THE DIARY 0F ANNE FRANK
RSAMD. Until Sat 27 Jan.
One of the problems posed to the dramatist by the diary ol Anne Frank is that ol perspective. Historically, the impact of the diary rests upon an awareness of events surrounding the ‘Secret Annexe’, and it is this sense at captivity and persecution which lends the document much ot its emotional lorce.
Yet, this is not simply an account at the Final Solution as seen through the eyes of one at its victims. Bound to an isolated society, Anne develops a profound and intuitive curiosity towards the complexities ol adult lite. The themes ol convention, sexuality, and her own status within the community recur throughout the text.
This presents the playwright with an awkward dilemma. To over-emphasise the historical contexts would be to reinterpret events on Anne’s hehalt, while to neglect them would be to destroy the purpose of the published text, which was donated to the Weisenthal institute specilically as a reminder ot the holocaust. The balance is a precarious one, and t’m not sure that this particular version achieves it.
The play emphasises the role ot Anne as a social witness, and a great deal at effort is given overto her portrayal ot decaying tamin lite. This might be a worthwhile theme, but it doesn’t remind the audience that Anne was also learning to come to terms with the injustice ol her tamily’s situation. When the latter issue does tinally surtace in the play, it is dealt with in a pertunctory and slightly confusing manner.
As a piece at theatre, this is an interesting and well presented venture. It does little justice, however, to the memory 01 Anne Frank. (Philip Kingsley)
FITTING FOR LADIES
Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh. Until 3 Feb.
Opening in a week when the Glasgow
there’s no question that Feydeau’s larcical look at marital inlidelity has lost none oi its relevance. There’s even a line in the printed edition, though out in this version, that goes, “It a husband’s not sleeping in his own bed, he hasn’t gone for a cross-country run’. The same temptations, the same excuses and the same jokes remain true a hundred years on.
But equally, Feydeau’s first play has lost none of its superliciality. Fitting For Ladies continues the Royal Lyceum’s tradition ol easing us gently out at the panto season with a light-weight, larger-than-lite romp. Moulineaux is having an attair, his wile suspects and enlists the support other motherwho bounds through the play only one step behind her miscreant son-in-law as he talks his way out of the predicament. You’ve seen it everywhere lrom Ray Cooney to John Cleese, there’s even a happy ending, but what’s important is that the Royal Lyceum carries it all with a degree 01 freshness and zeal.
Thanks in no small part to Kenny Miller’s uncluttered, behind-the-scenes set, there’s a bright airiness to Robert J. Carson’s production. The actors are given ample space, and a shiny white surtace, to all but dance across the stage. Only Raad Rawi as Aubin tully realises the cartoon comic potential at his character- all nervy twitches and starts, packing a host at expressions into every gesture — but he is not alone in his ability to raise a laugh. Sue Flack as the non-speaking maid and Dan Mullane as a dead-pan Etienne, achieve the rare teat of being charmingly tunny in minor roles without upstaging the main action. Jonathan Hackett as Moulineaux and Frankie Cosgrave as Mme Aigreville tend to slip into histrionics rather than genuinely lunny characterisations, but for the most part they play solid, amiable leads.
And amiable is the key word in a production that is never quite hilarious, and yet for the most part gently amusing. it’s a mistake, albeit well-intentioned, to linish with a round of Somewhere OverThe Rainbow; the original play does end surprisingly suddenly, but to work in this protracted and anachronistic linale is not the solution. Otherwise, this is a lrothy production that matches, without
Herald ran the headline, ‘Wite suspicious oi midnight jogging trips’,
I Feydeau‘s doc diagnoses halitosis.
exceeding, the comedy of Feydeau’s script. (Mark Fisher)
Brunton Theatre, Musselburgh, until 3 Febuary.
Although tiction ot this sort is not to everybody’s taste, Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca is a line example ol a gripping, romance-thriller. However some 01 the mystery which pervades the book is lost on stage. The private world oi the reader is intruded upon by mis-cast actors and cumbersome stage play. Fortunately the plot and ideas condensed from the original pyschological thriller are clever
' enough to result in interesting drama.
The Brunton Theatre present a competent, caretully-worked version oi the play, building up the tension as Mrs De Winter becomes increasingly insecure in her new surroundings. Clever dialogue, atmospheric lighting and some good acting, notably trom Paul Morrow as the lascivious Jack Favell and Lucinda Baillie as the sinister Mrs Oanvers, contribute to the drama. Both Jeltery Oaunton and Eilidh Fraser, playing Mr and Mrs De Winter, slip in and out at impressive ease with their characters to moments ot awkwardness in which they tail to carry the mystery. Mis placed petulance from Mrs De Winter, in an attempt to portray her naivety, detracts from her integrity.
In the original novel the second Mrs De Winter and the reader sense the presence at the tirst Mrs De Winter.
, However in this production, a very
corporeal Rebecca walks in on the action, knocks over vases and prowls round the debris piled behind the set holding a candle which illuminates her mass at locks and see-through costume. The script constantly reminds us of Rebecca by informing us that the house is run exactly as it was under her reign. Her physical presence on stage detracts from the myth which is built up, both tor the audience and the present Mrs De Winter, through reports oi her beauty and intelligence. Although this device is supposed to heighten the drama, we don't in tact need such a heavy-handed symbol, which is really only uselul lor the flash-back scenes. (Jo Roe)
I BLACKFRIARS 45 Albion Street. Merchant City.
Your Body, Your Face, Your Voice and You— an Actor Wed 31 Jan & Wed 7 Feb. 7-10pm. I know it sounds like a chapter heading from the cod biography of Nicholas Craig (AKA Nigel Planer). but the first Performance Exchange class of the New Year — and the first to be held downstairs at Blackfriars — should prove to be of much value to professional actors. John Ramage will be leading the class through exercises. improvisation and discussion about the way actors are type-cast and about how they can change the trend or exploit it further. Call 227 5557 for more details. See also Tramway Theatre below.
Comic Club Sat 3 Feb. See Cabaret.
I CITIZENS' THEATRE Gorbals Street. 429 0022. Box Office Mon—Sat 10am—8pm. Bar. [Access: P. L. Facilities: WC. W8. E. G, R. Help: AA]
Enrico Four Fri 2 Feb—Sat 3 March. 7.30pm. £5 (£1). Philip Prowse directs and designs Robert David MacDonald‘s translation of Luigi Pirandello‘s study of the borderline between sanity and insanity. A man playing Henry IV is concussed and continues to play the part when he comes round. Greg llicks takes the lead in preference to the errant Richard Harris. See Preview.
I CUMBERNAULD THEATRE Cumbernauld. 0236 732887. Box Office Mon-Fri 10am-6pm; Sat 10am-3pm; 6—8pm perf. evgs Bar/Cafe. [Access: PPA. ST. Facilities: WC, W8. G, B. Help: A, AA]. Writers Workshop Mon 29 Jan. 7.30pm. Second scribbling session of the New Year. Classes continue every other Monday.
Highly Recommended Thurs 25—Sat 27 Jan. 8pm. £2 (£1.25). If nothing else. No Mean Company know a clever title when they see one. This is a comedy double bill with a few sketches thrown in for good measure. all written and devised by this local company. Could be good fun, but I‘m saying no more.
SailmakerThurs l—Sat 3 Feb. 7.45pm. Thurs£2.50 (£1.25). Fri & Sat£4 (£2). See Touring and Feature.
I EAST KILBRIDE VILLAGE THEATRE Maxwell Drive, 03552 48669.
Variety Show Until Sat 27 Jan. 7pm. East Kilbride Young Farmers in their annual entertainment package.
Workshop Weekend Sat 27—Sun 28.1 an. 10.30am. Free. Places are limited for these inaugural sessions of East Kilbride's new Youth Theatre. The group will meet weekly to explore all aspects oftheatre. Phone early to book a place.
The Pajama Game Fri 2 Feb—Sat 10 Feb. 7.30pm. £3 (£1.50). St Bridestheatre company in the popular boy meets girl musical.
I GLASGOW UNIVERSITY 68 l lillhead Street.
Who Killed HM? Wed 31 Jan—Fri 2 Feb. Noon. Free. Glasgow University students in a lunchtime play.
Accidental Death ot an Anarchist Thurs l—Sat 3 Feb. 8pm. Free. DramaStudio. Dario Fo‘s hilarious political farce is revived by Glasgow University Theatre Company.
Dead Cat/T he Luncheon Wed 7—Fri 9 Feb. 1pm. Free. Two new hard-hitting playlets by students Darren O‘Connor and Steve Ceretti respectively. The first is acomedy and the second a comedy ofmanners.
I KINGS THEATRE Bath Street. Box Office. Mon—Sat noon—6pm. 4 bars. Phone bookings. Ticket Centre. Candleriggs. Mon—Sat 10.30am—8pm. 227 5511 or other Ticketlink box offices. [Access: 1’, L. Facilities: WC. R. G. Help:
42 The List 26 January — 8 February 1990