szlnstncw'playtniensirilfilhihtngdi.ltinthlcCErath talkstoTVigellSHlenzdioutlniw'dietintesthyetaNtngetl



\Vhat ctiuld lie mtire til its time than the sulitect matter til 'l‘tim

.\lc( irath‘s new play. I‘m ttt/ l’itry‘tttty‘.‘ .lack and Van are ytiung. liy'ing in l.tindtin and earning a ltit til mtine} . 'l'heir Hat is wtirth tiy er a millitin liecause it has a y tew til

'l‘tiw er Bridge, l'hey are archetypal Ytippics.

But .\le( iraths ttititx are in a dillerent l.tintltin and antithet era. 'l wenty yeatx agti. .ilting with tithei cities attitiiitl the yytit ltl l’at‘ts. Berlin. ( ‘htt‘agti l t'lltltlll wax in the griptil stutlent itgytiltx. the apparently iney‘italile climax til a heady decade til peace. ltiy e. lltiw erptiw er and drugs. \‘i liile the eyeranniyersary—hungi'y media ltitiks hack [0 llttixe ey etils.

.‘ylc( ii‘ath. the ltitintling etlittii til

lltlt'nitititniti/ liHItW lthe liitiadxheet that epittimised the peritid t seems tti hay e turned his liack tin psyt'lietlelia.

i met \le( it‘ttth. tttiyy .t\xxtieiate literary l)irecttirtil the lyceum 'l'heatre. iii the chic l.‘s\peritil restaurant htiuxetl iii the lyeeum. .-\ shtirt. plump man dressed demut ely iii lirtiwn. tinly his slightly tiiititly haii wtiuld remtitely suggest a hellraiser _\'ti phtittigraph with which tti ctimpare. htiw ey ei . ey er acctimpanietl \le( irath‘x etlittirials in l'l‘. liyen ttitlay he admits tti lieing uneasy alitiut hay mg liix phtittigraph taken a superstitititi stemming litini stimcthtng \\ illiam litirrtitighs tinee ttild liiiti alititit the .»\ialis‘ leai til phtittigraphy. .\1c( irath ey en turned dtiwn Ytik‘ti ( him. 'She was taking pietttres til PL'HPlL‘.\ ltaeksitles. litit l i'elllsetl. '

l)isaliusing stime ll’ieaders til ltindly' held tttisetitieeptitins til a tall. lting-haired hippy . Met irath w rtite in l'l‘til a 'hespeetaeletl. rtititnd 'l'htimas Mc( irath‘. times that were a-changing may hay e changed. liitt perhaps .\lc( irath hasn't changed himsell sti much alter all. .>\nd. perhaps l‘rti'iti/ l’iirytuts isn‘t iust ahtiut l‘hatcher's Britain either: ‘lll said it was a play alitiut Yuppie

éaheiwtflixwa tgyratuss

ltiiitltin that wtiulti lie ttiixleatling. lt‘x still .ll‘titll Setits. still has a \titttsh xti iteet mattei at the etire'

xayx .\le( il tilt. l he t liaraeters are tlei‘iyetl li'tini petiple l kntiw w hti hay e gtine tti l tiiitltiii \y hti wtiuld til‘iteet tti tieittg called yttpptes. littt hay e iiey eithelexxinade entirintius .iintiuntstil intiney \et'y tittick'ly . liy'e in the tltieklaiitlx. and are itiy‘tily ed tti l he ( 'ity . l hey ti'ii hay e parties

w here they tlt itik ltitx til champagne; they gtixktiiig. they litineymtitin tin tlte ( it ieiit l‘ \pi'esx. .\iitl yet the teiiigile at the t’e‘llll'e til the play ix titiiii ( ilasgtiw the male littill lltilttin they're litiili\i.tiikiiigel.ixstii

\ltl illtllttle\t'l'll‘e\llle [il‘t‘iee\\ttl w i Him: a play .ilitiiit the ptexeiit as putting titit .t l‘lL' scanner which ititiyesalititit picking ttpeyeiytliing. l hen l hay e ttixtii‘t thrtiugh it all. .\nalystngthetlillet'eneelietween the l.tiittltin til It'lti't1//’l()‘\l(l(\ and the l tiiitltin that the ytiitng (ilaxwegtan \le( tinitli experienced. he xeenixttiuseaxitnilat'xcatitiertin the paxt. .ltist as he \ytirt iex tiy er the at eutaey til each minute detail til the 'pteseiit‘ liettiie iiielutling it iii the play xtieaelt elk'llk'liill‘nlllllll alitittt the way we hate changed is made liy \let itttlll tti \l.llltl l‘y il\ titialtlieatitiiixaiitliii thettititexttil his tiw n pet'spet'tiy e.

‘( )ne til the ctirtietxttiiies til the leiiiale character is that she‘s xtteeessltil .ttitl tiliy ititisly eley er liut ntit intellectual xhe‘s ntit academic and tltiesii‘t hay e tlitise staiidat'tlstir yalaes. \Vhat has happened in NH“ is that petiple like her tltin‘t think they need tti listen tti petiple like its \Vhy y/itiit/t/ they lie repetitaiit ix tine ttuestitin I‘m asking Why dties nty lirand til I eltism want her success tti ctime a ertipper',’ l'ni challenging that in niysell, lt‘s ntit ett\ y l tltiii‘t watit ltitlt'iVe ltist eats. which Istilte til the xymlitilxtil their thing. I tltin‘t ey en hayeatliiytnglieenee \ly yaltie systemisntin-mateitalixtic. litit then they delitie the spiritual. the min—materialistietti atlillerentway.


i 'l’heirspiritualexperiencesare

contained in things like skiing. flying planes. speed in a car —- it gives them a high. Sti l‘m challenging my own reactitin to that ~ as an ageing hippy til a stirt?

Mc( irath resists the temptatitin tti' ctindemn the changes that haye taken place ey en w hen he tiliy‘itiusly' can see little in their lay'titir. ()n censtirship .‘ylc( irath can point clearly at an issue w here ‘pulilic mtirality‘ is changing r‘lt w as a littttle that then yy e were delinitely winning. which ntiw we are dclinitcly ltising; the tipptixititin is much mtire determincd'. But tin tither issues .\lc( irath‘s resptinse isn‘t sti clear cut. ‘( )tie til the dillerences then was in the way ytiung petiple "came tin”. In the play I hay e a character excmplitying the Ytiung l’tigey . a man much tilder than his years, In the Sixties a ytiung perstin wtitild haye lieen y‘tiuthlul tti the nth degree and reitiiced in lieing that way . ’l‘hc change that came in the Sey entics was that y'titing petiple ctiuld iiti ltinger alltird tti lie that way. then with the increasing acceptance pttlilicly til etinsery'atiyc y alues

petiple see that as the only way tti lsc.‘

‘But l tltin‘t leel that’s all tti the liad.‘ .‘ylc( irath ctintinties. ‘lt‘s ntit ptissilile tti hay'e clear cut resptinses. Stime til the tliitigs that haye happened l like the rectiy‘ery til the past in stiine ways. the innticence til the past. let me think tilan example that isn‘t xti stttpid that it will tlestrtiy tny'image ltirey'er. . .‘

lle ey cntually ptiinted tti the reiectitin liy' the liighties til the ‘tiiliilistie part til the Sey'enties which ’ttitik sti much it)_\' titlt til reality”. “I kntiw it was all iii a gtitid cause. its made its ntark and it certainly has inlluenced my way til seeing things. litit it was such a killjtiy' attitude. Ytiti ctiuldn‘t enitiy' ey en simple things like the reprtitltictitin til the speeies.‘

‘ln the Sixties w e w ere breaking the ptist war talititis tir at least casting aside the stirt til things we had grtiw n tip with. there was a mtiy'e liey'tind the lamily' set tip and an urge tti mtiy‘e tti stimething liiggerr hut there w as ney er a ctintplete aliandtinmeitt til the lamily”.

Spiritually' ttiti. the attitudes til the Sixties seem. ntit iust in their assticiatitin with ancient liastern religitins. tti hay e a ctinnectitin with the spirituality tilthe past. .‘ylc(irath descrilies it as a ‘reliirth‘. “Suddenly all the religititis and ritualistic experience w as ay ailalile tti tis. We had grtiw n tip iii a wtirld where the key thinker was Bertrand Russell. (itid w as yery much dead. 'l'heii suddenly (itMl was aliy’e again. hut in at tlillet‘ettt \y Liy tti what we expected. lle w asn‘t the same ( itid. 'l‘he ( itid we had t‘eiected w as dead. but it was alsti like a itik'e. art inner itike. had lieen played tin tis.~

‘( )nce ytiu‘y'e seen the uniy‘ersc that way . _\’Utl can ney'cr gti hack.

Ytiu always remember it‘. says

.\1c( irath. While he admits that tine til the leatttres til liighties‘ thinking

is ‘that iiti attitude is ltirey'er t today‘s yuppie may well he ttimtirrtiw's (‘htireh til l;ngland mystic l‘. the Sixties spiriritualism. ‘a sense til

ptirptise. meaning. ltiy'e'. he tears has gone.

'l‘here was no easy route ltir McCirath himselltti this Sixties spiritualism which tiliy'itiusly still sti deeply influences him. i asked what lirtitight the l'l‘days sti ahruptly tti ati end ltir Mc( irath (he returned tti (ilasgtiw while the Sixties‘ happenings were still happening. and alter a tnere ten issues til IT). The story til his addictitin tti hertiin ltilltiwed.

l lertiin dtiminatcd the last days til

Mc(irath‘s edittirship which. reading

lietween the lines. scents tti hay e resulted in tine til thtise typical spells til ill-will and incriminatitin that tltig creatiy‘e cndeay'tiurs. But hcrtiin didn‘t licgin in misery ltir .\lc(irath and perhaps surprisingly. giy'en what ltilltiwed. he dtiesn‘t reieet ctimpletely the Value til drugs. ‘lny'tily'ement with hertiin had ctime hunt a background lting heltire that psy'chedelia thing. What had happened tti me with 1.81) is that it had tipened tip this very l()_\'(itl.\ y'iew til things that had heen ttitally' ruled out ~— iust wasn‘t there licltire. 'l‘he drug actually changed things ltir me sti l was y ery’ prti LSD ltir that reastin.‘ .‘ylc( irath ctins'citiusly stiught tiut l.tindtin liecatise he wanted tti experience drugs iii the sante way as writers like Burrtiughs. Kesey and his great (ilasgtiw lriend Alex ’l‘rticchi. "they were such exciting writers yy'hti seemed tti tipeti tip the luture. the spirit. Drugs seemed like a very exciting ady'cnture

Drugs were titi accident ltir .'\lc( irath and just ticcasitinally' ntiw his delcnce til his ptisititin y'et'ges' tinpalatalily' tin the rtimantic and the intemperate. "l'rticchi made a leature till his adtlietitin and l ltiy'ed that arrtigance that was in him. lllUttgll it destroyed a wry great literary talent. stimehtiw l preler that tti what happened tti tither talents. ’l'hey'te titi 'l‘\' ntiw marketing their lititiks.‘ But .\lc( irath dtiesn’t need any'tine tti remind hint til the dangers til hertiin.

'l Name a ltit til what happened tin the actual direct ellects. depressing e lleets. destt'ttetiy'e ellects til he t‘tiitt tilt the spirit. \tit (in the liticly' ~~ it does sltiw the lititly‘ dtiwn litit gradually it eats away at all ytiur lilire. Ytiu end tip a liar. Ytiu cheat petiple. Ytiti're ntit straight. ytiti’re tinrelialile -- etittsistently‘ making up sttiries. Ytiu liectime mtire and mtire decrepit in _\‘()ll[' lile style. It‘s a sulitlc prticess which can take twti or three years tti mature. It starts till as a y‘titithlul "l can handle this” stirt til thing and ends with this terrilile mess which is ltill til all stirts tilticctilt sttill like waking in the night and lceling presences in the rtitim. and things lying tin ttip til you trying tti strangle ytiti. lt‘s incredilile. l dtin‘t kntiw htiw you deal with the w htile ntititin til ey'il. litit il ytiti are going tti ltitik ltir it you are gtiing tti lind it may Close tti hertiinf

‘All til that' he say s with almtist ctimic understatement. ‘was haying a wry liad ellect tin me and my married lile (I had twti children as well). I ltitind it y'ery dillicult tti

extricate the e llects til hertiin lrtim

which indeed they were.