l l l l l I

Poles apart

Polish company Teatr 77, winner oi a Fringe First in last year’s Festival, is already being tipped as a hot prospect ior a second, with its version oi , Tankred llorst’s drama .la, Feuerbach. llorst, a German who has secured an

i international reputation through plays

. like Merlin, is one oi many iigures attempting to iorge a new identity ior

. a Germany currently at odds with its

. immediate past as it struggles to

interpret the legacy oi World War II and the end oi the Cold War. llorst’s play, about an ageing actor

waiting to audition ior a director who

might re-establish his tailing career, is an investigation into the complexities and coniusions oi emotional helplessness - with implications ior theatre itseli as well as a wider society. In the hands oi a Polish company, thereiore, the political and cultural resonances are that much more iorceiul.

‘The tall oi the totalitarian regime means that the true state oi Polish theatre has been revealed,’ says Director Zdzislaw lleiduk. ‘lt iaces a society which has iorgotten how to participate in culture. In part, Feuerbach’s story is that oi the actor who cannot survive without theatre.



Teatr 77 iiditing ior the place oi theatre For us, Feuerbach is a means to challenge the rising tide oi mercantile theatre - thus Feuerbach tights ior the rightiul place oi theatre in Poland today. When Feuerbach leaves the stage, we wish the audience to ieel his loss, as it is when one loses a loved one.’

Over the years, Edinburgh has conducted a long-running love-aiiair with the distinctive, searing style oi Polish theatre; now that times are harder in the East, it’s in serious danger oi disappearing altogether irom the Festival’s stages. But tor the Festival’s health it is essential that their conirontational intelligence survives. (Andrew Pulver)

.la Feuerbach (Fringe) Teatr 77, FEAST, Edinburgh College oi Art, 228 9666, 16-26 Aug (not Mon 23), 6pm, £6 (£4).

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liver-60s have M say with the

Grass-artist Protect Edinburgh OAPs may have been perplexed at the sight oi a suave young gentleman Jeremy, 34, who had become a iixture on the over~6ils social scene. Cruising round tea dances, bingo halls and generally taking more than a passing interest in anyone born beiore 1933 were Jeremy’s occupations.

As Jeremy Weller, award-winning director oi the Grassmarket Prolect explains, it was all in the name oi research ior his new play currently rehearsing at leith Theatre. The play


explores what it is to be old in contemporary society and smashes the cliched image oi sweet yet doolally old gran and grandad right out oi its rocking chair.

What emerged irom initial discussions and role-plays was that the older generation ielt under pressure irom society to coniorm and play a certain role which many iound inhibiting. According to Weller, who has worked with young oiienders and prostitutes in previous Fringe shows, this is his most iuiiilling work to date. ‘The older generation are a lot more daring and challenging than young people in the 90s, who basically worship their own rectum,’ he says. ‘The desire to experiment is still there in the older generation.’

Indeed this also applies to the ieisty topic oi sex, normally taboo when it comes to over-60s, but as Weller can coniinn aiter chatting with his ‘irisky cast’, the pheromones are alive and kicking. ‘All you have to do,’ he says, ‘is scratch the suriace and you iind out that the spirit is still strong.’

A wealth oi experience garnered through lighting and living through one, possibly two world wars, marriages, death, success and tragedies will iind a voice in the iinal iorm oi One Moment. (Ann Donald) One Moment (Fringe) Grassmarket Prolect, leith Theatre (Venue 92) 558 3581, 20-28 Aug (not Sun 22), 7pm, £7 (£4)-


Edinburgh’s musical specialists lluinquereme pick a iavourite line irom each oi their past six shows.

‘lfyou open the window. you own a piece of the sky.’ The House on the Corner. Fringe 1990.

‘We're gonna forget about yesterday and yesterday’s yesterdays and we’re gonna think about today and tomorrow and tomorrow’s tomorrows.‘ The Night Mari Tortellini Hit Big Lola Latrobe '3, October 1990.

‘1 don’t give a damn if folks occasionally want their arses tickled with feathers. l'd kind of like to think that‘s what heaven is all about.’ The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. Fringe 1991.

‘Pay attention now, here’s what you must do/ Don’t demand a spotlight, let the spotlight come to you.’ Nunsense. October 1991.

‘Guide them along the way. still they won’t listen/ Children will always grow from something you love to something you lose.’ Into the Woods, Fringe 1992.

‘When life itselfseems lunatic. who knows where madness lies? To much sanity may be madness.’ Man of La Mancha, Fringe 1993.

I Man oi La Mancha (Fn'nge) Quinquereme, Broughton High School (Venue 69) 14—28 Aug (not Suns). 7.30pm; also 21 and 28 Aug. 2.30pm. £7 (£5).



it’s 1914. Archduke Ferdinand has been shot and Jaroslav Hasek’s Czech soldier anti-hero Schweik is predicting trouble in Bosnia. it’s 1993, Borderline Theatre are presenting The Guid Sodjer Schweik, adapted from the Hasek book by

playwright and novelist Carl MacDougall and starring Andy Cameron as the hapless protagonist. and history is repeating itself in former Yugoslavia.

Make what you will of this synchronisation. what Borderline and MacDougall seek to make is an accessible adaptation of their source. retaining its inherent comedic charm and its basic pacifist message.

‘Schweik is an everyman. he could translate to anywhere.‘ begins MacDougall. Let me interrrupt at this point to forewam of the high incidence of the word ‘stupidity’ in the following statements. ‘What you have here is someone who is ostensibly stupid reacting against the greater stupidity of war. in the first half they’re civilian

stupidities and in the second they're military. The first stupidity the military commits is taking him on board when they shouldn’t because he was previously barred from the army for stupidity.’ For Cameron. this is surprisingly his first 'sen'ous' acting role. and one to which he has warmed. ‘The thing that appeals to me about the character is that he comes out the same guy no matter what they throw at him. The message is no matter how much the bureaucrats mess it about the common man has to carry on with his life.‘ (Fiona Shepherd) I The Guid Sodier Schweik (Fringe) Borderline Theatre. Moray House Theatre (Venue 61) 17—28 Aug (not Sun 22). 7.30pm; 21. 28 Aug. 2.30pm. £6.50 (£4).


1 spoke to Nick Mayhew on the phone. so cannot verify the accuracy of the show's title (Tall. Dark, Handsome and No l) but 1 can confirm his fervour. Frustrated by the media’s limp attitude to what Mayhew sees as the evils of big business (lack of accountability, global dominance, whopping executive pay. environmental damage). he wrote the show ‘to implant a virus’. in our minds that is.

The one-man piece ‘part-spoof, part eye- opening analysis’ is a speech to a shareholders’ meeting. delivered by an imperious white-collar manager. But doubt creeps into the business rhetoric

and corporate man is forced to realise the connection between the public and the personal. ‘Some would say that under Major we’re witnessing the emergence ofa friendlier capitalism.’ says Mayhew. ‘but big business is still all- powerful.’ And he should know since graduating from Cambridge in Social Anthropology. Mayhew has lectured in business schools and acted as a consultant for advertising giant Bartle Bogie Hegarty. He sheepishly admits to ‘walking a tightrope’ of hypocrisy. but seems sincere in his desire to provoke us into taking notice of business’s effect on culture. Masters of the Universe watch out. (Grace Hodge) I Tall, Dark, Handsome and I01 (Fn’nge) Nick Mayhew. Glasite Meeting House (Venue 53) 14-28 Aug. 6pm. £4 (£2).


40 The List 13—19 August 1993