Loose Bruce

‘lfl hear another joke about condoms. I shall die.‘ says Bruce Morton in one of his frequent attacks on the contemporary comedy scene. ‘1” hear another joke about yuppies. I shall die.‘ he goes on with a certain glee. ‘lfI hear another joke about European (‘ity of(‘u|ture.l shall die.‘ he continues with avengance. ‘That‘s three deaths.’ he calculates with mathematical precision.

No doubt there are those on the stand-up circuit who would happily see the ex-Funny Farmer dead three times over. but Morton‘s vitriol is born out ofa genuine desire to see something more challenging in the chummy world ofalternative comedy. ‘I wouldn‘t condemn those people who compromise.‘ he says. confessing to the odd quip about The Sunday Post in old material of his own. ‘but I would condemn those who lack judgement and don't use their imagination. A yuppie joke is a progression from an Irish joke which to me is worthless. “you're going to talk about yuppies. you should draw attention to the system that creates that kind ol'distribution of wealth. so you can look at what’s under the surface.‘

While working on a panto synopsis. a TV show about computers. a radio show and a book. the Halfway to Paradise star is just about to launch into a one-man mini tour ofthe (‘entral Belt. kicking off in East Kilbride and culminating in Mayt'est. It‘s an unusual. but arguably necessary step to take for a comedian poised between local celebrity and national success. ‘I see the tour as a staging post in my aspirations towards world domination.‘ he explains with some irony. ‘going to places that maybe haven‘t put comedy on before. It's a new venture. so it‘s only right that I should use new material.‘

(Mark Fisher)

Bruce Morton plays East K ilhride. Village Theatre on 19 April then tours. See Cabaret Listings.




Elvis lives

Peter Nardini is an unusual phenomenon in the Scottish arts scene. Alter starting Iile as a printmaker in the mid 1970s, he went on to develop interests in a wide range of creative disciplines. By 1980 he had won the Amsterdam award tor ligurative painting, and in time this visual expertise was added to by an increasing preoccupation with songwriting and performance, and latterly scriptwriting for theatre. In all at these he has demonstrated his ability to survive and entertain, and it is perhaps only because at his eclectic approach that he has remained at a

i distance lrom the public eye.

Nardini's latest work is a play specially commissioned by the Cumbernauld Theatre, entitled ‘ll Elvis Lived in Miekle Earnock'. It tells the story at a son’s attitude towards his lather, and although he is reluctant to impose any specilic message on the piece, he does describe it as a study oi the ideas and conventions of people in a small, outlying housing scheme.

“The play began lile as a song' he explains. ‘I wrote ‘liJesus lived in Miekle Earnock’ a lew years ago, as a simple illustration ol the way in which the novel or unusual can be stilled by the delensive outlook at an isolated community. Cumbernauld Theatre came along, and since they wanted something about lile in a provincial new town, I used the theme at the song

‘1.¢:? I F ii

to develop a lull length play'.

So why the change lrom Jesus to Elvis? ‘The names aren’t terribly important. The main point is thatl wanted to raise the question at whether someone who really has become lamous could have done so it they had been brought up in a town like Miekle Earnock. I changed the name because I wanted to lix the characters into the recognisable past. The play examines a son’s attitude towards his lather’s Elvis lixation, and I've used both characters to describe the clash between eccentricity and convention. It would have been a bit misleading it I’d described the lather as a kind at lreelance monk’. (Philip Kingsley)

ll Elvis Lived at Meikle Earnock opens at Cumbernauld Theatre, 12-14 Apr, then tours.


rituals which everybody goes through in everyday Iile,‘ says writer and dramaturge Mark Wheatley of

i Faceback Theatre Company. “We then i came to a character who does

something rather extraordinary. We made him a murderer. So many people

, have preconceptions about why so h outrageous acts are committed.‘

‘Everybody has their pet theory about murder—that it’s the lault oi the parents or the education system or society in another way. We are interested in just how ordinary such people are. We did a lot at research and spent time with a lorensic psychiatrist who deals with murderers in her work. Most ol the authorities agreed with us about how ordinary these individuals are. A man called Britten carried out a lot at research on the subject and describes the character of a person likely to commit ‘sadistic' murder. His conclusion is that the condition is not rare.‘

The Lecoq-trained company devise

iFacing forward

‘We began by being lascinated with the idea at ordinariness; the rhythms and

the actors improvise. In the course of improvisation, an event, an emotion or a character may arise which nobody could have conceived oi it we’d been sitting down talking about it.‘

Excited about touring to the Highlands and the Islands, Brennan is challenged by a shitting environment. ‘We’ll be going to people’s village halls which have a whole variety oi lunctions. They have been used tor letes, the old age pensioners' lunch, the church service, so how do you make it a special event? One way is through

and create their own work in rehearsal. 1 physical theatre. You have to combine

always with an emphasis on movement. ‘We came into rehearsal with a lundamental idea and possible ways at approaching it,’ Company director, Clare Brennan

explains. ‘Ouriob isto give instructions to lorm a base lrom which

the artistry ol the perlormer with the

j imagination ol the audience who are

constantly adding details and colour.‘ (Jo Roe)


. Betum of City Glasgow‘s already massive community play initiated by TAG last year now extends and mutates into a ‘journey. not only through time. but three different sites through Glasgow; over water. through industrial wastelands and to an ancient part ofthe city'. As before. everyone is invited to get involved in any area of the production and to whatever extent suitsthem. First rehearsals are just starting as follows turn up or call 041 221 5227 for details: Gallo wgate Tenants Hall Thursdays 7pm. Goran/till Neighbourhood Centre Tuesdays 7pm. [)rumehapel Unemployed Workers ('entre Wednesdays 7pm.

[film vale ( ‘ornmunity Education ('entre Thursdays 7pm. Mary/till Community ( ‘entre I {ails Wednesdays 7pm. Pearce Institute, (ioi'an Wednesdays 7.30pm. Dolphin A rts ('entre

( M usie Group). Bridgeton Mondays 7pm. Bishopbriggs War Memorial Hall Tuesdays 7pm.

I Forth Bridge Centenary Residents of South

5 Queensferry who wishto

get involved in the June

communityplayto celebratetheForth

Bridge's centenary should call ()31 331 4732. Beginners and people with experience are welcome to join in the evening workshops in dance and acting.

I Jigsaw Travels Flying the flag for Glasgow in its year ofculture. are Jigsaw Dancers from East Kilbride who are heading

to the United States at the

end ofthe month. The special needs group who recently impressed the Queen with their sharply-tinted show. have been invited to perform in Washington and to take part in a seriesoi workshops. Strathclyde's (‘ity of (‘ulture Steering (‘ommittee is contributing


I Observer Debate Not


rest. The Observer Scotland has organised an all-day conference to discuss the differing priorities of critics.

creators and audiences in

The End at an Ordinary Man is on at The i

Theatre Workshop 11—14 April, belore touring Scotland lor six weeks.

Scottish theatre. The debate comes about in response to the violent split ofopinion about the Traverse Theatre's production of Tally 's Blood. though it is to be hoped that the conference extends its discussion beyond a single play. Admission is free and the event takes place at the Tron Theatre. 7 April. 10am—4pm.

44 The List 6— 19 April 1990