In response to J.H. McEwen‘s letter in The List 173 about the Royal Lyceum‘s production of Merlin. I
2 must say that a theatre review is only
one person‘s opinion of a play. People should not be so small- minded as to only go and see things that theatre critics have enjoyed. We should watch plays with an open mind and form our own opinions. However. Mark Fisher‘s opinion of Merlin was that of most of the reviewers I read and that of myself.
It was an amazingtheatrical experience — the best thing I have seen in years. I admit that a lot ofthe ideas went way over my head — but who cares? Why not enjoy it for what it was? A spectacular piece of theatre; an amazing set. showing the whole massive space. great music from Ron Shaw and Carol Laula; a cast ofeighteen playing many different parts. and who seemed never to stop!
‘A penis was visible on stage.‘ writesJ.H. McEwen. I wonder ifthis person has ever seen one before'?l don't think that the Lyceum set out to shock but to do something different from the usual Wildes and Ayckbournes. And why should they play safe?
This was just what they needed after all their problems recently — something contemporary and spectacular. To Ian Wooldridgc. Tom McGrath and team I say well done. ToJ.H. McEwen and others like him or her. I say it‘s your loss. Miss R. Johnstone Canonmills Edinburgh.
A scapegoat writes
Your bi-monthly output reminds
me of a neurotic host organising their first dinner party. scared that a wayward guest will let any viewpoint. which has not been vetted by the appropriate committee. ruin the brittle conversational ebb and flow. For instance. look at the party line clinically followed in your breathtakingly condescending rebuttal to G. Nelson‘s (The List 172) valid opinion. Feminism cannot come to terms with the fact that Thatcher was a Woman yet she did
ﬁi‘iic L... 8—": I‘M—21y 199?."
Ooh err missus! Look at all those
dangly bits in Channel 4‘s Rude Women, that blatant cigarette advertising at the French Institute’s Gitanes exhibition and Carter’s unstoppable sex mania. Ifsomething gets up your nose why not write a letter to The List? Titter ye not, the best one wins a bottle ofJose Cuervo
‘ little to help her fellow sisters; retarded their cause rather. Enter
the old scapegoat — men. It was all our fault: such an impressionistic ﬂower as Thatcher was conditioned by the male controlled institutions in place before she arrived. Pure twaddle. Anyone interested in
. power. male or female. will use i whoever or whateverinstitution in ' orderto furthertheir advance.
Thatcher was playing the game with supreme confidence. the same grubby game that existed when we were swinging from tree to tree.
Let someone in your pages attack as well as support minority groups. the one‘s who‘ve hijacked the ideological media/arts cultural debate for the last ten years and made it so earnest. precious and sterile. Perhaps with the freeflow of
ideas from whatever source political.
race. sexual preference. religious we may move on from the Sociological O-grade wasteland so evident in your journal.
Although I am unable to comment 2 on the Buried Mirror series. soon to be screened on BBC 2. I do feel in a
position to take exception to Miranda France branding Carlos Fuentes a conservative. During the six months that I lived in Mexico
‘ City. Fuentes spoke out against the Gulf war and on several occasions ‘ criticised the PRI (ie the completely
dodgy and corrupt party which has ruled Mexico for over sixty years). Furthermore he was a supporter of the Cuban revolution as well as being well in with the Sandinistas. In fact Fuentes received Nicaragua‘s highest cultural accolade for his contribution to the Sandinista cause.
I am sure that you will agree that the aforementioned is hardly what you would expect from somebody with conservative tendencies. after all I don’t recall Jeffrey Archer ever nipping over to Managua to shoot the hull with Daniel Ortega. or spending a week in the Caribbean hanging out with Fidel. What‘s more, Fuentes is critical of Mexico. or at least ofthe failure ofthe revolution, as anyone who has read the Death ofA rtemio Cruz will know.
If Fuentes does glorify the last 500 years then I will be disappointed. However, unless his views have changed in the last year. it would be inaccurate and unfair to call him a conservative.
Incidentally. while I am on the subject of Mexico I feel it would be highly appropriate ifthe Tequila went to a genuine connoisseur ie. ME!
St Peter‘s Place
_ "“ BUERVU
Go on, then. have a bottle on us seeing as you know so much about its country of origin.
What a waste of space Thom Dibdin‘s column of Science Fiction criticism was. A banality here. a
‘s generalisation there. and the
f comment that SF can be fairly good ; when it‘s being something else. Most
modern SF outgrew the ‘western
i with a ray-gun‘ around the same time
that ‘Sci-Fi‘ became a derogatory term (although perhaps you were
' preparing next week‘s reviews of
skiffle waxings at the same time?). If you do want to review science fiction. either employ someone with a modicum ofexpertise or at least a rudimentary knowledge of the genre (I am fairly busy. but ifyou insist . . .). or apply to it the same critical standards you employ for other mainstream books. Does anyone else find it interesting that of Iain Bank‘s last two books. The Crow Road was given an author interview and major review. while Use of Weapons occupies a column inch or so of space? Funny old world. really. Michael Mooney Shawlands Glasgow. 1 like my SF as much as the next critic replies Thom Dibdin. Sadly. ofthe twenty books to ch oose from for the SF roundup. most were poorly-written drivel. I stand by my comments.
The person whose tear-off postcard to the Edinburgh International Film Festival arrived there on 24 April should write again. this time including their name and address!
Address your letters to:
The List Letters at:
14 High Street.
Edinburgh EH1 lTE.
Old Athenaeum Theatre.
179 Buchanan Street.
Fax them to: 031 557 8500.
We will notprintyourfull address or phone number, but you must include them. Deadline is the Friday before publication. Long letters may be cut. The best letter next issue will win a bottle of Jose Cuervo Tequila.
NEXT ISSUE OUT ON THURSDAY 21 MAY
Celtic music: Fleadh as the eye can see Callow musical: Edward Fox in My Fair Lady Cinematic muses: Terence Davies directs The Long Day (.‘ loses
AN!) TIIA T'S NOT ALL .
. . Scottish Ballet at Tramway,
Edinburgh International Children's Festival. Spring Fling. . Wayne's World. Sean Connery in Medicine Man, to name ' I; but a few. . .
r ‘1 r, .e gz.’
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