THE ACTS OF MAN
Tramway Theatre. Run Ended.
Man Act, who since 1985 have been working on the three performances Included in this profound and truly Inspiring theatre piece, are possibly the most innovative contemporary theatre in Britain. It is to the credit of Glasgow's Third Eye Centre that they have commissioned the trilogy, which is played in each oi the three tiny spaces beneath the cold stone arches at the Tramway Theatre.
The tenderness oi the two performers, Simon Thorne and Phillip Mackenzie, and the extraordinary spirituality of their theatre is evoked by their physical closeness, movement, and economy of language. The last piece, in particular, presents the audience with a choice of possible futures for its children. ‘Two men, old now, surrounded by the debris of their past, are left to build a future fortheir sons to live in.’ It is gentle theatre,
oi our world. (Nicola Robertson).
Another Time, Theatre Royal, Glasgow.
Plays about South Africa tend to be rather hardhitting, punching you smack in the gullet and leaving a bittertaste in the mouth. Not this one. Writer Ronald Harwood, born in Cape Town has, courageously professed that he is not a political writer. This would do fine; in the the lace of the usual verbal assaults and political diatribes it can be braver not to take the expected stance but although ‘AnotherTime‘, a play which nearly parallels Harwood’s own experiences, offers an interesting slice of South African life and is essentially a lamin drama, it cannot resist the inevitable denouncement of apartheid. It is a cliched statement which sits
stars in Ray Cooney's farce alongside Scottish comedy stalwarts including Russell Hunter and Anne Fields. lt's silly light-hearted fun with no pretentions. but perhaps a little shaky on its sexual politics. Russ Abbotand Friends Tue 12—Sat leept. 6pm & 8.45pm. £6.50—£12.50(£2.50off the Stalls and Grand Circle at 6pm performances only on Tue. Wed and Thurs). A week oftwice-nightly entertainment from the most popular comedian on television (according to readers of TV Times). See preview and cabaret.
I NETHERBOW ARTS CENTRE 43 High Street. 556 9579. Box Office. llIam—4.30pm. 7—9pm perf. evgs. Cafe. [Access: R. Facilities: WC. WS. E. (i. B. R. Help: A. AA]
After the Fringe finishes. there will be no theatre until the end of October. The cafe and exhibitions. however. will remain open.
I ROYAL LYCEUM (irindlay Street. 229 9697. Box ()liice Mon Sat llIam 6pm.
which has much to say about the cruelty
uncomfortany in a play which has otherwise steadfastly avoided any examination of the South African regime, except in the most perfunctiory way. There are some refreshingly honest remarks amongst all this, though. In response to a criticism of the government’s policies, Ike Lands, a Lithuanian Jewish immigrant cries ‘Thank God they’re picking on someone else!’
The glittering ‘star-studded' cast give dazzling performances. Albert Finney, a Harwood stalwart (playing ‘Sir' in ‘The Dresser' and appearing in ‘J.J. Parr’) is suitably brusque and despairing as Ike Lands and, in the role of the grown-up son Leonard, a famous concert pianist, gives an arrogantly seif-piteous performance as he bemoans his unhappy childhood whilst ignoring his own miserable son, Jeremy. Janet Suzman as Leonard's tough and spriter mother, Belle, is a commanding presence - pity she has to utter the final spotlighted soliloquy, a speech of squirmineg embarrassing banality.
The West End polish is evident, scenes are played on a lavish, cleverly constructed set on a central axis. Action is spliced. Characters in one room conduct conversations with a flow of interjections from off-stage. The scene ends, an eerie gong booms and the set rotates to reveal the hidden figures; time backtracks and the conversations are replayed. This device is impressive enough and makes for ironic moments (the visual jokes are often more amusing that the scripted ones), but quickly seems repetitive and tiresome.
The second half sees Finney living in uneasy exile in London. As he struts angst-ridden along the stage the play reaches its most indulgent point— but makes none itself. (Sara Villiers)
Citizens Theatre, Glasgow. Until 23 September.
How much you enjoy this completely faithful production depends on what you think of the play. The actors, who all perform in suitably repressive black on the cold minimalist set, are mostly very good: Charon Bourke breathes life into the implausibly wicked Abigail,
10am—8pm on perf. evgs. Bar. Rest/Cafe. [Access: P. L. Facilites: WC. W5. AS. E. (i. B. R. T. Help: A. AA]. (TheatreSaver Concession Cards cost £1 . last all year. give £1 off the full price each time you come for you and a friend — available to ()APs. UB40s. Students. Disabled and YTS scheme) Tickets for Lyceum productions are also available at the Ticket Centre. Waverley Bridge; branches of AT May‘s Travel and the Queen's Hall. Clerk Street.
Volpone Fri 8-Sat 30 Sept. 7.45pm. £2.50—£8. Hugh Hodgart directs the first play in the Royal Lyceum‘s new season. It's Ben Johnson‘s 17th-century satirical comedy about the rise and fall ofVolpone who makes a habit ofexploitingthe gullibility of those around him. See Preview.
I THEATRE WORKSHOP 34 Hamilton Place. 226 5425. Box Office Mon—Sat 9.30am—5.30pm. Bar. Cafe. [Access: PPA. R. Facilities: W(‘. WS. AS. E.(i. Help: AA]
even rendering her likeably passionate; John Proctor, the character burdened with the gratuitous heroics is skilfully made as vital and real as could be hoped for by Eamon McGuire; and
Alastair Galbraith and Derwent Watson
as the weak-willed careerist reverends, who eventually turn on the absurd proceedings, are similarly excellent.
Alas, I would contend that this play is wildly over-rated. The Crucible is based on the famous true story of the witch-hunt in 1692 Salem. Only a handful of the many put to death for not confessing to partying with the devil were men, yet this play tells the story of one, the noble John Proctor. All the deaths are peripheral affairs to his; tensions unfold and climax with his fate alone. Miller's stipulated themes of guilt and repression are voiced through Proctor- ‘I may speak my heart I think,‘ he unwiser contends at the pivotal moment. In truth events spiralled after a group of girls were caught dancing in the woods; it was female sexuality that was being repressed by the dour Christian settlers.
The men in this play are good and strong or weak and bad. The women are all passive and sheep-Iike;the only one who effects anything is Abigail, the malevolent bitch who bring’s about Proctor’s death after failing to bring about his wife's. She is the jealous and bitter third party with whom Proctor had a brief affair. The wife is an unforgiving frigid bore for whom John toils hard. He is the heroic one suffering at the hands of women, yet he is more guilty of duplicitythan anyone.
The basis for Miller’s play was that he noticed in a ledger from the town records that Abigail once worked for the Proctors and on that alone his misogynist action was founded. But what would you expect from the man who married Marilyn Monroe, the founder of bimbo-ism? (Stewart Hennessey)
After the Fringe performances. no plays at the Theatre Workshop.
I TRAVERSE THEATRE 1 12 West Bow. (irassmarket. 226 2633. Box Office Tue—Sat 10am—8pm. Sun 6.10pm. Bar. Rest. Tickets also available from the Ticket Centre. Market Street. [Access: St. Facilities: Ii. Help: AA]
Once the Fringe is over. the theatre and cafe will have a break until October. The bar. meanwhile. will be back in action from Tue 12 Sept.
This section lists shows that are touring Scotland. We give detailed listings onlyfor periods when they are in the Central Belt area. There is a phone numberforeach company should you require more information. Unless otherwise specified, the number after each venue listed isthe telephone number forticket enquiriesfor that particular evening (please note. this is not always the venue number).
I Glasvegas Borderline Theatre are milking this one for all its worth. Veteran of both (ilasgow's Mayfest and Edinburgh's Fringe. this musical tale of Glasgow youth on the make is now off on a month round Scotland. The music could be stronger. but the production is pacey and Hue And Cry fans will enjoy hearing Lookingfor Linda blasted out midway through. Call 0292 281010 for more details. Aberdeen A rts‘ ( 'entre. King Street Tue 5—Sat 9 Sept. 8pm. (I224 641 122. Paisley A rt.s' Centre. New Street Mon l l—Tue 12 Sept. 8pm. (I41 887 1010. Langholm Academy Wed 13 Sept. 7.30pm. (I387 80746. Stranraer Academy Thurs 14 Sept. 7.30pm. 0776 2151 ext 244.
I The Appointment Wildcat's musical revenge comedy packs in the jokes. but occasionally loses direction. Worth seeing. For more details contact (I41 954 0000.
('arnegie TUH'II Hall. l)imfermline Sat 2 Sept. 7.30pm. (I383 720108. ('lydebank Town Hall Mon 4 Sept. 7.30pm. (I41 941 1331 . l’enilee Community ( ‘entre Tue 5 Sept. 7.30pm. (I41 882 3309. [)rumchapel Community ('entre Wed 6 Sept. 7.30pm. (I41 944 9400. Denny ( ‘ii'ic 'l‘heatre. Dionbarton Thurs 7 -Sat 9 Sept. 7.30pm. 0389 62015. Bonar Town Hall. Dundee Tue 12—Thurs 14 Sept. 7.30pm.0382 22200.
I When the Wind Blows 7:84 have a goat Raymond Briggs‘ stage version ofhis popular anti-nuclear cartoon book. For more information call (I389 62015. (‘umbernauld 'l'heatre [Intil Sat 2 Sept. 7.45pm. (I236 732887. ('hurch Hill Theatre. Edinburgh Mon 4 Sept. 7.30pm. 031 228 1 155. A rdross‘an (‘li'ic ( 'entre'l'ue 5 Sept. 7.30pm. 0294 67786. HHHllC/s’ Town Hall. A rran Wed 6 Sept. 7.30an 0770 2401 . Gorbals (.'nemployed ll'orkers (‘entre Fri 8 Sept. 7.30pm. (I41 429 3905. Mothericell ( 'ii'ic ( ‘entre Sat 9 Sept. 7.30pm. (I698 67515. Denny Civic Theatre. Dumbarton Mon 1 1 Sept. 7.30pm.0389 62105. ANS (fut/(l 'I‘hetttre. (ireetloc/x‘ Wed 13 Sept . 7.30pm. 0475 23038. Drumchapel Community liducatimz ('entre Thurs 14 Sept. 7.30pm. (I41 944 I009.
I The Tempest TAG have joined up with Dundee Rep Dance Company in a return to the classics after the modern extravagances of ( 'ity. After the [Edinburgh Fringe. they are on the road for two months. See Review in Festival section. Further details from TAU on041 429 2877.
Palace 'l'heatre. Kilmarnock Mon 4 Sept. 7.30pm. (I563 23590. Ramsay Hall. Is/ay Wed 6 Sept. 8pm. (I49 685 419. Ari/rishaig Hall. Lochgilphead Thurs 7 Sept. 8pm. (I54 684 203. ('arneigie Hall. l)im_fermline Fri 8 Sept. 7.30pm. 0383 720108. St Andrew’s Theatre. ('lydebank Sat 9 Sept. 7.30pm. 041 941 3795. .-1rts(‘entre. Aberdeen Tue I2~Sat 16. 8pm.0224
I The House With Green Shutters ()ne of the hottest tickets in the tidinburgh Fringe and also filmed for TV. ('ommunicado‘s adaptation of (ieorgc Douglas Brown's classic novel goes out on a two month tour of Scotland. squeezing in visits to London and the Netherlands on the way. ('allII31 229 7404 for further details. Neii'battle Abbey ( ‘ollege Mon 1 1 Sept. 7.30pm. 1.()(‘l\'t’fl)lt‘.‘1t‘tttlt’nll' Tue 12 Sept. 7.30pm. 057262 2626. High School. Castle Douglas Wed 13 Sept. 7.30pm. 05562821. Wallace Hall Academy. 'I‘hornhill'l‘hurs 14 Sept. 7.30pm. (I848 30294.
I The Comic Club Blacklriars. 45 Albion Street. Merchant City. (ilasgow. 552 5924. 9pm. £4.50 (£3). Baropen
42The List I ~ 14 September 1989