at the forefront of Scottish Theatre with his last play. The Steamie. But that was two years ago and audiences can be fickle. Not so Glaswegian audiences. Paddy '3 Market has sold out for its entire month-long run at The Tron.
And this beliefthat Roper will carry on whence he left off. is justified. Paddy ’5 Market is funny. often hilarious. and greatly benefits from the fact that the author has in no way attempted to tell a story. He simply allows his characters to interact with one another throughout the course ofa mythical day. One is therefore given a much clearer vision ofthe personalities and motivations ofthe stallholders than would have been the case if Roper had written a conventional play. It takes a great deal ofskill to write dialogue which holds the audience‘s attention without the assistance of a plot. The fact that it has taken over two years for Paddy ‘5 Market to reach the stage would seem to indicate that Roper struggled to succeed. but succeed he undoubtedly does.
The audience remain riveted throughout and even applaud the entrance and exit offavourite characters. An unusual response indeed. but then Roper‘s creation of intriguing. loveable rogues goes someway to explainingthis. What is more difficult to fathom is the audience‘s acceptance ofchunks ofthe play‘s second halfwhich are at best sentimental and. more accurately. nauseating. This taints. rather than ruins. an enjoyable evening of well-observed comedy. but it does make you wonder why authors as talented as Roper feel the need to try their hand at ‘serious‘ comment. (Philip Parr)
MAKE ME A STATUE
Seen at Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh. Showing at Third Eye Centre,17—18 May.
Watching Victoria Worsley romp through this short performance is like watching a five-year old playing happily in a world of make-believe. never condescending to explain the rules ofthe game. Worsley undoubtedly has a lovely time. pounding lumps of clay. writhing in muddy water. singing chunks of Don Giovanni and
Make me a Statue
alluding to Balzac. but she omits to tell us why any of her behaviour is necessary.
This is a shame because her choice of subject matter has much potential. The celebrated love affair betweeen sculptors Camille Claudel and Auguste Rodin lasted for a decade. but ended when Claudel insisted on working in private. Her years of solitude led to increasingly anti-social behaviour and her eventual confinement in an asylum. The ideas. passion. achievement and demise of two great artists should present plenty of
dramatic material. but Worsley prefers to present a surface sheen ofexternal
imagery that gets no closer
than the programme notes to an explanation ofthe
Appearing on a podium in a blue-white light with hair of moulded clay. she begins the performance with a painfully slow imitation ofclassical sculpture poses. An attempt to break the ice with a routine about breathing life into a lump of clay shows promise . but fails both because it is not particularly funny and because it lacks context. Her summary ofthe Claudel/Rodin liaison is glib and basic - we presume that she is Claudel. but for all the insight she provides she might as well be Rodin.
Of course. Worsley is not trying to present a conventional narrative — she bills the show as ‘a response‘ to the lives of the sculptors and not a dramatic re-enactment. But by placing her work in no clear context. she
communicates little. even though her use of form and space shows much imagination and her grasp of movement and operatic technique much agility. (Mark Fisher)
Seen at Springbum College. Run ended. Worshop Negative is lshowing at The Arches until Fri 18 May. Despite a shocking turnout. Zimbabwean theatre company. Amakhosi managed to create drama in an otherwise spiritless school hall. Belting out traditional African song and dance to an audience ofseven. they rendered The Sound ()fMusic pale and limp by comparison. Impressiver relaxed the thirteen-strong cast switched from song to dialogue with ease. interrupting. exclaiming and reacting to each other. in a powerful piece ofcommunity drama. Among other themes. Shitsha is about the injustices wrought on women and the stiﬂing rules they are expected to obey. Broadening the issue. it exposes the suppressed majority who refuse to question a corrupt system through fear of recrimination. ‘What you will get is jail or exile; that's what Africa gives its artists.‘ Cont Mhlanga. author and director of Shista! and Workshop Negative showing at the Arches Theatre. has had plays banned in Zimbabwe. causing outrage among the student population. In conversation after the
show he explainsthe relevance of the play to his own life. He is delighted to discover that the play is relevant for us also. Although the situation is more extreme in Zimbabwe. prejudiced expectation. both about women and black people. is an issue alive and kicking all over the world. (Jo Roe)
King's Theatre until Sat19. Set in the home ofa retired miner and his wife on the occasion oftheir diamond wedding anniversary. David Storey‘s Jubilee is certainly a ‘difficult‘ play. Like much ofhis work (notably Home- now twenty years old). it offers
few intellectual handholds on a smoothly crafted slice
oflife. Comparisons with Chekhov are hard to resist: any significant events are pushed to the periphery; lack of communication is as important as engaging discussion; the central themes are unspoken suffering and the contrast of the old order with the
But bear with this tasking play — directed. like much of Storey‘s earlier work. by the great Lindsay Anderson - and it begins to reveal its unﬂinching insights into family pressures ancient and new, and the bankruptcy of conversation as a medium for communication. Among the family assembled for the celebration — each member trapped in some incommunicable bewilderment. sometimes verging on despair— the denouements Storey refuses to contrive seep slowly out. in awkward moments or in private.
It‘s not comfortable. and it‘s only occasionally charming. Some may ﬁnd the absence ofdramatic ﬂow intolerable. What is inescapable in this immaculately performed piece — with Bill Owen and Constance Chapman‘s weary central couple completely believable — is a commitment to explore the elusive poetry which somehow makes sense of the blandness ofeveryday experience. (Andrew Burnet)
Seen at The Mitchell Theatre. See Mayfest Diary lorvenue details.
TAG Theatre Company is touring this show around primary schools. It tells
the story of a young Cambodian Dancer. shackled by The Khmer Rouge. who eventually breaks free from the repression to perform the dance of the Water Goddess. Heavy with allegory and incorporating a variety of masks eerily resembling the skulls which those of a slightly older generation will recall with a shudder. you wouldn‘t think that this was typical primary school fare.
The story is dramatically told simultaneously by a ‘victim‘ of Pol Pot and by one of his supporters. Naturally enough. the latter comes across as a violent bully boy given the opportunity to exercise all of his perverse ambitions by the revolution. The former, equally expectedly. tells the story from the angle ofa confused ‘ordinary‘ person appalled by the excesses of The Khmer Rouge. This reduces down a hugely complex modern holocaust to the most simplistic of explanations. ‘Well. it is for schoolkids. it‘s got to be easy to understand‘. I hear you cry. But that‘s the problem. Although the combatants are simplified. the narrative was frequently incomprehensible and so laden with tenuous allegory that even your worldy-wise reviewer was having trouble following the course ofevents.
This detracted from a piece of theatre which looked and sounded quite stunning. Praise must go to the designers and an exciting cast for holding the kids‘ attention, for without these elements the effect of the whole piece would have been even more disturbing and confusing. (Philip Parr)
A VERY PRIVATE DIARY
Seen at Benhew Ferry; run finished.
It could of course be said that Victor Spinetti is nothing more than a champion name-dropper. No matter what story the inveterate raconteur is telling. he invariably can— and normally does - cite some weighty personality as protagonist, or at least chorus member.
But Spinetti does not stop at conjuring a name. An actor to the core, he peoples his anecdotes — how Sean Connery lost his
seven-year Disney 0
contract; what the Stones did with their Beechams Powders— with consummate caricatures
of the stars who've been privileged to rub shoulders with him: Richard Burton, the Beatles. Joan Littlewood. Marlene Dietrich, the Oliviers and more.
For all the extraordinary people and stories. however, the real star is undoubtedly Spinetti himself . electric with charm. magnetic with charisma. endlessly entertaining; and never more so than when he presents characters of his own invention.
A uniquely enjoyable evening, over which those who neglected the unsold tickets should kick themselves soundly. (Andrew Burnet)
Jo Roe reviews the highlights of the Mayfest dance programme solar. Kicking offwith Compagnie Cre Ange. Mayfest dance has so far been a resounding success. With their fusion of cool choreography and powerful tension. Cre Ange‘s oblique interpretation of Shakespeare‘s Twelth Night contained intricate ideas. without being swamped by literal meaning. With a subtle eye and clever lighting the ﬁve dancers set up intriguing rhythms. creating three dimensional space. Proving their popularity. Wim Vandekeybus and company performed The Bearers 0f Bad News to a packed auditorium. Combining ingenuity with stunning dexterity. the piece set itselfa tough pace and kept to it. Diving across the stage and leaping onto tottering piles of crates. it was exhilarating to watch. Employing clever dialogue. vibrant music and stunning choreography Vandekeybus and company were. in the best sense. completely accessible.
Susanne Linke. on the other hand. performed to a quieter audience. The ﬁrst half ofthe performance exposed her astonishing control, but seemed out oftime. For the second half. choreographed and danced by herself and Urs Dietrich. she came into her own. Slicing chunks of the air with glorious confidence. her ﬂuid movements betrayed admirable power. Despite the obvious inﬂuences. Dore Hoyer and Japanese Buto for starters. Linke‘s vision is unique. (Jo Roe)
The List 18-31 May 199019