Tron Theatre. Glasgow

The rumble ofthe Glasgow underground beneath the Tron Theatre stage is strangely apt for the current production of Peter Arnott‘s new play Losing Alec. The ghost of Alec MacSwiney seems to rise from similarly hellish depths up to a set vaguely reminiscent of a ghost train, upon which he haunts his bitter and feuding family.

Losing Alec charts a bizarre day of reckoning forthe MacSwiney family- with the added difficulty that only the widowed Mae can see and hear the revengeful Alec. Arnott and director Michael Boyd pull off this potentially farcical device by using it to articulate the divisive realities of Scotland‘s political past, present and future with whichthe play deals.

The overall feel is not unlike a beefed-up lbsen scenario: the playing out of a psychological encounter session to exorcise the ghostly secrets of the past that infect the present, complete with semi-suicidal climax. That Arnott's writing can withstand this comparison is a measure of its

particular strengths. In a generally coherent mix of sharp humour, psychological realism and political questioning only a couple of limp telephone scenes seem to have escaped rewriting.

Tam's lambasts against the die-hard. party SocialistAlec for peddling false dreams of a sacrosanct Welfare State (snatched away ‘just like the HP took your fridge’ as he protests to Donald) reveal a generation crippled by a lack of confidence and belief. Arnott seems to suggest that to lose Alec, to do away with the ghosts of the past, means exchanging lives based on mistrust and fear for a sense of mutual support and self-worth; politics at the level of experience. That said, Arnott keeps any overt didacticism well in check with the intricate tensions that divide husband and wife, parents and children, brotherand sister.

In a set of solidly convincing performances Peter Mullen stands out as a bullish, gravel-voiced Tam, as does Eileen Nicholas as the stoical but emotive Mae. Phil Macall‘s ghostly Alec is by turns a tortured soul, a gag-a-minute stand-up comic and a psychotic patriarchal vampire - difficult to know exactly what to make of him. Craig Armstrong‘s elegiac swathes of electronic music and sax counterpoint the bleak humour of the dialogue, though the combination sometimes comes close to bathos. (Simon Bayly)


Brunton Theatre, Edinburgh The Warld’s Wonder is a celebration.

Its delight in the tantalising possibilities inherent in every life glintsthroughthe threadbare fairytale of wizardry and true love foiled. Presumably Alexander Reid had a serious purpose in writing the play, but this production by the Brunton Theatre Company does its best to diminish it. Instead of touching simplicity and eager belief in the mysteries, they offer a low-tech, tongue-in-cheek romp which makes heavy progress through the Iight-as-air script.

There are still occasional moments of wonder. Alexander West as the phlegmatic warlock is on the right track with his straightforward treatment of the script and Steve Owen is spectacularly horrible as the Provost. Explosive lighting is used to great effect in the battle of spells between the two wizards, and the musicians, when they are not aping Dr Who, make atmospheric sounds. 0n the whole, however, both the production and the actors seem to be floundering through the play, uncertain of their bearings. Jock and Jeannie, the young lovers, are made ridiculous throughout, their mutual affection, which should make sense of the dark world of self-love, is here not so much naive, as plain daft. The home-made setting falls flat between two stools, neither hi-tech nor mystic. The wayward nature of the production is summed up by its ghastly synthetic Scots which grates in the mouth and on the ear.

Why an accessible, pleasing play like this should be given such treatment by a professional company, I do not know. (Julie Morrice)

ruit/ I’riitrxlinrt'nl and \\ itkau I heatre'x .M’Hiptlltuh riiiti ( 'ti/ttirt'l I'ii/ttrrrt'anti :ttuiin'i II tl\(/(1 Introdtreed In .Ianuv \Iat‘ek

Workshop: Conditions ofVisual Communication Itie 3‘) .\o\.

Ill..‘~llarn noon. LI .5llitll Ihe Poliin theatre group .'\I\ademra Ruehu t:\eadertt\ ot .\IH\CIIIL'III l nlio are here to L1I\L‘\ttlIIC pertor’marteex \ee helon . hold a “or kxhop in llltHL‘lllL‘lII. .\Ia\ lepl.iee\ hook earl}.

Seminar: Art in the Theatre of Life in Poland '1 tie 3‘) .\'o\ . 2.3” ~1..‘\llpm. Free. .\ seminar \\ ith ttIm. \ ILICtl\ and \IILIL‘\

Talk: Polish Theatre in the 1980s the 3*) \ox . 7.3”pm LI. /._\L1llttlltl I Iulsnei. direetor ol the 'I'eatr' I’tt\\\/L‘L‘IIII_\ Ill \Varxan . gn ex a talk about both traditional and experimental theatre irt

Poland iii the first hall of thixdeeade. pointing out hon foreign IL‘xII\;lI\L‘ttll \ometimes gn e a distorted \ ten of \\ hat IS popular Polish theatre.

Everyday Life After the Great French ReVOIUIiDn’I'hurx 1 Dee. ".45prn. SH: RSAMI).

Carthage In 2 Dee. 7.45pm. Sixt- RSAMI).

Talk: Religion and Culture in Poland inthe 19808 Sat 3 Dee. 3pm. LI A taIk In Norman I)a\'ie\. I’t'tde‘xutt' ot Polish History . I'nner'xit} oI [.ondon.

English Lesson Sat .‘~ Dee. spin. U t L: i. The Polish theatre eompan} .-\kademra Ruehtr iii a per'tormartee. \\ hieh. based on the Structure ol art Itrtglixh lesson and thin}: tape and imprm ixation. eonxiderx the restrietions ort L‘Xpl’L‘\\lt)ll.

I TRON THEATRE ()3 'I‘rongate. 55: 43h" h.






[l/[Alflfg THE TRAVERSE THEATRE - 2 2 6 2 6 3 3



Boxtleee'Iue Sat .\'oon 5pm;

Sun 13.3” I lpm. (’oned Honda“. Losing AIeC 'I'htir'x Ill Sun 2" .\'o\ . ".SHpm Merttiteh L3 l {I l; \oti-tttetttttet'\ L4. Premiere ol the latest pIa} In young (ilaxgon pla'xnrrtzht. Peter .-\r'nott. See Re\ ien.

Playreading: Dear Edith Sat In Not. 3,.“IIPIII. .\ ICJLIIILL'. IttIItm L‘tI In it dixeuxsion. of a pla} In .Iessre KL'\\tttt. author of the mueh-praixed tele\ ixron plat I'orr'i t'.\‘t'i viable/flirt III/re. ’I'hixotters adapted Irorn her \hort story about anold noman. In in}; in an old petthe\ home. and the r'e\eaIing letterx she n rites to her lr'iend.

The Way TO GO Home The I" .\'o\ Suit 4 Dee. 7.30pm. £3 lItL‘lltIk‘l'N. L4 ltUlt-IIIL‘IIIIIL‘I'\ New Breed Prodtietionxrn Rona Munro‘s pla} \et. topreall} . in

A 'kedl wit: muszcal anta’ we JO


I trrke} . 'I no Scottish git I\ meet . \\ ItiIe traxellritgin the eountr')‘ ()rtehaxr'eeerith :otne tiorit I'drnhur'gh. the other lr'om \'iearag_'tra. .’\\ they talk ahotrt their

e\per reiteex. the} begin to LII\L'U\ er \\ Itat 'Irorne‘ ttteattx to them A Ittltlt\ . \ iuoroux. intelligent pla} I


I BEDLAM THEATRE I-ot'rext Road. IISI :25 Ni} A Completely Different Situation \Vetk _‘~ti \tix. I .‘~llprn. I .‘tlpm LI rnerithervtlfitl ron-trtemhet \ l pr iee lltL‘IlltIL‘\ ltineh)

-' l‘ I(‘rn a \L‘t'lL‘\ or monologuesahout Irllerertt tormxol olnexxrori. n r'rtterr In ‘Iaudra \\ arr. - Vlacbeth IIIIII\I Sat Ill I)ee(rtol ‘I lie“ )eei. ". ‘llpm (’Itaritx matinee: .‘llpin. sat III I )ee I’Iie Seottrxh Plax III the round See I’alIL'I I

Knackbeth \\ eds " l)ee. I ..‘~l lpm Ll memlterx; Ll 5Hnon-ntemlterxipr‘iee IllL‘IlltIL'\ Itinehi .\\ an antidote to the

ex emu}; prodttetrotr ol .Iltit ltt'l/l. a \pool Mitten In ("olin Ieexait

I BRUNTON THEATRE .\Ill\\L‘II‘Ill3_’II. ho.‘ .“II

The Warld's Wonder new In xm Sat .‘~ Dee. ~15pm :\Ie\atttIet Reid'xrttauieal IIILI Setth plat abut” the pt)“ L‘l\ HI the llIt-ltllltitllttll. \\ rth lllll\le In Rrehard them» See Re\ ten A Frankie-mac-stein the Panto \Vetl " I)ee. ".JSpnt H i L3 Sill I‘irxt \reltt prree L35“ (Lli I he Iirtrnton'x ( 'ltr rxtmax \Iltt\\ IItl\ _\eai l\ urittert In Hand Suan and IttIItt\\\ the lot tunes ot the It.the\\ I Ierdi. proxpeetn e dinner tIl\II tor thegreem (‘otmt I'taitkreattae-stein. Itor all the larniI_\

I EXTRA MURAL DEPARTMENT I 'nrx er \II\ ot I-dinhurgh. l I IItreeIetieh Plaee. ' Video: Le Theatre Contemporain Polonais \Ion 25 NM . “pm LI i L I .5” lot hoth \ereeitingx. tod.n and tomoi ton i. In .t\\t)L‘litIlrlll \\ ith the 'I hrrd I‘.}e'(‘e‘rttr'e'. (i|.|\_uti\\ .tI\ttIttt\[|lt}1 thexe tnoe\ ettt\a\ part ot the ‘Poltxh Realitiex' season. the I'.\Il'tt-.\Itll;tI Department and The Indee. pt'ewrtt a \ tdeo \eteentrtg ol a panorama ot I’ttIl\II theatre III the \e\ L‘tIllC\. Irrtrodtteed In .Iantrv \Iai'ek

Video: Contemporary Alternative Theatre Companies I lie 3‘) Mn . "pin. LI ( LI Sillor thix and the \ereenrn); yesterda} I. More

\ tdeoxer'eeitirm\ ot I’tlIhIl theatre. IIII\ time new ptx from pr‘odtretiottx In .ilteinatix e I’oIixIt theatre eompanrex. Again. introdtreed In .Iantrv .\Iar‘eIe


Facets DI Eve .\Iori II Sat 28 .\'o\ .Spm. LFSHI L2 51H. .\Ionda_\ . tno lor the pr‘tee of one I-ri'en/e ( iurdt. Italian IIL‘IIL‘\\\\IIU has nor'lxed \\ rlh I)ario I'o. lit a programme of one \toman PIL‘L'L‘\\\ r'itten In To and I~ranea Raine. and translated In (itrrdt Itet'wII. I KINGS THEATRE I I e\ ert Street . 33‘) Illll. Iio\()lliee.\1ori Sat Illam 8pm. Bat |I)].II‘.].


Tuesday 29 November: Saturday 7 Jan

Tickets £2.50‘£4.50. From: The Ticket Centre, Candler-i333 TeL' 041-227 5511 For further details contact Wildcat on 041-954 0000

24 The List 25 Nov 8 Dee 1988