play in the Royal Lyceum‘s new season. It’s Ben Johnson‘s 17th century satirical comedy about the rise and fall of Volponc who makes a habit of exploiting the gullibity of those around him.

Ghosts Fri 6—Sat 21 Oct. Robert Carson (director of Measure for Measure) continues his affiliation with the Lyceum as director of lbsen‘s gripping play which deals with strikingly contemporary issues. See Preveiw.

I TREATRE WORKSHOP 34 Hamilton Place, 226 5425. Box Office Mon—Sat 9.30am-5.30pm. Bar. Cafe. [Accessz PPA, R. Facilities: WC. W5. AS, E, G. Help: AA]

Putting ll About Thurs 5—Sat 7 Oct. 8pm. £3.50 (£2). See Crawfurd Theatre. Glasgow and Preview.

I TRAVERSE THEATRE 112 West Bow. Grassmarket, 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: E. Help: AA]

WIfl'lBtlllg Looks Tue 3 Oct—Sun 8 Oct. 7.30pm. £4.75 (£2.50). Lip Service return to Edinburgh with their witty and sometimes punchy spoof on the Bronte sisters. Lots of imaginative material, though most enjoyable for Bronte readers. See Preveiw.

llecuba Tue 10, Fri l3—Sun 15 Oct. 7.30pm. £4.75 (£2.50). Revival ofWinged Horse's premier production to mark their tenth anniversary. The stark production is a re-working of Euripides‘ revenge drama by Stewart Conn, which examines how the suffering wrought upon the Queen ofTroy gradually eroded all her human sensitiviy. See Reveiw.

Professional Pretenders Wed 1 l—Thurs 12 Oct. 7.30pm. £4.75 (£2.50). Winged Horse's most recent show brings together two new adaptations: John Clifford's The Magic Theatre, based on a Cervantes‘ comedy, and Liz Lochhead‘s Patter Merchants after Moliere. They met with a mixed reception when they opened in the Edinburgh Fringe, but the shows have probably tightened up since then. See Touring.

Edinburgh Playwrights’ Workshop Every Thursday from 5 Oct, new plays are given their first professional reading in public, followed by an open discussion. Performances are open to anyone at £1 (50p), and provide an excellent opportunity for budding playwrights. Ken White’s Friday Night Is Empire Night makes its debut on 5 Oct. followed by Edward Alan Miller‘s Rose's Boys on 12 Oct.


This section lists shows that are touring Scotland. There is a phone number loreach company should you require more infonnatlon. Unless otherwise specified, the number after each venue listed is the telephone number for ticket enquiriesfor that particular evening (please note, this is not always the venue number).

I The Appointment Wildcai‘s musical revenge comedy packs in the jokes, but occasionally loses direction. Worth seeing. For more details contact 041 954 0000.

Arts Guild Theatre, Greenock Fri 29—Sat 30 Oct. 7.30pm. 0475 23038. Springwell House, Edinburgh Mon 2 Oct. 7.30pm. 031 337 1971. Wester Hailes Education Centre, Edinburgh Tue 3 Oct. 7.30pm. ()31 442 2201. Triangle A rts Centre, Edinburgh Wed 4 Oct. 7.30pm. 031 332 0877. Lasswade High Scholl, Bonn yrigg Thurs 5 Oct. 7.30pm. 031 663 1933. Cardinal Newman High School, Bellshill Fri 6 Oct. 7.30pm. 041 221 3200. Mews Theatre, Livingston Sat 7 Oct. 7.30pm. 0506 32496. Glasgow East EndArts Tour Mon 9—Sat

14 Oct. 7.30pm. 041 9540000.

I Beyond The Rainbow Having received wide acclaim at the Edinburgh Festival. including a Fringe First from The D


Kings Theatre, Edinburgh. Run ended. OK, so this is an immaculately slick production which often manages to set alight Shakespeare’s language. HoweverJohn Caird’s intent to demystify, as he loads nearly every line with belly-clutching, or at least rib-shaking humour, is fatal to a Shakespearean notion oi humanity. The result is that this production is little more than an impressive pantomime with some beautiful poetry. Puck’s schoolboy mischievousness has no sinister or sad edge to it and immortal lines become throwaways. Overzealous to be irreverant and different, Caird’s petulant, punketie iairies lose their charm as they become increasingly stagey.

The subtlety and poignance of complex ideas is transformed into a frolic in the woods. And that’s not being precious. lwhole-heartedly applaud the lively, accesible nature ofthe language (though this is sometimes lmpared by dum-de-dum verse speak), and it is interesting, often enlightening, to bring modern implication to Shakespeare through costume and set, but this production illustrates the futility of going for laughs at every possible opportunity. The best feeling one gets from the play is a Christmassy enjoyment of the kitch which seems to be born out by the actors’ ‘impulse‘ to wave at their audience afterthe last curtain call.

Interestingly, the most successful scenes are those of the wonderfully comic, ‘rude mechanics.‘ The action

here benefits from imaginative embelishments to the script. The set is effective as is much of the choroegraphy and staging. Unfortunately the music is straight out of panto-land and drowned by an annoying drumbeat. Overall the play obviously entertained a jubilant audience, but left me unsatisfied. (Jo Roe)

JOHN ssssrous

Napoleon: The Untold American Story, Tramway Theatre (run ended). Napoleon Bonaparte, who arrogantly spurned the Pope and crowned himself Emperor of France, could fairly be described as something of a megalomaniac. As Such, the diminutive Corsican had more than his share of detractors. So too with John Sessions; lambasted from many quarters for his ambitious improvised TV programmes, it would appearthe poor man can’t win. Sessions having now harnessed his undoubted talents to a firmly pre-wrltten and rehearsed solo show, his detractors will decry the lack of spontanlous flair that his performance now has.

In a script packed with more cultural references than a Biographical Dictionary, he relates, in some detail, the campaigns ofthe little General as he stomps overthe map of Europe. In between the tenuous analogies, historicising and some awful puns- ‘there’s no place like Uim’; Sessions’ supreme talent for mimicry shines through. Yet these are only patches of light. For such a lengthy solo show Sessions, though he plays enough characters to man a battalion of the imperial Guard, gets too caught up in the statistics of the campaigns. Leaving the overwhelming impression, that he could be a great comic actor, if only he wasn't too busy being so damn clever. (Ross Parsons)

The List 29 September— 12 October 1989 49