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The Noise and Smokey Breath Show attheThird Eye Centre

Edwin Morgan. it goes ‘from the hilarious to the horrific with all the stagesin between‘.

I TRON THEATRE 63 Trongate. 552 4267. Box Office Tue—Sat Noon—8pm; Sun 12.30—11pm. Closed Mondays. [Accessz R. ST. Facilities: WS. E. G. R, B. Help: AA].

The Treassure of Wookimagoo Until Sun 27 Jan. 7.30pm. £5.50(£4.50). 2.30pm on Sat 22. Thurs 27. Sat 29 Dec. Thurs 3. Fri4. Sat 5. Sat 12. Sat 19 and Sat 26Jan. Stand-up comic Bruce Morton ventures into the world of panto with this new seasonal spectacular starring Dorothy Paul and Phil McCall. Pirates. treasure and a mysterious island. See review. Stitched Up Like A Kipper Until Sun 23 Dec. 10.30pm. £5 (£3). See Cabaret.


I ASSEMBLY ROOMS George Street. Details 229 9697. Hiawatha Until Sat 5 Jan. £3—£8. 2pm on Sat 22. Sat 29 Dec. 2.309"! on Fri 21 . Mon 24. Wed 26—Fri 28. Mon 31 Dec.Thurs 3—Sat 5 Jan. 5pm Sat 22. Sat 29 Dec. 7pm Mon 24. Wed 26—Fri 28. Mon 31 Dec. Wed 2—Sat 5 Jan. The Royal Lyceum‘s year-long roam about the city brings it to the Assembly Rooms where it performs this year‘s Christmas show. Based on the story by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. it features the epic adventures of a Red lndian brave coping with mighty foes. perhapsthc greatest of which is the arrival of the white man. Spectacle. dance. acrobatics and music. See review. lt'SA Boy Fri 28—Sat 29 Dec. 8pm. See Touring. I BRUNTON THEATRE Musselburgh. 665 2240. [Access: PPA. R. St. Facilities: WC. W8. E. G. B. Help: AA] Pinocchio-The Panto Until Sat SJan. £3.25—£4.50. 2.30pm on Sat 22. Mon 24. Wed 26. Sat 29 Dec. Wed 2 and Sat SJan. 7.30pm until Sat 5 Jan (not Suns. 25.31 Dec or 1 Jan). The Brunton pantomime puts the emphasis on entertainment. but also includes a cautionary message for children to say no to strangers. as it reinvents the story of Gepetto‘s puppet. See review. I CHURCH HILL THEATRE Morningside Road. 228 1 155. Tickets available from Queen‘s Hall and Usher Hall Box Offices. Dick Whittington Until Sat 29 Dec (not Mon 24 or Tue 25). 7pm. Mats Sat 22. Wed 26 and Sat 29 at 2.30pm. £3. Most performances are already sold out for Edinburgh People‘s Theatre panto. so get iii touch soon with Mrs Wilkie at 46 Vicwforth Terrace if you want tickets. Dance Display Sat 51am. 12.30pm. Lunchtime performance by the Mary Phelan School of Dance. Opera Performance Wed 9—Sat 12Jan. 7.30pm. Sinfonia Opera exercises its lungs. I KING'S THEATRE 2 chcn Street. 229 1201. Box Office Mon—Sat 10am—8pm. Bar. [Accessz PPA. L. Facilities: WC. W5. AS, E. G. B. Help: AA] Cinderella Until Sat 16 Feb. 7pm until Sat 22. Mon 24. Wed 26—Mon 3] Dec. Wed2

Jan—Sat 16 Feb. 2.15pm until Sat 22. Mon 24. Wed 26—Mon 31 Dec. Wed 2—Sat 5 Jan. Wed 9. Sat 12. Wed 16. Sat l9.Wed 23. Sat 26. Wed 30.1an. Sat 2, Wed 6. Sat 9. Wed 13 and Sat 16 Feb. £5.25—£7.25. Stanley Baxter returns to the stage as the Dame in a new version which he has

written and directed and which he sayswill

be his last. See review. I LEITH COMMUNITY CENTRE Newkirkgate. Leith. 554 4750.

StarTrip ll-The Christmas Tour Until Sat22

Dec. 7.30pm. £2 (£1). Johnni Staunton

writes and directs Leith Rep in this festive

comic science fiction send-up set aboard the USS Compromise.

I NETHEROOW ARTS CENTRE 43 High Street. 556 9579. Box Office. l()am—4.30pm. 7—9pm pcrf. evgs. Cafe. [Accessz R. Facilities: WC. W5. E, G, B, R. Help: A. AA]

The Moonehild Until Mon 24 Dec. £2.50.

7pm on Wed. Thurs. Fri, Sat and also Mon

24. 2.30pm on Sat and Mon 24. Aimed at


5—11 year olds. this is a colourful adaptation of a Japanese folk-tale written by Chris Craig and performed by Hullaballoo Children's Theatre. See review.

The Shepherd and the King Sat 22 Dec. 11am. £2.50 (£1 .50). Ian Turbittprcsents a puppet show for the under-65.

I PLAYHOUSE THEATRE Greenside Place. 557 2590.

42nd Street Until Sat 16 Feb. 7.30pm. Wed and Sat Mats at 2.30pm. £6.50—£16.50. Glamorous back-stage musical set in 1933 when a small-town girl gets the chance to leave the chorus line and take centre stage. Standard West End fare. but painless family entertainment. See review.

I ROYAL LYCEUM Grindlay Street. Hiawatha is at the Assembly Rooms. See above.

I ST ORIOE'S CENTRE Orwell Terrace. 346 1405.

Creature From The Mermaid's Purse Until Sat 22 Dec. £4.50 (£2.50). 7.30pm. Alison Peebles. a founder member of Communicado. returns to Scotland after acting with the RSC and the National Theatre to direct a new Christmas show by Anne Downie. Set underwater, it provides fishy family fun with an environmental message. Fast-moving. imaginative and lots to shout about.

I THEATRE WORKSHOP 34 Hamilton Place. 226 5425. Box Office Mon—Sat 9.30am—5.30pm. Bar. Cafe. [Accessz PPA. R. Facilities: WC. W5. AS. E. G. Help: AA]

Rasho. Champion of the Romany Until Sat 29 Dec. £3.50 (£2.50). 3pm on Sat 22 Dec. 118m and 3pm on Wed 26—Sat 29 Dec. Theatre Workshop cuts out the evening

performances in order to appeal to a family audience. This new Christmas show is written by Simon Abbott and is all about an Edinburgh schoolgirl who has a scrapyard adventure into the mists of time. Excellent set. authentic cultural mix and a genuinely mystical flavour. Recommended.

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].

The Bench Un‘til Sun 23 Dec. 7.30pm. £5 (£3). The Traverse flies in the face of nature by staging a play which makes no concessions to Christmas. fairy queens or reindeer. See review.


This section lists shows that are touring Scotland. There is a phone number for each company should you require more lnfonnation. Unless otherwise specified, the number after each venue listed is the telephone number for ticket enquiriesfor that particular evening (please note. this is not always the venue number).

I It's A Boy An alternative Christmas show for adults presented by Theatre Bouffon. Based on the Nativity. it takes a hard look at contemporary Christmas using much physical comedy and live music. Details on 031 228 2099.

CraigmillarArts Parry Fri 21 Dec. 7.30pm.

Bouties Byre, Srrarhdon Sat 22 Dec. 8.30pm.

The Assent bl y Rooms. George Street. Edinburgh Fri 28—Sat 29 Dec. 8pm.

[33111311- 42nd STREET

The Playhouse Theatre, Edinburgh until 16 Feb 1991.

Preparing myself for an evening’s cringing as each ill-fitting song was slotted into a tired script, I ventured to The Playhouse. Afterall, all musicals are the same aren’t they? And, more to the point, all touring musicals are a sub-standard version of the same.

There's one overriding lesson to be learned from this production of 42nd Street— don’t ore-judge. We may have had a year of culture and an ostentatious Festival but, for sheer enjoyment and vitality, there’s been nothing to rival this throughout 1990.

The story of poor chorus-line girl becomes star is nafi enough. The cast is a combination oi unknown troupers and unknown beginners. And, oi course, the songs are half a century old. But the choreography is razor sharp, the dancing verges on the breathtaking and the acting strikes just the right note of virtual self-mockery— you're in a theatre, so why pretend that this is real life? Similarly the sets look like a gigantic 1940s Wurlitzer— all chrome and tinted glass. This perfectly drilled cast aren't trying to re-create New York in the 30s; they’re putting on a show and they're going to make it as flash as is humanly possible.

As a spectacle, 42nd Street is fabulous and as for those songs, who cares if they belong to a different age? They sound infinitely more snazzy and vibrant than any musical score from our generation. When blasted out by

Kenneth Nelson and Richard Cuerden you could hardly wish for more. But, as you may have gathered, this production gives a hell of a lot more. If you can manage to leave the theatre without humming ‘We're in The Money’ you’re a better man than I. (Philip Parr)

Kenneth Bryans and Jennifer Black in The Bench


Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh. Until Sun 23 December. Breaking the mould of Christmas shows with one forthe grown-ups, the Traverse has returned to the work of Soviet writer Alexander Gelman, whose A Man With Connections was seen there in 1988. There’s a wintry (if not Christmassy) feel to this sombre, dark-hearted comedy, enhanced beautifully by Nick Sargent’s set and Jeanine Davis’s lighting. which portray a Moscow public park at twilight, complete with trees, drinking fountain, fairy lights and latterly a sprinkling of stars. _

At the centre are not one but two benches, upon and around which are

performed elaborate variations on a familiar mating dance. The protagonists are two supremely ordinary people, each in a different way desperater lonely, their isolation emphasised by their solitude in a public place. The man, initially brimming with drunken confidence, later maudlin, as cold sobriety sets in, is a cheating philanderer who routinely lies about his name, his address, his marital status and anything else that may help him towards his sexual goal. The woman, who is forced to remind him that they have been lovers before, initially appears weak, but proves herself resourceful and eventually much the stronger character, stripping down the layers of falsehood until her would-be seducer is forced to confront his genuine situation.

Kenneth Bryans imbues his part with boorish charm, winning the audience’s sympathy rapidly with his wily good humour, but Jennifer Black has the more difficult role. and her abandonment to its vulnerability is a highly effective response to the subtle demands of the script. Translated into Scots by Stephen Mulrine, this faintly glowing gem of a play has a gritty wit which is neither Scottish nor Russian, yet says something about the spirit of both nations.

In collaboration with trainee director Andrew Farrell, Ian Brown directs with the unobtrusive lightness of touch which has characterised much of his work at the Traverse, allowing the play's strength to emerge slowly but with confidence. and clearing a path for the sudden narrative twists that make it

both funny and sad. (Andrew Bumet)

48 The List 21 December 1990— 10 January 1991