F E, s 11va L 6 PM / 3PM
Choroegrapher Mark Morris tells Jane Bowie that venue or no venue, the show must go on.
In what sounds like a bizarre episode of Mission Impossible, Mark Morris had been ‘instructed to board his plagre’ and was in the middle of sorting his laundry when he spoke me. It was perhaps the perplexing problem of how to pack dirty socks which was enabling him to keep an unearthly calmjust a fex‘tl hours after hearing that his venue, the ; Playhouse, had, er, burnt down. ‘lt's a drag.’ he reckons, ‘but we’re coming — you can't get rid of us!’
Not that anyone would particularly want to — apart from his quite categorical criticism ofthe work of Maurice Bejan which outraged Bejart‘s Euro-groupies, Morris, it would appear, can do no wrong. in an age of highly politicised art there have been various well-meaning attempts to interpi’et his work. Home choreographed to commissioned work from Michelle Shocked uses predominantly wdrnen dancers and so became a ‘women’s piece‘; alternatively his work is said to be ‘about human emotions‘. Morris denies it all. ‘1 don’t live in a vacuum,‘
he says, ‘but it's not my business to teach anybody a lesson. Whatever l’m interested in turns up in my work, i imagine, but i don’t have an agenda. 1 like to think my work is an exploration of dancing itself.’
His preparation, he says, is all musical — ‘1 can safely say my work always comes from a piece of music’ - and he rarely works from improvisation with his dancers. ‘Well it’s my company,‘ he says with forthright simplicity. His dancers are not complaining though. ‘l’ve worked with these people for a long time. i work very fast and my dancers are smart and quick. Just because you're a good dancer doesn‘t mean you should be in my company — we have to get along and that narrows it down right there. But my dancers are wonderful.‘ Among the pieces we should be seeing them perform in Edinburgh are a mixture of the somewhat elderly (New Love Song
Waltzes was created in 1983) and the very new — A Spell was apparently ﬁnished a few days ago.
Even as we speak the unﬂappable Morris is probably putting his dancers through their paces in the dubious surroundings of Meadowbank Sports Centre, Hall Number I. That however was the last thing bothering him. Forget the stress of cross-Atlantic travel and performing with jet-lag, never mind the world premiere of a piece one-week old, who cares about the possible lack of a venue. There was only one thing on Mark Morris’s mind. ‘So what's it like over there — i mean should 1 bring my bikini or what?’
Probably not, Mark, probably not.
I Mark Morris llarrce Croup (Festival) Meadowbank Sports Centre, Hall Number 1, 225 5756, 19, 20, 22, 23 August, 7.30pm, £5—£l 8.50. (Check for latest performance amendments).
mam- Brad company
last year, during panto season,'tiro traverse shgod a production not exactly in keeping with tho adage, “goodwill to all wen'. Nevertheless,
Unidentiﬁed ilunran Remains secured rave reviews during its Edinburgh and London runs, and it was only a nrattor oi tinre beioro tire playwright, Brad Fraser, saw another oi his chilling indictments oi rnoderrr society on tho Edinburgh stage. liowever, iew would have predicted tirat Fraser’s contemporary adaptation oi The Changeling, the lieg Man, would be periorrrred by Canadian conrpatrIates One Yellow Rabbit.
Although also older statesmen oi tire Canadian avant-gardo, ("it has Men about as dliieront a route as possible to Fraser. Whore his plays corno here a literary tradition, OYB relies to an ahost balletic degree on wove-out and music. Vlhllo ire passes cement on our social and sexual acres, they entertain with abandon. it does not exactly soon a carriage wade in hoavou.‘Yoah,whenyouhavosowuch toxtl guess we can’t indulge ourselves in tire usual way,’ shits ioundor number oi (Wit, and director oi The IIeg Man, Clare Breaker. ‘Brad isadlaloguowan, butsnappylstho word: it’s very biting, very acerbic and very iunny.’
In ihonas Middleton’s original version oi the Cirangeling, tire eponyrnous character is a virginal young girl; in Fraser’s very ireo adaptation, the changellng is tire ugly nan oi the title, a disilgurod handyman who arrives at a arid-West ranch lust as the locals are preparing tor a wedding.
‘it's kind oi repellent, because tire characters are so repolient,’ adurlts Crochet. ‘Brad hates theatre, west tireahethathoseeleollrestolreep things alive, and he keeps this alive by rnairlng it quite a nasty piece. Its thoues ricochet around three major points - tally, desho and beauty - which is tire stuii that a lot oi theatre lswadooibutthoactorsaostill astounded by many things that they say. But this is not a play that would educate people, elevate thew, wire the. think positive things about their lives; this is ontortainwont.’ (Philip Parr)
‘l’ho lleg Man (Fringe) Cue Yellow Bdrblt, ‘liavorso (Venue 15) 228 1404, 24.27.31 Aug,3$opt,noen;25,28 M.1.4W.3-3OII:28.29M.2 Soot. 1n. £8 (£5)-
Mark Fisher singles out live shows worth delaying your dinner ior.
I Big Feature Tongue-in-cheek dance from the endearing all-male Featherstonehaughs (pronounced Fanshaws) who have fun playing with masculine images in a series of short numbers.
Big Feature (Fringe) St Bride '5‘ (Venue 62) 346 1405, 23-28 Aug, 7.30pm, £7 (£4).
I A Scots Quill! Tony Graham directs this sensitive, physical and lyrical reworking of Lewis Grassic Gibbon's Aberdeenshire trilogy. See each instalment on different evenings or an all-day Saturday marathon.
A Scots Quair (Festival) TAG Theatre. Assembly Hall, 225 5 756. until 4 Sept. 7.30pm, £5—£12.
I A Midsulner Iigirt’s Drea- The Georgian Film Actors’ Studio returns to Edinburgh to relive the success of its celebrated Don Juan. Never mind the language just enjoy the pictures.
A Midsummer Night's Dream (Fringe) Assembly Rooms (Venue 3) 226 2428, 23 Aug—4 Sept. 6pm. £7.50/£8.50 (£6.50/£7.50).
I Accidental Death oi arr Anarchist Craig Ferguson lets tip in Andy Amold’s hilarious production of Dario Fo's oh-so-topical ltalian political satire.
Accidental Death of an Anarchist (Fringe) Arches Theatre, Assemny team (Venue 3) 226 2428, until 28 Aug, £7/£8 (£5/£6).
I lit Faustus lights the lights Stylish and visually stunning interpretation of Gertrude Stein’s radical retelling of the Faust legend by legendary Texan director Robert \Vrlson.
Dr Faustus Lights the Lights (Festival) Hebbel Theatre, Royal Lyceum Theatre, 225 5756. 25-28 Aug, 7.30pm, £6—£l5.
The List 20—26 August 1993 39