I show I _



Steve Shill

‘1 like troubled characters,‘ says writer. performer and director Steve Shill. ‘1 like to see people betraying themselves. They can‘t analyse their own situations, but the audience can read them like a book.‘

In his latest show, A Little Theatre, the ex-Impact Theatre performer tells a comic story about a couple who try to introduce a hitherto absent sexual element into their relationship by projecting their fantasies onto a miniature stage in their livingroom. But it takes the arrival of a door-to-door salesman to give these theatrical fantasies the required erotic charge. ‘As we go into it we see that the people are really more sick than we originally thought.‘ says Shill.

Having gained his theatrical grounding in performance art, Shill is now most interested in the traditional techniques of tight plotting and precise dialogue. He accuses much so-callcd experimental theatre of having acquired its own cliches and conventions, although he makes no apologies for his own background in the avant-garde.

‘l‘m trying to combine the best of both types of theatre,‘ he explains. ‘What i hope is we have something that is strongly atmospheric. strongly visually organised. but within all of that is a thing that has been well written. crafted and acted. I‘ve been sucked in by

narrative. I find it a much : more satisfying area. The j world of the non-narrative

18 Theil:ist 3— 16 May i991

is only an intellectual structure it‘s rare to see something that grabs you emotionally.‘ (Mark Fisher)

A Little Theatre, Third Eye Centre, Glasgow. Tue I4—Thurs 16 May.



Live and Rory '


Rory Bremner switches on

‘We record the shows on a Sunday and

they go out the following Friday,’ says Rory Bremner of his current TV series,

‘which makes them reasonably topical, : but irritatingly not. I could be featuring . Des Lynam, John Major and George

i Bush and they could all disappear on a

3 SAGA coach over a cliff in Norway. And

if that happened, the whole show would

? be buggered.’

Such angst over the vagaries of time-lapse TV may have been a factor in motivating Edinburgh-boy Bremner to go back on tour after an absence of three years. As usual, he will be visiting Glasgow and Edinburgh and relishes the opportunity to work uninhibited in a live environment once

‘l’m not interested in trying to adapt the TV sketches for the theatre,’ he says, ‘so it’ll just be me and the best of my monologues over the last four years. Some of the stuff will be topical but I also love to put people in obscure situations; like Roger Moore as the speaking clock or Ronnie Corbett giving the tour-minute warning. Those kinds of things have a longer shelf-lite than the purelytopical material. It’s also quite satisfying to hit a big problem properly, such as Government policy on the Kurds.’

Rory Bremner has never been afraid to tackle political issues and he claims that lawyers are needed virtually every week to select what can be included in his programme; a reflection more on the conservatism of the TV authorities than the material he produces, leels Bremner. The comedian’s lighter side is reflected in his obvious love for sport (cricket in particular), and the impersonations of, most notably, Richie Benaud. Do the legal wrangles ever make him wish he’d never set foot on stage and had become a cricketer instead?

‘There are days, yeah, but there’s days when I’d rather be . . . an electrician. When you’ve been spending five hours on a two-minute sketch aboutJohn Major and tried to give him some sort of personality,

there’s something very relaxing about

wiring a plug.’ (Philip Parr) Rory Bremner, King’s Theatre,

7 Glasgow, Sun 5 May and Queen’s Hall, a Edinburgh on Mon 6 May.

Culture vultures

Like 7284’s Revolting Peasants, Winged Horse’s The Evil Doers is a homegrown comedy making its first Scottish appearance in Mayfest after an initial run in London. And writer Chris Hannan, who won the Plays and Players award for Most Promising Playwright as a result of The Evil Doers, was glad of the chance to be exposed to an English audience first. ‘I used the opportunity of it being put on in London to impose a discipline on myself,’ he explains. ‘You couldn’t assume anything or just use local relerences and gags. i wanted to show myself that this wasn’t a play that was only about Glasgow. It stopped me from getting too bogged down in the specifics of Glasgow and allowed me to concentrate on what a play should be,

which is situation and character.’

Set in a Glasgow that is waking up to its potential as a culture-friendly tourist-trap, the play is a savage comedy about a man who sets himself up as a cabbie cum tour guide only to be hampered by his alcoholic wile,

, traumatised daughter and a thuggish

young loan shark. ‘lt’s a domestic play played out on a city-wide scale,’ says Harman whose collected plays are soon to be published by Nick Hern Books.

' v , \Vsuv A scene from lastyear’s production

of Chris Hannan's Elizabeth Gordon Duinn,

also produced by Winged Horse

were City Comedies ~Jonson and all that kind of stuff. Rather than living-room domestic comedy, it could be played out on a bigger scale and in a much more chaotic way.’

Directed by Hamish Glen, the new production has given Hannan the rare chance both to do some rewriting and to see the play performed on bigger

stages than the small studio space of

London’s Bush Theatre where it was first mounted a production with which he was nonetheless very pleased. Taking as its theme the aphorism, ‘every time I want to do good, something bad comes to hand,’ The Evil Doers is a comedy about the failure of good intentions, and if it is at times savage, Hannan is adamant that the play is also optimistic. ‘Some people found the ending bleak,’ he explains, ‘which was not my intention. I’m pretty keen on hope and that hope being expressed.’ (Mark Fisher)

' The Evil Doers, Tue 7~Sat11 May, ‘The thingslhadinthe back of my mind MitChellTheatre, Glasgow and 0M0“'- l students.enro|lcd inthe firstdance


0n the right track

fJo Roe spots trains with ' choreographer Siobhan

l Davies

{ At the most awkward of times Siobhan Davies emanates charm and energy. Halfway through a rehearsal

or between kids and breakfast she is

relaxed and open todiscussion. If, at

times, her work strays into the

realms ofobscurity. she outlines I ideas behind the choreography with

clarity and conviction. Her best

. works reflect this with strong.

E l !

unapologetic momentum.

Now one of Britain‘s most innovative choreographers, Davies first became interested in dance when she, and a group of fellow art

i l l l