ORTRAIT or THE ARTISTS
ll gradually constructed and Aug-3 SCP‘ ("0t Suns)
j deconstructed asthe 12pm. £3.50 (£2.501IF1'I- Kristina Woolnough on plays this year about Sylvia Plath. Plus other
action proceeds. One biographical plays.
wonders how closely it can be based on Bosch‘s ‘Not enough people know about her.‘ is lllona
original. beset as it is by leaking hull and wailing Linthwaite‘s first crew. comment on Anna
title Letters Home. ‘The adaptation is symphonic. The two characters speak in duets. rounds and choruses. Their relationship progresses from their total entwinement to the development of
Plays about Sylvia Plath are not uncommon at the their individual identities. The play moves SW0 '0 “SingaVCrY WiCkhafndhc P09151195 Fringe. but this vear sees a veritable clutch of chronologicallv from Sylvia‘s conception to d‘VCTW range 0? Portrai’mg "I the Pfcm'm ' ' music-ﬂutes. Wind-up of Adrian Mitchell 5
post-suicide.‘ Plath‘s life is here subjected to analysis and explanation via feminism — ie her character. confusion and depression is put down to oppression. It is also. the director hastens to add. ‘a celebration of her work and life.‘
A more extraordinary-sounding one-woman play. written and performed by Ruth (ilaser under the umbrella of the Northern Production Company. is Silvia Plat/i on Sylvia Plath. With a bellyful of the devout attention paid to Plath's life and death. (ilaser wrote this satirical expose of public infatuation with Plath. ‘Silvia Plath is an ordinary woman who discovers she has the same name and birthday as the poet. She starts finding out about Plath's life and tries to make out she‘s
them. it being twenty-five years since her death. Two versions of Barry Kyle's .S'y/i'ia l’lat/i: .‘l Dramatic Portrait are on show. With three actresses. the play attempts to portray Plath as ‘a normal woman whose life lends itself naturally to drama.’ It uses biographical material and is punctuated by Plath‘s poems. Director Mike Judge. ofSt Andrews Mermaids. explains that the play was not 'a vehicle for a definitive statement on Plath's life and work. because in truth. there is no such statement to be drawn.‘ To some minds. Plath comes across in the dramatic portrait as an unlikeable and melodramatic figure. who spent her life and work rehearsing her end. Le (ilobe theatre company is doing the
gramophones. old Nat King Cole records.‘ says Lidington. Bosch may still seem an unlikely choice for the subject ofan opera. but. says Lidington. ‘Wc‘ve all wanted to work together fora long time on this project. It‘s great to finally have the chance to do this kind of experimental theatre.“ (Helen Davidson ).
I The Life and Times at Hieronymus Bosch The
biographical play Anna ()n Anna. Later. she describes her as ‘witty. passionate. often vulgar. obsessive. funny and contradictory.‘ Iler own knowledge of Wickham dates back only four years. to when she was preparing an anthology of women‘s poetry. Ain 't [A Woman (Virago. 1987). She became fascinated by the woman and her work. a fascination which culminates on the Fringe
same plav. like her. She picks out the smallest coincidences faith I “5"” $2321?" “"h 1h.“ impair“ , . ' s - . - . - - ' " ITC. venue .. . . COUTU‘IISSIOHC I'OITI IhC'ltrc ( ocktail. however. iremiere a andsimilarities. [wanted toshow ieo 1e s'initv— L" , , ‘ I I p ‘ ' 321‘). 16—28 Aug (not Adrian Mitchell.
dramatisation of Plath's bizarre short story Johnny l’anic and the Bible o_/‘l)ream.s .The story follows the obsession of a hospital secretary with psychiatric patients' medical records. Three actresses share the parts of the unnamed secretary and the various patients whose lives she leafs through. Instead of focusing on her death and her work viewed through her death. the company are keen to bring out the vitality and humour in Plath‘s short story. ‘1 ler depressive poems have recently been devalued. But there is a positive Phoenix-image which arises out of the death and despair poems. where she looks for a way to find a new life. With “Johnny Panic". we hope. using movement and comedy acting. to make the audience laugh. We're performing something that is by Plath. not about her.‘
The Oxford Theatre (iroup are showing an adaptation of Plath's letters to her mother.
they over-identify with Plath. People do that to their idols. I try to highlight common thoughts on Plath. and show how much they rely on the fabric of myth. It‘s a double-edged play. with. I hope. some humour.‘ (Kristina Woolnough)
I Sylvia Plath: A Dramatic Portrait St Andrew's Mermaids. [Edinburgh College of Art (venue 73). 16-27 Aug (not Sun) 1.05pm (free lunch). £2 (£1.75).[1-‘r|;I Sylvia Plath: A Dramatic Portrait Le (ilobe. Festival Chib (venue 3b) 220 2278. 22—27 Aug 10.30am. £2.50(£2). [Fr]: Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams Theatre Cocktail. Caltori Studios (venue 71 ) 556 7066. 15 Aug—3 Sep (not Sun) 11.15am. £-I ( £3) for the double bill. [Fr];
I Letters Home ()xford Theatre Ciroup. St Mary‘s Ilall (venue 19) 557 482‘). 12 Aug—3 Sep (not Mon) 2pm. £3 (£2.50) [Fr]: I Sylvia Plath on Sylvia Plath Northern Production Company. [Edinburgh Playhouse (venue 59) 557 3807. 14
Mons). 1pm. £3.50 (£2.50) [Fr].
TWO TIGERS Katherine Mansfield‘s life luckily lends itselfvery well to the hordes of ; biographers and theatrical ' adapters who have emerged in her centenary year. Escaping from New Zealand. and a conventional middle-class upbringing. she became a member of the Bloomsbury group. After i amassinglarge numbers of lovers she then embarked on the affair withJohn Middleton Murray which
Wickham‘s poetry was very spontaneous. written on anything to hand. Ms Linthwaite describes the result as an ‘instant crystallization. which is very accessible and marvellous to act . ' These humorous. mocking (often self-mocking) and explosive poems form ‘loops'. through which Anna re-enacts the story of her life.
After numerous engagements. she married the lawyer and amateur astronomer Patrick Hepburn. who was so appalled at the notion of
Aurelia. collected and here performed under the
RED MAGIC '
This year is the double anniversary. the 90th and 40th. of Sergei M. ' Eisenscin's birth and death. and to mark the occasion seven times Fringe First winners Crane and Williams have put together their iicw production Red .llagte. Soviet film-maker Eisenstein did much of the groundwork in the 1920s towards the development of the cinema as an artform. Yet. he had also been a highly regarded theatre director. and continued throughout his life to teach. and produce his own philosophical writings.
Whilst the play is an attempt to convey his many facets. writer Richard Crane is keen to stress that ‘it's not strictly a bio-drama. but an original piece in itsown right. Out of the cast of four. I play Iziseiistein himself. but the three other actors each play different aspects of his
personality ; the teriunine side of him. the inquisitive childlike nature he always managed to retain. and the kind of harsh alterego that seemed to driv e him on through his carccr.‘
Iiv en so. the patchwork narrativ e of the piece does follow Iiisensteln‘sartistic development from his early days in the theatre with Meyerhold. tothc cinematic triumphs of the Twenties. and the Stalinist era of artistic compromise and subterfuge. Crane and Williams have attempted to liiid a stylistic fusion that does justice to I'isenstill's stage and celluloid work. ‘1 Its theatrical pieces drew on the circus or burlesque a
22The List 12 — 18 August 1088
Aug— 3 Sep (ipm. £2.50 ( £2). [I’r]
THE LIFE AND TIMES OF HIERONYMUS BOSCH
I‘cvy facts are known about the life of Hieronymus Bosch.
lot. so we'v e tried to adapt that by using a camera dolly as the prop or set. The cast I‘ide aroude the stage on it. and we use it to recreate some of the sequences from the films. 'We‘ve tried to pick up on the images that stick in the mind. like the woman w itli the eye gouged out. or the pram cai‘ceriitg dow n the ( )dessa steps through the gunfire. liven if people has e never seen an Iiiseiisteill movie. they ‘11 recognise these scenes.' (Trevor Johnston). I Red Magic Assembly Rooms ( \ enue 3). 226 242-7 8. l2 2," Aug(not Sun). Noon. £4.50
from w rititig. directing
opera about the artist's life and times.
resurgance of interest in Bosch.‘ says l.idington. ‘We don't watit to be too obv iotis about this. but there's something about
world in demise that appeals to the modern age.‘
Bosch‘s grotesque. almost nightmarish paintings have been the inspiration for the set. 'I've really written the script as we go along so
set and costumes.' explains l.idington. A
apocalyptic painter of the Middle Ages. This hasn't deterred Tony l.idington
and starring in a two-man
'The 1080's have seen a
the way that he portraysa
that w e can emphasize the
led both Lawrence and lluxley to parody them in their novels.
Sue Casson gave up a well-paid job producing Meridian for the BBC to devote herself full-time to writing a musical biography of Mansfield. ‘My interest began whcnl read her letters and journals about five years ago. Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd-Webbcr came to see the first show. and they encouraged me to carry on with the project.‘
The decision to make the show a musical stemmed from Casson‘s view of Mansfield's life as a series of powerful images. ‘The best way to put accross the impressionistic nature of her life was usingthe music of the twenties.She had a tremendously full life. absolutely packed to the gunnels. ()ne can‘t help but admire her gutsiness and independence. Jazz can convey that very simply and boldly.‘ (Helen Davidson).
I TWO Tigers Capers. The Pleasance. 556 6550 (venue 33).12.13Aug
l l l I
her writing poetry for publication that he had her committed for six weeks to a lunatic asylum. She bore him several children. but then met and fell for the ‘notorious‘ lesbian Natalie Barney. a liaison which led to a passionate correspondence. but was otherwise unconsummated. l‘inally. like many comparable figures. she was driven to suicide. Ms Linthwaite hopes that her portrayal of Anna will at least bring more people now to her poetry. (Andrew Burnet) I Anna 0n Anna Mica Productions. Theatre Workshop. (Venue 20). 2265425. 15—27 Aug. l2.30pm.£3(£1.50)[Fr].
I MALCOLM X: New Voices from America. Chaplaincy Centre (venue 23) 12Aug—3 Sept. times vary. £3.50
I ARMED NEUIRALITY: CAZTS. Canongate Lodge (venue 5) 14—20 Aug, 6.30pm. £2011).