The comment upon reality and illusion is appropriate in a piece about role-playing and stereo-typing. Sganarelle and Don Juan argue constantly about the right way ofconduct in society. and this leads them to dark and mysterious encounters with ghosts conjured from the grave to the strains ofjazz trumpets. The final image of Don Juan sailing proudly forth in a boat full of his pretty conquests. reinforces the idea that he is less the philandering rogue and more the reckless hero than the text might lead one to believe. l lowever both Zurab Kipshidze (Don Juan) and Amiran Amiranashvili (Sganarelle) provide
delightful interpretations oftheir characters.
This is a rare opportunity to see highly trained actors. performing at their best. in a play. which despite the language barriers. is well worth seeing. (Nicola Robertson)
I Don Juan (ieorgian l’ilm Actors. Assembly Rooms (venue 3). 2262427 8. Until 27 Aug. 3.45pm. £5 (£4).
BAGLAOY Enveloped in dirty rags. weighed down by a bag of heavy iron chains. the Baglady' relentlessly tramps the tiny dark stage of the Traverse. a compulsive. harrowing and pitiable figure.
The play. premiered here in [Edinburgh by the Bristol ()ld Vic Company. last week won a much-deserved Fringe first award. This one-woman show prompts almost any emotion except indifference. and Frank Mc(iuiness' script allows Sorcha (‘usack. unrecognizany crone-like. to give a stunningly powerful performance.
‘My father.‘ she tellsus a little too insistently. ‘was a fine man. and we lived in a fine house.‘ The talk turns to dark. brooding secrets. menacing threats from father. and finally the pains of labour. Deliberately. no overt explanation is given. and i the gradual realization of l the crime inflicted upon this woman gains in impact. The sinister. gurgling music that sporadically accompanies the action. adds to the impression of a life lived in the sewers.
Not a play for the faint of heart — the scene where the baglady scourges the stage with her chains. ten inches from the front row of the audience w as overwhelming ~ this show knows how to play ttpoii the imagination. to force an audience. however unwilling. to listen to harsh. unpalatable. yet deeply moving truths. (llelen Davidson).
I Baglady Bristol Old Vic. Traverse Theatre (‘ompany . (venue 15) 226 2633 l'ntil 28 Aug 5pm. 30 Aug—3 Sept 9.30pm. £5 (£2.50 at Traverse only)
Debbie lsitt is going to be a big name on the Fringe. Following last year's invigorating Iiusl. her company Snarling Beasties returns with another cracker. (iungylt’rs . which she wrote. directed and performs in ensemble with four actors.
This reworkingof familiar Brando Pacino dc .\'iro territory manages to extract new resonances from well established
THE llST'S TOP SHOWS
subject matter (oddly male-dominated for a female writer but nonetheless convincingly written). but I suspect that the sheer joy of choreographed aggression was the main attraction for Ms lsitt. who evidently runs a tight ship. for tlIisis among the most well drilled shows I have seen. There is an exaggerated yct controlled swagger about everything. a ribald and satirical sense of humour. a non-stop
sw itchingol mood and location. all at amphetamine pace.
lnventive staging and
lighting minimise rise of props and scenery . for which the naked portrayal of squalid y alues and sexual pow erplay is all the more y ivid. All five ofthe cast have precision and vigour in abundance: they has e no fear ofshocking. which w ill alienate some audiences. but is more than justified by this thrilling performance. (Andrew Burnet)
I Gangsters Snarling Beasties. lleriot Watt Theatre ( Venue 7) 22‘) 3574. l'ntil 3 Sept. l.30pnI. £3 ( £2.50)
WHEN THE WORLD WAS YOUNG
This is (‘lyde l'nity' Theatre's third year at the l‘ringc. and it looks like being as much of a success as their previous visits. The vital ingredients in this are of course the plays ofJohn Binnie. Written for the company. When I/lt’ World was Young explores the friendship of a gay boy with three girls
from their school days to the point when he decides to come out. Binnie’s premiss is that our characters are really fully formed by the time we are four or five. and so the largest part of the play is devoted to the children.
The observations in this part of the play are extremely acute and extremely funny — especially. but not exclusively. if like me you are the product ofa (ilasgow primary school - and the sudden change to dramatic crisis in the second part. when they are grown up. can seem a bit hurried. But Binnie‘s aim is not just to entertain but to educate. At a time when (‘lause 28 looks like putting the gay clock back many years. people need to be informed and their opinions changed. When the ll’orld ll’us Young should enhance the reputation. both critical and popular. of a fine playwright and a fine company. (Kasia Boddy) I When the World Was Young ('lyde L'nity Theatre. Masonic Lodge (venue -ll ) 225 7294. 25. 27. 2‘). 3l Aug and 2 Sept. b.30pm. £3 (£2)
FROM A JACK TO A KING
lfthc Bard aint turnin' in his gray c. then he sho‘ is rcelin' an' a-rockin‘ in it. This show is a midnight tonic for anyone suffering from l-ringc l’atigue. lrreverently based on .lftlt'ht’I/l. w ith snatches of The ('ompletc Works throw n in. it sounds at times like Berkoff‘s bastardised Shakespearean. with the one difference that the company launch into blistering live renditions of rock'n'roll classics at the drop of an iambic pcntameter. Bob(‘arlton’s simple but clever script tells the story of aspiring pop-star liric(ilamis ( laterThane ('awdor). who removes his rival'l‘erry Kingby sabotaging his motorbike (‘Is this a spanner which I see before incl"). which results in a heart-rending if predictable leader of the Pack and a Banquoesquc haunting to the strains of 'Shakin' All User. (Set the picture'.’ Yes. we see here a loud. brash. irresistibly funny send-up of both the Scottish play and the music biz. a late night show lcan guarantee won't let you fall asleep. (Andrew Burnet) I From A Jack To A King London Touring (‘ompany . Marco's leisure (‘cntre ( \‘enue
98) 228 2179. Until 3 Sept. midnight. £3 (£2.50).
— HAMLET INSPIRED
Alan Leigh. one ofthe founders of Lordsof Misrule. performs an adaptation of Jules Laforgue‘s Hamlet which has echoes ofJoycean delight in word play and Shakespeare rippling across its fast and polished surface. Leigh acts out the slightly crazed. paranoic. cynical young Hamlet. with an astonishing energy and skill which absorbs ourattention. Elsinore becomes an existentialist nightmare of familiarity. fear and black humour. with the grave-yard taking centre-stage.
llamlet‘s musings upon life and death are treated with wry humour. but this does not prevent the endless flow of‘ words. words. w-ords'. which pour out of the actor as he tranforms into different characters: Ophelia. deranged with ﬂowers in her hair. and the Players. Kate and Will (perhaps the great William Shakespeare himselfl). who gradually steal the show. and change the course of fictional llamlet’s life. Shakespeare‘s llamlet. we know, kills the evil ('laudius in the end. but the hero in Leigh's performance prefers (iothic romance and a melancholy exit from the stage. (Nicola Robertson) I Hamlet Inspired l.ords of Misrulc. Southsidc International (venue 82). Until 3 Sept. 9.50pm. £2.50 (£2). Tel:667 7365.
A DAY IN HOLLYWOOD/A NIGHTIN THE UKRAINE
Why Frank Lazarus and Dick \'osburgh insist on dragging the audience through an overly long tribute to the 1930's l lolly-wood is anybody\ guess. While the 20songs and assorted dances in .'l Davin Hollywood are cute and reflect the movie capital'sfantasy image. sitting there was like earning your passage to the Lkraine.
()nce the curtain liftson .‘l .Vig/II III the (fit mine. you are magically transported to a compilation of ev ery Marx Brothers film. As Serge Samovar. the broke lawyer from Moscow , Michael Roberts walks and talks like a born again (iroucho and is near perfect in the role. Frank
Lazarus is very good as Chico and Paula Jensen captures Margaret Dumont. If you miss the Marx Brothers. don't miss this show. lt‘snothing short of wonderful. (Kerry Napuk)
I A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine Borderline Theatre. Moray l louse Theatre (Venue (11 ). L'ntil 3 Sept (not Mons). 7.30pm (and 2.30pm on 27. 3l Aug& 3 Sept)£5 (£4).
- MALCOLM x: REMINISCENCES OFA REVOLUTIONARY
ln l-‘rank (irecnwood‘s one man play . Malcolm X returnsto lilc. actingashis own compcrc to highlight pivotal points in his life. Addressing his ‘brothers and sisters.' Malcolm becomes a child facing danger w hen racists torch his family home; an aspiring teenager put down by a once respected teacher; and Detroit Red. the bustling. draft dodging flash artist in l larlem. whose career w as interrupted by a l0year stretch for burglary While in prison. Malcolm converted to lslam and made a devout commitment to the w inged messenger. lzlijah Muhammad. lashingout at the w hite dcy il. Malcolm w as an articulate lealot willing toyicld his life at any time for the cause. In recognition of hisamazingcncrgy and ability. lilijah made Malcolm the Muslim Nation's spokesman. (irccnwood details how the [\so leaders lcll otll. which lead to Malcolm’s assasiIIatIon III 1005 after returning from Mecca. l'nfoitunatcly. (ii'ecnwood does not explain Malcolm's transformation in prison or point to w ho murdered him. ()thei'w Ise. this play is brilliant. Damone Paul Jackson. not only looks like Malcolm. but he is forceful and conyincing right down to that knowing throaty chuckle. This show is about the most significant. fascinating and powerful grassroot black man in American history (iosee ll. then read Malcolm X‘s Autobiography ( Kerry \apuk) I Malcolm X: Reminiscences ofa Revolutionary New Voices from America. (’haplaincy ('enfre. (Venue 23 ). l‘ntil 3 Sept. 9pm ( 2b ck 27 .-\ug)and 1.30pm (2‘) Aug until 3 Sept). £3.50tt3).
The List 26 Aug— 1 Sept 198813