Seen at The Burgh Hall, Partick. On TOOL

The world is full of chubby people. However, until a few years ago, they did not feature too strongly in whirlwind romances set on sunkissed, Mediterranean beaches. Fat people just didn’t get the chance to satisfy their Iibidos on their Iilos. Then along came Willy Russell and the mould was recast with Shirley Valentine.

In the last of a trilogy of plays (all of which have been perormed by Clyde Unity Theatre), Aileen Ritchie has obviously been inspired by Russell. Once again we have a dumpy heroine (teen ratherthan middle-aged admittedly) who files off to the Med, has a brief encounterwith a Slav, comes back to drizzly old Britain, finds unfulfilment in the arms oi her incoherent and unromantic partner and returns to the sun only to find hopes and lust dashed by reality.

But where Shirley Valentine was bold and exciting, its script having to ignite the imagination (there being only one actor), All The Time In The World is regressive in comparison. There are good jokes aplenty and the storyline flows well enough, but you can’t help thinking that Ritchie knew her play would be compared to Russell's and was also aware that it was not half as good.

She and directorJohn Binnie have therefore tried to paper over the cracks; a policy which backtires and reduces what could have been an entertaining play into an average one. Scenes are set with some dreadfully sentimental

Clyde Unlty's All The Time In The World


choices of background music (every

I time Jimmy Ruttln piped up, I winced)

and the whole play lacks the incisive

f simplicity of Russell’s. it may be unfair f to keep coming back to our Willie, but

§ maybe if Aileen Ritchie had avoided a

1 similar temptation she would have

f produced a much more satisfying end

3 product. (Philip Parr)

s maim—


I i i i

The Incredible Orlando

Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh. Until 27 Oct. The incredible Orlando is unquestionably a very remarkable performer. A unique combination of impish camp and sturdy masculinity, his stage presence is spellbinding. The noble head, too, with its shaved pate, its full, expressive lips and its bulging, sightless eyes, demands an audience's attention. If Orlando were to step onstage, fart, and retire, one would feel one had witnessed something rather grand.

Nor can anyone doubt the integrity and emotional honesty of this performance. Orlando’s utterances,

movements and gestures, whether of

pleasure or pain, overt or disguised, are unmistakably, touchineg real: there is an absolute and disciplined sincerity at play.

And there are several moments in this show of sheer theatrical exhilaration: the spectacle-in- miniature of Orlando's delighted adornment, frustrating entanglement and frantic death-struggle with a glittering net, for example, or his genuinely scarey harassment by featureless, white-clad automatons. Orlando and his director and occasional co-performer Nako Nadal obviously know what they're about.

The trouble is, it’s a secret they keep to themselves. There is a fairly explicit

- birth-to-death progression thoughout

the work, and at times we know where we are. When Nadal appears between Orlando’s legs, a tube attached to his navel, when Orlando blows life into him through the tube, when he eventually severs the contact and runs free, leaving Orlando bewilderineg alone, the symbols' meaning is readily intelligible. But most of the show is less lucid. And the programme notes, which describe a theme so nebulous as to be meaningless, are no help at all. See Eclipse Of The Sun for its esoteric imagery, and lorthe skill and charisma of its central performer. But don’t expect it to unlock life's mysteries. (Andrew Burnet)


Netherbow Arts Centre, Edinburgh. Until Wed 31 Oct.

For the second Scottish Storytelling Festival, the Netherbow has gathered a formidable array of almost twenty storytellers, mainly from Scotland, but with lrish, American and Caribbean representation as well. After several days of children’s events, it was left to Trinidad-born Grace Hallworth and England's Helen East to give the first evening performance. Their “International Tales’ drew on Italian, Haitian and Romany sources, as well as featuring a haunting ‘Tam Lin’ from Hallworth.

Having quickly established a comfortable relationship with their audience, they alternated tales, sensitively choosing and pacing their material, East in particular picking up and developing motifs used in the previous piece. If the first half was dominated by beggars and devils in frock coats, clever, determined women took over in the second. There's certainly a predictability about such material, what with all those kings, weary travellers and maidens of marriageable age; and updating is out.

But the undeniable charge of such tales comes precisely from the settings being so clear-cut, familiar and imaginary. Everyday concerns don’t intrude and distract, allowing the stories to be articulate at a deeper level. Equally refreshing is the uncluttered performance style; it's always good to be reminded how effective this can be. (Ken Cockburn)


Theatre is listed by city first, then byvenue. running in alphabetical order. Touring shows are listed separately under the relevant heading. Prices in brackets are the concessionary price. Long running shows, unless specified otherwise, do not run on Sundays.


Access: P = Parking Facilities, PPA = Parkingto be Pre-Arranged, L = Level Access, R = Ramped Access, ST = Steps to negotiate.

FICIIIIIOS: WC = Adapted Toilet(s), WS = Wheelchair Spaces, AS = AdjacentSeats, E = Induction Loop System, G = Guide Dogs Allowed, R = Restaurant Accessible, B = Bar Accessible, T = Adapted Telephone.

Help: A = Assistance Available, AA = Advise Venue in Advance.


I THE AHCHES THEATRE Glasgow's Glasgow, Midland Street. Tickets from Ticket Centre, Candleriggs 227 5511. [Access: L, R, WC, G, C]. Daytime prices (9.30am—8pm) include entrance to whole exhibition, while evening prices (after 8pm) give access to the bar, restaurant and free entertainment.

Promenade Performances Daily until 5 Nov. 11am, 2pm & 5pm. Free with admission. One of the many attractions in Glasgow's Glasgow is a changing programme of performances by a special in-house company who bring the exhibition space alive with their short sketches on Glasgow life. Performances include the story of St Mungo, Mary Queen of Scots and The Grave Robbers. The Funny Farm Fri 26—Sat 27 Oct. 10pm. £3. See Cabaret.

Speed-The-Pfow Until Sun 4 Nov. 7.30pm. Thurs & Sun £4 (£2); Fri & Sat £5 (£3). Theatre In The Sand's second production is David Mamet‘s confrontation with the cynical world of the Hollywood filmmaker. Surprisingly, a Scottish premiere, Speed- The-Plow stars Tony

Theatre in The Sand's Speed-The-Plow. Roper and follows the company’s production of Lorca‘s Yerma in last year’s Edinburgh Fringe. The Arches‘ own Andy Arnold directs what will be the last production in the theatre as part of Glasgow‘s Glasgow. It is hoped that the theatre will be retained when the site is redeveloped, but for the moment its future is uncertain.

I BLACKEHIAHS 45 Albion Street, Merchant City, 552 5924.

The Comic CIqu Every Saturday. 9pm. £4.50 (£3.50). See Cabaret.

I CIT IZEHS' THEATRE Gorbals Street, 429 0022. Box Office Mon—Sat 10am-8pm. Bar. [Access: P, L. Facilities: WC, W8, E, G, R. Help: AA]

The Housekeeper Until Sat 27 Oct. 7.30pm. £5 (£1). Robert David MacDonald digs out another of Carlo Goldoni’s 200 plays written in 18th century Italy. The production sparkles with typical Citizens‘ lustre and features much comic inventiveness. Recommended.

55 The List 26 October 8 November 1990