Stir Freud Mahler _} a
Century '3 End is the name given to a performance piece presented at the Tron in Glasgow that will form the centrepiece of a programme of new work by Performance. The group. spearheaded by Craig Armstrong and Kirsten White. have enlisted the help of. among others. The Blue Nile. Tron writer-in-residence Peter Arnott and artistic director Michael Boyd.
The Blue Nile‘s music forms the backbone of a dance-work choreographed by Marisa Zanotti which will be performed alongside another dance-work put together by Armstrong and White called Tim World's Kiss — music for string quartet and computer ( 3). For the second half. Arnott and Boyd's talents are employed in (.‘erttury’s End. a work based on a historic meeting between Mahler and Freud at the end ofthe 19th century.
‘I first got the idea'. says Craig Armstrong. ‘when I was reading a biography of Mahler — who in his time in Vienna was renowned as a conductor more than a composer - and it was a time when his relationship with his wife was very bad. Somebody persuaded him to go to see someone. and the rising young psychotherapist happened to be Freud. The main thing was at that time Mahler was dying. and he was just trying to find a way ofsaying goodbye to his wife.‘
Armstrong is responsible for all the music in the performance. with a text provided by Arnott. ‘The relationship between the two was extremely interesting’. adds Armstrong. ‘and gave Peter a lot to work with. For instance. Mahler told Freud he called his wife ‘mother'. which ofcourse was just a gift to him!’
Director Michael Boyd is enthusiastic about the demands of this approach to performance. ‘It‘s much harder in some ways. much more terrifying. I‘ve never gone into rehearsals wearing less armour. But it‘s tremendously refreshing not carrying all this baggage around with you. but there is a lot ofpreparation to be done. The main difference is this: we‘re going in with a lot of ideas - we just don‘t know what it‘s going to end up like. It's not just thinking on your feet. it's thinking in a completely different way.‘ (Andrew Pulver)
Century '5 End. Tron Theatre. Glasgow, 8—12 Aug.
THEATRE 48 CABARET 52 DANCE 53
In May 1941, Rudolph Hess, Hitler’s deputy in atrocity, landed in Eaglesham with a peace plan tucked under his arm. In 1987, Hess was found dangling from a flex in Spandau prison, with forty-two years of confinement and an apparent suicide etched upon every feature.
Rudolph Hess: Glasgow to Glasnost, written by Andrew Dallmeyer, resident in-house writer at The Arches Theatre, takes us to the cell which constituted Hess‘s life and death. and powerfully challenges the official claim that Hess ended his own life.
‘I have placed Hess's life in the context of the new European political map‘, explains Dallmeyer, who believes Hess’s death to be ‘murder, by mutual consent of the allies'.
By means of a series of flashbacks, Dallmeyer presents a psychological dissection of a character who, as ‘a resilient symbol of the Cold War, even at the age of 90', stood in the way of the glasnost-motivated bulldozer which was to tear down the Berlin Wall in 1989. The play thus deems Hess a victim of the liberty machine, in order that it trundle through Europe, uniting East and West.
Dallmeyer, true to the City of Culture ethic, stresses the ‘Scottish connection' by focusing on Hess’s nights in Maryhill barracks, where he began life as a captive animal. John McGlinn plays a ‘pompous, arrogant and puritanical‘ Hess, a “slightly ridiculous but very gentlemanly figure’, who Dallmeyer somewhat over-sympathetically distances from the thuggery of the lower ranks of the Third Reich.
Juliet Cadzow and Dallmeyer himself are Hess’s doctors, the trigger device by which Hess’s obsessions with the Aryan destiny and its doctrines are explored —the Nazi origins in the secret ‘Thule Society’ of the 1920's and its eerie dogmas of the emergence of the Aryan race from a Golden Age, destroyed by cataclysmic floods.
Dallmeyer, dealer in potentially explosive goods, attempts to cut Hess from the stranglehold of official history, to expose a mind stained by the filth of the Nazi dream and murdered by the purveyors of the democratic myth. (Kathleen Morgan)
Rudolph Hess: Glasgow to Glasnost, The Arches Theatre, 4-19 August.
On 26 July, at the New Athenaeum Theatre, His Excellency Kuldip Nayar, High Commissionerfor lndia, will inaugurate the British premiere of a play by one of India’s most eminent playwrights and directors— Balwant Gargi.
Predictably, Balwant Gargi remains an anonymous figure in Anglo-Saxon/Caledonian theatre circles, but Gargi's track record is immense, and his name will be instantly recognisable in Asian communities as the foremost credit on film, documentary, literature and, above all, theatre. Ignorance is a peculiarly British disease and if by no means detracts from the value and eminence of its object.
‘lndian theatre, whether classical or folk,‘ says Gargi, ‘is unique in that it brings to the stage rhythms, colours and movements which are unheard of anywhere else in the world. But Indian Theatre, as with any other culture, has
to be seen in a universal context: it is simply one way of articulating a set of universal human themes. That is certainly how I would wish this particular story to be seen.’
So what of this particular play? A Love Betrayed (Mirza Sahiban in its native Punjabi),is Gargi’s adaptation of a traditional folktale, originating in the days before partition, and translated into English forthe sake of accessibility. Publicity describes it as ‘A ritualistic folk-drama': boy meets girl —families object and force a suitable partner on girl — boy elopes with girl — girl’s brothers give chase, vowing revenge and a suitably gory ending. Sounds familiar?
‘Obviously, people are going to be tempted to say, “Oh, that's just Romeo and Juliet", but the point is that Romeo and Juliet does not belong to Shakespeare. He was simply the first European playwright to latch on to a universal human theme. Onlythe setting and language are uniquely Shakespearean. I grew up in a rural Indian village, yet it was men like Bertold Brecht who really tired my imagination. How could this be possible?‘
Perhaps then, the success of A Love Betrayed hinges upon the recognition of that very notion: that the differences between world theatres are pretty much superficial. The re-enactment of life is global and uniform, and only style and technique provide any sort of borderline. (Philip Kingsley)
A Love Betrayed, RSAMD, Glasgow. 27 Jul4 Aug.
I Stirling Festival This year‘s Stirling Festival covers all manner of music. art. literary and theatre events from 28 July—12 August. Recommended theatre perkirmancesinclude The A d ventures of '1 'mn Sawyer. Laurel and Hardy and Mirzu Sahiban. Details on 0786 71588. I Bear Fair If you fancy a weekend out on 28.7 3‘) July. you could do a lot worse than heading for llay Lodge Park. l’eebles. where this year‘s Bear Fair bringstogether music. theatre. circus. workshops. craft stalls and kids events all for £5 (£3.50 £2.5lli. Theatre companies include The Natural Theatre Company. .‘yfummer 8t Dada. Balletico Fantastico. ()strieh ()strieh ()strich. \‘ictot Noberchefski and the Funny Farm‘s Stuart McDonald. l-‘urther informantion on 08968.1() 833. l Traquair Fair'i‘he precursorofthe Bear Fair is revived this year on 4-5 August at Traquiar House. lnverleithen. Peebleshirc. There's theatre. circus. magic and comedy from highly-rated performers including Fay Presto. Simon l"anshawe. Jeremy Hardy. Arnold Brown. Rob lnglis. Edinburgh Puppet Company. ('atch Theatre Company. ()strieh ()strich ()strich and Mr Boom. More details on 0896 830 323. I Royal Award David France from .‘sluirhcad. (ilasgow. is the llitlth recipient of a Prince's Trust bursary towards Scottish Youth Theatre’s Summer Festival. The bursary will help him towards his fees as will another award from RadioClyde whichwill make things easier for him as he acts his way through SYT's production ofxl .iltrlsummer Night 3‘ Dream.
I File 0n Wilde (‘ompiled by Margery Morgan (Methuen £4.99). The latest in Methuen‘s series of handy guides to major playwrights i also just published is a volume on David Hare) brings together a brief biography of()scar Wilde. outlines ofand contemporary comment on his plays and non-dramatic work and selected quotations from the author himself. l‘or the student it cuts the
sw eat otit of research and
for the play'goer( l'hc' Importance of Being Iz'urnest is currently playing at lidinburgh’s Royal Lyceum i it prov ides snippets of background information.
The List 37 July — U ,\ugusi l"‘)ll47