.r usually in an initiating role. Normally my job would be to structure the whole piece. but that‘s very much Gerry‘s job. It‘s trying to help structure in a way. but it‘s not structures that I‘ve come up with myself.‘

Rather. Lochhead is concerned with ideas. She‘s sifting. filtering and reshaping all the contradictory thoughts thrown up when 24 artists come together. ‘I think the thing will be necessarily fragmented.‘ she says. ‘but I hope that it ends up with


‘: ,.\.\.

fragmented. vivid. individualistic things. It‘ll only be then that it will make up a patchwork ofsome living whole. Everyone in the cast has agreed that if it‘s not about Scotland. what the hell is it about? But how can you say something is about Scotland? Brigadoon is about Scotland. Everybodys Scotland is their own Scotland. But I do think we have a certain community in this country and it is this country. not this region. The only way you can communicate with the outside world is by first of all

creating a sense ofself-identity.‘ Mulgrew talks in similar terms. referring to his experiences touring the country with Communicado and recalling audiences‘ pleasant surprise at watching. in particular. Lorca‘s Blood Wedding performed in Scottish voices. ()n the surface such a decision might seem like no big deal. but in practice it came across as a powerful theatrical statement. Mulgrew aims to touch similar nerves with Jock Tamson 's Buirns. ‘It‘s an attempt to open



things up.‘ he says. ‘lt‘s a scream. There‘s an anguish. a longing. a frustration. a desire for change lying underneath all the forms we‘re exploring. We‘re not raising issues as much as raising the dead. It‘s like an exorcism. I want to make a powerful representation of the country that is an antidote to the centuries of kitsch misrepresentation. The piece is a celebration of being alive.‘

Jock Tansz '5 Baims is at The Tramway Theatre. Glasgow, 25 Jan—24 Feb.

The List 12 25 January 199011