Sara Villiers on the Citizens’ Enrico IV, and Joe Roe on Perspekt Mime Company (below). Overthc page, Tally ’5 Blood at the Traverse and Hard Lines at the Tron.
LISTINGS: THEATRE 42 CABARET 45 DANCE 46
Despite initial setbacks, The Citizens’ Theatre is on course for a visually lavish production of Enrico IV. Sara Villiers talks Pirandello with Giles Havergal.
Some strange sorcery seems to have stricken the Citizens’. One name casts a mysterious spell,
effecting a terrible metamorphosis. This turns the
ebullient. outrageous theatrical institution (which notoriously loves to court controversy. lick up every drop of publicity and then cry out for more) into a veritable shrinking violet. The very mention ofhis name brings a finger to the Citizens’ lips and a pursed, baleful silence.
The bogeyman is, ofcourse, Richard Harris. With the possibility looming of being locked in litigation, his name is anathema to the Citizens’ characteristic enthusiasm.
His sudden withdrawal from the lead role in
Enrico IV— the first show at the Citizens‘ this year
— has sent financial reverberations shuddering through the theatre. With the absence ofa guaranteed crowd-puller, Triumph Production‘s plans to take the play on a national tour were cancelled and leading femme. Julie Le Grand. also pulled out. It was to have been Harris‘s first stage performance for over nine years and it is not yet clear why he didn‘t show. Rumours tend to fly unabated around the city‘s arty denizens and there has been talk of a frantic ﬂight to London to secure a replacement box office star. with offers
to Sean Connery and Timothy Dalton. Unfortunately the ()(l7s couldn‘t save the theatre‘s face.
The Citizens‘ troops have now closed ranks and rallied under the favourite thespian battle cry that the show must go on; everyone maintains a stubborn insistence that little has changed.
Despite the financial cut-backs that Harris‘s
, departure has necessitated, a quality production
is eagerly anticipated, with Gregg Hicks, an
acclaimed actor from the Royal Shakespeare
Company, stepping firmly into Harris‘s shoes. Quite apart from the Harris affair. Enrico IV is
surely a critical production. heralding, as it does.
the Citizens‘ 1990 programme?
‘No. There‘s no particular pressure on this play,‘ emphasises Giles Havergal. Artistic Director at the Citizens‘. who is also performing in Enrico IV. ‘All plays are important. each play
we do is critical.
Enrico IV, a work by the Italian dramatist Luigi Pirandello. was chosen, according to Havergal. as part of their general policy of presenting
foreign work, especially because ‘it examines the questions of reality and illusion and the very business ofthe theatre itselfdoing that. That self-examination is a fascinating aspect. In all his plays, like Six (.‘Iiaraefers In Search ()fan Author and As You Desire Me, Pirandello always explored what was real and what one believes to be real. That‘s something that we‘ve always been terribly interested in.‘
The play concerns a man who acts out the role ofthe 11th century Holy Roman Emperor Enrico IV in a contemporary pageant. After an accident he believes himself to be the emperor and his family humour him. The early comic scenes progress to a stark dramatic tension. The central character, with lengthy monologues. is the axis of the action; it is a demanding role. and a heavy burden falls on Hicks‘ shoulders (which incidentally will be clad in Armani cloth — the suits were ordered before the eeonomising began). Havergal is confident that Hicks. who has worked with (‘itizens‘ director Philip Prowse at the National Theatre, will fulfil all expectations with consummate ease. ‘()verall there is a very strong east,‘ he points out. ‘whieh includes Citizens‘ stalwarts Jill Spurrier. Rupert Farley. Tristran Wymark and Ellen Shean.‘
The production is a typical (‘itizens‘ collaboration with involvement from all three Directors; Philip Prowse designed the set and will direct. Robert David MacDonald did the translation and llavergal acts in the play which he describes as ‘very entertaining.‘
‘lt‘s like a Chinese puzzle box. the more you grasp it the more it opens up.‘
Enrieo IV is at the Citizens" Theatre. Glasgow. Fri 2 Feb—3 Mar.
num- Mime’s the Word
On the weekend of 3 Febuary the director of the Mime Centrum in Amsterdam and the founder of both the Perspekt Mime Company and the Mime Studio Naarlem, lde Van Neiningen, is holding a master class in mime movement with a video lecture and discussion. This is one in a series of workshops organised by Pat Keysell, once famous for her appearances in Vision On.
The Netherlands has become one of the world leaders in mime. There are more than 60 mime producers and six mime youth groups at present, a result
36 The List 26 January — 8 February 1990
of extensive government funding since the Second World War. Future plans include a European Mime Federation to be formed underthe auspices of the Mime Centrum in Amsterdam. The Centrum collates information connected with mime, a role which the new European Federation will extend by providing an arena for countries to converge and exchange ideas. ‘It is Interesting that Holland has become the central pivot rather than France,’ comments Pat Keysall, who surveys these developemnts with interest. Despite the fact that the two greatest teachers in mime -Jaques Lecoq and Etienne Decroux- are both French, France no longer leads the way in terms of new talent.
‘The Dutch have given mime a separate identity from dance,‘ says Keysall. ‘Mlme in Britain has been
forced to become more popular and to appeal to a wider audience, therefore it has become more general. It has lost its identity.‘ The essence of mime is that it should recreate something very specific and give us insight into things that are normally overlooked. ‘In The Netherlands they are doing work which is not always immediately popular. They can be progressive because there is funding. That is the way to preserve
Unfortunately the course is fully booked, but Keysall already has plans to get the French group, Theatre du Movement, to present a workshop in the near future. ‘They have made something quite unique out of the Decroux training,’ she says. ‘The normal Decroux technique is clinical and cold. They have introduced humour and human values without losing the
corporeal skill.‘ (Jo line)
The Mime Movement Masterclass will be held at Moray House College, Cramond Campus, Cramond Road North, Sat3—Sun 4 Feb, 10—5pm.
Dutch Support Group for constipated males.