two monologues celebrating Scotland's history. Consider The Lillies is written by Ian 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 to great acclaim throughout the country and in Ireland. Daily 1pm; also Fri 8pm.
In Uncorking ()ld Sherry. Martin llellcr 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 ofCulture and the Old Town Season. Thur and Sat. 8pm. See Review
I ROYAL LYCEUM Grindlay Street, 229 9697. Box Office Mon-Sat 10am—6pm. 10am—8pm on perf. evgs. Bar. Rest/Cafe. [Access: 1’. L. Facilites: WC. W8. AS. E. G. B. R.T. Help: A. AA].
The Importance oi Being Earnest Until Sat 4 Aug. 8pm. £3—£9. The last play in the current summer season ol comedy and
also the last before the theatre's major renovation which will make the company itinerant until next year. Hugh Hodgart directs Oscar Wilde's classic comedy of sparkling wit and fictional relatives. See Review.
I TRAVERSE THEATRE 112 West Bow. Grassmarket. 226 2633. Box Office Tue—Sat 10am—8pm. Sun 6—10pm. Bar. Rest. Tickets also available from the Ticket Centre. Market Street. [Accessz St. Facilities: E. Help: AA].
Hardie And Baird: The Last Days Tue 7—ch 8 Aug. 7.30pm. £5 (£3/£2). Ian Brown directs James Kelman's historical play about two political prisoners awaiting execution in 1820 Scotland. Fine acting and fascinating subject matter. but theatrically restrained.
Pig Play: A Strategy For Two Rams Preview Thurs 26 Jul. £3. Fri 27 Jul—Sun 12 Aug.
7.45pm. £5 (£3). Tue 31 Jul public
discussion after performance. Alan Pollock‘s translation ol a play by the I prolific and idiosyncratic Raymond
Cousse is directed by Ian Brown. Comic. tragic and bizarre.
The Hour oi The Lynx Thurs 2—Sun 5 Aug & Thurs 9—Fri 10 Aug. 7.30pm. £5 (£3). British premiere of Scandinavian writer Per Olav Enquist's study of a boy committed to a psychiatric institute for a motiveless murder. Translated and directed for Kim Dambaek (who was responsible for last year's superblust Frank) and starring Simon Donald. See Feature.
Public Discussion Sun 5 Aug. After performance. Your chance to sound off about Hour oft/re Lynx.
I The Glasgow Girls Jigjag continues to tour its musical about the lives ofthree artists living in Glasgow tenements. originally performed during Mayfest.
, Original songs and script by Robbie
Moffat and Brian Rutherford. More detailson 041 332 7396.
Hop Hut, Glasgow Fair, Glasgow Green Until Sat 28 July (not Mon. Tue). 7.30pm. 041 554 7020.
I A Midsummer Night's Dream Scottish Youth Theatre provide a West Coast alternative to Kenneth Branagh‘s Renaissance production in Edinburgh of Shakespeare‘s ever-popular romantic comedy. Part of the SYT Summer Festival. Details on041 3325127. People's Palace Winter Gardens. Glasgow Tue 31 Jul—Wed 1 Aug. 7.30pm; Biirrell Collection Building Fri 3—Sat 4 Aug. 7.30pm.
I The Time Gairden This year's outdoor children‘s play by Theatre Alba takes a lighthearted look at superstitions and bigotry with particular attention to the many people who were executed in Scotland for the crime ofwitchcraft. Further details on 089 830323.
Laurision (.‘aslle, Edinburgh Until Sun 29 Jul. 2.30pm. Also Fri 278: Sat 28 1 1am.
THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST
Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh. Until 4 August.
A huge line drawing oi a masturbating peeping Tom leans casually to one side oi Gregory Smith’s gloriously sophisticated stage set; an airy and elegant room, complete with ceiling, decorated in delicate shades oi white. It’s an appropriate image for the mannered decadence oi Oscar Wilde’s upper-class tops ior whom liie is one long polite conversation spiced by the occasional sexual intrigue.
The Royal Lyceum company rises playlully and not a little camply to the challenge oi Wilde's tightly plotted play, the superiicial veneer at which disguises a penetrating send-up oi English social decorum. Christopher Gee as the wayward Algernon, and Colin Gourlay as the uncomiortably conventional Worthing iorm a splendid double act, at once repelled and attracted to each other. Gee throws himsell happily into his character's amoral indulgences, while Gourlay,with the more diilicult role, carries it all with the startled look oi a man not quite in control oi his own environment.
Hugh Hodgart's beautiiully and unobtrusively choreographed production is characterised by still backs and pinched noses. Victoria Hardcastle sparks and crackles as Lady Bracknell, her rigid body barely able to contain the seething, indignant rage she must restrain to keep her public image. These double values suit Wilde’s comedy oi manners periectly and rarely does the excellent cast err
. iairly undemanding hour-and-a-hall- a
irom the spot-on timing ol comic understatement.
The portrait oi Wilde which overlooks the whole production is a lilting tribute to a playwright whose lines remain lresh 100 years on, but it shouldn't detract irom the achievement oi the Royal Lyceum which keeps his spirit alive. (Mark Fisher).
E31113!— UNCDRKING DLD SHERRY
Netherbow Theatre, Edinburgh. Until 28 July.
It took me until the second hall to realise that the title was a iairly lame gag on the name oi the subject oi this gentle, mildly amusing monologue on the subject ol 18th century playwright and politician Brinsley Sheridan. Martin Heller plays the character pretty straight, relying on the inebriatlon/T om Jones stereotypes oi the time to carry him through. Sheridan spends a lot oi time putting away the brandy and iollowing it up with sherry (without getting more than a little bit drunk), in between denouncing lellow Whig politicians who apparently did the dirty on him ior standing up to his principles (i.e. hating the French), and brooding on his lost youth and Drury Lane Theatre. There are some nicely poignant passages (mostly about his lady-loves), but the ellects are spoiled by some fairly absurd angry shouting, he may be in his cups but there didn't seem to be that much reason to get so exched.
Writer Cargill exposes the little-known sides at Sheridan, whose plays lormed only a minor part oi his career. 0n the whole though, it is a
i .. :2d‘.-“; _ 'Izsa , 3.
simple idea, simply told, and with not a great deal at inventiveness on the part oi writer, director or actor. in tact, it seems to be becoming a generic kind at work: quietly established actors setting up on their own and playing that Fielding thang all the way. li you are interested in Sheridan, you may get some interesting iacts irom this - ii you are interested in monologue go and see Neil Bartlett or someone. (Andrew Pulver)
LES LIAISONS DANGEREUSES
Mitchell Theatre, Glasgow. Until 22 September.
Arch, actorly, yet strangely subdued, the Royal Shakespeare Company's vision at sexual shenanigans in 1780s upper-class France settles in tor a two month stint at the Mitchell.
There are no surprises in David Leveaux’s production at this live-year old play. Bob Crowley’s elegant and airy set remains unaltered throughout, relying only on Chris Perry’s subtle lighting to indicate shilts in scene. This would be line it it didn't emphasise the play’s lack of theatrical development. Pitching in at a quiet, unhurried, near iilmic rhythm, Christopher Hampton’s adaptation states its intentions and spends the best part oi three hours playing them out.
The play is interesting in the same way that all romantic intrigues, on or oil stage, are interesting. But returning in the second hall, i realised that I didn't care lor the late oi any oi the characters and wouldn’t have done even ii that late hadn’t been so predictable. Posh people with stully accents playing trivial games oi social manipulation unlortunatley create a trivial play.
For a more challenging theatrical experience get along to the Five Theatres oi the World season at the Theatre Royal, and lor a more ilamboyant and sell-depreciatory view oi the idle rich check out The importance oi Being Earnest at Edinburgh’s Royal Lyceum. Les Liaisons Dangereuses is reliable, solid entertainment, but it doesn’t inspire. (Mark Fisher).
Glasgow Green. Until 5 Aug then in Edinburgh Festival.
The staggering thing about Archaos is that all circus isn't like this. The motley French troupe has taken the apparently simple decision to keep circus contemporary and in so doing has distinguished itseli irom all but a handiul oi circus practitioners. The public outrage that the company has stirred up - apart irom being a clever marketing strategy - only draws attention to the ossilied anachronism which much traditional circus has become. Archaos gives to a modern audience the kind oi thrill and excitement that its predecessors gave to a ore-industrial age.
For the two hours oi this big top periormance you have the glorious uncertainty at not knowing what might happen next. Action takes place at all heights, on all sides, and enters irom
all directions. While an acrobat periorms a breathtaking trapeze, the next act is suggested by surreptitious movement in the wings or the rumble oi car engines outside. Archaos loves noise and lire and it survives on a permanent sense ol danger.
Fans oi last year’s Edinburgh Fringe show will be pleased to know that there are guest appearances irom the regulation motorbikes, chainsaws and cranes, but it’s also pleasing to note that this is an otherwise all-new show. Joined this year by a lull-scale band, The Chihuahuas, which incorporates reggae, lunk, metal and pop into its rock iormat, there is a little less oi the slapstick goonery that held last year’s show together. But once again the show’s underlying strength is its reliance on displays oi the real skill, balance, agility and risk that characterise all great circus.
And iramlng these skills is a well-developed sense oi the theatrical, the show building steadily to a tremendous, gratuitous sensory bombardment ieaturing explosions, iireworks, a lot at noise and the spectacular wrecking at a motor car. Don’t miss. (Mark Fisher).
50'l'hc List 27Ju|y ~ 9 August 1990