however. The Funera'lumsoullo be a orooosea ‘iunolesale‘-ouchl. songs : Withthe exception ofa cardboard
iaifllf lightweight play. in “mic” and music (mostly played live in an j cut-out soldier. the acting is uniformly
Personal issues greatly OUlweigh appealingly rough and ready style) and i strong. Jamie Newall plays Donal
DO'ilica' 0'193- The SlTUCiUTe iSlYDica' confessional monologues. While it Davoren—a poetmistakenfora
; ("black comedlESI olenivlauohsto restsinthe area olgleeful. anarchic gunman onthe run—with endearingly
i sadllceihe aUdience iNACionefhefe fantasy. it‘sreally very enjoyable: but relaxed charm. He is matched and
"18 engagingly Silaka script is there are oddly intrusive little bursts of surrounded by a set of splendidly sometimes a Siel) ahead 0' Slightly rather strained naturalism here and reaIised character5_ no-0“ too
‘ "Dacr'ferleafsed delivery) iONOWGU tllf there which tend to interrupt the perfect, no-one too wicked -who go
some carefully“de sungsmmetail' ec'ecmﬂow O'lh'll'sand Sllills. abouttheirbusiness while outsidethe
? 'l'save'ywe'made Wall. inWthMhe This kind ofshow relies on an ability I British soldiers,the echo ofgunfire and six characters‘ interactions conspirein : to sweepan audience otmsteetand the night_nme cuﬂewsimpmge onthe"
an unstilted waytorevealtheirinner sucktttntothetun and excitemento, danyrounne. “west . . 2 not knowing whatto expect next. At Being distanced from the political
Atthe centrels Phil McCall‘s bluff i Glasgow‘s Third Eye Centre. the situation in Dublinbythe bestpart of70;
3 33'“ macnonaldv be“ mend 0' "‘9 reception was appreciative but laid years. the production could have
deceased. 3" UNSh3kab|e biQOiWho back. andlfeltthatsomehow our ' worked harderto putthe playin I lhealreollheCiiilenS'Thealfe.8M1 Willhave nothing bUllU'lomnge expectations had notbeentultilled. context. Ilitwas D’Casey'sbeliefthat l againitmakes excellentuse olthe , honours atMcWilliam‘sfuneral. Crisis Maroonedts atEdinburgh's Theatre ' warproducesonlyinnocentvictims. it I Space- I “W'stwgh'he 3":V313'?" m 1 Workshop. See Listings. ' should have been possible to draw out
The naturallyclaustrophobic effecto ‘unsui a e‘minis er y ar emos that ointmore clean “H” mm arrs
. the stage areaisaready metaphorfor difficultpart, played withlimited THE CHAPLIN OBSESSION diregtion putsthe emghasigon g
‘ the subtletreacheries of success by Taiwo Payne)whois Netherbow. Edinburgh. Now ontour. naturalistic period reconstruction with Shakespeare’s play andforRichard‘s incidentally ableto provide an With htstegs entangledtnatauen ; aconsequemdilmion ottheelemems scheming. But. directorJon Pope. interesting perspective on sectarian chair, cnartes ctutchesa (mutant 3 ofirony_eventragedy_thatunderlie
makes usetoo olthe space above and : violence. Asubplotalso emergesfrom vodka and stares despairingly athis the play. This makestoran bel0Wthe actors.Thereisadefinitelv = UDSDORBD miSQiVings between Charlie Chaplin poster. How bestcan entertainingand absorbing 90
; medievalleeltothe production. Inthe i MacDonald‘sdaughterand hegivealecture onthe maestro of minutes, butitundercutstheforce 0t
7 heavensagoldenangelhangs highin , McWilliam‘s sonzafrustrated romantic silentmovies? Growing increasingly the play‘s climax which shouldreally
RICHARD THE THIRD
Citizens' Theatre. Glasgow This is the second of three productions to be performed in the temporary studio
j the rafters and in a fiery hell beneath the stage dirty deeds are done and bodies deposited (through a trap door). Asiftoindicatethetraditionalnotion of ‘ Fortune. Richard is ‘crowned' high up on the balcony. Throughoutthis production. with its carefully choreographed wheeling olcharacters about the stage. seems to be anticipating Richard‘s eventual fate. The certainty of the presence of good and evil in this production. ratherthan an amoral void. wastorme reinforced by the period 19403 costumes. Although there is certainly no attempt in Ciaran Hinds‘ sensually reptilian performance to mimic the Fuhrer. there are echoes here of the Second World War. Stephen MacDonald as Buckingham gives a considered and natural performance as a man half tempted by the allure of evil and half entranced by it. Like the German people. one feels. had he lived. he might have woken from a nightmare. The production is not without its problems. lttakes a long while to gather momentum and demonstrate real emotion — and throughout. the women neverseem to escape the role of rathertwo dimentional ciphers prone to hystrionics. Nevertheless. the production is an achievementwhich indicates. afterthe slightly disappointing adaptation of Frankenstein earlierinthe year. that Pope is a director who has found his form. (Nigel Billen)
Tron Theatre. Glasgow The decayed orange colour scheme of ; suitably named Orangeman William McWilliam‘sflat in an otherwise desertedtenementisthesettingfor The Funeral. Hector MacMiIlan‘s sequel to his controversial and successful comedy of sectarianism The Sash. It‘s an appropriate environment for a play about abandoning the comforts of outmoded beliefs and moving out into an uncertain future. Forallthe heavy symbolism.
. interestthatleedsthe play‘sfinal
climax. in which MacDonald is forced to re-examine his loyalties. Young Willie MacDonald (an amiably gallus performance from Ewan Bremner) provides a fresh irreverence to counterbalance his grandfather's prejudices. while Dorothy Paul‘s Mrs MacDonald is a sharply observed embodiment ofwell meaning ignorance.
Maudlin sentimentality threatensto set in at the ending. whose eventual implictions are a little hard to believe. butthis is generallyaverytruthtul and enjoyable comedy, offering a lull measure of bark with its bite. (Andrew Burnet)
The People Show. Third Eye Centre, Glasgow ‘Marooned’ is the 93rd People Show in their 22 years' existence, and comes to Scotland with the recommendation of almost every reputable critic in London, so I‘m loath to confess it left me somewhat cold. It‘s a peculiar kettle of plastic fish, inflatable parrots, bad jokes. good humour, hedonistic spontaneity, wild, shrieking jazz, fantasy, enthusiasm and rather vague social comment. It is set on a desert island which is also a traffic island, where a palm tree which is also a streetlamp dangles coconuts which are also cider bottles. When rubbed, these summon the Genius genie from the Gents‘ at the back of the island.
The inhabitants are six refugees from society, who have made the island their home, rejecting all comers to
' preserve theirunpeacetul
co-existence. From their interactions and comments to the audience a theme begins to emerge which equates the savagery of ‘primitive‘ and ‘civilised‘ life. Not terribly original, but presented in a way which is unique. Self-evidently devised and directed by the group, the show comprises a succession of bizarre sketches (in one of which the Salvation Army arrive and
drunk as he wrestles with the problem. he disregards the theatre manager‘s acid remark that ‘a film lecture isn't a pantomime'. and proceeds to turn it into one.
A superb mime artist who quickly creates a rapport with his audience. Mark Saunders brings us a flickering outline ofthe small genius‘s life. from miserable origins and rapid success to exile and old age in Switzerland. with his immortal. dog-eared boots locked inthe safe.
Using a variety of simple props. including a series of slides with flashed captions. and an obliging member of the audience. Saunders gives a kaleidoscopic. occasionaly rambling performance. conjuring the intimacy of a music-hall act. While his portrayal of the lecturer is loose and repetitive. and his ideas could be more crisply effected, his infectious energy and uncannily exact renderings of classic Chaplin sketches almost convince you that the real Charlie is clacking his way acrossthe stage. (Rosemary Goring).
SHADOW OF A GUNMAN
Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh. Every holey sock. every up-turned bed brought a rustle of disapproval from the party of blue-rinse ladies making up a sizable proportion of the Royal Lyceum‘s first night audience. Sean D‘Casey‘s play is set in an early twentieth century Dublin slum tenement recreated with a keen eye for detail by Gregory Smith’s imposineg realistic set. Upon this backdrop— arguably veering towards the Bohemian — D‘Casey's rich and colourful characters emerge from every possible doorway, casually imposing themselves on the lives of theirall-too-close neighbours. It seems imposible for any two people to be left alone together for more than a couple of minutes. D'Casey structures his play—first performed in 1923—to accentuate the continual flow of ideas and egos in this close-knit working class community.
leave us with a stronger after-taste. What we‘re left with is an amusing and diverting drama (‘Different‘ said some blue—rinse ladies). but one with little political bite. (Mark Fisher).
THE DIARY 0F ANNE FRANK
Brunton Theatre. Musselburgh. This stage adaptation of the famous book is less a story of Nazi oppression
than a picture of people living in
uncomfortably close quarters foran uncomfortably long time. Despite the concentration camp barbed wire that
i surrounds Nick Sargent‘s set, the thing that holds our attention is not the ; outrage of fascism. but the cross-fire of
human emotion as eight people hide away in a slow. painful. psychological pressure cooker.
Two Jewish families in hiding from
the German army in Amsterdam
undergotheinevitabletensionthattwo months. let alone two years. of living in i claustrophobic exile bring. It is a fascinating. intense study. Greed, anger. rivalry. jealousy. romance, irritation. fear: by the end of Charles I Nowosielski‘s production it is a relief to g be freed from thatsharp edge of raw emotion.
It is this human appeal of the diary that attracted a full house on the first night at the Brunton and the audience is rewarded with a sensitive. rather ' earnest, production. Lucinda Baillie as Anne lacks some of the charisma which ; would have made her descent into the gas chambers at the end of the play even more chilling, but hers is a confident. well-paced performance which gives the play cohesion and avoids the precociousness thatthe role could encourage. Aside from some inconsistent accents and a tendency to match the occasional over~explicitness of the script with bouts of melodramatic acting. Baillie is given firm support from the rest of the cast. It's not a production that brings you to tears, but it is one that leaves a sad, dead silence at the end of the night. (Mark Fisher).
24 The List 14— 27 October 1988