5 v new PLAY

Comic edge

Ten years ago. Trestle Theatre was four graduates on the dole. Today the company employs 20 people. tours Europe and the Far East regularly. and receives funding from the Arts (‘ounci|. 'l'restle Theatre has grown up. but the flair and originality ofitsyouth remains unchanged. T/lt’ Edge is u idenee enough. A striking set. Composed entirely of books. won last year's 'l‘imc ()ur best design award and. like all of'l'restle's work. it is performed in masks.

'ln the past all our shows were comedies. and we used masks to show a broad range of

stereotypes.which allow I the actors to cross-dress

and play different characters. jumping back and forth without needing make-up'. says founding member 'l‘oby Wiltshire. who was involved in creating the original play and composing the music. ‘a sort of Philip Glass. Michael Nyman score.'

When Trestle embarked on its first serious play. 'I'I'es 'l‘lzu! Bind. traversing the minefield ofehild abuse. the role ofthe masks shifted from comic device to disturbing metaphor. ‘All the characters wore masks. apart from the young girl and her teacher. and it scared people shitless. It was a shock to people because we had always done comedy before.’

In The Edge the masks are on again as comic caricature. representing the four characters. and

; the variousapparitionsof . thecentralprotagonist’s

imagination. As the story unfolds. the audience is drawn into a horror story

thatacceleratestowards theendasthetruth

becomes apparent. There is no moral to the tale. according to Wiltshire. but it is strong theatre

nonetheless. ‘We‘re not a didactic company -> the

educatiye element ofour show lies in stirring and firing the imagination of the audience.‘ (Aaron llicklin)

The Edge, 'I'ltcum’ Works/tap, Fri 13—311! [4 Marc";

Rocky Horror: the film

I had a bad experience at a screening of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. The fourteen-year-old (male) dressed in a

, red basque and fishnet stockings who . was sitting in front of me, decided that

the pint of vodka he had just consumed was a little too much for his not-yet- fully-developed digestive system. I can't help thinking that it was a stroke of supreme good fortune that more of

the audience did not witness this scene

as it may have become another of those wacky Rocky customs which the die- hards perform at every screening. First, throw the rice; second, fire the

§ waterpistol;third,vomiton your 3 neighbours. . . the consequences for

theatre managers were frightening. Vomiting may not have caught on, but only slightly less upholstery- tarnishing antics certainly have. It may be for this reason that Rocky has been relegated to late night showings at porn cinemas. The show‘s creator, however, seems to want to forget that

the last fifteen years ever happened. In a new tour of Richard O'Brien‘s work, audience's are ‘encouraged' to refrain from throwing anything, from shouting out or from dancing the Time Warp in the aisles. One can only think thatthis is a bad tactic on the part of the producers because the basic story of Rocky is so flimsy. O’Brien should perhaps rememberthe reason why the shouting began in the first place was because a member of the audience was so bored by the show.

A healthier attitude is on display at the Barrowland in Glasgow where Robert Kelly is organising a showing of the film, but adding to the atmosphere with dancing girls and an M0 to help the audience along when they forget what to scream at the screen. For an hour before the film, the MC will guide the assembled transvestites through the multitude of slogans which accompany the film. Originally organised lorthe less-than-spick-and- span Pavilion, the Rockies were to be encouraged to bring along their water pistols, rice and toast as well as their lacy underwear. In the Barrowland the management is considerably more wary, but there will still be plenty of screaming, plenty of cowering under rolled-up newspapers and plenty of fourteen-year-olds in basques. If you like that kind of thing. (Philip Parr)

The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Barrowland, Glasgow, Sat 14 March. The Rocky Horror Show, The Playhouse, Edinburgh, Fri 20—Sat21 March.

immune-I Passion killer

After the extravagance of Jock

Tamson’s Bairns, the ferocity of Carmen and the earthiness of The Cone

essence of the original novel which

; outraged French society when first

published in the 1860s. That essence is of sordid backstreets, clandestine affairs and ultimate tragedy; not exactly fertile ground for the

. Communicado style of mixing music, dance and drama to create an uplifting


Gatherers, Communicado has opted for , bleakness with its latest production.

§ Stuart Paterson’s adaptation of Zola's 3 Therese Raquin aims to capture the

Therese Raquin

it from Therese’s point of view. At the time Zola was considered like a pornographer because writing about

a women‘s sexuality was really ahead of itstime.’

Although Zola was something of a visionary, there is always the danger

a that an adaptation of a story written in . the most repressive society in history,

‘Communicado has done some pretty Jennifer Black, however, does not feel

dark stories in the past,’ says

only difference is that Communicado

usually has live music and we won‘t

with this show. That was a conscious


Black is the first person outside of

5 Communicado’sfounding members to

be handed the directorial reins and feels confident that her style will fit into

1 the company's tradition, in spite of the


apparent bleakness of her choice of material. ‘I think Communicado has always been very passionate,‘ she says, ‘and always chooses very passionate pieces. Therese is about

j Therese’sdirectorJenniferBlack. ‘The

very heightened passions which lead to ?

tragic ends. It‘s a story which has been

will seem dated and irrelevant.

intimidated. ‘The audience will have to realise that it is a differenttime, but people do still take enormous risks because of sex— risk their family life, their careers. I think it will always have a resonance because people will always feel passionate. Zola said that he approached the story like a scientist carrying out an experiment: putting two characters in a situation and seeing how they react; he makes no moral judgement. And I think that in one way he’s asking us “How would you react?" “(Philip Parr)

Therese Raquin, St Brides Centre, Edinburgh, Tue 24—Sat 28 Mar, and on

used again and again, but I like seeing tour.


Denis O‘Toole talks to i

Flight for' sore eyes

Laurie Booth and Ellen

van Schuylenburch about

improvrsation and g aeroplanes. * In her book The Knowing Body. American performer Louise Steinman defined improvisation as ‘a process by which the evolving nature of the world around and within the artist is revealed by their actions.‘ Laurie Booth is one ofthe prime exponents ofthis sometimes misunderstood. even maligned dance form. wrapping himselfin an air ofexploration and acute concentration onstage. He returns to this year‘s New Moves Across Europe festival with a moody. richly allusive new piece called Requiair. Subtitled ‘A flight dance‘. it‘s a kinetic meditation on themes of time. space. weight. energy and