_ 33‘” V

Glasgow's Clyde Unity Theatre is making the most out of Benedict Scott this year. The little known 40$ playwright was the author of Lambs of God. a remarkable piece of socialist theatre staged for the first time in 40 years by Clyde Unity as its showcase production for Glasgow‘s 1990 jamboree. Forthe company’s latest production, writer and director John Binnie has returned to Benedict Scott in an attempt to unearth more about the society that tried to forget him.

‘Ever since we first went into production with the Lambs of God,‘ says Binnie, ‘I‘ve been interested in the man, trying to find out more about him, but in factthere’s very little to find out. The sad thing is that Benedict Scott didn’t have any friends or family, only a dog called Shadow whom he was very close to.‘

But Binnie is convinced that it is not just loneliness that has excluded Scott


theatre/NEW PLAYS

from his place in history. ‘Lambs of God has been forgotten for 42 years primarily because it is a play that deals with sexual politics,‘ he explains. ‘lt put a working-class gay man on the stage when to be that way was a crime, a disease, a sin. I think Benedict Scott was that way himself and that‘s why he was forgotten. It was quite interesting to me, because I assumed he was a gay martyr like OscarWilde, but I was speaking to people who hated him, who said he was cantankerous, that he had a chip on his shoulder and deserved everything he got. 80 my portrayal has had to shift through as many perspectives as possible.‘

In Walking Shadow, Scott remains, as in real life, in the background. Binnie uses his story and that of the original Glasgow Unity Theatre who first staged Lambs of God, to gain a perspective on modern history. ‘As a Scot growing up today,‘ he says, ‘you do have to reclaim that past. It’s so important. If you ask someone in the street what‘s a Scottish play, they'll probably say Macbeth, because they don’t know there‘s any cultural heritage. But there is. As a gay man, where do you look to find out how gay men lived in 1940? You don’t. There’s no book about it, no pictures, no anecdotes. This play is about trying to understand the past.‘ (Mark Fisher)

Walking Shadow (Fringe) Clyde Unity Theatre, Across The Mersey Theatre (Venue 101) 5571785, 12—24 Aug (alternate days), 5.15pm, £4 (£2.50).

:— Pig ignorant

‘My character is such a reactionary little pig.‘ says last year’s List cover star, Judy Pascoe. ‘lt's a bit like the Doug Anthony Allstars where it can backfire, because it‘s such a strong character. I‘m playing a fascist reactionary, but it‘s actually very funny)

Aussie stand-up, Pascoe is one ofthe latest in a trend of comedians trying their hand at structured dramatic comedy performances. Initially intending to stage a send-up of George Bernard Shaw‘s Pygmalion—an idea she had last year in Edinburgh Pascoe discovered she had too much of her own to say and, in any case, her limit of three actors would have ruled out the possibility of an adequate parody. ‘The more l wrote it, the more different it became,‘ she explains. ‘So that now the only similarity is that she doesn‘t speak proper English and the man makes her feel insecure about the way she talks. lwanted to avoid the man being the protagonist, but it is about a woman being manipulated. It was the teacher-student relationship I wanted to avoid.‘

In the interests of character research, Pascoe even went to voice classes to

the English upper-class. ‘It can be so

disarming,‘ she says. ‘Every sentence I resolves itself. It's a very powerful and i

intimidating way of speaking. The

English have away ofdoingthat. The

way they speak makes them sound so

arrogant and confident even ifthey're . not right.‘

Keen to explore the extra subtleties of dramatic performance, she is

nonetheless happy to continue her

stand-up work and to stay outside the traditionally exclusive world of theatre.

i ‘I hate theatre,‘ she says. ‘I hate being cut off from the stage and what‘s going

on. Theatre reviewers will probably not

{ think this is a play—they‘d be really

snotty about it. It‘s probably much

more foracabaretaudience. lcallthis

popular entertainment. But it does bring up a lot of issues and gets people arguing about it.‘ (Mark Fisher)

The Australian Pig (Fringe)The Australian Pig, Pleasance (Venue 60) 556 6550, 9 Aug-1 Sept (not 20, 30


l.ecoq trained trio. Talking Pictures. return this year under a prestigious new director. Mike Alfreds. known for his work with Shared lixperience and whose list ofsuccesses includes stagings of The Arabian Nights and Bleak House.

Last year's Fringe First winning [.ucky People was much acclaimed for its energy and physical inventiveness. But the company'sloy Merriman is self-exacting enough to recognize that exuberance was sometimes at the expense ofstylistic coherence. "I'rauh/e in Paradise is a richer show because Mike. with his background of textual adaptation. has encouraged us to focus our improvising around a text.‘ she explains. ‘The clear. directional structure that we have consequently devised has in fact given us more scope for innovation within performances than the set-piece. physical routines which characterised Lucky People. The result should be fresher and more fluid.‘ ((‘atherine l'ellows) lTrouble in Paradise (l-‘ringel'l'alking Pictures. The Pleasance (Venue 33) 556655”. “#24 Aug(not Mons). 5.30pm. £5 (£3.50).


Prostitution is an aspect of (ilasgow‘s culture not included iii the 19‘)“ brochures and according to native writer Alan Mel lugh ‘should not be shoved irtto the background and ignored. I‘ve tried to portray it as realistically as possible. but can only really scratch the surface. The research was fascinating. horrifying and apalling.’

This is his first full-length play and impressed many at the

Festival in April. ‘Directed with balls and didn‘t skip any ofthe issues.‘ was the conclusion of lain lieggie whose constructive criticism was appreciated when fine-tuning the play for the Fringe.

A young. single mother is experiencing pressures

from every angle. The hourly pay on the street is ' betterthanthat paid for ; most work women are allowed to do. She begins to see no alternative. The play (with music) follows her plight intothe downward spiral of a world regulated by the police but controlled by

pimps. (Konrad Manning) I The Street (Fringe)

RSAMD-Made in . Glasgow. Ilarry Younger

liall(Venue 13). 14—18 I Aug.3.3(lpm.£3.5(l(£2). ' Free preview 13 Aug.



Don't expect a poetry

recital. warns Volcano Theatre's Fern Smith. of : their Fringe production V. , Those familiar with Tony Harrison‘s hard-hitting long poem. or merely with the tabloids‘ righteous outcry over schools teaching this ‘torrent of four-letter filth'. will be prepared. but Volcano still hope to shock a few people.

Committed to ‘the elimination of the sloth and stale achievement of British theatre'. Volcano

have transformed the

poem into a dynamic and visually provocative show, using their ‘pbysical-martial art-dance-mime style' as Smith describes it. ‘lt dramatises the poem's theme ofthe high low culture conflict.‘ she explains. ‘We use styles front panto to melodrama. music from Killing Joke to Verdi.“

\"olcano's policy of working with social and political issues made the poem. with its themes of cultural dislocation. racism and class. an

obvious choice. ‘Political theatre's had a bad press.‘ says Smith. ‘But you‘ve got to deal with live issues.’ In this video age. the company are also committed to the ‘danger and excitement‘ of live performance. ‘People won't necessarily like the show.‘ says Smith. ‘but we hope they'll be excited by it. drawn by its commitment. It‘s very loud. physical. confrontational. ()h. and all the men wear skirts as well.‘ (Sue Wilson)

I ‘V' (Fringe) Volcano Theatre. The Netherbow (Venue 30) 5569579, 13 Aug-l Sept. 9.30pm. £4.5(i(£3.so)

NOSTALGIA John Ilarvey is a man in a hurry. He has contributed to the writing of 37 plays. twenty of them since 1987. His current play. .N'osralgia. which originally toured around 'I‘ayside. is a heartfelt dig

atthe heritage culturethat pervadesourtimes. ‘lt

E cante about as a reaction

' against the current fad in

Scottish theatre that the

only plays that succeed are those that look back with a

cosy warm glow at (ilasgowinthe 3lls.'he


The story centres around art old Dundonian woman as she happily


childhood. Slowly the smiling faces fade andthe good times erode to reveal a sordid and bitter past. In Harvey‘s words it isat once ‘humorous and chilling.'(David Mackenzie) lNostalgia(Fririg ). Diverse Attractions. Riddles(‘ourt (Venue I l) 225 WM. 1345 Aug. 3.15pm.£2l£l)


Debbie Isitt‘s imaginative writingand Mark Kilmurry's redoubtable talents produce visually exciting performances.

master the requisite plummytones of Augl.100m,£5-50(£4-50).

Scottish Student Drama


The list Ill lo August l‘NllI7