l LAST EXIT TO BROOKLYN. ‘Right son you're barred.‘ Selby’s novel otthe seamy, steamy side at lite in Brooklyn reaches the big screen. See Feature page 15 and Film
1 Listings page 21.
I EARLY FANS ot Millwall PC. now ol course avery
ditlerent breed. Thom Lappin retlects ontheir recentTV appearences. See Media page 61.
The Nineties in a nutshell? Nae chance. Instead Ross Parsons looks at The Scotsman‘s letters page shocker, an alternative Burns‘ Night and a strange twist to a Kipling story.
There is no other forum like it. We mean. of course . The Scotsman‘s letters' page. where Disgusted of Morningside whinges daily on the decline of western civilization as seen from a pair of l lush Puppies. Pornography on the Fringe. Dennis Potter's eczema. British Fail. the classical opinions ofConrad ‘Gut Reaction‘ Wilson; all are grist to those with the price of a second-class stamp. There are those who say that the page was not always so petty and parochial. namely one Andrew Hood. Well. he would. wouldn‘t be? In the dear but not too distant past. Mr Hood was the letters‘ editor of the paper. But he was given the heave-ho when he refused to move sideways and edit the obituaries. He did not take his fall lying down. The first thing he did was. . . write a letter. in fact lots ofletters. to the shoal of regular correspondents who found on his departure that their letters were no longer published. Hood‘s grouse is that a paper of the national pre-eminece of The Scotsman makes it the ideal debating chamber for the commonweal: Speaker's Corner. Question Time and the General Assembly rolled into one. Many ofhis correspondents agreed with him. Well. they would. wouldn‘t they? Many have defected to The Independem. other' :urface in the Glasgow Herald. Th ‘eepage will continue. surmises Hood. in a newsletter sent to M.P.‘s and others. as long as The .S'cotsman soft-pedals on politics. philosophy and other weighty matters. Not surprisingly. Magnus Linklater. editor of The Scotsman. disagrees. Well. he would. wouldn‘t he? Trying to keep politics out ofthe letters‘ page would be as successful. says he. as King Canute in changing the tides. Watch this one ebb and flow. . .
Mr Kipling may have written exceedingly good books, but as Edinburgh Youth Theatre has found to its cost, they can be buggers to adapt tor the stage. In a new version at The Jungle Book, the final scene needed a tew minor adjustments. Director Carrie Todd explained: ‘The ending had to be changed. In the book Shere Khan is crushed by a stampede ol buttalo.’
This, she rightly observes, ‘would be gory and difficult to stage.‘ Ever inventive, she‘s come up with an alternate ending. ‘We spare the bloodshed and conclude with a comedy sketch.‘ Obvious, really. So how come old Rudyard didn‘t think ot it?
Like cuckoos in spring. the first Fringe press release has already winged it‘s way to us. Doubtless to the delight of l .othian's fire officers. a circular chirps the return of Archaos. the anarchic hybrid of circus troupe and l lell’s Angel chapter. Many more are sure to follow. But at least ,'\rchaos got our address right. Last year a number of groups made a Freudian gaffe. and tried to make contact with at Ross llarper. the lamented Scottish Tory Party chairman who is said to carry a pair of slippers in his brief-case. Nothing to do with us. though. Beats me what they were thinking of.
Scorning the obligatory traditions and toasts, the Barbizon Restaurant in the City of Vultures has cooked up an alternative Burns‘ Night. Eschewing haggis, it offers getillte lish balls, roast suckling pig and tare - not lowl —tor veggies. Guest of honourwill be Ian ‘Art Gangster‘ Smith who will be immortally remembered by diners for his ‘pertormance intercourse‘ — anecdotes about cannibalism, Greek mythology and rabid carrots. (Alternative Burns’ Night Supper, Barbizon Restaurant, College Lands, High Street, Glasgow. 25 January, 8pm, £10.)
Alasdair Gray. Scotland's greatest novelist since Walter Scott. according to (‘lockwork Burgess. has decamped. No. it’s not the reverse of coming out. He has been temporarily moved from his Glasgow (‘orporation flat because of rot. He is not optimistic about the time this will take to cure and has accepted that he could be in temporary accommodation for ‘an indefinite number of years‘. In the meantime. 1990 should be his most productive yet. .S‘ometht‘ng Leather. a new novel. is due frotn the (‘ape in May. and his intriguing Anthology of I’refaces will pour forth from ('anongate some months later. Stealing a march on both. however. is another. shorter novel. based on Gray's hilarious play. .llaeGrotty and Latina/la. l)esirous to design it himself. with friends he has set up as publisher and printer. Barking back to the name of'l‘om Leonard's publisher — the Galloping Dog Press — they have called themselves Dog and Bone. presumably so they can have their cake and eat it.
The List 12—25 January 19903