Having read your contributor‘s comments in the Short List (The List 146) regarding Mandela Theatre Company's unhappy recent visit to Cumbernauld Theatre. We would appreciate the opportunity to put the record straight on a few matters.

a mailing to those specifically interested in drama from our mailing list, listings in The List. Tlte Scotsman and The Scottish Theatre Guide. posters and leaflets widely distributed. not just in Cumbernauld but also throughout the surrounding area. two articles in the local paper etc.

When we realised that the bookings were not coming in. we gave Mandela Theatre Co. the option ofcancelling their visit. They decided to go ahead and we provided full Front of House and technical cover as we are contracted to do. It was. therefore. obviously not to our financial advantage to have to cancel the show at short notice and this is the first time for many years that there has been not one ticket sold for a performance at this theatre.

It is our practice to offer box office splits to most touring companies and we know that ours was certainly not the only venue to offer Mandela Theatre Co. a deal of this kind on this particular tour. ,

I hope that this clarifies our position in this matter.

Liz Carruthers Artistic Director Cumbernauld Theatre Cumbernauld

Beats me

I am writing to complain or should I say enquire why a new club that recently opened on a Friday has been changed to a Sunday.

About five weeks ago as I was reading through the clubs section of The List. I spotted a listing for a new club. Beats. I‘d also seen the fliers dotted around the town too. so my friends and I thought we‘d give it a try.

For the first few weeks it was very quiet. but it soon started to pick up as more people got to know about it.

At last. we thought. a good club in Edinburgh playing good music on a Friday night! As usual this dream did not last for long. it has now turned out that Beats is going to be transferred to a Sunday night instead of Friday (to make way for a new club called Glider opening on Fridays).

Now that might be fine for all the students that go to it. but for the majority of us like myselfwho work during the week. it is going to be impossible to go to. as we‘d never be able to get up the next day for work.

i Why has it been changed to a l Sunday? I suppose as they say 1 ‘Dreams can't last forever‘.

3 Fiona

i Saughtonhall Crescent

'l Edinburgh

100The List3— 16 May 1991

Our publicity for Inferno included

Write to The List, Old Athenaeum Theatre, 179 Buchanan Street, Glasgow G1 2J Z, or 14 High Street, Edinburgh EH1 1TE. The best letter next

Caught Nappin

So The List (145) has taken to the turf and decided to try its luck as a tipster magazine has it? Surely the main purpose ofsuch an idea is to plump unreservedly for one of the poor beasts and then either gloat in the following issue on how astute you have been, or never refer to the nag again after it fell at the first.

It's really not too clever ofTom Lappin (why no interminable nicknames so beloved of tabloid land?) to mention every horse with any conceivable chance ofvictory in the space of a couple of paragraphs. The only ‘outsider’ referred to had already shuffled offthis mortal coil before Aintree and so was hardly going to get the punters ofScotland reaching into their pockets.

And what became ofthis ultra-conservative tipping. Which one of the eight thoroughbreds romped to victory. Well. none of them did. Asa matteroffact. the race was won by a forty to one outsider. Killone Abbey. one ofthe few horses not to be mentioned in your piece. Horses for courses Mr

, Lappin: stick to cricket.

Yours in gambling-induced poverty. V

Trevor Donald.

Bentinck Street


Deadlines mean these things ha we to

guessed at well in advance. Most of : the horses I mentioned didn 't even

line tip. and the one I gave a strong hint for. ()merta. finished a gallant second. You 're right about the nickname though. and I shall

: henceforth be known as Colonel

Hamlet. due to my t'acillation. Desert Sun each way for the 2000 Guineas (or maybe Bog Trotter. . . or). To

cheer you up. we'll let you have this i issue 's prize. the Jose Cueri'o T-shirt. : (Tom Lappin)

l mini

i l

Come rain or shine

The campaigning News section is a welcome. if long-overdue addition to The List. Your piece highlighting the scandalous demolition ofSt Benedict‘s church ( The List 145) rightly condemmed the actions of the Archdiocese of Glasgow for sending in the bulldozers just before the

' building was to be listed.

But we should also have some sympathy with the church authorities who have had to put up with years of patching and repairing an edifice which seemed incapable of fulfilling the simple task of keeping out the rain. They can be forgiven for failing to appreciate the splendours of the sweeping upward curve of the roof. when they were preoccupied racing around emptying buckets ofwater which had poured through it.

The worst enemies ofgood modern architecture are often the modern architects themselves. So long as they persist in treating with disdain the practicalities ofengineering. construction and maintenance. they will be treated with suspicion by the public and what little imaginative work that does manage to be built is likely to perish quickly. The newly fashionable pastiche school of architecture practiced by Quinlan Terry and others, may lack vision and imagination but it does show competence. Their buildings go up quickly and efficiently and are designed to last.

The situation is partciulary bad in Britain because. even in Scotland. our system ofeducation divorces the arts and the sciences in such a way that the technician is ignorant ofand encouraged to despise the artist and vice versa. ()nly when the two strands are rejoined so that we learn to respect both disciplines will we begin to catch up with the architecture and design of the rest of Europe.

Michael Wishart Polwarth Street Glasgow


I normally enjoy reading the book section. but the reviews of recent science fiction by Iain Grant (The List l45)require some comment. Iain Grant does not seem to understand what is meant by ‘Space Opera‘. The term is used to describe simple. morally and psychologically uncomplicated tales of derring-do in outer space. in which bold heroes battle wicked villains (usually aliens or space pirates) in titanic conflicts between fleets ofmile-Iong spaceships with lots of fancy artillery and the occasional planet getting

vapourised. This sub-genre first flourished before the war. when one of its most successful proponents was

E. E. ‘Doc’ Smith, with his Skylark and Lensman series (perhaps such flights of fancy can be excused in a man whose working life was devoted to attempting to get sugar to stick to doughnuts). More recently. the sub-genre has been translated to the visual media with huge commercial success and without altering its essential character, in films such as Star Wars and its derivatives.

Arthur C. Clarke‘s gentle, thoughtful and often profound tales ofevolution, cosmic destiny and technological utopia, such as Againsr the Fall ofNight’ (and the later revision The City and the Stars). the closing chapters of 2001 , or the novella The Road to the Sea simply do not belong in this company. His antecedents are Wells and Stapledon (particularly The Last and First Men), not ‘Doc’ Smith.

It is difficult to imagine what might be meant by ‘cod portentousness’: I looked up all the meanings of ‘cod' in the Oxford Compact dictionary and could not find any that might reasonably be used as a qualifer for ‘portentous’; and the phrase is hardly an accurate description of Clarke‘s haunting, wistful elegaic prose.

Whilst I am all in favour of The List carrying reviews of science fiction, you should try to use reviewers who appear to know something about the genre.

A. C. Davenhall Springvalley Terrace Edinburgh

Burnt out

Dear Mr Kelman,

Further to the excellent feature article on you (The List 146),I personally thought A Disaffection very funny, but had great difficulty explaining why. ‘Structural irony’ is indeed the answer. as in: ‘Hegel was never near to insanity. He caroused

with women and drank and no doubt

that is why Schopenauer hated him. Kierkegaard didn‘t fucking like him eithér.‘ Brilliant.

Since I need a topic for my PhD, and since you need proper critical

analysis (eg were you bottle or breast .

fed?), might I suggest we collaborate. In the near future, graduate students will be queuing up to ‘do‘ you, and since I come from the ‘notorious’ East End ofGlasgow and have impeccable working-class credentials, I'd be the best ofa bad lot. Let‘s do lunch at the Staff Club in Chambers Street and discuss the commercial possibilities ofa literary

biography, which would be limitless if in the past ‘you killed a man’.

A Disaffection is the best book never to win the bloody Booker prize! NB: This is a sarcasm-free letter!

David M. Bennie Haddington Place

Edinburgh J

Printed by Scottish County Press, Sherwood Industrial Estate, Bonnyrigg, Midlothian. Tel: 031 663 2404.