I NEIN KAMPF: FARCE British premiere of world-class writer George Tabori's most recent play. Traverse Theatre (Fringe Venue 14) 226 2633. 15 Aug—2 Sept. Various Times. £6 (£3).
I JUST LIKE HOME White South African stand-up comedian gives dramatic form to his anti-apartheid message.
Peter Dirtt Uys, Assembly Rooms (Fringe Venue 3) 226 2428. 11 Aug-2 Sept (not21, 28). 8pm. £5.50 (£4.58).
Mark Fisher selects this week‘s most promising new plays.
Below and overleaf— previews of those and the best of the rest.
I CLYDE NDUVEAU The latest from lain Reggie, one
' of Scotland's most exciting
young writers- vigorous. distinctive and comic. Tron Theatre, Church Hill Theatre (lntemational Festival) 14-23 Aug (not 28). 7.30pm; 18, 19, 22 Aug, 2.38pm. £5.50—£8.
I ERIc Written by Eleanor Zeal and performed by Theatre Caddis, a collaboration which won Fringe Firsts in 87 and 88. A man cuts down a tree and falls victim to a terrible hunger
Gilded Balloon (Fringe Venue 38) 226 2151.11 Aug-2 Sept (not Suns) 4.15pm, £4 (£3).
I FALLING FOR A DOLPHIN Touchineg straightforward plea for ecological sanity. Assembly Rooms (Fringe Venue 3) 226 2428. 11 Aug—2 Sept (not 14, 21 . 29), 1.45pm. £5.58 (£4.50).
I A GRAND SCAM Highly pmlilic writer. actor and director Andrew DaIlmeyer makes an attempt at a fourth Fringe First.
Lyceum Studio (Fringe Venue 7) 229 9697. 14-26 Aug, 1pm, £3 (£2.50).
I HANGING THE PRESIDENT Uncompromising and hard-hitting anti-apartheid play set in a South African prison.
Traverse Theatre (Fringe Venue 15) 226 2633.18 Aug—2 Sept, Various Times, £5 (£3).
I TERMINAL Edinburgh writer. James Mavor. has his script subiected to the characteristically stylised. visual approach of the Shadow Syndicate. Canongate Hall (Fringe Venue 5) 556 1388. 13 Aug-2 Sept (not 20. 21), 8.15pm, £5 (£3.58).
Mark Fisher finds out about three plays that take a sensitive look behind the more murky tabloid
‘Anyone who‘s expecting shock-horror will be disappointed,‘ says Helen Griffin. solo performer in Touch And Go Theatre Company. A fair warning given that the play. Drawing the Devil on the Wall. is heavily based on the case of
the Yorkshire Ripper and in particular his beleaguered wife, Sonia Sutcliffe. ‘We like to think we‘ve handled it with sensitivity,‘ Griffin continues, aware that the play is treading on
‘80 many women wondered how Sonia Sutcliffe could have lived with him,‘ she says, ‘but having explored the issue quite thoroughly, we offer a very plausible case that she did live with him and she didn’t know. It‘s very sympathetic towards her.‘ Quite the opposite angle. of course, from the tabloid press whose portrayal of her husband as an evil monster tended to turn him into something outwith normal experience.
‘She‘s perhaps an unusual woman,’ says Griffin. ‘She’s isolated and in her own little world. but not to a pathological degree. She is ordinary — but what does ordinary mean? We don‘t get to learn a lot about him in the play, but we learn that he would do things like taking his aunts out on a Sunday and he’d remember
Though informed by feminism, the play doesn’t come up with any answers, but it is a fascinating area of human experience to explore. The same is true of Marianne Colbran‘s All the Better to See You With which ventures into the uncharted territory of an incestuous relationship freely entered into by both parties. Based on the true and continuing experience of a close friend of Colbran, it is less about child abuse than about a complete. albeit devastating. romance.
‘I’ve tried to get away from the idea that the father preyed on the child,’ explains Colbran. ‘It developed out of horse-play into a full-blown
affair that they couldn’t get out of. Some people would rather think of the father being a one-dimensional monster, but it’s not for me to judge. I‘m writing about someone I know and care about. At the same time you can’t be wishy-washy about it. You‘ve got to look at the damage. She still goes through these destructive
Colbran has been developing her idea for three or four years, some time before the Cleveland Sex Abuse furore blew up. Students at Salford College ofTechnology, meanwhile, have responded to those events by devising Impressions, a study ofone family’s treatment by
the police and social services. ‘We didn’t go out to
upset anybody and say social workers were wrong,’ explains Justine Staley, one of the 13-strong cast. ‘Mainly what we wanted to say was the way the family was treated and I think they were treated badly.’ Fellow actor, Julie Johnson agrees: ‘We‘re protected in a way, but we really feel for the family. One social worker did storm out at the end, but the play is more about everybody’s attitude towards the family.’ I All The Better To See You With (Fringe) Marianne Colbran, Mandela Theatre at the Wee Red Bar (Venue 79), 229 1003, 14—26 Aug (not
Suns), 9pm, £2.50 (£2).
I Drawing The Devian The Wall (Fringe) Touch and Go Theatre. Tic Toc at Marco‘s (Venue 98). 229 7898, 14 Aug—2 Sept (not Suns), 7.45pm,
I Impressions (Fringe) Aspects Theatre Company, Hill Street Theatre (Venue 41). 225 7294, 14—26 Aug (not Sun), 9pm, £3.50 (£3).
The Shadow Syndicate commissioned James Mavor to write a film they could perform as a play. If that sounds weird wait for the rest.
‘ The Terminal originally started out for me.‘ explains Mavor very dryly. ‘as a mega Raise The Titanic disaster movie and nothing to do with the theatre at all. [was thinking in terms of millions of people running around this airport. which would be in a state of perpetual crisis.‘
Then they hit him with
the restrictions: two performers in the Canongate Hall and no budget. The plot has since gone through several adaptations. ‘lt's now slightly less mythic and more bizarre,’ Mavor muses helpfully. ‘What we‘re thinking of now is something like Casablanca meets The Towering Inferno.
Basically it‘s an emotional
love story between two people who are essentially stuck somewhere.‘ According to Mavor it‘s not just that the two of them are in a disaster. they are walking disasters themselves.
‘lts going to be you sit
down and, BAMF! you‘re somewhere else. Wild!‘ (Caroline Dunford)
I See Hit List.
Here'sa tip. lfeveryou‘rc stranded late at night in London‘s King‘s Cross area. keep a sharp eye out for cabbie David Hines. He‘s the sort ofdriver who values a good chat enough to give you a free ride.
Hines‘ primary interest is writing. but working weekends in his cab isa handy supplement to his income. It is also a prime source of material.
‘You‘re on the look out for a good story all the time,‘ he says. ‘You don‘t have to be a cabbie. But because I live near King‘s Cross and because I work late at night. I realised that l was working the same hours as the local prostitutes.‘ Overcoming his initial prejudices, Hines would
chat to the women and began to get to know them. ‘I was quite surprised how different they were from the popular image in the newspapers,‘ he says. ‘They weren‘t rich, they weren't over-sexed. they weren‘t lonely. They were poor and it was just a way of making money. There is the happy hooker syndrome. because they know it‘s good for business to pretend they‘re having a good time. But they are sad people — I’ve been too close to them tothink they‘re having a good time.‘
When Hines came to
write a play he had amassed two years‘ worth of fascinating stories and the first draught of Bondage came together in just three days. ‘I hope the audience will no longer think that prostitution is funny.‘ he says. ‘that it must be frightening. that there are dangers of disease and emotional problems. [don‘t think the general public are aware. because they make it look such great fun on TV.‘ (Mark Fisher).
I Bondage (Fringe) De Beauvoir Studios. Chaplaincy Centre (Venue 23) l4-2()Aug. 10pm: 21-27 Aug. l lpm. £3.50(£3).
The List ll - 17 August 1989 21