Kate Valk. ‘Because Liz. [Lecompte] couldn‘t say “no. it‘s not racist". Yes. it is racist. Yes. I‘m a racist. You‘re a liar if you say your not. That‘s what it was about.‘
In a sitnilar vein. the Group‘s use of Arthur Miller‘s The ( 'rueib/e (a high-speed. near-hysterical jump-cut version of sections of the text performed behind a table) led to the author issuing a writ against them. The production had to be temporarily withdrawn while a new ‘version‘ of the play was drafted.Typically. the group integrated this obligatory act of self-censorship into the piece itself. Each time the performers 'accidentally' mention characters or lines from The ( 'rueible a loud buzzer interrupts them.
()fthe more recent work. I ask if it is necessary to be familiar with some of the background material. for example Gustave Flauberts' epic ‘drama‘ The Temptation ()fSt Antony which is central to the Frank Dell piece. ‘I think it's important for some people.’ says Lecompte. ‘They like to feel they‘re getting their money‘s worth culturally. LS. I). has The Crucible. with which many people are familiar. so it makes that section of the piece a bit easier to deal with. I integrated the Flaubert much more evenly into the next piece — sometimes people are playing two or three roles at once — a role in the Flaubert and a
role in the Frank Dell story — so people might find it more difficult. There‘s a nice story in LS. 1).. there‘s no story in Flaubert. it‘s about a guy waiting on a mountain to see Christ -- it could be pretty dull! But in the new piece. there‘s the Chekhov to latch on to. I think people will have a good time with what we find in Chekhov. . .'
For this punter‘s money. LS. I). will have to go down as a landmark artistic event ofthe 1980s. a theatrical equivalent of David Lynch‘s Blue Velvet. irrevocably redefining the boundaries of the form. Alongside the new work. it takes theatre beyond simple post-modern parody or pastiche into entirely new territory. raising questions almost subliminally about how contemporary culture shapes our experience. Though these performances may sometimes seem off on a wild goose chase ofarcane references and
bizarre changes ofstyle and mood. they are ultimately witty. ironic. brilliantly crafted and richly rewarding events that will repay more than a single visit.
LS. I). . . . (Just The High Points) . . . . 4—8 ()et. 8pm; Frank Dell '3‘ The Temptation of St Antony. 11—15 Oct. 8pm; Brace Up.’17—]9 ()et. 8pm. All shows at Tram way. Glasgow.
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The List 28 September -r ll October [9007