welfare state') it covers ()rton‘s turning fortunes with the success of Loot. nominated as play of the year in 1966. his screenplay for the Beatles. I'p Against It and the growing estrangement between him and his lover. Is'enncth llalliwell. whom he met at RADA in 1951. Paul Iidw ards is a cute .Ioe ()rton in dungarees and braces. but. too much the fresh-faced innocent. loses the hard edge of ()rton‘s cockiness and sexuality. Nick chg is excellent as tortured lover. Kenneth l lalliwell. his performance convincing all the way to the horrifying climax of his murder of ()rton. The rest of the company. directed by themselves. offer a strong caIneoof roles with good we ofa well-lit space. Iil'ST's Diary of a Somebody pulls no hard punches. especially after the power of Prick l'p Your liars. but it is a competent production. (.\'ess Raison) I Diary of a Somebody lixetcr l 'niyersity Theatre. Run finished.
A SKETCH OF 802 The life and prolific
w ritingsofCharles Dickens. known to many of his avid readers as Box. serve as the basis of Alan Davis' one-man show at the Bedlam. Dickens has nowadays acquired the somewhat unfair reputation ofepitomizing the age in which he lived. stereotyped as the
Paul Merton in Break A Leg
self-made man. ready to wallow in sentiment and melodrama. whose picture of Christmas entirely colours our expectationsofthe Yuletide season.
Davis somewhat redresses the balance. presenting a very credible portrayal of both the private and public life of the novelist. emphasizing the influence that his childhood experiences of poverty had on his work. and the unhappiness of his married life.
As a raconteur Davis is in his element. switching effortlessly from the tribulations of young David Copperfield to Sam Sawyer‘s abortive supper party. to the malevolent Fagin. replete with pilfercd goods.
Although it's debatable how well any actor can convey the infinite diversity and detail of the Dickensian world. afficiandos of the novels will appreciate Davis‘ leisurely and knowledgeable examination ofthe novelist‘s life. (llelen Davidson)
I A Sketch of 801 ()uilp Productions. Bedlam 'I’heatre.(Venue 49) 225 9893 L'ntil 3 Sept. £3 (£2.50)
NEW PLAY DEAR MISS AMERICA
The problem ofsuccess and failure runs deep through American drama. Whether this is the foremost concern of your average American or just the all-consuming influence of Arthur Miller is hard to say. but when it results in such sad and human plays as Erin Sander's Dear .Iliss America it can only be a good thing.
Set in a cold and derelict house. the play is a blend ofmemory. flashback and monologue where two one-time lovers — both now failures in theirown way — reassess the emptiness oftheir past. Joanna Alder plays Julianne. an ex-Miss America. obsessively superficial and determined to paint the world with a colourful cosmetic gloss. Scott Sower is Ray. an unshaven. nervous down-and-out. still broken-hearted from Julianne leaving their humdrum small town for the glamour of international fame. Haunted by ghosts from the past and the present. they struggle to find the real values behind the
FESTIVAL THEATRE _
sheen ofsuccess. “But the pictures fade .’ says Julianne. ‘And they ain't worth looking at.‘ Familiar territory perhaps. but retrodden with compassion and insight. (Mark Fisher).
I Dear Miss America Dear Miss America Project. Moray llottse L'nion (Venue 108) 5565184. I'ntil 3 Sept. Spm. £2.50 (£1.50).
NEW PLAY THE EARLY GIRL
It's hard to tell what playwright Caroline Kava is trying to do in this behind the scenes domestic saga of life in a brothel. It certainly doesn't require two hours to restate the cliche that women work as prostitutes for the money and that believe it or not they have their own special personalities deep down. Not that there is very much special about the seven characters who spend the play running to and fro first in swim suits then in evening (un)dress taking time to swap a bit of inconsequential dialogue and a quick giggle inbetwcen. For all the difference it makes. this could have been a behind the scenes peek at a hamburger joint. Maybe that was the point.
The plot — in as much as there is one — concerns the arrival into the brothel of a new girl who intends to make a fast buck in order to support her baby daughter and then to get out again. The ‘moral‘ seems to be that the system can suck you in if you’re not careful. but don't worry because you‘ll probably have quite a good time anyway. Whatever happened to feminism?
‘Funnyand devastating.‘ said the programme. I wasn't devastated and I didn't laugh. (Mark Fisher)
I The Early Girl American Festival Theatre. The Royal Scots Club (Venue 57). 557 5091.18; 3Sept. 10pm. £3.50(£2.50).
— WOMAN or HIROSHIMA
Coming to terms with the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is perhaps the most significant task of 20th-century Japanese culture. and this monologue (last in a series ofthree by Shimako Murai) focuses not on the well documented but mercifully remote events themselves. but on the legacy of trauma—
genetic. emotional and familial — which is still claiming victims. One such victim is the young woman. portrayed here by Chieko Kurihara. who is now under therapy. and has buried her uncertain past deep in her subconscious.
Conceived at a I liroshima peace rally in 1950 by parents carrying radiation-related illnesses. she has roamed the city as an orphan. living on her wits. until she unwittingly befriends her father. Years later. on discovering the truth. the father opts for suicide. attempting to take his daughter with him. She survives. but the trauma liveson within her. ()nly by releasing it can she confront her memories and act upon their implications. through a commitment to nuclear disarmament.
This is a sincere and simple performance. which appeals to rationality as much as to emotional response. It is both documentary and bewitchingly dramatic. and should not be missed by anyone wishing to understand mode rn Japan. (Andrew Burnet) I Woman OtHiroshima Traverse (Venue 15) 226 2633. Until 3 Sept. 5pm. £5 (£2.50)
— SATANIc MILLS
The chances are ifyou're walking along Broughton Road around quarter to four you‘ll find people booting with laughter. muttering the Federation. Mammon and Magpie Man. Foundation Theatre lend hilarity to the problems faced by Britain‘syoung unemployed. Peter from Geordieland has a modern odyssey beset by all the horrors ofthe South East. pseuds corner intellectualese. health food demonstrators. work slaves. multi-nationals. high prices.
In an anarchic piece. short scenes knock up against each other as Newcastle United. modern myths. William Blake‘s vision ofAlbion. and an apocalyptic view of our own industrial society merge into this powerful indictment of our own age. Paul Cleasby. an increasingly desperate Peter. charms by his innocence whilst holding the banner for individual dignity in a performance both energetic and poignant. Julie Lowery. Grant Lewington and Tony Kingston double up as inscrutable Japanese. romantic girlfriend. angry
commentators as fact and fiction are jumbled upin this Blakean vision ofour times in a most imaginative staging. A clever. compelling powerful piece. (Tinch Minter)
I Satanic Mills. Foundation Theatre Company. Arter theatre. Rifle Lodge. (venue 101) 557 1785. Until 3Sept. 10pm. £3.
_ REASONS FOR THE BEGINNING or DELIGHT
With a fusion of words and movement the three-woman cast of Plath Taucher's Reasons ForThe Beginningof Delight depict a transformation. It isthat of the innocent young girl. suffering badly from anxiety. poor self-image and the inability to express herselftoa streetwise. self-confident and beautiful woman. The latter state isapparently the Delight referred to in the title; a state only women in glossy magazines ever seem to attain.
In a little under an hour. Plath Taucher‘s show traces the rocky route taken by our green heroine through various potentially soul-destroying. but in actual fact highly educational temp jobs. Iler bizarre experiences as a typist. stuffed-dolly TV model and overworked dish-washer open her eyes tothe banality ofthe life that had previously seemed so threatening. Thus. now enlightened. she embarks on the Beginningof Delight!
It’s a modern moral tale which is exploited to humorous effect by Sara Plath's sharp-wilted text. Tacher's choreography is also rich; the intricate movement motifs develop and layer with ﬂuidity and are danced with freshness and clarity throughout.
I Reasons torthe Beginning of Delight Southside International. Mon 15 Aug-Sat 3 Sept. 5pm. £3.50 (£2.50).
Tommy's girl has more than her fair share of adolescent problems. Life is tough at the top ofthe social ladder. Not only has she been given the name Marky. but she has a wicked stepfather called Valentine. He shows his embarrassment by mumbling. in the vain hope that no one will notice him. This is difficult
because he is central tothe plot. determined to force Marky to marry his partner's son.
Unfortunately Marky falls in love with Tommy. a former leader ofthe punks. lle istryingto become a self-employed mechanic so he can break away from a life where the highpoint is a gig by the Wild Pigs. The scene is set for a tragedy oftruly Neighbours proportions.
Alan Ayckbourn gave this play the \Vorld Student Drama Trust Award. He must be wonderfully perceptive to see the hidden depths in this piece. (Nick Dudley) I Tommy's Girl National Student Theatre Company. Southside International. (venue 82) 667 7365. Until 20Aug 8.45pm. £3 (£2)
HIDING BEHIND THE LINES
Four claimants at the Leeds Housing Benefit ()ffiee are increasingly subjected to indignity by the Officials. One by one they are put through various forms of torture — by cold. by endless waiting. petty questioning. inhumanity. When one finally refuses to be crushed by bureaucracy and starts smashing the place up. it leads nowhere.
Cast Iron Touring Co take the action at a very slow pace. much could have been tightened up so that we really cared about the desperate four. Malcolm Giles. writer and director could have cut some parts heavily. daring the audience to join tip various elements. But asa comment on man's inhumanity to man. on the all powerfulness ofthe computer. the sheer waste of being kept waiting for a pittance. few punches were left unpulled. But they'd have had more force ifthe piece had had less repetition. The hopelessness had few glimmers. and Lyn Voyce chilled us even more through a performance personifying sadness tinged with maternalcare. (Tinch Minter)
I Hiding Behind the LInesCast Iron touring Company. St Philip‘s Church. Logie Green Road. (venue 8) Run Finished.
This young troupe from New York City perform three one act plays written by Rick Balian. In ‘The
The List 2 — 15 September 198815