Passmores’ fiftieth wedding anniversary. an event that brings back the birds who have flown the nest. In its sense of rituality, its attempt to crystallise emotions in a single moment. it has strong parallels with Storey‘s earlier work. particularly In Celebration. which Anderson directed in 1969. and filmed six years later. ‘lt‘s not really a development of In Celebration.‘ he explains. ‘the two are more like variations on a theme. There is certainly common ground a family coming together. parents and children but In Celebration had the three brothers. That idea of brotherly relationship isn‘t there in Jubilee. Really it’s as much about the marriage. which alters the emphasis. gives it an extra dimension. Rituality? Yes. these moments bring a family together. reveal their relationships with each other. And David also is a very poetic writer. with a strong sense of . . . time, rather like Chekhov- how time passes, its effects. and so on.‘

The Storey-Anderson partnership has generated in turn a regular pool of actors who mesh perfectly with the particular sensibilities of writer and director. Headed by Bill ’Compo‘ Owen and Constance Chapman. who worked on that original production of In Celebration. the cast includes Storey vets Frank Grimes and Rosemary Martin. ‘The great thing about working with the same actors over a long period of time,‘ Anderson comments, ‘is the confidence you can have in them. If you know them personally you don‘t have to develop a relationship with them alongside the acting one it‘s already there. We did the play last year at the National. when it was called March on Russia, and coming back with the same people, working

again on it, it has become even better, improved with age.‘

Anderson‘s credentials as a theatre director are impeccable. Equally impressive in his 605 and early 70s film work. A driving force in the Free Cinema movement. his work stands as one of the richest veins of British post-war expression, from his industrial documentaries to the overt radicalism of If. . . and 0 Lucky Manl. Recent films have signalled a waning of Anderson‘s political consciousness. but the old anger is still there. ‘I think the main thing about the 605,‘ he says. ‘is that now it’s always presented in a very negative light. It wasn’t all just flower-power and hippies it was a very exciting and lively time of radical activity. that was rolled back during the 705. Nowadays all anybody is interested in is making money and that has ruined a lot of great things. The idea that businesses be expected to sponsor the arts in Britain is absolute balls. Why should they? Can you really see Barclay‘s funding a modern Look Back in Anger? It seems to me that Britain is now back at the same stage as it was in the 505, before anything had happened. It‘s up to your generation now to fight that.’ Jubilee, King's Theatre, Glasgow, 14—19 May, 7.30pm.

In the five years or so that Britain has been actively showcasing the work of French new wave choreographers, audiences here have elected Charles Cre-Ange a firm cross-channel favourite. Ore-Ange was perhaps fortunate in that when he presented his Eurydlce Disparue - a postmodern and very humorous version oi the Orpheus myth some three and a half years ago, public interest in European dance was ripe and the climate for an alternative dance aesthetic had already been prepared.

Now making its Scottish debut as part oi Mayfest, Compagnie Cre-Ange will be giving the first UK performance of a new work entitled Save Our Souls. Described as a comic interpretation of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, Save Our Souls (set to music by Shostakovich), features seven dancers and promises irony, cruelty and foolishness. In common with nearly all of Cre-Ange’s previous creations, it uses a dramatic/literary text as its starting point. And, as in the case of such works as hair Salle, inspired by Mollere’s Le Misanthrope, one needn’t be familiar with the source material in order to enjoy Cre-Ange’s physical translation.

Like many French choreographers, Cre-Ange links dance with theatre, shunning pure abstract movement in favour of a complex gestural vocabulary and dramatic device. Although he usually aims to preserve key characters and situations, Cre-Ange isn’t interested in producing a faithful adaptation of his chosen text, preferring instead to ransack it for choreographic possibilities. Dancers burst into short, repetitive phrases of movement with manic intensity,

' frequently sabotaging each other’s

calmer moments. Communicating mood and narrative with ease and precision, it is a dance language which possesses the absurd humour one might expect of an artist who lists Jacques Teti and Charlie Chaplin as major influences. (Sophie Constanti) Save Our Souls is on at the Mitchell Theatre 4 May.

Shades of Ireland

Expect an especially mature production of Sean O’Casey’s first play, The Shadow of a Gunman, when Dublin’s Abbey Theatre lands in town. Since the production’s debut In November, the tenement tragedy has run through no less than 108 consecutive performances including a nine-week stint in its home base, a tour of Southern Ireland and visits to Adelaide and Wellington.

‘Generally I‘m not someone who directs to the bitter end,’ explains Ben Barnes, enjoying a rare break before the production goes back into rehearsal for Glasgow. ‘I do believe in letting a show breathe and having a life of its own. But there are certain things that creep into it that you don’t like and I’m glad to have had the opportunity to stay with it.’

Barnes’ continued presence is particularly important when O'Casey’s blend of realism, comedy and tragedy is so volatile. ‘To achieve the balance is the really difficult thing,’ he agrees. ‘My criticism of O’Casey up to recent productions has been that the music hall elements tend to be over-emphasised at the expense of the underlying tragedy. This production points out the cowardliness of the men in particular; there’s a lot of bluster and a lot of talk, but very little motivation. Equally we don’t quench the humour.’

Indeed, audiences in Australia and New Zealand took to the comedy with remarkable enthusiasm, a pointer no doubt to the faithful humanity of

O’Casey’s work. ‘It is characteristic of the three great O’Casey plays of that time - Shadow of a Gunman, Juno and the Paycock and The Plough and the Stars -that people are humorous in the face of adversity. Laughter is part of the tenement world and I hope we haven’t denied it.’

In a sensibly naturalistic production that upholds O’Casey's unequivocal condemnation of violence, Barnes has paid particular attention to the relationship of the unlikely room mates Seamus Shields, pedlar, and Donal Davoren, poet, respectively. We never seen a production which has elucidated why Davoren should want to stay in the same room as Shields,’ he says. ‘But Shields is also very well read and teamed in his own way. We highlight their discussions and show Shields’ intellectual prowess. I’ve tried to show the validity of that relationship.’ (Mark Fisher)

The Shadow of a Gunman, King’s Theatre, Glasgow, Tue B—Sat 12 May, 7.30pm.

Photo by Iain Stewart


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