also James Bond. asa quarter olthe toursome comedy company Clillhanger. who make a return to Edinburgh altera couple at years' absence. ‘Clillhanger’s James Bond‘ lirst appeared as a sell-out Christmas panto last year at the lap Club in Brighton and atthe ICA in London. ‘We didn'twant to just do a hip. radical version at ‘Jack and the Beanstalk'. The James Bond stories are like modern lairy tales really. It‘s common culture to everyone. We try to use what could conceivably be a James Bond plot and tell it ourway. The casting is unusual: Sean Connery or Timothy Dalton I‘m not. The joke otthe show istaking what is really a very high tech. big budget movie idea and tuming it into a very low tech stage production with very little money. because we haven't got much. We still have the ski-chases and the submarine locations. But we have to use kids' toys. It‘s Clillhanger‘s ‘James Bond‘ in the tradition at Polanski's ‘Macbeth'. Zetterelli's ‘Romeo and Juliet' and Cadbury‘s ‘Fruit and Nut‘.‘ Clillhanger aims to revive the setting at comedy in a theatrical context. with a lull plot. ‘The big thinglor us is that it's the Clillhanger reunion. Forthree orlour years now at the Festival. it's been stand-up comedy
x E M i3 3: u. l‘ i
and cabaret. There‘s been a vacuum at comedy shows with a beginning. a middle and an end. It's because ol the cut-backs in arts lunding. It's cheaperto do stand-up-you don‘t need props or a set. You only need a clean shirt to change into- or not. in the case at some pertormers. With ‘James Bond'. we're hoping there‘s still a lot olpeople who want to see a show with a proper storyline.’
Moving with the times. Clilthanger's James Bond is monogamous. ‘He lalls in love with a single parent calledJanice and leaves the Secret Service. He applies tor a job as a play Ieaderand creche co-ordinator. We‘ve put him in a real lite situation. Bond has to contront choices about contraception. It's a mysteryto him. He‘s spent all these years in movies sleeping with people and no connection between sex and childbirth has ever been made. Janice asks “What are we going to do about contraception?" Bond says “What's that?" “llwe make love. lmight get pregnant." “Mightyou? Why?" She thinks he's joking. but he's not.‘
McCarthy takes the part 01 Bond throughout. while the other members at Clitlhanger. Robin Driscoll. Tony Haase and Rebecca Stevens. switch roles and costumes at a rate 01 knots. Familiar 007 aides appear: 0 invents death-deteating weapons like a salad dressing that can be used as a speed boat. Goodies and baddies spar. thrills and spills are par tor the course. Bond is back. on location in Edinburgh. ‘We take all the elements at a storythat people will recognise. but we put it back together all wrong. The parts are all there. but they‘re not necessarily where you'd expect to lind them.‘ And. looking quite respectable and demure. McCarthy is not how you'd expect to lind him either.
Pete McCarthy Live In Your Living Room can be booked through the Assembly Rooms Box Dllice. 226 2427/8. [Fr]
Clilthanger‘s James Bond is on at the Assembly Rooms Music Hall (venue 3) 226 2427/8 lrom 12-23 Aug at 9.30pm. [Fr]
The Georgian Film Actor's Studio are visiting Britain lorthe lirst time this year. pertorming Moliere's Don Juan in the Assembly Rooms. Their interpretation ol Moliere‘stext has brought the director. Mikhail Tumanishvili. acclaim lrom tellow director and theatre innovator, Peter Brook. who writes.
‘Tumanishvili's Don Juan is the best I‘ve seen: it‘slast. insolent. modern and brilliantly played by young Georgian actors.‘
Keti Dolidze. who was initially involved with setting up the Film Actors Studio ten years ago as a student otTumanishvili's experimental class in the Rustaveli Georgian State Theatrical Institute. and who is a respected lilm-maker in her own right. explained how the actors approached such a classic text: ‘Bill Burdett-Coutts came to Tbilisi on John McGrath's recommendation. and we decided to bring Don Juan to the Festival because we think that lor the loreign audiences. especiallylor the countries in the west. the play is most suitable. and we believe that it'sthe most popular. as well asthe best. pertormance in our schedule. ‘Durapproach to Moliere‘s Don Juan is experimental. lor example we treat it as a play in a play; a perlormance in perlormance. so the lorm dictates the tree version at the text— although I must emphasise we do not cutthe dialogue or leave Moliere's work to lollow our own text. but use the play as it is given. All our work depends on physical and psychological training. every day training lorthree hours in the morning. We work hard at ourtheatre; this is Tumanshvili's method, based on the great directors 01 the past. lor example Stanislavski. Meyerhold and Antonin Artaud.
‘We like Don Juan because it is a mixture at tragedy and comedy. and in Georgian literature and poetry. tun and sadness are always combined. which is a trait ol the Georgian people. who are olten ironic towards themselves so they can laugh at theirlaults. This I think shows great quality 01 character. It is dillicult to explain to you how our interpretation at Don Juan seeks new lorms that retlect our present day reality. because when you
actually see how the actors
are acting and using their bodies. and howthe substance at the show is created by Tumanshvill and our brilliant designer Gogi Meskhishvili. it somehow all comes together to engage in contemporary debate.‘
The Georgian Film Actor’s Studio. with their reputation lor an innovative and rigourous theatre. and their interesting approach to a classic tragi-comedy by the master at French larce. Moliere. should prove to be one at the most stimulating events on the lringe. (Nicola Robertson)
THE FRONT LAWN
In one episode 01 ‘The Story at Robert‘. hall at The Front Lawn‘s current show. Harry Sinclair has to do a series at speedy costume changes on stage. The Front Lawn take no short cuts. He is wearing button llies. ‘We haven't got zips in New Zealand yet' explains Don McGlashan when we rake overthe history at the Front Lawn later.
The duo are seasoned travellers. Sinclair having spent time in Paris and in a cheese shop in Covent Garden and McGlashan having done time in New York.
But their show is. they hope. a New Zealand show. Their name is a NZ phenomenon: ‘In New Zealand we have a lot at lront lawns which is
dillerentlrom the other places in the world we‘ve been to. We just wanted to lit in at home. New Zealand is a more suburban country than people think. Most people think it‘s a big larm.’
Subjects lrom suburbia are the basis at the Front Lawn's shows. ‘We decided to use what was close at hand. We wanted to write about lite around us-an endless cycle ol breaktast. party. breaktast- not about whatwas happening in Russia.’
Past shows have also relied on topics which McGlashan and Sinclair associate with the ordinary and the rest 01 us would label as bizarre. Harry explains. ‘We do a show called “The Washing Machine". It's about washing and guilt and cleanliness and tathers and sons)
Allerlour years olwriting and perlorrning together. the duo describe their happy working relationship as ‘yes. thank you very much.‘ With an album at
two lilms circulating in New Zealand. tame does have its price. ‘I can‘t lace breaktast any more. and I‘m going all parties too.‘ mutters Don. The Front Lawn are on atthe Assembly Rooms (venue 3). Aug 12-Sep 3 (not Mons 22. 29) 6pm. £4.50 (£3.50). [Fr]
Presenting James Bridie's Holy Isle to celebrate his centenary year. the Brunton enjoys the distinction at being the only Scottish company invited to participate in this year’s Festival. a decision which seems to rellect more credibly upon them. than on the Festival planners. lnveterate Fringe-goers may well. however. be lamiliarwith the work at artistic director Charlie Nowosielski. Together with Theatre Alba he was the man responsible lor allowing the clarty-bumm'd trog lrom The Puddok an' the Princess to gain mild notoriety. and large
amounts at allection. alter storming the stages at the Assembly Rooms.
Nowosielski opted tor Holy lsle out 01 a choice at six or seven Bridie plays because olwhat he terms its ‘openness 01 structure'. Since the play ollersthe scope tor lyrical and melodic drama which Bridie's better known plays. set in domestic interiors don‘t. music has been specially composed by Richard Cherns.
This will be thelirst prolessional production at the play since it was staged
in 1943 as the opening production at the newly lormed Glasgow Citizens’ Theatre. It‘s hard to ignore the nagging voice at doubt that asks it there isn‘tsome good reason tor all those years in the wilderness. Nowosielski counters such objections. claiming. ‘lt's very important thatwe pay attention to lesser known Scottish plays. Perhaps Bridie did start well. and then lade oil. but it's still valid to produce intelligent. entertaining productions at his plays. and that's what we're going to do.‘ (Helen Davidson)
Holy Isle. Brunton Theatre Company. Church Hill Theatre. 15—20. 22—27 Aug at7.30pm. 17. 20. 24. 27 Aug at 2.30pm; Brunton Theatre 29 Aug-3 Sept at 7.30pm 31 Aug and 3 Sept at 2.30pm; Churchill £546.50 (matinee all seats 25) Brunton £5 (£3 onthe door) [EIF]
Thelndependent newspaper and Traverse Theatre have teamed up to mount a series at conlerences with acclaimed theatre directors. writers and perlorrners. All are at 11am in the Traverse and entry is tree.
I Johanna Schall olthe Berliner Ensemble. Thurs 18th.
I Yuko Ninagawa. Fri 19th. I Robert Wilson. Sun 21st. IAleksander Gelman. Wed 24th.
I Anatoly Vasiliev. Sat 27th.
I Peter Sellars & Craig Raine. Sun 28th.
I Twenty-Five Years at the Traverse. Tues 30th.
I Richard Luce. Weds 31st I Points ol Departure. Fri 2nd.
Traverse Theatre (venue 15). 226 2633.11am.Frer
The List ‘9— 25 August 1988 3