I Video and theatre lighting workshops Edinburgh‘s Arts Outreach team has organised a series of
one-dayintroductionsto working with a basic lighting rig. The next one is on Wed 18 Sept. 10am—5pm. at the Assembly Rooms and costs £10. Advance booking on 031 225 2424 ext 6665.
I Actors wanted The
Music Association is on the look-out for new members. especially men. who are welcome to turn j up at the Burgh Primary
School. Musselburgh, at
1 7pm on Tue 10 Sept. The 3 company is also holding auditions at the Brunton Hall from 10.30am on Sat 7 Sept for4—14-year-olds for a production ofThe Sound ofMusic.
I Open dayThc Bearsden and Milngavie Arts Guild is providing entertainment and refreshments for people interested in anything from drama to wine-making on Sat 14 Sept. loam—noon and
‘ 2—4pm at Kilmardinny House. Bearsden.
I New company Edinburgh District Arts Council has awarded £640 to Sean Curran of Muirhouse to set up Wild Stage Theatre Company. which will make its debut appearance at Theatre Workshop in the autumn.
V W PRINT
Kings. I Queens and People‘s Palaces
I King’s. aueen’s and People's Palaces Vivien Devlin (Polygon £9.95). Subtitled An Oral History ofthe Scottish Variety Theatre. 1920—1970, Devlin‘s book is devoted entirely to the words of those directly connected with the heyday of Scottish music hall. Dividing the book into chapters focusing on comedians, musicians and producers. she talks to familiar stars — Rikki Fulton. Dorothy Paul, Stanley Baxter - as well as the chorus girls and backstage crews. As a continuous read it‘s a bit relentless. but it makes a fascinating browse and is a much-needed first-hand document of a major
L cultural institution. (MF)
Synge in the ‘ tal
’ The Playboy ol the Western World
,' presented such an iconoclastic view oi Romantic Ireland that during early
periormances the audience spontaneously rioted on the line ‘a driit
; oi chosen iemales, standing in their
l shiits itseli.’
Giles Havergal, who is to direct the
I new Citizens’ Theatre production, Ieels
i that the scandal which surrounded the
3 initial productions (where irequent use
§ oi the word ‘bloody’ was deemed
i outrageous) has passed, leaving a play
, which is ‘lunny, has something to say
and possesses the most tremendous
l l l l
The play, which is concerned with a young man who ilees west and finds heroic status alter the murder oi his iather, was inspired by authorJ.M. Synge’s visits to the Arran Islands and Irish west coast at the turn oi the century. It is the rich colloquialisms
and blaspheme-sodden curses oi that
region which inspires much oi the play’s humour; ‘Marcus Ouin, God rest him, got six months for maiming ewes, and he a great warrant to tell stories oi holy Ireland’.
Havergal agrees that such a convoluted idiom, which demands the mastery oi a diiiicult dialect, could be a problem ior audiences, but explains that the intricacies oi Shakespeare and Webster are tackled in much the same way; making the general meaning oi a speech clear, thus allowing the occasional esoteric word or phrase to contribute to the general ilavour oi the piece.
DesignerJulian McGowan will be working on bringing the naturalism oi a penurious peat stove shebeen together
. with the regalia oi many a purple prose
outburst, in a play whose locus on rural poverty and imaginative deprivation will make an interesting change,
‘ Havergal ieels, lrom the seemingly
i more dramatically iertile area oi inner ; city decay. (Stephen Chester) : l
The Playboy 0i The Western World, Citizens' Theatre, Fri 6—Sat 28
5 iSash back
l i When Hector MacMiiIan began to work
I on The Sash in 1970, the thing that ; surprised him mostwas that no one
' ‘ else had written a play on sectarian
l divides in Scotland beiore. MacMiiIan drew on his upbringing in the East End oi Glasgow and on his experiences oi a year's National Service in Omagh, where he iound himseli in the strange position oi being Iriendly with both ‘sides’ — because at his name he was assumed to be a good Protestant, but through his lather he had strong knowledge oi Republican history and songs. It wasn’t until he came back to Scotland aiter ten years in Europe that l he was able to approach the topic with a detached perspective.
The Sash began liie as a short Schools TV play called Prejudice, and over several months it was expanded into a lull theatre play, becoming a box oiiice smash atthe Citizens’ in 1973. Although the play has been revived on
time that the story— concerning a iamily split over religious bigotry that comes to a head on the day oi an Orange march - has been directed by its author. Resisting the temptation to rewrite, MacMiiIan has retained the period ilavour oi the original, knowing that It still has the thematic strength to be relevant today.
to remind people or let others make up their own minds, but also to create a
several occasions since, this is the lirst
‘In a sense, we're using the old plays
Hector MacMiiIan’s The Sash
context that will encourage new writing,’ he says oi IPB productions, the company mounting the tour, and at which he is a director. ‘l’m divorced irom the play in a funny way, in that I’ve started looking at it almost as someone else’s work. I suppose I’ve learned a iew things about writing bysittlng down irom day one with the actors and working on the text. Maybe I won’t give other directors so much trouble in the iuture.’ (Alan Morrison)
The Sash, Pavilion Theatre, Glasgow, Mon 9—Sat 21 Sept, and on tour.
Donald Sinden In Out iOrder
Donald Sinden is about to launch a tour of the Olivier Award-winning comedy, Out ofOrder by Ray Cooney. Both men are founding members of the Theatre ofComedy. a company begun eight years ago. not simply to elevate the stature of comedy in the theatre. but also to allow younger actors the opportunity to learn the ropes by working with veterans. This is the company‘s first regional tour. ‘I love touring.‘ says Sinden. who will be driving to Edinburgh to prove the point. ‘I am an inveterate sightseer.’
The English word ‘farce’ derives from the Latin ‘farsa‘ which means ’stuffing‘. This certainly seems applicable to the plot of Out ofOrder in which Sinden plays Richard Willy. a Junior Minister in the Conservative Government who discovers a dead , body while attempting to have an affair with one of Neil Kinnock‘s secretaries. But according to Sinden, there have been only four masterful playwrights in the history of the genre: Feydeau, Pinero. Travers and Ray Cooney. whom he describes as ‘the greatest living farce writer‘. ‘It is a piece ofcake to play King Lear.‘ he argues. ‘Comedy is far more difficult and farce is its most exacting form. It is actually quite similar to tragedy. An actor must use his entire body.‘
Despite his wealth of theatre work. Sinden is probably most popularly known for his television roles. those in Two ’3 Company and Never the Twain in particular. Ironically enough, Never the Twain begins its new season on 4 September and will continue throughout Sinden‘s Edinburgh run. Still, theatre is Sinden’s first love, and he hopes some of his television audience will be attracted to Our OfOrder. ‘After all,’ he says. ‘ifsomeone offered you two tickets to a football final. would you rather stay home and watch the game on television?‘ (Roberta Mock)
I Out oi Order King’s Theatre. Edinburgh, Mon 9—Sat 14 Sept.
48 The List 30 August— 12 September 1991