give it all they‘ve got.
I THEATRE ROYAL Hope Street. 331 1234. Box Office Mon—Sat 10am—6pm. (7.30pm on perfevgs). Bar. Buffet. [Accessz P. PPA. R. Facilities: WC. WS. F. G. R. B. Help: AA].
Shirley Valentine L'mil Sat l7.lune. 7.30pm; Sat Mat 2.30pm. £2.5(l—£9.5(). Don't miss Willy Russell's comic monologue starring Paula Wilcox as the Liverpool housewife who lives out her fantasy to escape from the daily routine. Hilarious and touching.
A Midsummer Night‘s Dream Mon l9—Thurs 22 June. 8pm. £3.5(L 13.50. See dance listings and feature.
I THIRD EYE CENTRE 350 Sauchiehall Street. 332 7521 . Cafe open 1 lam—2.30pm Tue—Fri and during evening performances. [Access: PPA. 1.. Facilities: WC. WS. E. G. R. B. Help: AA].
Performances this issue are geared towards the Jazz Festival. Sec Jazz Festival Listings.
I TRAMWAY THEATRE Albert Drive. Tickets from Ticket Centre 041 2275511 [Help: AA]
Mrs Vershinin Thurs 15—Tuc 20 June. 8pm. £5 (£3). Helen Cooper's play speculates about a character who is mentioned. but nevcrappearsin(fhckhov\slhreeﬁlﬂerv This is a production presented by 7:84 which started life in London where it was highly rated and is about to head overto the Theatre der Welt Festival in Hamburg. See Preview.
I TRON THEATRE (i3 Trongatc. 552 4267 8. Box Office Tue—Sat Noon—8pm; Sun 1230—] 1pm. Closed Mondays. [Access: R. ST. Facilities: WS. F. G. R. B. Help: AA].
Cult City Wed 21—Sat 25 June. 7.30pm. £2 8: £3 (Concessions available). The Cult City Project has drawn on the talents ofa large group of young people from the Fast End of Glasgow. As well as this group devised performance which uses music. dance and theatre to look at the colour in modern Glasgow life. there is a special exhibition of photos. posters and poems. See Preview. Triple Time Tuesday 27 June—Sat 1 July. 7.30pm. £2 8: £3 (Concessions available). Annexe Theatre Company present a triple bill of new Scottish plays. Robert D'Ouse's I Ielen of Troy and Marjory Anderson is about two ()APs who discover they are not too old to learn from experience. It will be interesting tosee how Gordon Lyon's The Small 'l'lme about the ups and downs of a footballer. compares with Raymond Ross‘s Mayfest footy play The Beautiful (:‘emme. The third play.Jimmy Hurt/(m. is about the social isolation of a brain-damaged man and is a venture into theatre by songwriter and musician. Peter Nardini. See Preview. !
I BEOLAM THEATRE Forrest Road. ()31 225 9893. [Access: St. Facilities: WS. G. B. Help: AA] No performances until the lidinbugh Festival. I BRUNTON THEATRE Musselburgh. 665 2241). [Access: PPA. R. St. Facilities: WC. W8. G. B. Help: AA] The Brunton's next season will be in the Autumn. but it is playing host tothe occasional touring show in the meantime. I CHURCH HILL THEATRE Morningsidc Road. 447 7597. Harmony Row Mon 26 June. 7.30pm. See touring. I GILDEO BALLOON (‘owgate. 225 3013225 4463. No performances this issue while the Gilded Balloon sort out their plans for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. I KING'S THEATRE 2 Leven Street. 229 1201. Box Office Mon—Sat 10am—8pm. Bar. [Access: PPA. L. Facilities: WC. W8. AS. [5. G. B. Help: AA] You'll Do For Me Until Sat 17June. Mon—Fri 7.30pm; Sat 5pm & 8pm. £2.5(l—£8.5(). The King‘sTheatre
Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh.
Simon Weston lost his face in the Falklands, but gained millions of admirers through his courage and determination to survive. How Edinburgh has a Falklands folk hero of its own. Just Frank is a celebration of the history and continuing life of Frank Gilchrist, born in Pilton, wounded on Tumbledown, hooked on morphine, jailed for possession, infected with AIDS through needle-sharing, alive, kicking and engaged to be married.
Vince Foxhall wrote the play in close collaboration with Gilchrist, who says the result is an accurate record of his experience. But its great charm and emotional power lies not just in a good story of stirring positivity, but also in the telling.
Foxhall's script is racey and pacey, laced with coarse, hard-edged poetry, punchlines and puns. Spare, stylised and just occasionally over-contrived, it nonetheless sounds natural and believable most of the time. More important, it gives the impression of having captured the vivacity and humour of a man of extraordinary Spirit.
It is performed by an energetic ensemble of live versatile actors, who make remarkable work of a play whose original production at Stratford East in London enjoyed the luxury of a much larger cast. In particular, the use ofjust three actors proves more than adequate torthe Falklands battle scenes.
This is the result of inventive and economical staging by Kim Dambaek, who keeps the cast in bland-coloured casual costume throughout, setting the play in designer Kathy Strachan's institutional hallway, with its fully equipped bar, a thematic backdrop to the various phases of Frank’s life.
But perhaps the most awesome responsibility belongs to Paul Morrow, who portrays Frank himself, and it is to his considerable credit as an actor that he is equal to the task, indeed makes a great success of it. (Andrew Burnet)
WOMAN IN MIND
Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh. Until 8July. Alan Ayckbourn is deceptive. He sets us up with a soft-edged picture of suburban Southern England tranquillity — a family straight out of a toothpaste advert, a summer garden straight out of House And Home —there's maybe something a little odd going on, but you let it pass. Hugh Hodgart directing the Royal Lyceum production is happy to play along. He breaks us into the first act ever so gently, casting Muriel Romanes as Susan, the put-upon housewife who steers the production
Wendy Craig-like out into gradually less familiarterritory.
By the interval you still suspect nothing more than a pleasant but rather unremarkable evening’s theatre. Indeed Hodgart's production does not even exploit Ayckbourn’s humour to the full. Only Julia Righton strikes exactly the right balance between eccentric caricature and spot-on delivery in her portrayal of Muriel, an incompetant widower obsessed by the memory of her husband. The other actors are amiable enough, but tend to be only intermittently funny. It isn’t a major problem because Ayckbourn is adept at throwing out issues to strike a chord in his audience —the breakdown of a once happy marriage, the estrangement of a son — things that might not keep you gripped, but certainly keep you interested.
But Ayckbourn's trick— and it is one to which Hodgart is a willing partner— is slowly to introduce his own rules into the game. Despite the trappings, this is no cosy Saturday evening sitcom. Out of the inocuous setting, a powerful tragedy is brewing. What starts off as light amusement at a woman who hallucinates after a bang on the head, moves towards horror at seeing reality blur into nightmare. The Royal Lyceum matches each trick of the author with a staging trick of its own. It isn't just the thrill of seeing Gregory Smith's simple low-key set transform itself without warning into something far grander or of seeing a real thunderstorm take to the stage. These things that could be merely gimmicks are used with care and precision to add to the ever-mounting emotional impact of the play. Even when Ayckbourn uses the kind of linguistic games with which Stoppard experimented in plays like Dogg's Our Pet, he is able to make emotional sense ofthem.
Centre stage, Muriel Romanes measures her performance perfectly. Before we have a chance to realise it, she has taken us with her from the ineffectual housewife with an ironic line in patterto a lost soul struggling
* alone in the midst of a mental
breakdown. With the boundary lines taken away, the characters who once
3 paid lip service to Susan, now have
Woman in Mind at the Royal Lyceum. See Review.
Just Frank at the Traverse. See Review.
licence to do as they please. Whatever spiritual emptiness she felt at the beginning of the play is now matched by a world with no rules at all. It is an unexpectedly moving climax handled with subtlety and imagination by the Royal Lyceum and it alone makes this a production that must be seen. (Mark Fisher).
WHEN THE WORLD WAS YOUNG
Seen atThe Hetherbow, Edinburgh. On Tour.
In John Binnie’s new play for Clyde Unity Theatre, four children —three girls in primary seven, one boy in his firstweek at school—develop their friendships while puberty beckons and the sad realities of the grown-up world startto become apparent. Binnie‘s script sensitively and humorously captures the ability of children to be both naively idealistic and cruelly honest. The playwright also stars in and directs the play and under his
‘ guidance the production is fluid and
imaginative, his cast intelligently observing the pecking order, changes of mood and energy of his characters.
By the second half of the play, the children have grown up and grown apart. New relationships have developed — imperfect and unsatisfying — and cynicism has replaced naively. Conversation takes place not in the cosiness of the den at the bottom of the garden, but overthe lonely detachment of the telephone. Away from the supportiveness and understanding of the group, it is that much harderfor Bobbie (John Binnie) to announce- and for the women to accept— that he is gay.
There is much dramatic mileage to be drawn from the possible ironies and echoes created by this leap in time and it is a classic situation which can be returned to again and again. Unfortunately, Binnie does not make full use of it. While the first half is over-long, it is forthe most part engaging and witty, but Binnie and the
cast seem uncomfortable and unclear
about the second half. The play does not adequately encapsulate the events of the 16 year gap and none of the bitterness of the adults is fully explained. It is consequently difficult to feel anything more than irritation at the
women‘s coldness and indifference : towards Bobbie's homosexuality.
There is much of value in When The World Was Young and Clyde Unity remain one of the most lively young companies in Scotland, it is just a shame that the play does not fulfill its initial promise. (Mark Fisher).
The List 16 — 29 June 1989 31