! Jacobs’


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’All the really horrible stuff I can’t tell you about,’ says Peta Lily, mime artist, actor and Outed Gorehound, ‘except we

' Co u ntry ; actually squirted two of our punters the

fe e d b k : other week in Southampton. That

: doesn’t normally happen.’

i Good. But isn’t putting horror on

1 stage rather difficult? There’s not

2 really a tradition for it is there? ‘We’ve 1 used quite a lot of film shorthand, to

at the end, when Philip Pellew comes running on stage on all fours naked.’ So what inspired this ‘interesting’ new direction? ‘lt’s something which has interested me all my life; the pain and the suffering and bits and pieces being cut off or opened up. The whole theme of transformation is a very uplifting one.’ Better believe it or it’s the hedge clippers. (Stephen Chester)

‘It’s quite high up and you can’t see very far over the horizon. You’re surrounded by mountains, so these little houses perched on hills are almost suspended above the pine trees. There’s this idea that the houses are floating; there’s a magical feeling about the lake.’

Traverse director Ian Brown is describing the idyllic setting of The House Among the Stars, the latest play by French-Canadian Michel Tremblay to be translated into Scots by Martin Bowman and Bill Findlay. With recent productions of Hosanna and The Real Wurld? and the perennial Guid Sisters, Glasgow’s Tron Theatre Company has emerged as a leading exponent of Tremblay, but his first plays to be seen in Scotland were Sandra/Manon and Albertine in Five Times, both at the Traverse in the mid-19805.

To this house among the stars, formerly his grandparents’ home and his parents’ holiday home, Jean Mare brings his lover Mathieu (Tremblay is gay, and was raised by women, thus most of his characters are either gay or female - both Guid Sisters and Albertine have all-female casts). Bored with his job and sick of the city, Jean Marc wants to return to his roots and rethink his future, but finds the house less peaceful than its rural surroundings might suggest. Instead, it is occupied by the restless spirits of his parents and grandparents, who are still trying to resolve their own lives.

‘One of the play’s themes,’ suggests Brown, ‘is the effect on country people of moving to the city, and in a way it seems that later generations are suffering because they’ve lost their roots. It’s a reaffirmation of knowing where you .come from, and that’s a theme that works as well for Scotland as for French Canada. The other main theme is coming to terms with things,

sorting out problems, because until you do you can’t move forward, and you may have to use previous experience to inform your decision. It’s about trying to see the past as part of the present.’ (Andrew Bumet) The House Among the Stars is at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh from Sat24 Oct until Sun 15 Nov.


change scenes and move about to different places,’ responds Lily, with the enthusiasm of a glossy mail-order ianzine reader, ‘and because of the physical and visual theatre aspects of our work we’ve found a way of getting these horror images in.’

Beg, according to the press release, ls about ‘a strong-minded, professional woman who finds herself under suspicion of murder’. There's a dog in it too, which has something to do with ’fairy tale themes of bestial translormation.’ Lily briefly curtails her bloodlust to explain. ‘it’s not a werewolf show. It’s more of a sort of whodunnit, but when there’s only two of us on stage it’s less of a whodunnit than a case of whydunnit and why do it that way- “My Godl”.’

This is probably a reference to the ’humour of the piece.’ The audience, according to Lily, ‘iust has to laugh when someone walks on stage with a pair of hedge clippers. There’s a lot of wit in it. But it’s definitely an adults-only play- there's some nudity

28 and Theatre Workshop, Edinburgh from Thurs 29 until Sat 31 Oct.

Beg is at Paisley Arts Centre on Fri 23, Maciiobert Arts Centre, Stirling on Wed


Taking the reins


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Eve Jamieson says ‘Winged Horse’ with the compulsiveness of someone with a politer strain of Tourrette’s

Syndrome. Or maybe she's just excited

about becoming artistic director of Winged Horse now that Hamish Glen has gone to Dundee Hep. Judge for yourself: ‘I’m working very hard to make as many people as possible familiar with the name Winged Horse. Most people in the business know about Winged Horse, a lot of people outside the business know about Winged Horse, but I want everyone to have heard of Winged Horse.’

You get the message. Just in case you didn’t know, the group in question are a Glasgow-based touring theatre company. Eve has a five-year plan for them, which she promises to pursue

“a. . "

Eve Jamieson‘with members olthe castof The End Of The Beginning

‘lt’s very important for people to know

' 2 with the same evangelicalfervouras . she displays in publicising their name.

‘l’ve got my list of aims and one is the

V7 revival of contemporary plays that _ 9 a J i and producing plays of European 4" ' writers. There are new Scottish writers ' : and designers that I’m very keen to , a provide with opportunities.’

haven’t been performed in Scotland,

‘We’ve been on the go for thirteen

years,’she continues, ‘andwe’ve

established ourselves very well, but

‘Design is very much about how the director will work, about the space he‘ll use. It‘s all ofa piece

i and you can‘t separate it 3 out,‘ says Sally Jacobs,

offering the definitive answer to the ubiquitous ’what‘s a designer do?‘ question. Unfortunately, Jacobs‘ reputation as a designer is such that her efforts to explore a unified approach to design and direction have proved difficult. ‘I‘d like to think my future was in directing but people don‘t want me to.‘ she complains. sounding not too miserable about the queue of noted companies waiting to work with her as a designer.

The Warin Heaven offers the designer of Peter Brook‘s famed Midsummer's Night Dream (stilts and trapezes in a big white box) a play to exercise both her talents. Scripted by Joseph Chaikin and Sam Shepard. the piece ‘describes a certain condition rather than a character.‘ Actor/dancer

hopefully we can increase the number ' Micheal Sherintakcsthc

of productions we’re touring every

year.’ The company will be kicking off ; with a four of The End of The Beginning, §

a triple-bill of one-act comedies by Sean O’Casey.

Many of the changes Jamieson has brought to Winged Horse have been structural ratherthan merely artistic;

‘l’ve increased the board to double its

size. Tom McGrath is now on it, which will be extremely helpful because i also want to set up writing workshops and a communication system between writers.’

And Eve will be endeavouring to spread the name as much as possible;

' solo role ofAngel.

’Ile‘s in a kind of eternity.’ explains Jacobs. ‘lt’s nowhere, he‘s been knocked off balance. He‘s

exploring the thoughts

that would come into your mind ifyou thought you were dead and came back to life and found you were an angel.‘

‘Because the production is simply a figure in space we re-creatc the piece for each location; in a smaller space that kind ofeternity

feeling has to be constructed in a different way. Most of my design

who we are and that’s its Winged Horse i Work has always been

coming to town, and that means good theatre.’ (Stephen Chester)

1 The End of the Beginning is on tour

throughout Scotland from Tue 27 Oct

' until Sat 21 Nov. See underTourlng for

1 details.

about how to use space rather than make

I scenery.’ Which is where we started. (Ster‘ Chester) The War In In -- i/cn, Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, Sat 24 Oct.

42 The List 23 October 5 November 1992