Latin kiss


The Theatre Workshop Company is putting together what promises to be a highly original and imaginative production of Manuel I’uig‘s classic Latin-American novel. The Kiss of the .S‘pt'derwoman. The narrative and imagery ofthe piece should be familiar to many after William Hurt‘s bravura Oscar-winning performance in the successful film version the question remains whether its long shadow can be avoided.

Director Peter (‘lerke thinks this won‘t be a problem. ‘Film and theatre are such different things,‘ he says, ‘you can get completely different atmospheres in each medium. A film, obviously. tends to be all-embracing. you can vary the range. take it big. take it small but on stage. things concentrate very tightly on the relationship itself. It's a single space. a live performance. and the focusing tightens correspondingly.‘

The action is centred around two men in a prison cell in Argentina: Valentin. a political prisoner. and Molina. charged with immorality. ‘Paradoxically. both achieve their release through being imprisoned physically.‘ explains Clerke. ‘In differnt ways they trap themselves Molina through his relentless fantasising and Valentine with his analysis but through this improbable relationship they can each find a balance -— Valentin is given emotion. and Molina gains a strength. a dignity.‘

Molina's compulsive retelling of the plot of (‘rtl People provides the play with a presiding symbolism. ‘I'Ie concentrates on the character of Irena.‘ says Clerke. ‘whosc experience of passion is totally destructive ~ she turns into a panther and kills her lovers. Like Molina. she finds a release through death. the only way she can find freedom.‘

Theatre Workshop is employing the seviccs ofdanccr Lyn Denton. who has been performing recently in the Feet First festival at the Traverse. ‘Wc are using dance to heighten atmosphere and emotion you can say things through a pure movement form that you can‘t any other way. The character Lyn is playing is not a straight identification with Irena - there are elementsoffvfolina and Valentin mixed in as well. All ofthem are trying to find a balance between freedom and imprisonment. reality and illusion. masculinity and

femininin It‘s what makes it such a

beautiful play“. (Andrew l’ulver)

Kiss u/ the .S/Hdt’l‘lt‘UHItlII open a! I/it’ 'Iht'ulrt' Works/mp, Iidmlmrg/t (m 9

Mun/1undlhengocs (m rm...





Horse play

The Dueen’s in town and the Gorbals is shutoff. You can’t even park your car without paying £70 for the privilege. That’s a lot of 10 pence pieces in the meter. Jon Pope finally battles his way through the security men and their dogs and reaches lorthe phone. ‘It was Brenda,’ he blusters.

Yes, yes, yes, but what aboutthls play you’re directing? ‘There’s at least three orfour births, any number of deaths, three marriages. the First World War. . . lt’sthatsort of thing. Very dramatic.’ Real life, who needs it?

Initially a fairly unreadable popular novel by Vincente Blasco lbanez, then turned into the exotic movie that made a star out of Rudolph Valentino. ‘The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse’ was later given a turgid re-make by Vincente Minnelli in 1961. The Citizens Theatre has given itself the task of restoring the period appeal that Valentino sought in 1921. ‘The point lbanez makes in the novel,’ says Pope, ’he makes pretty ponderously. The film is where we started out and it transpires that the story is a good deal better. We can do all the business that they couldn’t do In the film because it was silent. They couldn’t really go lnto some of the family history and detail that we’re ableto.‘

Nonetheless, Pope and his old Shadow Syndicate colleague,


.' . \ - ' ‘x. .. l{( ("\"E’W/y'? .. ‘L‘; .e i,

l musician Adrian Johnston, have tried to capture the mood of a silent movie. The musicians, like the actors, remain on stage throughout the performance, playing an almost continual score. Pope compares it to early Shadow Syndicate pieces like Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, with the additional benefits of the larger Citizens stage and an A-team of actors. But what does he make of the criticism that his work tends to put style before content?

‘l’d rather lt was that way than the other way around.’ he says. ‘l’d prefer it that we have a style and then come to the content. So often I go to shows that are all very worthy, but they’re just so boring. You've got to make people watch it and then you give them the content.’

So how’s he dolng it this time? “We go tango crazy!’ (Mark Fisher)

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse is at the Citizens Theatre, Glasgow, 9-31 March, 7.30pm.

Emphatically lone

. “v :3... b .. ,‘ “a M “F ' so

One of the more noteworthy acts to appear at the New Moves dance festival is Truus Bronkhorst, a solo performer who revels in the descrlptlon ‘Not a dancer’.

I choose my words carefully here. because Truus is regarded as something of a maverick In the appropriate circles of her native Holland. After receiving a formal training at the Koert Stuyl in Amsterdam. she proceeded to spend the next decade progressively rejecting everything that dance school had offered her. By 1988 the process was complete. Formal dance steps and sequences were abandoned; replaced by a combination of mime, movement and techniques drawn from the theatre.

Critical reaction has always been mixed. Herfirst non-dance piece, entitled ’To the Moon', inspired one reviewer to offer his services at the

launch pad, while ‘Lood', her most recent work, won the coveted ‘Dutch Dance Theatre Golden Prlze'. Truus has never performed in Scotland, but videotapes do suggest that her work is unusual. She always performs alone, using a mlnlmum of props to support her. Herstyle is. by dancers’ standards. untutored, and without a deliberate narrative. the success of the place depends entirely upon the expressive powers of her movements. Her latest piece is called ‘Gold’ and describes ‘Love and Loneliness, life's illusions and a consciousness of death.‘ It appears next week at the

Tron, and should be worth a visit. Truus

Bronkhorst, good or bad, emerges as one of the most radical innovators in the recent history of modern dance. (Philip Kingsley)

Gold is at the Tron Theatre, 15—1 6

I March, 7.30pm.

A l Alison Peebles in lnes De Castro.



The time it takes for a playwright to get from script to stage can be formidany long. In a competitive business with limited resources. it's likely that even when a theatre loves your play. it won't be able to produce it for at least a year or two. So it‘s striking that Kate I’larwood. Literary Manager of London‘s Royal Court. has already managed to bring together six ofhcr favourite new plays of I989 in one volume. First Run 2.

‘The remit of the First Rttn series.‘ she explains. ’is that the plays should have happened in the last year. It's nice to be able to look over the past year and say these are my favourite plays.‘

Nice too that I Iarwood has seen beyond the often parochial view of the London establishment and included three plays from outwith London; one from Ireland and two from Scotland. Both hits in last year's Edinburgh Fringe. Stuart Hepburn’s touching and comic Loose Ends and John Clifford's poetic and tragic Ines de Castro are very welcome additions to an all too small number of Scottish plays in print.

But is the strong Scottish showing more than coincidence? ‘I think Scottish new writing is very healthy.‘ says Harwood. ‘I think it's no accident at all. The Edinburgh Festival used to be English people bringing up English theatre for three weeks. It's not that at all now. Most of what‘s interesting in the Festival and certainly Mayfcst is the Scottish work.‘

What appealed to her about the six plays in the collection was their ability to keep moving and to hold her imagination rare qualities to a professional play reader. ‘Stuart Ilepburn manages to do that.‘ she says about the play that made her laugh and cry at lflam. “and Ines de Castro is continually active. Ines will work well in print. but [don't think it isthat literary. It‘s full ofhcart and strong emotion and

although it's located in language. it's got a real emotional centrc.‘ (Mark Fisher) Hrs! Run 2 is published by Nick Her/t Books on [5 Feb, I 7. 95 .

42 "I he List I) 23 March l‘)‘)fl