Citizens’ Theatre, Glasgow. Until Sun 6 Dec. The biggest conundrum lor the llrst hail ol Robert David MacDonald’s new play is what on earth anyone Is going on about. MacDonald's writing is brisk and understatedly witty, but also enigmatic, as it he has put the whole thing together back to iront. The three characters-Axel, a prisoner, Severin, his ex-wile and captor, and Ukko, her lover and his prodigy- engage in heated argument and passionate dialogue, lascinating in its Intensity, but about matters which remain elusive until sometime alterthe debate has died down. Perhaps aware oi this weakness, MacDonald then seems to compensate with chunks oi explanatory dialogue which are credible only because oi the strength ol the acting. 0n the surlace, Conundnim is about an averager talented actor who has spent twenty years in the one ’roie’ thanks to his uncanny resemblance to the country’s dictator. Alter the assassination oi the dictator, the late oi the look-alike appears grim and an elaborate escape needs to be devised. Beyond that, it’s diliicuit to say what the play Is about. It deals with the issues ol compromise, sell-Interest, jealousy and Idealism, but the story doesn’t allow such themes to locus or resonate in any clear way.

For regular Citz goers, there’s an intriguing parallel between this play and the recent Niagara, In which Robert David MacDonald and Daniel


starry-eyed youth roles. The parallel stretches to the characters’ penchant lor acrobatics and to the themes ol ambition, desire and achievement, but in comparison Conundrum is unnecessarily complicated. In the second hail, it settles Into a more straightiorward kind oi a play and it ends with a powerful, bloody llourish, but lor all the production’s qualities, you are iert with a ieeling ol dissipated talent. (Mark Fisher)


Bamshom Theatre, Glasgow. Until Sat 21 Nov.

As one ol the most intense, passionate and narrativer complex novels in the

' English language, Emily Bronte’s ' classic demands that anyone who

tackles a stage adaptation is either brave, highly funded or sadly misguided. Birds oi Paradise pulled it all recently with an abbreviated, well-crafted production, and Juliette

« Binoche must look great leaping around the Yorkshire moors in the lilm,

but Focus Theatre’s three hour-epic, in the round, ialis into the ‘sadiy

misguided’ category.

The programme says it all. ‘Directed by Carl Pickard and the cast.’ However

, democratic the process may have

been, the mixture oi wobbilng slide

; projections, songs Cathy Linton and

Hareton Eamshaw sing ‘Ciose to You’

by the Carpenters - bungled ideas and

, messy staging, verge on the surreal. In

trying to squash In as many events as possible, the script ends up hopelessly disjointed and about as subtle as Cell Block H. Woe betide anyone who hasn't read the book-they won’t have a clue what is going on. Eight large boxes used as a set in the centre oi the stage

: only hinder things lurther, lorcing the

cast to the edge ol the stage and, as the

ilisley played similar lather-iigure and


Theatre is listed by city, then alphabetically by venue. Touring shows are listed alphabetically by title at the end olthe section. Shows will be listed, providedthat details reach our ollices at least ten days beiore publication. Theatre Listings compiled by Mark Fisher.


Access: P = Parking Facilities, PPA = Parking to be Pre-Arranged, L = Level Access, R = Rampcd Access, ST = Steps to negotiate.

Facilities: WC = Adapted Toilet(s), WS = Wheelchair Spaces, AS = AdjacentSeats, H = Induction Loop System, G = Guide Dogs Allowed, R = Restaurant Accessible, C = Catering Accessible, T = Adapted Telephone.

Help: A = Assistance Available, AA = Advise Venue in Advance.


Tickets for major venues in Glasgow are

available from the Ticket Centre, Candleriggs, Mon—Sat 10.30am until 6.30pm in person or until 9pm by phone on 041227 5511. Sunday opening is noon—5pm. Any Ticket Link box office can sell tickets for other venues.


lighting is so bad, ensuring that the boy in the sound booth is the only member oi the company actuain visible lor

most at the show.

It would be unlair to comment on the acting since not even Depardieu could have risen lrom under this heap. With a low budget, probably not enough

rehearsal time and more enthusiasm

than experience, Focus Theatre should try a much simpler production and realise the importance ol one director. Like a mouse attempting to shoulder a

mammoth. Bronte squashed them llat.

20 Nov 5 Dec 7.45pm. Tickets £4 £12 Mat/nees: 21 Nov 8 5 Dec at 3. 75pm. All seats £4.50


by Jay Presson Allen. 8 30 January


Access, Visa and Switch welcome

(Beatrice Colin)




by Tom McGrath

I ARCHES THEATRE Midland Street. 221 9736. [Access: L. Facilities: WC, W8, C. G. Help: A, AA]

Pyramid Plays: 763 Fn‘ 20 Nov. 7.30pm. £2. A first reading of a play by Noel McMonagle directed by Guy Hollands and organised by Annexe Theatre Company.

Pyramid Plays: Aftermath Sat 21 Nov. 7.30pm. £2. Annexe Theatre Company showcases a new play by David Kilby in a reading directed by Ken McClymont. Mary and Linie Wed 25—Sat 28 Nov. 7.30pm. £4 (£3). Edinburgh University Theatre Company teams up with professional director John McGroarty for this production of Frank McGuiness‘s subtle account of Irish history. The play is based on the true story of Mary and Lizzie Burns who inspired one of Frederick Engels‘ classic Marxist texts only to have their nation slandered by the political philosopher. Music by the talented Georgina Brett. See review.

Twelfth Night Wed 2—Sat 12 Dec. 7.30pm. £5 (£3). Berserk Theatre Company sets Shakespeare’s romance in 19205 Berlin where the imagery of Marlene Dietrich adds an element of high camp to the play’s high farce. Andrew Miller directs.

I CENTRE FOR CONTEMPORARY ARTS 846 Sauchiehall Street, 332 7521. [Access: PPA, L, ST. Facilities: WC, W8, H, G,C] Open Forum Sat 28 Nov. 11am—5pm. Free. For the past three weeks TAG has been working with a group of performers on new forms of expression, using Alasdair Gray’s Lanark as a starting point. This forum is a chance to see and discuss what they’ve been coming up with.

Cali Blue Jane Thurs 3—Sat 5 Dec. 7 . 30pm. £5 (£2.50). Man Act, last seen in Glasgow at Tramway with The S weatlodge, returns with another look at what being male is all about. Directed by writer Deborah Levy, the show takes us into the world of obsessive corporate businessmen. See preview.

I CITIZENS’ THEATRE Gorbals Street, 429 0022. Box Office Mon-Sat 10am—6pm (10am—9pm on performance days). Bar. [Access: L, R. Facilities: WC, W8, H, G, C. Help: AA]

Conundrum Until Sun 6 Dec (open Sun. closed Mon). 7.30pm. £6 (£2). Ifhe‘s not

i translating, he‘s acting, if he‘s not acting.Ai

he‘s directing, if he’s not directing, he‘s writing. And here the prolific resident director Robert David MacDonald writes, directs and stars alongside Angela

Chadfield and Daniel lllsley in a play

about a look-alike of an assassinated president. Was the right man shot? See review.

The Birthday Party Until Sun 6 Dec (open Sun, closed Mon). 7.30pm. £6(£2). Harold Pinter is a popular choice of playwright just now; it‘s not long since the Citz did his Other Places and Edinburgh’s Royal Lyceum has just staged 01d Times. Guest director Antony MacDonald goes back‘to the playwright‘s first full-length play, a Kafkaesque drama set in aseaside boarding house. See review.

Happy Days Until Sun 6 Dec (open Sun. closed Mon). 7.30pm. £6 (£2). The mainstage offering in the current batch of plays is Samuel Beckett's study ofa woman trying not to think about her deceased husband. Anne Myatt is in the

central role, half-buried in sand, while Derwent Watson looks on as her dead

husband. The director is Kim )ambaek

who had much success at the Traverse with

Just Frank and The Hour ofthe Lynx afew years ago. See review.

The Jungle Book Tue 1 Dec-Sat l6Jan. 10am:ch2.Thurs3,Tuc8.Thurs10,Fri

11,Tue 15,Thurs 17, Fri l8,Tue 22Dec. Fri8,Tue12.Fri151an.2prn:Tuel Dec—Sat 16 Jan (not Suns, Wed 23, Fri25 Dec,Fri 1,Fri8or Fri 15 Jan).7pn‘l: Fri4 Dec—Sat 16 Jan (not Suns, Tue 8,Thurs 1(),Tue 15,Thurs 17, Fri 25, Sat 26,Thurs 31 Dec, Fri 1 orTue 12]an).5pm:Sat26

Dec only. 8pm: Sat 26 Dec only.

Audio-described performance on Thurs 14 Jan. 7pm. £3—£8. A magical journey through the animal

kingdom as Myles Rudge gives Kiplingthe

panto treatment in a production directed by Giles Havcrgal and designed by Kenny Miller. Dance fans will note that Frank McConnell is choreographer. See


I CRAWFURD THEATRE Jordanhill College, 76 Southbrae Drive, 950 3437/3438. [Access: PPA, L, ST, R. Facilities: WC, W5, H, G. C. Help: A, AA]

The Crucible Wed 25 Nov, 1pm; Thurs 26 Nov 7.30pm; Fri 27 Nov 1pm; Sat 28Nov 7.30pm. £3 (£2). Langside College in Arthur Miller‘s powerful witch-hunt drama.

I CUMBERNAULD THEATRE Cumbernauld. (Q36 732887. Box Office Mon—Fri 10am—6pm; Sat 10am—3pm; 6—8pm perf.

3 evgs Bar/Cafe. [Access: PPA, L, ST, R. Facilities: WC, W5, H, G, C. Help: A,

AA] Hansel and Gretel Thurs 26—Sat 2 Jan. £5

(£3.45). Phone for times. The Brothers

Grimm tale about the brother and sister

who fall into the evil clutches of a wicked

witch is freshly devised for the stage by actors Liam Brennan and Matthew Costello with director Liz Carruthers. See preview.


Ingram Street, 552 3489. [Access: ST.

Facilities: WC, W5, G. Help: AA]

Wuthering Heights Until Sat 21 Nov. 7pm. £5/£4 (£2.50/£1.50). Not the film. not the

3 book, not the Kate Bush song, nor even f the recent production by Birds of Paradise, but a new adaptation by director E

I l

Carl Pickard of Emily Bronte’s wild

romance. The emphasis of this Strathclyde ; Theatre Group production is on staying

faithful to the novel‘s Gothic themes. See



Languages Building. 12 University Gardens. Details 357 3632.

Celine Wed 25 Nov. 8pm. Admission by programme. Sub-titled L Extraordinaire Epopée de Ferdinand Bardamu, this French-language play about the provocative writer Celine stars Andre Dunard. Consisting of a series oftableaux

5D The List 20 November— 3 December 1992