not her husband. who atter initial horror. is drawn into the lilestyle ol the

island. But it is also she who comes to believe the exiled lady‘s story.

A wild woman whose interest in sex and drink have obviously been partly the cause of the embarrassment that has lead to her banishment. Lady Rachel (memorably portrayed by Anne Lacey) no longer belongs to Edinburgh. butshe‘s an outcast to the islanders too. She has become one of the island's spirits hersell. like the skua the islanders tear.

As well as the inevitable echoes ol ‘The Tempest‘ the play echos J.M.

Barrie‘s ‘Mary Rose‘. The island is in a

sense a place of magic. The particular magic wrought on the minister and his wile is the sudden awareness at their true importance to each other and of their place in the world. Without

attempting to reproduce the lilestyle ot

the natives of St Kilda on stage. their

old and now lost culture is touchineg suggested by the ellect it has on these individuals.

Strongly directed by Jeremy Raison who seems well attuned to the resonances of the perlormances. the play is tlawed only by a sentimentality never quite shaken oil. and a leeling that it might ultimately be better suited totilm. (Nigel Billen)


Citizens Theatre. Glasgow Jonathan Pope's ingenious adaptation ol Mary Shelley's ‘Frankenstein'. doesn't banish the spectres otthe Hollywood interpretations. Ratherthey seem to have been absorbed and become aspects of his production. The

Anne LaceyTn The Straw Chair. presence at Adrian Johnston playing his disturbingly haunting music live on stage is a reminder ol the early days ol silent tilm. and Peter Rattan as Frankenstein (the man) looks just a little like Peter Cushing.

The images picked lrom the book very olten match the images picked by the filmmakers (the thunder and lightning creation. the drowned child. the snowy wastes) and the spirit of the tilms survives. However. it in the welding ol the images that the production‘s originality lies. Partly the ellect is cumulative. The stage is. tor example. systematically broken apart throughout the production. relentlessly symbolising the destructiveness ol Frankenstein‘s process of creation. But partly too. the ellect is one ol revelation. As the characters break through the floor ol the stage. the vats in which the monster is to be brought to lite are revealed.

Pope has ingeniously incorporated the ditterent storytellers ol the original. by having both two monsters and two Frankensteins. While the action is recalled on stage there is always another part of the same character as a narrator or onlooker. Additionally. the bereaved ligure of Mary Shelley. who when she wrote the novel had already lost a child. haunts the production.

Although too clinical to be entirely successlul, this is a production that throws new light on a largely lorgotten original text without ignoring the aspects of Frankenstein that have captured the popular imagination. (Nigel Billen)

Frankenstein. Citz.

18 l'he list l H .'\pri| I‘ISS

sleeping sickness. and Tom Stoppard‘s witty play' about theatre critics at large.

I ASSEMBLY ROOMS George Street. Tales ot the Arabian Nights Fri l Apr. 7.30pm; Sat 2 Apr. 2.30 & 7.30pm. £3

(£1 .50). Matinee: £2.50(t.'l ). Tickets on 0.‘~l 228 l l55. (‘ommunicado return with their successful. exuberant adaptation by (ierry' Mulgrew of five of the {anions 'l‘alcs. See also Touring.

' I BEDLAM THEATRE 2 I-‘orrest Road. Box ()tt'ice 225 0893. Mon-Sat I0am-Iate.

( ‘a re.

Dick Tricky in Day Don't Come Till Dawn l-‘ril Apr ((i..‘sl lprn ) and Sat 2 Apr (9.30pm ). £2

(£1 l. Iidinburgh l'niyersity”l'heatre (‘ompany . appearing as part ol thisyear's

Scottish Student Drama Festival Productions (which has its base in the . Bedlam Theatre) in a new comedy by

Donald Main and Hamish ('lark. set in a make-beliey e West (‘oast city. in which Dick 'I’ricky . priy ate eye. gets entangled in a shady and shadow y world.

I enu’nron THEATRE .‘ylusselburgh. ms

2240. Ho\ ()t‘tice Mon-Sat 10am-8pm.

Bar. ID]. [Ii].

State at Contusion Hi 1 Apr. 7.30pm. £3.75

1 (£2.25). I‘tlllll‘lll'gh‘SIllCiIITC Workshop

(‘ompany in their touring production of Day id Kane's new l'arce about modern Britain. See ‘I'ouring.

. I CHURCHHILL THEATRE Morningside Road.

Rose Marie .\Ion 4- Sat 9 Apr. 7.30pm. £3 (children E2). The Smycms. lltisy‘eat' celebratingtheir Sily'erJubiIee. inthe rnusical. Proceeds lrom the first

¥ pertormance go to charity: (iuide Dogs

i Rookery Nook \y'etl l3

tor the Blind and the Iona (‘ommunity' Appeal.

Sat lb.»\pr. 7.30pm. £2.50. I~'or partiesot'ten ormore.

50p oil per ticket. Iickcts mail. in

ads attcc lt'om l‘slter Hall Box ()I'Iicc.

I.othian Roador(‘ruikshanks

.\'eys sagents. opposite the theatre. Day rdsons Mains Dramatic Society in the classic Ben 'I ras'erse larce.


My DaughterCarries the Gun'l‘hurs 31 Mar. 9.30pm. L2 ( {I ). Part ol the Scottish

' Student Drama I‘estiyalz Iidinburgh

l 'niyersity Theatre ('ompany in anew play by I.isa (iornick. toeusingona community ‘s response to the threat of destruction.

BrechtPlays liri 1 Apr (U.30pm)& Sat2 Apr infillpm ). £2 (£1 ). John Street

'I’heatre trom Strathclyde l'niy'ersity in

their production lor this year's Scottish

Student Drama l-‘estiy'al. The tour short

' comediesby Brecht are: 'I‘lic'litre/Mimi

mull/re Rule." Driving ()uI.-I Devil; [Jain : I'ene/irry and .-I Rmpeetuh/e Ber/ding.

I KINGS THEATRE 2 Icy en Street. 22‘)

L 130] . BoxUllrce Mon Sat Illam Rpm.

Evita \Vetl It) Mar

Bar. [D].

Sat 2 April. 7.30pm. Matineeson 'I'hurs I". Wed 23 k 30 Mar d; all Salsat 2.30pm. £4.50 £l2.50. (‘oncsz

£2.5llolt Stallsand(irand('ircle

Mon-Thurs. l'll‘sl y isit to Iidinburgh ot the “UNI Webber-che hit musical about liya Peron.

Rod Hull and Emu 'I'hurs .‘yl Marl2.3llpm) ck l’l'l 1 .-\pr. t I lam t ' 2.30pm).

£2.25 £5.75, (‘orics LI olI stalls andgrand circle. “5p oll upper eir'clc. Man and bird in pertect harmony See Kids listing. Winnielhe Pooh'l’ueSApr Sat‘).»\pr. 2.30pm ck "pm. L3. 141.1450. £5.50. Pooh. piglet and triends on stage in(i|yn Robbins' adaptation ol the much-loved book by A. .-\. Milne. I‘or tour yearsand oycr. Sec ls'ids listing.

Annie GetYourGun Mon l l - Sat ItiApr. "..‘wllpiii. Sat. mat. 2.15pm. £3.£4.£4.50. L5. (‘oncson Mon eye. & Sat. mat. £1.50. £2.50. £3.50. The Bohemians I.y'ric()pera (‘ompany in lrying Berlin‘s musical.

I MANDELA THEATRE ( iateway' Iixchange. 2 4 Abbey mount. (ibl 0982. ('ale and bar laciIitrcs during perlormances. Pertormance Project Rehearsals Saturday‘s 2pm. Rehearsals are currently underway