THEATRE LIST - i“
Hiding from the sudden
violence of the Easter Rising, ,, and ultimately seeking
/ each other. Unfortunately, the unusual
setting cannot raise from the doldrums
7’ . ' l the hackneyed scenario of a mother ' discovering her illegitimate child, and there is no fun in watching a character stumbling blindly towards a realisation which the audience grasped in the first five minutes.
Ian MacNeil has designed a clever set, and Ace McCarron and Martin Ross paint a convincing atmosphere with dank pools of light, plinks of water and crunching gunfire, but the difficulty of doing anything very interesting in the restricted space has flummoxed director Ian Brown, who leaves Grace Glover, Fiona Kane and the audience to get through it as bestthey can with all eyes on the light at the end of a long, dark play.
Stuart Hepburn’s intelligent and timely play, Loose Ends, makes a strikingly successful piece of theatre. A squalid sprawl of smelly quilts and odd squares ofcarpet is the tangibly awful background to a small but aching tragedy. Spud, a chancer with an impressive line in patter, picks up Callum, a runaway from Skye who is slowly slipping into deep trouble on the Glasgow streets. At first this is a jerky comedy, sharp one-liners lighting up in sudden flashes the loneliness of each character but keeping the tone blackly humorous. The change when it comes is instantaneous, but sure-footed. Stuart McDuarrie and Forbes Masson
are a seamless double-act playing the range of bleak emotions with admirable maturity, neverslipping into
Clocking Out at the Traverse. See review.
This year the Traverse has been able to offer four young Scottish writers an £800 commission for a one-act play. Aileen Ritchie, founder member of Clyde Unity Theatre and John McKenzie, whose play Busted was recently toured by Mandela Theatre, are two of the lucky ones and their work opened the Spinning A Line season in a double bill.
McKenzie‘s Clocked Out is a not so short, sharp shock of a play set in a police cell (though, it seems, rather by default than any clear intention) where Doug flashes back to mind-numbing days in a steelworks and to life on the dole with junkies for friends. Doug rails guiltin from the margins of a society which he rejects, but which has also rejected him and the ghost of his socialist father looms from the past to push the point home. Ultimately, this is fairly morbid ‘state of the nation’ stuff, spiced with a grim humour that is in danger of becoming standard for new Scottish writing. Under Ben Twist’s direction, Forbes Masson imbues Doug with a nervous energy which helps
. ‘ ~ - Ag Asking For it at the Traverse. See review.
Initially, the play seems firmly self-punitive, as the obnoxious young writer Claude is confronted by his mother, a sensitive, private woman clearly mortified by her family's portrayal in his debut play.
But as portions of Claude’s script mingle with the ‘real‘ action, we begin to perceive its brutal truths, including some niggling revelations about the father's relationship with his daughter. What Claude has invented is a series of confrontations, in which home truths are aired and fought out bythe lictional mother and daughter, who are stronger versions of their truth-burying counterparts.
Claude fails to penetrate his family’s self-defensive shields, though a culminating scene with the lather conlirms his accusations. But does the Truth help any? Tremblay does not offer a firm answer, but a sharp, moving family drama, in which
unite the play’s fragmentary structure, fﬂlvglhigﬁilgtg)‘ Toronto's Tarragon Theatre (which has but the over-riding impression is of a gremgered English versions of most of writer whose obvious skills haven't yet rem lay‘s plays) is thoroughly produced a dramatic language to THE REAL WORLD? effective.
Co-translator and director Bill Glassco makes careful use of symmetry to stress the play's structural duality, while Michael McManus manages to create 3 Claude to whom we warm gradually. But the best of a fine cast is Clare Coulter, who brings such pain to the role ofthe real mother that we can sympathise with her feeling — the play's crux—that art is too dangerous to fool around with. (Andrew Burnet)
measure up to his political commitment.
Asking For It by Aileen Ritchie is less ambitious and, in its characterisation, more obviously drawn directly from personal experience, which is both its strength and its weakness. With the story of two working class women (who wait at private functions or sell ice-cream at the bingo) on a night out with a visiting yuppie businessman, Ritchie is on home ground which she explores with both wit and confidence ] and Grace Glover gives the best I performance of the evening as the older of the two friends. The issues of social and sexual exploitation linger beneath the surface but the fairly genteel humour make sure they stay there. Ritchie doesn't really ask much of her audience and modesty seems to be the play's chief virtue. In its own terms, it succeeds— but without having risked anything whatsoever— and risk is what small-scale commissions like this should be all about. (Simon Bayly) i See listings.
SPINNING A LINE2
Suspension of disbelief takes on new
1 meaning in a play set down a
] well-shaft. Andrew Readman's Politics ! Dr Blood has two Irish women hiding
] and seeking in this unlikely spot.
Tron Theatre, Glasgow. Run finished. As a young man, Michel Tremblay wrote plays criticising society. Later, he wrote a play criticising himself as a young man. His previous piece, Albertine ln Five Times (seen at Edinburgh's Traverse Theatre in 1986) was a thinly disguised biography of his aunt Robertine. In his most recent play The Real World?, he questions whether an artist is entitled to imitate life so closely.
Loose Ends at the Traverse. See review.
ﬂ I DRAMA CENTRE 126 Ingram Street. 552 5827. [Access: P. ST. Facilities WS. G. Help: A. AA]. Jan 8: Tam, OK Sat .3 June. 2.30pm. See (iIasgow L'niversity. Drama Studio.
Water ol LileTue I3June-Sat I7June. 7.30pm. Strathclyde Theatre (iroup in a cheerful new thriller by Chris Ballanee based on the story ol~ Burke And Hare.
I EAST KILBRIDE VILLAGE THEATRE Maxwell Drive. 03552 48669.
East Kilbride Arts Festival timil Sat 3June. Iiast Kilbride goes all cultural for a week of theatre. entertainment. art. music and community events. l'ntil Fri 2 June there will be busking and street entertainment in Princes Square and Princes Mall from
I lam—3pm. See Folk Listings and Cabaret for further details.
A View From the Bridge at Murray Hall. Fri 2 June. Arthur Miller's modern classic set in docklands New York is a tragic tale of misplaced alTection.
The Amorous Prawn wed l4~Sat l7June. 7.30pm. £2.50 (£1 .50) except Wed 14 £1.50. The Fast Kilbride Rep'I'hcatre Club have a shot at this popular play.
I GLASGOW ARTS CENTRE I 2 Washington Street. 22| 452i). [Accessz I’I’A. R. Facilities: WC. R. (i. Help: A. AA].
A new writing season begins on 21 June. I GLASGOW UNIVERSITY DRAMA STUDIO l'nivcrsity Avenue. 33‘) 8855.
Jan Gr Tam, OK Thurs I -Sat 3. Thurs «5; Fri 8pm: Sat 9.30pm. Free. Multi-media. work-in-progress by Clanjamfrie making use of live and recorded video. See Preview.
I KINGS THEATRE Bath Street. Box Office. Mon~Sat noon-~opm. 4 bars. Phone bookings. Ticket Centre. Candleriggs. Mon-Sat I0.30am—(w.30pm. 041227 55] I. lAccess: P. 1.. Facilities: WC. R. (i. Help: A. AA].
The King‘s is taking a summer break and will rc-open on 7 August.
I MARYHILL COMMUNITY CENTRAL HALL Maryhill Road.
The MidsummerDream l4 and 15June. 7.30pm. 50p (25p). Performed by Maryhill Youth Theatre.
I MITCHELL THEATRE (iranville Street. 221 3198. Box Office Mon-Sat noon—6pm. Bar. Cafe. Tickets also available from the Ticket Centre. Candleriggs. 227 551 l Mon-Sat 10.30am- (i.30pm. [Accessz I’I’A. ST. Facilities: WC. WS. (i. R. B. Help: A. AA].
Smike l 'ntil Sat 3 June. 7.30pm & Sat Mat 2.30pm. 1.3 (£1.50). A good time for Dickens this. While the Citizens reinterprets :I 'l'ule of 'I‘wo ( Trim. the Mitchell Theatre for Youth has a bash at this pop musical by Roger Holman and Simon May w hich is freely based on Nicholas Nickle/iv. Lots of good tunes. movement. colour and humour.
Next production starts 3 July.
I PAISLEY ARTS CENTRE New Street. Paisley. SS7 llllll. Box ()fficcopen
Tue Sun noon S.3(lpm. Bar(open
noon IlpniTue Sat; I230 2.30pm & (v30 llprn Sun. Meals served). Cafe (open noon» 1 1pm). [Accessz PI’A. ST. Facilities: WC. WS. F. (i. R. B. Help: A. AA]. The People Museum Fri 2 .lunc. 8pm. £4 (£2). Metro Theatre Company in a play set in a museum whose exhibits are live human beings.
Hitler's Women Sat 3 June. 8pm. £3 (£1.50). Foursight Theatre's study ofthe two women who fell in love with the Fuhrer.
I PALACE THEATRE 9 (ireen Street. Kilmarnoek. 05(13 23590. [Access: P. 1.. Facilities: WC. WS. Ii. (i. R. B. Help: A. AA].
Muir Sound. AWee Home From Home Thurs IJune. 7.30pm. £3.50 (£2.50). (‘ommunicado‘s brilliant music and dance piece stars Frank McConnell and Michael Marra in a comic and poignant look at the city ol‘(ilasgow. Scotland The What? Fri 2--Sat 3. 7.30pm. £4
26The List 2 — 15 June 198‘)