.5 Photo: Glasgow Herald.
X-SYT STAGE LEFT
With almost all ofthe scaffolding removed. the majority ofthe walls painted and only a slight, lingering odour of turpentine it looks as though, against all the odds. The Old Athenaeum Theatre will be open for Mayfest. Aside from housing The List‘s Glasgow office. the theatre is also the home base for Scottish Youth Theatre. lix-SYT members going underthe name of (here’s originality) X-SYTwill Christen the new stage with a production of Ben Jonson's The Alchemist. I asked director Robin Peoples what the renowned romp had to offer Glasgow sophisticates.
‘Aftcr all ofhis schemes.‘ says Robin ‘at the end of the play Face (the double dealing anti-hero of the piece) remains unbowed. unchastened and unpunished. lle isleft outside of any moral retributive system. The audience is left to reach its own concIUsions about all ofthe characters. Hopefully they will see them as would any ethical person.‘
Unlike his slightly more illustrious contemporary, Jonson does not place obstacles in the way ofthe thoughtful audience seeking to make up its own mind about the virtues and vices of his characters. In fact. as Peoples explains. hc guides them through the script‘s twists and turns.
‘lt is very anarchic but there is much use made of asides throughout the whole play. When Face is talking to the audience we‘ve decided to temporarily suspend the action whilst the character explains what he's thinking. This adds to the farcical and pantomimic elements of the play. for although there is a serious message it would be wrong topresent it with solemnity.‘
So remember to practise your Oh no he isn ’rs before you go to see The Alchemist. (Philip Fan) The Alchemist will be at The Old A thenueum Theatre. Glasgow 4-12
15 The List 4— 17 May 1990
His fighting spirit still intact, director Lindsay Anderson gives Andrew Pulver the low down on his Royal National Theatre production of David Storey’s Jubilee.
The artistic collaboration between writer David Storey and director Lindsay Anderson is one of the few
long-running success stories in the
British performance world. From its explosive beginnings in 1963 when Anderson brought Storey‘s ‘angry’ masterpiece This Sporting Life to the cinema. simultaneously launching the acting career of Richard Harris. the partnership has chugged along evenly for over twenty years. In that time Anderson directed at least six more of Storey‘s plays. took on the artistic directorship at the Royal Court (1959—61) and directed the first productions of Serjeant M usgrave '3 Dance and Billy Liar. Picking up awards on both sides of the Atlantic en route. the director has squeezed in works like Home. The Contractor. In (.‘elebrutimt. and most recently. Jubilee.
Storey's titles reveal plenty about the central concerns of his work: a Lawrentian investigation emerging
from his own Northern I-inglish background of the subtleties of family life. permanently set in the context ol~ work. struggle and the daily fight to exist. Anderson is keen to stress these as a major point of interest between them. ‘(.)ne ofthe things I‘ve always liked about David Storey‘s writing.‘ he says. ‘is it is true to human experience. common experience. Many of his plays have a tremendous feeling for family relationships. and this particular play is about two things: about a family. a mother and father and their three children. now middle-aged. and it's also about a marriage. a study of a marriage that's suryix ed fifty years. with all the compromises and complexities that exist in any long~lasting marriage.’
Jubilee is set on the day ol~ the