of Tom McGrath‘s play. starring Forbes Masson and Ronald Simon. An affectionate. skilful and funny tribute to the geniuses ofcomedy.
I BEDLAM THEATRE Forrest Road. 225 9893. [Access: St. Facilities: WS. 0. B. Help: AA]
No theatre this issue.
I RRUHTOH THEATRE Musselburgh, 665 2240. [Access: PPA. R. St. Facilities: WC. W8. E, G. B. Help: AA]
No theatre this issue.
I CHURCH HILL THEATRE Morningside Road, 228 1 155. Tickets available from Queen‘s Hall and Usher Hall Box Offices. No theatre this issue.
I GILDED BALLOON 233 (Iowgate. 225 6364.
See Cabaret Listings.
I KING’S THEATRE 2 Leven Street. 229 1201. Box Office Mon—Sat 10am—8pm. Bar. [Access: PPA. L. Facilities: WC. W5. AS. E. G. B. Help: AA]
Deadly Nightcap Until Sat 14. Mon—Fri 7.30pm. Sat 5pm & 8pm. £4.80(£2.40 Mon 7.30pm and Sat 5pm). Another mystery thriller in the King‘s current summer season. this time by Francis Durbridge, in which a man plans to murder his wife and pass it off as suicide. Needless to say. the best laid plans. .. Gaslight Mon 23—Sat 28 Jul. Mon—Fri 7.30pm. Sat 5pm & 8pm. £4.80 (£2.40 Mon 7.30pm and Sat 5pm). This thrilling instalment in the Colin McIntyre Repertory Players season is about a husband who plans to drive his wife insane. I HETHERBOW ARTS CENTRE 43 High Street. 556 9579. Box Office. 10am—4.30pm, 7—9pm perf. evgs. Cafe. [Access: R. Facilities: WC. WS. E. G. B. R. Help: A. AA]
Old Town Season: Consider The Lillies/Uncorking Old Sherry Until Sat 28 (not Sun. Mon). 1pm. £2.50(£l.50);8pm £3.50 (£2.50). A repertory season oftwo monologues celebrating Scotland‘s history. Consider The Lillie: is written by Iain Crichton Smith and performed by Anna Price. Re-enacting the tragedy of the Highland Clearances through the memories and fears ofone woman. it won a Fringe First at the 1989 Edinburgh Festival and has since played togreat acclaim throughout the country and in Ireland. Daily 1pm: Wed 6t Fri8pm.
In Uncorking ()Id Sherry. Martin Heller portrays the comic playwright Sheridan in a script by John Cargill Thomson. The show was originally staged in 1986. and has been revived for the Year ofCulturc and the Old Town Season. Tue. Thur and Sat. 8pm.
I PLAYHOUSE THEATRE Greenside Place. 557 2590.
No theatre this issue.
I ROYAL LYCEUM Grindlay Street. 229 9697. Box Office Mon—Sat 10am—6pm. 10am—8pm on perf. evgs. Bar. Rest/Cafe. [Access: P. L. Facilitcs: WC. W8. AS. E. G. B. R.T. Help: A, AA]. Ticketsfor Lyceum productions are also available at the Ticket Centre. Waverley Bridge: branches of AT May‘s Travel and the Queen‘s Hall. Clerk Street.
The Importance of Being Earnest Friday 13 Jul—Sat 4 Aug. 8pm. £3—£9. Free Preview
HARDIE AN’AIRD: THE LAST DAYS
Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh. Until 22 July and throughout Edinburgh Festival ange.
Traverse Director lan Brown’s second annual cell-block drama is a cool and measured affair. Where last year’s Hanging The President was hot, claustrophobic and uncomfortably intense, James Kelman’s study of two little-known Scottish radicals is dank, meditative and low-key. Hardie and Baird doesn’t so much build to a climax as impress itself slowly and subtley with remarkable restraint.
The patter of rain and rumble of thunder on the first night made a most suitable complement to Jeannine Davies’ delicate sound and moody lighting. Set in a spartan 1820 prison - realised by Kenny Mclennan's functional platform design—the play follows John Baird (Tam Dean Burn) and Andrew Hardie (Simon Donald) as they wait lrustratedly first for sentencing then for execution for their crimes of insurrection.
Censorship, distortion and misrepresentation are Kelman’s central concerns. ‘I wonder what lies they’ll be telling about us,‘ says Baird as they consider their situation cut off from the outside world. For Kelman the performance of a play which reinstates Baird and llardie to their rightful positions in Scottish history is in itself a political act.
And because of this he makes no attempt to force external issues onto his historical material. There is no
a cheap condemnation of the central role
of religion to the men's lives for example, nor does Kelman overstate the obvious contemporary parallel with civil disobedience over the poll tax. Rather, he articulates the lives and experience of two men whose sense of socialist justice is largely instinctive and who have scant idea of their place in the class struggle.
But for all its intellectual appeal and the excellence of its acting, Hardie and Baird suffers from its origins as a radio play. Kelman favours soliloguy above confrontation, meditative exposition above dramatic conflict, and consequently the production lacks a physical charge to match its slow-burning political rage. Brown's confident and perservering interpretation makes for an absorbing performance, but can’t disguise the play’s weak central dynamic. (Mark Fisher)
i i ]
REVIEW THE ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER
Seen at Tron Theatre, Glasgow. At Paisley Arts Centre 13 &14 Jul.
The touring production of Pocket Theatre’s Adventures of Tom Sawyer is a well-paced and disciplined piece of musical theatre and dance, tightly directed by Brian Elsley, with choreography by Gregory Nash and music by David McGuiness.
The four actors display skill and versatility throughout last scene, costume and character changes in which thirteen characters are portrayed flawlessly. Twain’s childhood rebel and his pipe-smoking, tobacco-chewing sidekick, Huckleberry Finn, are realised admirably by Mark Niven and Rachel Ogilvy. And despite their enjoyably cartoon-like behaviour and twangy accents, the play still provides a couple of remarkably powerful moments in a tear-jerking monologue from Sawyer’s Aunt Polly (Eve Keepax), and an intense murder scene — as shocking as Detliro’s Capone scenes in The Untouchables—with Michael Nardone as Injun Joe.
The set is effective and simple — though the side walls are a little
' superfluous — and the lighting and sound cues so accurate that one remembers for a change, to note the efficiency of the backstage crew. It is refreshing to see a production which so obviously reflects hard work, and from a Scottish cast working with an English company to boot. This show has many tour dates to go; catch it if you can. (Robert Cavanah)
:a'villon Theatre, Glasgow. Until Sat14 u y.
Is there still a market for such corny, Casio-musical panto-indulgence as this? It would seem so, but only just. Jimmy Logan’s Company tread the vaudevillian boards with the escapades of Scots hero ‘Oor Wullie’ and his comic-strip chums on a tour which runs to the end of July.
The scenes of the show are presented like the original strip, right down to Wullie sitting astride his bucket at the beginning of each ‘page’, with a simple one-dimensional black and white set
from which the three-dimensional characters spring to life. But the weak script, cheap music and predictable topical jokes are carried only by the versatility of a well-assembled cast led by Ashley Jensen in the title role (jings, a lassiel)
Bringing to life an icon such as Wullle is a delicate task, and though no fault can be laid on the actors, it is a task under-achieved to the point of iconoclasm. Given that the parts are played with commendable conviction, it is still likely that those who have enjoyed Wullle’s antics in the past will continue with their personal perceptions of him long after this tour is forgotten. (Robert Cavanah)
SALAMANDER CABARET CLUB A-GO-GO
Seen on 27 June at the Phoenix Club, Cowgate, Edinburgh. Every Wednesday.
Out of the embers of that salubrious establishment, the Kasbar, has risen the Phoenix. Out of the Phoenix has spewed forth a new cabaret venue, the Salamander Club A-Go-Go. Now, if you‘ve seen the posters for this show (a stunning design in poor quality photocopy), you may be expecting something amateurish and a touch slapdash. Guess What? . . .you'd be dead right.
The whole performance is the brainchild of a certain ‘Arnold' who also acts as the compare. Well, he says he is the campfire, but then I always thought that comperes at cabaret clubs were meant to be very lucid and a little inebriated. Unfortunately, Arnold got this completely reversed and so had trouble putting two syllables together (a whole sentence was far too much to hope for). Ultimately, he gave up any pretence of trying to be amusing and settled for playing his trumpet (that’s something else he does with the aplomb of a wet kipper) before introducing the acts.
initially, we had a poet called Martine from Newcastle, who I could have sworn used to be lead singer in Fairground Attraction. She wheeled out verse of the feminist and alternative variety which was inoffensive enough, but hardly rampantly epoch-breaking. We then had a bit more of Arnold wandering around the stage and looking lost before the band ‘The lndividuals' appeared. What can I say? Elevator music seems about right.
As the acts fought to be heard above the racket (including Status Ouo, of all things) from downstairs, Arnold completely lost control. A chap from the audience appeared and started playing the guitar, much to the compere’s relief (it meant that he didn’t have to struggle for anything to say). At this point, it was 12.30am, the show was halfway through and there was no indication of when the next acts would appear. I deemed it wise to leave. The venue is seedy enough to support late-night cabaret, but waiting around for proceedings to fall into some kind of order is not my idea of fun. (Philip Parr)
The List 13— 26July 199045