Sturridge is a zealouslan ol the writer and has spent around six years tryingto lind the lunding lor his current enterprise. ‘I think Waugh is genuinelythe greatest 20th-century prose writer. Ithink he will be read and remembered long atterthe perhaps three or tour othercontenders. Brideshead was something I'd read and re-read lrom eleven or something. A Handlul Ot Dust was something I didn‘t read until we were shooting Brideshead. It's a shocking thing to read because you're so surprised bythe way the story constantly subverts your expectations. Because ot that sense at shock and enormous emotion that one got lrom reading it. it wasn‘t a very dilticult decision to wantto make it into a lilm.‘
The money men do not considerWaugh to be a guarantee ol box-ollice success so the searchtor tinance was long and wearying although Sturridge was determined that it should be madelor the cinema. ‘Brideshead is. lsuppose, aboutninety pages longer than Handtul Ol Dust and we made Brideshead into a 12‘/2-hour production. and Handlul into a tilm ol undertwo hours. I think it had to be one hit. lalways think at it
asa tistwith a jewel onit like a diamond. something rather terocious and hard. You can only get that kind at concentration in a lilm.‘ With the dribble ol linance that was eventually lorthcoming. Sturridge was able to set up an economical six weeks ol tilming with a castthat includes Alec Guinness. Judi Dench and James Wilby. The result has been winning wide praise. including a lavourable response at Cannes Film Festival screenings. However. there have been charges at diluting Waugh's venomous bite that he is keen to relute. ‘One olthe privileges at being a director isthat you can create the tone that you tind; in other words you do it the way you saw it. Ithink it's nonsense to talkot Evelyn Waugh as a satirical writer. lthink what is remarkable and peculiar about him is that he tellsthe truth. What he does notdo is present you with an exaggerated portrait ol upper-class lile. He actually tells you exactly how they behave. Part at him was socially embarrassed about being so documentary-ish that he would dress it up with a tew bits ol paraphernalia and comic writing. He's really tellingthe truth and not sending it up. and that‘s what lends itsell so well to beinglilmed.‘ (Allan Hunter) AHandtul Ot Dustis scheduled to open atlhe Cannon. Sauchiehall Street. Glasgow and the Edinburgh Cameo on 1 July. See Film Listingstor details.
Rikki Fulton and Jack Milroy
Edinburgh Youth Orchestras
EDINBURGH YOUTH ORCHESTRA
Hitting the high notes takes on a ditterent. butmore literal. meaning tor Edinburgh Youth Orchestra on Saturday 25 as. on the cue at Edinburgh Castle‘st o'clock gun. groups at musicians will start playing onthe summit at each at Edinburgh's seven hills. Now in its SilverJubiIee year. EYO hopes its boutol Midsummer Madness will help raise tundslorthe orchestra'strip to San Diego next year. a city Edinburgh has special links with. lollowing the visit a lew years ago by the San Diego Youth Symphony Orchestra to Edinburgh.
The idea at Saturday's rather unusual concert is that small groups onthe hills (Arthur's Seat. Calton Hill. Castle Hill. Corstorphine Hill. Blacklord Hill. the Braids and Craiglockhart Hill) will each playtheir part in aspecially composed piece by Neil Butterworth which, the organisers say. “will be playable by any combination ot instruments‘. Alter only 40 minutes at rehearsal in the morning the work will be recorded on seven ditlerent tape recorders. the tapes taken uphill wilhthe musicians and on the1 o'clock downbeat each at the seven groups' conductors will pull on headphonesand presumably hope lorthe best.
ltyou‘d like to donate. don'tworry. you don‘t have to climb every mountain too. Collectors will be around at lowerlevels throughoutthe city and donations can be sent tothe Secretary. EYO. 21 Hallhead Road. Edinburgh EH16 SOJ. (Carol Main). EYO‘s Midsummer Madness. Saturday 25. various hilltops around Edinburgh starting at 1pm.
FRANCIE AND JOSIE
Beloved by many intheir heyday. Francie and Josie return to Glasgowthis month. Also known as Rikki Fulton and Jack Milroy. they make their comeback atlhe Kings' Theatre. lronting a summervariety showthat also leatures the lovable Walter Carr and runslrom 21 June—16July. See Theatre listingslor details.
Writer and broadcaster
Elliot Meadow has known WINE: twenty-live years. Here he
recalls a night at discord tor
the heavyweightjazz pianist.
Ot the manytimes I've seen Oscar Peterson overthe years. the one occasion that remains most vividly etched in my memory is only peripherally related to his extraordinary pianistic gilts.
ln Septemberol1967. and torreasons I can no Iongerrecall. lwas in Los Angeles and staying atthe Century Plaza Hotel. The Hong Kong Bar situated in the Hotel's basementwas then lollowing the policy at booking majorjazz names tor two week engagements. The Peterson Trio were the current attraction and what better way could there be to end an evening than totake the elevatordownlrom one's room and catchthe last set? I might add that it seemed to me I‘d died and gone straight to ajazz heaven- in those daysa blasé attitude had not as yet begun to colour my outlook and having a legendary ligure playing nightly just a lew lloors below appealed to me enormously.
ltmust have been around oneish on the night in question. I descended into the bowels ot the hotel. walked the corridor to the Hong Kong Bar's entrance and was escorted to a table nottar removed lrom the small stage where drummer Bobby Durham and bassist Sam Jones were awaiting the arrival ot theirleader. Ouetothe lateness otthe hourthe room wasn'ttilled to capacity. howeverthe warmth with which Peterson was greeted bythe
relatively small gathering let the pianist know that he was detinitely in the right place at exactly the right time.
As l remember it. this was business as usual—an aggressive. powertully swinging demonstration at awesome keyboard artistry. With his customary technical command Peterson unleashed a tlash-llood ot intricate melodic and harmonic ideasthat. as ever. tell his listeners quite breathless. At least all butone.
A man and woman were sitting at a table a tewleet away trom my own. Almost trom the opening notes at the set he had beentalking loudlyto his companion. She. l'd noticed. had remained more orless silent. Clearly all was not well with their relationship and we. Peterson included. were being made privyto this growing disallection. Several members olthe audience had already asked the man to keep quiet butto no avail. To make matters worse the source at irritation had obviously consumed a large quantity olalcohol and was now on the brink otbecoming unmanagable. At this point Peterson. who was inthe middle ola tender. wistlul solo. looked up tromthe keyboard and shotthe villain in our midst a look that was no where near being tender orlorthat matter remotely wistlul. The pianist was rightly becoming most annoyed at havingto compete lor
attention. Alter several more venomous glares had lailed to make an impact. Peterson linally lost his cool. slammed the keyboard lid down hard and stormed oil the stand notto return. His two colleagues
i l l
looked at each other. shrugged resignedly and soleme lollowed suit. The drunk and his partnerwere unceremoniously shown the door by several members at the club's management—an action that came a little too late to save the situation. As the rest olthe audience parted dejectedly into the LA night. lventured into the backstage corridor. Jones and Durham were in a corner quietly discussing where to have a bite to eat and would I care tojoin them. The pianist meanwhile was stalking up and down. still livid atwhat had occurred. Oscar Peterson is a massiva built individual and atthat moment I thought it might be wiser not to engage him in any passing small talk as he seemed to be growing bigger belore my very eyes. Indeed. I've rarely seen a human being quite so enraged. He was still seething as Durham. Jones and I slipped away in search at either an early breaklast ora late supper. Many years later. Iasked Peterson it he remembered the incident. He replied that he did. and with some clarity. adding that he tried not to let such things bother him quite so much asthey once had. He agreed thatl had shown excellent judgement on that occasion in not enquiring into how his day had been. I may have been young andtoolish twenty-one years ago but downright dumb I wasn‘t— an angry Oscar Peterson. like his piano playing. shouldn‘t ever be taken lightly. ‘ (C) GFM LTD. 1988. . The Oscar Peterson Triois l atthe Theatre Royal on 5 Sunday 26 June. See Glasgow Jazz Festival Listings. J
The List 24 Junc:7 July 1988 3