Danton’s Death

In many respects Georg Buchner’s drama of the French Revolution is an ideal vehicle for Gerry Mulgrew’s patent Communicado style. Both men are interested in the broad social effects of individual actions. Buchner’s freely structured script jumps merrily from quiet monologue to busy crowd scene, a cue which Mulgrew takes up with enthusiasm, populating the stage with imaginative, often breathtaking, tableaux involving the whole cast.

Mulgrew’s great skill is to create powerful stage images with the simplest of techniques. He can achieve with live actors the sort of dazzling poetic moments which would demand a mountain of technical wizardry from a lesser director. ln blending the music and lyrics of Karen Wimhurst and Aonghus MacNeacail with the fabric of the play, Mulgrew is able to treat the whole production like a musical score. The oddball operatics of Frances Lynch and inventive double bass lines of Hon Shaw are an integral part of a production that gives equal respect to words, music and the spell-binding pauses in between.

But the limitation of Communicado’s

approach is that by adding these tableaux and choral passages to the show, Buchner’s already episodic and impressionistic piece becomes even more disjointed. Mulgrew's imaginative flow is repeatedly interrupted by wordy passages which somehow never do lull justice to the energy of Buchner‘s debate. Somewhere a connection isn't being made.

But from the delightful adaptability of Paul Ambrose's wooden box set to the beautiful ensemble harmonies, Danton's Death has plenty of theatrical magic. Worth seeing if only lorthe lonely flap of a huge flag in a touching silence as Danton goes to his death. (Mark Fisher)

Danton's Death (International Festival) Communicado, St Bride's Centre run ended. Now on tour (see Theatre Listings at back of magazine).

- Treasure Island

I am going to come clean on this one:

I have never read Treasure Island or indeed anything else by Robert Louis Stevenson. It may be something I keep quiet about when lovingly pointing out Stevenson’s house to tourists in Heriot flow but, at the risk of treading on a few toes, I must admit that the book has never really appealed to me. So it was with some trepidation that I went to see Frank Dunlop's adaptation. Judging by the ore-theatre chit-chat outside the disapproving doors of The Assembly Hall, I was the only person in Scotland not to have been brought up on undiluted RLS. The prospect of spending an evening alone on unfamiliar territory was daunting.

But if my heart was sinking when the lights went down, it was quickly buoyed up by Dunlop’s immediately engaging adaptation. An inspired choice of venue makes for superb staging, which relies little on scenery and props and very much on the shape of the hall itself. With the audience on three sides of the ‘stage', much of the action actually takes place on balconies running along the gallery. There Is plenty oi action - swashbuckling and chasing through the audience - and plenty of noise.

In the second hall, I was reminded of my HLS handicap: with no real knowledge of the text, it is difficult to tell who is lighting whom and where - on ship or land. Young Hawkins’ lightning metamorphosis into an adult is also confusing. Does this denote the passing of time, or is it a metaphor for Hawkins’ burgeoning manhood? I hope it won’t sound slap-dash to say that it doesn't matter too much - the action, humour and very talented cast make it a real show. The emphasis is where it should be: on entertainment. (Miranda France)

Treasure Island (Festival), Assembly Hall, tickets 225 5756, until 1 Sept (not Sun) 7.30pm; 25, 29 aug and 1 Sept also 2.30pm.




You may claim only one ticket offer per magazine. Please take the whole magazine along with you. All offers are subject to availability and the individual managements' decisions are final.

Tickets can only be picked up on the day of each performance.



moms & her



A pair of free tickets to see MOMS and HER LADIES on Thurs 23rd, Fri 24th (10.00pm). Tickets should be picked up from the PLEASANCE Box Office. Up to 4 pairs of tickets available for each



A pair of free Invitations to B.S.B's exclusive party in Queen St. Gardens on Sun 26th Aug at 10pm. Mingle with those at the top of the TV Industry and enjoy some alternative cabaret. Call B.S.B's hotline on 031 662 4487 between 6pm-8pm on Thurs 23rd. Only 2 pairs of invitations



{'P‘ERSONSL _ V ,_



A pair of tickets to see ABSURD PERSONS PLURAL on Thurs 23rd,

Fri 24th Aug (10.30pm). Tickets should be picked up at the TIC TOC Box Office.

Up to 3 pairs of tickets available for each




A pair of tickets to see either BRIMSTONE & TREACLE on Thurs 23rd Aug (7.00pm) or WORDS FROM THE WORLD’S END on Fri 24th (5pm) at OVERSEAS HOUSE (Venue 19). Tickets should be picked up at the OVERSEAS Box Office. Up to 4 pairs available for each performance.


A pair of free tickets to see DUSK TO DAWN on Thurs 23rd (7.05pm) or DARK CONFESSIONS on Fri 24th (9.05pm). Tickets should be picked up at the EDINBURGH COLLEGE OF ART LECTURE THEATRE Box Office from 6.30pm. Up to 4 pairs available for each performance.


A pair of free tickets to see JONATHAN KAY on Mon 27th Aug (6.15pm) at the CANONGATE THEATRE. Tickets should be picked up at the CANONGATE Box Office. Up to 10 pairs available.


The List 24 30 August 109035