I Don’t Better the e

. bevel you

s I It’s frightening how quickly a play can g w is

g become a period piece. No one could

say that the taut dialogue and l T. " - " 3 iii rt: .

j sharply-drawn characters of Roddy 1 Royal Lyceum learns to bevel ' McMillan’s The Bevellers have dated 9

significantly since 1973, but his : about the nature at the trade they’re in,

location, the iactory-iloor of a lirm oi but the main thing is the nature of

glass bevellers, is fast becoming a ? human relationships. They’re so like

thing oi the past. ‘We’ve discovered people in real life, certainly in that kind

recently that the craft is dying,‘ says at business. The dialogue is constantly

Phil McCall, appearing in the play for a alive. Although it’s apparently

iourth time. ‘Modern bevelling shops mundane, working class guys talking , have computer equipment that does the about their work, there’s a great deal of , jobs that men had to do very carefully poetry in the piece.’

by hand. New guys are learning a ; In preparation lorthe Royal Lyceum’s semi-skilled trade. The play was ; return to the play, the cast checked out written at a time when it was the real i one of the last remaining bevelling

shops in Glasgow in orderto complete the air oi gritty realism aimed tor by

craft that was being performed. Sadly . ' . to say, the machinery probably does ‘Thesc glib. over-articulate and ' the job as well, and does it much more

designer Dermot Hayes and director amoral characters force their lives 5 quickly,’ 3 Kenny Ireland. In previous TV and into fantastic shapes and problems f But the strength at the piece remains 5 stage productions, McCall has had to because they cannot help i as Bill Bryden iound it when he directed 1 mimic the skills at the craft (the noise thcmsclvcs.‘ wrotc Nocl Coward , the premiere at the Royal Lyceum and l oi real bevelling would drown out the about his 1933 play Design For i wrote in the prelace to the printed actors), but thistime round he’s Living. leaving little doubt about 4 edition of ‘an important play lorthe 3 playing a retired bevellerwho can’t ' what hc thought of his thrcc main ' Scottish theatre . . .iull oi lite and i shake off the memory at his work. ‘The ‘5 characters. ‘lmpelled chiefly by the 9 love,’ In format it has similarities with part I play, Alex Freer, who just

impact of their personalities each John Byrne's Slab Boys, written tour appears once in the play, is an actor’s

upon the other, they are like moths dream at a part,’ he says. ‘A cameo that

sticks out a mile because he’s just such

. . years later, although McCall argues in a pool of light unable to tolerate ; that the parallel ends once you pass the the lonely outcr darkness and new-boy-on-the-shop-iloor iormula. ‘l

i i ! . i a colourful person.‘ (Mark Fisher) equally unable to share thc light just think Roddy was a great writer oi l without colliding constantly and naturalistic Glasgow dialogue,’ he i The Bevellers, Royal Lyceum, brutsmg each other 5 Wings. Pcoplc says. ‘The play is quite instructive 1 Edinburgh, F 15 Nov$at 7 Dec.

were certainly interested and entertained and occasionally even moved by it. but it seemed to many

ofthem unpleasant.‘ _ And as the Citizens‘ Theatre '

Company under the direction of

Philip Prowse and Geoffrey Cauley ' e

hopes to prove. there is much fun to be had with the amoral. Design for


I don’t suppose there are many Tenpole

Living tells the tale of “W years in 1 Tudor tans still knocking around, but . . . the lives of Otto (an artist). Leo (a 3 it’s proving a good year lorthe " s. ' . Playwright) and Gilda (Otto's. then S surviving lew. Ex-lead singerEdward ‘/ _ n I LCO'S. thcn OIWS again. met)- It Tudor-Pole recently turned up in an I Richard means and Toyah Willcox was greeted With a good degree of Edinburgh Fringe comedy, and now moral outrage when it was z iellow group member, Richard new lines, trimming others and - Premiered in New York in thc 30s. McCabe, is taking the lead role in Peter generally reiining the piece. McCabe’s z s but Geoffrey Cauley does not 800 , Shaiier’s Amadeus. Given that he’s own musical background led into the this as any negative reflection on the 9 playing opposite Toyah Willcox, I play, turning a conirontation with the PICCC- ‘Amenca is a much morc ; asked the Glasgow-born actor whether much less gifted, but oh so virtuous , prudish country than England. ; it was Compass Theatre policy to Salieri into a five minute musical set pretty Helllsh , always has been. always will be.‘ he recruit icons oi early-80s pop. piece. ‘Salieri writes a very banal post-Holocaust says. ‘So perhaps the amount of = ‘Purely coincidence,’ he claims. march to welcome Mozart to the H tH t scandal that the play actually ? ‘Toyah’s character is a very earthy, Viennese court,’ he explains, ‘and pre' stave“ p03 as e provoked was because it was done in 1 no-nonsense sort oi woman and she tits Mozart sits down and plays it lrom potaSSlum Hydrogen America rather than England.‘ 5 thatvery well. I was actually cast for memory, then tears it apart and phthalate? A new Show But if America is more prudish I my acting, but when it transpired thatl transiorms the tune into a piece irom f J h- h t k than England Surcly southern : played, we thoughiwhy not incorporate the Marriage oi Figaro. On top of that, mm apan’ w 1C a 63 English society is equally more = it in the show?‘ I’ve written a set oi variations on the place beneath the feet of prudish than Scotland. ‘ls it? I‘ve 5 Nonetheless, his time in iront at rock tune. So gradually the humiliation gets the audience is a“ of these never really thought about it.‘ claims i audiences has served him well ior worse ior Salierl.’ d -t l ’t Cauley. ‘If that‘s true. then that l memorable Shakespearian McCabe says he nevertones down his an qm 6, a 9 more' would be all to the good. let‘s hope : periormances in his iouryears with the character's scatological tendencies Aaron Hlelln reports on that you‘re right. If the Scots are ; R86 and now ior Shaner's irreverent, even when gasps oi shock echo round pH. more liberal than the English. they l anaIy-iixated portrait oi Mozart. ‘It’s the auditorium, but periorming with a won‘t waste time being shocked by . something to do with a music pop star can attract a quite different the situation. Personally. I never 2 audience,’ he says, ‘ii you don’t grab audience. ‘You can tell,’ he says, When the audience takes its seats for think about things like that. being their attention they’re likely to wander ‘because they’re usually In the iront pH, sitting literally in ‘the gods’, it totally amoral myself. It should be a i on or worse, throw things at you. row wearing Toyah T-shirts and will look down on an assault course very interesting. very amusing and. l There’s an immediacy about it that I’ve laughing loudly whenever she’s on.’ of mechanised dangers. Volleys of as Coward says. very unpleasant 5 brought to stage acting.‘ (Mark Fisher) balls will be hurled every three - evening.‘ (Philip Parr) Despite the international success of minutes through the arena, while Design For Living, (‘irizens' Theatre. Amadeus, Peter Shatter still saw lit to Amadeus. Theatre Royal. Glasgow, two computer-controlled bars will 1 Glasgow. Fri 8—5!" 33 Nov. involve himself in rehearsals, adding Tue 12—Sat 16 Nov. slice through the space, forcing the

52 The List 8— 21 November 1991