I THE UGLY N00 N00 Energetic and highly entertaining one-man demolition job on apartheid. involving sundry insects. dog. chicken and one or two humans. Traverse Theatre (Fringe Venue 15) 226 2633. until 2 Sept (not 28 Aug). 4.30pm (until 27 Aug); 7pm (from 29 Aug). £5 (£3).
Mark Fisher hits on the best plays of the week. Reviews below and overleaf.
I HOUSE OF AMERICA Bi-lingual Welsh playwright. Edward Thomas. has plays in two languages opening this week— it'sthe one in English that's creating the biggest stir.
Dalier Sylwa he Company. Harry Younger llall (Fringe Venue 13). 28 Aug-2 Sept. 7.30pm. £4.50 (23).
ITHE ONE THAT COT AWAY Welcome return visit by highly original New Zealand comedy theatre company. The Front Lawn. in a show about lishing. mental illness and love. Canongate '89 (Fringe venue 5) 556 1388. Until 26 Auo. 6.15pm. 25(2350).
I CAHNAGE Perhaps the USA's single most highly-thought oi young theatre company in a play that savages TV evangelism.
The Actors Gang. St Bride's Centre (Festival) 346 1405. 29 Aug. 7.30pm; 30 Aug-2 Sept. 10.30pm; 31 Sept. 2.30pm; 3 Aug. 4pm & 8pm. 2550-28.
I A GRAND SCAM Highly prolilic writer. actor and director. Andrew Dallmeyer ; makes an attempt at atorth Fringe First.
Thesbian Desperadoes. Lyceum Studio (Fringe Venue 7) 229 9697. Until 26 Aug. 1pm. 23 (£2.50). f
I ANOTHER FINE MESS List cover star Les Bubb in wacky ecological satire.
Swallowed by a whale. our Les cleans up his habits. Theatre Workshop (Fringe Venue 20) 226 5425. Until 2 .; . ; Sept (not 27). 3pm. £4
"' '_ ((22.50).
The two who do Brookside are the two to do To too. Nicola Robertson talks to TV’s Sheila and Billy.
Sue Johnston and John McArdle are taking a break from their Bron/(side schedule to perform Jim Cartwright‘s new play To. Working with Cartwright. Octagon Theatre‘s writer-in-residence and author of award-winning Road. is something both actors are enjoying: ‘the script is very interesting and we hope we can do justice to it. Jim is a great writer; he has given us very rich material to work with‘ comments Sue.
‘The play is about relationships rather than any political themes‘. adds John. ‘its not overtly political. more a comment on what we do to each
Set in a northern pub. the play. which is still in the process of being written — ‘we get a bit more each day‘ — revolves around thirteen characters (at the moment) all played by the Sue and John. who meet up. enact their relations to one another and leave. After Road. which Cartwright wrote in 1986 out of frustration and anger at a ‘Britain in pieces‘; a Britain of poverty. urban decay. unemployment. north/south inequality. and Bed. apiece dealing with old age. To seems to indicate an exploration of a different theme; men and women dealing with their feelings towards each other. Sue explains ‘Sometimes its couples talking about the other halfof the relationship. and no its not intense — there are sad people. joyous people. and it touches on different aspects
Sue. whose views on Clause 28 and male
I violence are well known. and who. as Sheila
~ Grant on Brookside has explored a range of
‘ situations specific to women. rape. abortion and more recently having to fight for her relationship
' with a married man. says of T0 ‘although the play
i isn‘t finished yet. the director Andy Hare has felt there has been a bit of an imbalance in the
; womens‘ roles in the play. and we‘re working to
| do something about that.‘
u For both actors working on the stage is a very different. and often nerve-wracking experience.
from working on a TV set; ‘I haven‘t done a
l stage-play for seven years. so I hope we get
; sympathetic audiences‘. says Sue. ‘It’s totally
different in the theatre. and in this play there are
several characters at a time to try to present as
truthfully as we can. So we feel very much under
; pressure. There don‘t seem enough hours in the
4 day to get things done‘ (Nicola Robertson)
I To (Fringe). Bolton Octagon Theatre. The
Pleasance (Venue 33). 556 6550. 25 Aug—2 Sept.
8pm. £5.50 (£4.50).
CLYDE NOUVEAU lain lleggie is one ofthe few writers whose language takes hold ofan entire production. Full of echoes. pauses. stops and starts. Ileggie‘s unmistakable writing is like high-velocity Pinter— occasionallyindulgent. but predominantly rich in character detail and knowing wit.
In his latest play. ex~con Danny Noble. is fresh out of prison and trying to go straight in a corrupt world of Glasgow nouveau rte/w. The Tron Theatre Company tackle the play with confidence. vigour and understanding. but they are hampered by two things: the performance space and the play itself.
Initially Graham Johnston's set looks a treat — a thoroughly convincing warehouse interior extending right to the back of the theatre. That would be fine ifit didn't sound like a warehouse too. The actors are forced to the front of the stage to make their fast patter intelligible.
And as the play progresses and new scenes are
introduced. the set starts to obstructthe
imagination. leaving us to
gauge new locations on Iightingchanges alone.
As for the script. I Ieggie's language is as terse and alive as ever. but his purpose is unclear and
the tale obtusely told.
Even so. I‘ll try and catch it again on its return to Glasgow. because there is a lot to value in play and production alike. (Mark Fisher)
I Clyde Nouveau (Festival) Run Ended. Appearing at the 'I'ron
Theatre. Glasgow. 2‘) ; Aug—I7Sept.
:— E DRAWING THE
' DEVIL ON THE = WALL
‘Why am I being subjected
to all these questions' screams Tania. a woman who is being made to suffer for the horrific
crimesofher husband. Thisone-woman play attemptstoexplorethe
relationship between Tania and her husband.
f Dominic. whose real
identity. it is suggested. is Peter Sutcliffe. dubbed the ‘Yorkshire Ripper‘ by
the popular press.
The performance circles
andskirtsaroundthe unanswered questionsof ‘why' Dominic felt
impelled to commit the atrocities of rape and mutilation. and ‘how‘
' 'l'ania.‘an ordinary
woman‘. never knew her husband wasa
mass-murderer. It places the audience awkwardly
in the positionof
hungry for details ofthe couple‘s sex-life. and accusing towards the wife. who they are made to feel. must not have been able to satisfy her repressed partner.
It isa chilling piece. which makes no excuses for the wife. who in her haste to escape a rotten childhood in a backwater town. snatches at the first man she meets. llelen Griffin. who playsthe Ripper‘s wife compassionately. weaves back and forth through the terrible events of 1981 . to
; violence. They despise his : ‘pointless‘ persuit of justice. For them the argment is over and the only question left is about where it will end. } Simona Kill repeatedly hits you in the face with i the facts. powerfully painting its dark picture of the bloody mess. Likethe i script. the acting is terse and effective. The images are stunning. It‘s not subtle. but so what”? Go if you think you can take it. but don't expect to leave with your outlook brighter or your conscience clearer. (Jon Webster). I Shoot to Kill (Fringe) Giro Theatre. Richard Demarco Gallery (Venue 22) 5570707. until ZSept (not Suns). 10.30pm.
create a convincing fringe performance. (Nicola Robertson) I Drawing The Devil 0n
j TheWa||(Fringe)Touch l
: atMarco‘s(Venue98) i UntilZSept.7.45pm. £3.50(£2.50).
: SHOOT TO KILL i This new play by James ()‘Brien is about the
evolution of the ‘shoot to
I kill' policy by the authorities in Northern Ireland. It eentreson the Stalker inquiry and its infamousaftermath. A bureaucrat is thrown into an imposssible situation where both sides entrench themselves in the
relentless lvgic 0‘ £3.50(£2.50).
The List 25 — 31 August 1989 21