Catherine Fellows gets the hard facts as Alan Scott-Moncrieff explains the theory behind Funk Off Green, a multi-media event in the Tramway’s new performance
‘Each ejaculation is capable of repopulating the whole of North America, and men i know are doing it six times a day — think of the energy they're wasting! Now i don't do that: instead of coming i get this incredible euphoric kind of head orgasm — it’s indescribable.‘ Old ladies could have been passing out all around us and I wouldn't have noticed. When I met Alan Scott-Moncrieff in a rather sedate coffee house recently i only had eyes and ears for him: ‘but don‘t your partners think you're rather weird?‘ ‘Well, initially perhaps, but it makes me really strong, I mean . . .‘ "We‘re talking erections here?‘ (i had to get the facts) ‘Exactly, yes. instead of being sapped
and exhausted, I can go on for hours.’
This theory of recycling sexual energy is the root and seed of Funk Off Green, the performance piece that Scott-Moncrieff has devised in collaboration with choreographer Liz Ranken of DV8 fame.
Both, in their respective work - his visual art, her dance and performance, have long been preoccupied by sex and gender, and both believe in the centrality of these to all other areas of life, not least to spiritual well-being. For Scott-Moncrieff's ‘seed saving' is not just about increasing and prolonging the moment of sexual pleasure, or even about having more
energy. although he says since he gave up ejaculating he feels as though he has emerged from under water into the clear light of day. The combination of meditation and exercise that he practises to achieve these feats is indebted to Taoism. and as with other Eastern techniques such as yoga, the real aim is clarity ofvision and wholeness of self.
For fear of alienating Jo Public with the kookiness oftheir ideas, Ranken and Scott-Moncrieff have chosen the familiar medium of television as something of a bridge, and also as a means of structuring their performance. A TV set at the front of the stage will be watched by an actor planted in
the audience who, as scene succeeds scene, will appear to be ﬂicking through the channels. On stage, C rimewatch, Tomorrow’s World, Your Daily Soap and Game Show will appear as you've never seen them before. A colourful cast including hip hop and break dancers, models, an Olympic gymnast, a classical violinist, and a wizard mixer and scratcher, not to mention Ranken and Scott-Monerieff themselves, will be using a frenetic mix of movement, dialogue, music, and visuals in the form of graffiti and outrageous costumes, to demonstrate in as accessible and ‘street’ a way as possible, how riddled our society, as exempliﬁed on the small screen, is with sexual inhibition and prejudice and inequality between the genders.
‘So much of the violence and the tension between us, particularly between men and women, is rooted in sexual ignorance
‘We may be getting the message that it's alright to do whatever you like so long as you wear a condom,‘ says Scott-Moncrieff, ‘but that is miles away from people taking responsibility for their sexuality, understanding their own biology even. So much of the violence and the tension between us, particularly between men and women, is rooted in sexual ignorance and insecurity. Of course in a performance that lasts just one hour we can‘t go into the details of a technique that takes around six months to perfect, but we can inspire people to ﬁnd out more.’
What i was eager to ﬁnd out was exactly where women ﬁt into all this: of course they stand to beneﬁt in all kinds of ways from ﬁtter, more self-aware men, but what about that unbelievable head orgasm? ‘Women lose their energy through menstruation,‘ (oh great!), ‘but they also can cut down that loss. But the thing is, women are sexually superior anyway, much more in touch with their bodies. This is really only taking men up to their level’.
Funk Off Green, Tramway. Glasgow. Thurs l 7 to Sat 19 June, 8pm.
‘ _ Cutting loose
The loose Ends at the Traverse this week has nothing at all to do with lied Sherrin; In iact, the urbane sophistication oi said london-based media personality could hardly be iurther removed irom the mixture oi insecurity and bravado which characterises the exchanges oi Stuart iiepbum‘s comic two hander. Both Galum Shapiro, ilepburn‘s young dreamer irom lewis, and wide-boy Spud Valentine, whose chance encounter In Glasgow is the iocus oi the play, are victims oi an increasingly centralised culture which iails to accommodate those on its
geographical and social margins. loose Ends was iirst produced iour years ago as part oi Spinning A line, a
iestival oi new writing at the Traverse, and it went on to be illmed by BBC Scotland. For director Philip iioward, the reason tor the current revival is simple - this play was commissioned irom an unknown, and turned out to be a great success. As such, it remains a shining example oi what the Traverse does best. This, and the attention it draws to the north/south divide within Scotland itseli, makes it the perfect iocus tor the talent scouting tour oi the Highlands and islands that iollows its short run in Edinburgh. Over a three week period, Loose Ends will be perionned at schools and community centres throughout the north-west, and the cast, director, playwright Tom McGrath and dramaturg Ella Wildridge will be holding a series oi workshops ior local writers and would-be writers.
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Beiore Philip Howard joined the Traverse this April, he spent time working with the Gaelic youth theatre on Benbecuia, so his high hopes ior the tour are iounded on first-hand experience: “there is some very writing being produced In Scotland at the moment, particularly by young Gaels - Gaelic culture is undergoing something oi a rebirth. What we can do is oiier an opportunity to these new writers to experiment and explore with a proiessional production tea. We can help tie up loose ends in tact - and ultimately, what is most important, we’ve got the iacillties to getsomeoithisworkontothestage.’ (Catherine Fellows) loose Ends, Traverse Theatre, Cambridge Street, Edinburgh, 031 228 1404, 4-13 June.
The list 4—17 June l993 49