mous- mura- The real thing

I Pushing Through sponsor pulls out New York's Voice Theatre company. due to return to Scotland after a brief. successful run in Glasgow last year. is desperately seeking fundsafter sponsorship for its ('umbernauld dates fell through. The international company's music theatre show -- which movineg explores the Common ground between Israeli and Palestinian women will reach these shores in October if money can be found. (‘ontact Liz Carruthers at (‘umbernauld 'l‘heatrc (0236 737235) if you can help.


l‘lll-i MOSCOW AR l' 'l’lll-A'l’Rl" lill'l'ERS


l The Moscow Art Theatre Letters Jean Benedetti

(Published on l‘)Sept. Methucn £20) The idea of 359 pages-worth ofletters written the best part of a century ago might not seem a riveting prospect. butJean Benedetti's collection of communications between Stanislavsky. Nemirovich- Danchenko. Anton (.‘hekhov and other key movers in the Moscow Arts Theatre makes for compulsive reading. Starting from 1897. when Nemirovieh made his first approach to Stanislavsky with the idea of founding an arts theatre. the book takes us through 41 years in the life of what was to become one of the world's major theatres.

Tightly edited and freshly translated. the letters alternate between actors. directors. playwrights and designers. giving a unique first-hand account ofthe tensions. the artistry and the enthusiasm which went into staging the company's pioneering repertoire. "I‘here has never been a more glorious page than the one we have written in the last two years.‘ writes Stahislavsky prophetically in 1900. and 9t) yearson. it proves to be an eminently readable page to boot.

Benedetti provides short and informative introductions to make sense of the letters. which work because of their immediacy and. having been written privately and often under stress. their unrestrained passion. (MP)


§ \ a .. '7‘ up. ' N. y‘afi M,


Heralded by Sarah Hill ofAssembly Theatre as a ‘major initiative for dance and music in Scotland’, 3 creative dance residency for professionals is taking place in January 1992 directed by Belgium’s Wim Vandekeybus and Thierry de Mey. The directors are searching forsix choreographers, six composers and up to 28 dancers and musicians to participate in the course. Students and professionals of any dance style or any musical instrument, who are over sixteen, can apply. Sarah Hill, Residency Co-ordinator, explains that Vandekeybus is not

looking for people with a preconceived idea either about his work or the course. ‘Participants are not expected to reproduce his work,’ she says, ‘he’s bored with that. He is looking for ideas he wants to be inspired. The locus of the course will be the relationship between dance and music and the creative process within and between the art forms.’

Vandekeybus and his company Ultima Vez were seen in Glasgow in 1989 and 90, shocking Scottish audiences with their immensely physical and daring theatre-dance. Thierry de Mey, percussionist and composer, is best known for his Rosas danst Rosas score for Anne-Teresa 0e Keersmaeker, and has collaborated with Vandekeybus since 1983. ‘What I really like isthat it’s real,’ says Hill. ‘What you’re seeing is real people, not people behaving in a dancerish sort of way, ortrying to be pretty‘.

Hill, who has ‘a personal passion for

dance’, sees the development of the

course as part of her Arts 2000 application. She has put Scotland forward as a candidate for the title of 1993 Yearof Dance, and the application has already been short-listed.

The deadline for course applications was officially Monday 9 September,

; but the date has been extended to

Saturday 14 September exclusively for readers of The List. (Tamsin Grainger)

Creative Dance Residency Audition, Sat21 Sept, RSAMD, Glasgow. See

.2 Dancelistingstordetails.

Buffs beware

Humour may not be the hallmark of your average opera, butthen Lorenzo Jordan and Claude Arias are not your average opera singers. ‘Basically we want people to have fun,’ says Jordan. ‘The starting point for our shows is a great love of Italian opera, but you shouldn’t come along thinking you’re going to see some great tragic saga.’ Veterans of the pioneering German ‘alternative opera’ company Pocket Opera, the duo have now devised several shows on their own, the latest of which is a tongue-in-cheek dramatisation of the rivalry between legendary primadonnas Maria Callas and Renata Tebaldi. ‘This is what we mean by alternative opera,’ explains

' Jordan. ‘Two men dressed up as

women, impersonating the greatest divas of this century, not to mention the fact that between us we perform arias

; from 28 different operas.’

l I

.X at Jordan and Arias: camp opera

Purists may shudder, but then that's the idea. Jordan and Arias‘s aim is to preserve what’s best about opera the music, the passion, the grandeur, the glorious, over-the-top campness of the whole thing—while puncturing its excessive seriousness with parody, cross-dressing and slapstick. ‘The problem with most traditional opera is that it's boring,’ says Jordan. ‘You go along to most opera houses and the music is wonderful, the performers have great voices, but it doesn’t really live. What we try and do is show that opera can be a living thing without ruining it— although some people would probably say we do ruin it! We just think it should be tun—we certainly have a lot of fun, and we try and make sure the audience do too.’ (Sue Wilson) Vissi D’Arte-Opera Monstrosa, Tron Theatre, Glasgow, Tue 24, Wed 25, Fri 27 and Sat 28 September.

l l l l



Jacobi. uprising

A few years ago. Derek Jacobi received wide acclaim for his portrayal of arch-villain. Richard “I. Now he shows a gentler side as Thomas A'Becket in Jean Anouilh‘s Becker which has not been performed in Britain since a triumphal Peter l lall production in the early oils.

As Jacobi explains. the play is more than a simple historical study. "I‘he idea ofeollaboration is very strong.’ he says. ‘Beeket is a Saturn collaborating with the Normans in order to make his way through life. in the same way as the l‘rench collaborated during the war. Anouilh is using the play for his own particular message. and you have to

play the Becket he wrote rather than

the historical character.’

London audiences will have to wait until the play has toured the country before they can see it. but unlike us. they will see Jacobi and co-star Robert Lindsay alternating between the two leads in different performances. ‘I could never make up my mind which was the more interesting role l lenry ll or Becket.‘ says Jacobi. ‘In the play. Becket is the thinker; he's got the big brain and Henry's got the big fist. Bob Lindsay was having similar worries. so we decided to alternate when we get to London. But it‘s a much more complex proposal than we ever thought. The work involved is enormous. We can hear each other‘s voices in our heads when we rehearse the opposite part.

‘I showed the script to friends and they all thought that Becket was a good part and indeed the more difficult ofthe two. but I said “There‘s no pyrotechnics with


Becket". Then a friend told me "Yes

but we’ve seen you on the stage waving your arms about and screaming your head off. You‘ve done all that. We've not seen you standing still for very long. Why don’t you play the standing still part fora change." So I have. and it’s come off.‘ (Philip Parr)

Becket. King's Theatre, Edinburgh. M on 10—32112] September.

44 The List 13 26 September 1991