We clear the VHS decks with a round-up of the video releases heading
for the shops this fortnight.
I Frauds ( 15) Phil Collins stars in a second- rate Tim B urtonesque fantasy. playing a sinister insurance investigator. He ﬁnds a couple who are attempting to defraud the insurance company and entraps them in his surreal funfair of a hoine. The effects do not manage to atone for the preposterous plot. (Reﬂective)
I Teenage Mutant llinia Turtles III (PG) Our hackneyed heroes in a half-shell ﬂog a dead amphibian with the third instalment of their pizza- munching exploits. No better or worse than the previous two films. this finds our chirpy chums getting all medieval and dressing up in Samurai clobber. (Fox)
I The Snapper (15) A frankly wonderful adaptation of Roddy Doyle‘s second novel in his ‘Barrytown Trilogy‘ (although due to Commitments contractual details. the Rabitte surname is strangely replaced by Curley). Stephen Frears directs a perfectly vulgar slice of Dublin tragi-comedy starring Tina Kellegher as Sharon Curley. a self- reliant teenager who refuses to divulge the identity of her imminent offspring. much to the frustration of father Dessie (the brilliant Colm Meaney). (Electric Pictures)
I Crush (15) New Zealander Alison
Gay Harden as an American femme fatale who seriously injures her friend Christina in a car
accident. and subsequently embarks on ; a trail of seduction and
I Switch (PG) Another warm. life-enhancing true story frotn Odyssey. starring Gary Cole as paralysed accident victim Larry McAfee who wins the right to end his own life. In winning his case though. he encounters opposition that makes him change the way he feels about his disability. (Odyssey)
I A Child lost Forever (l5) More true-story stuff. about a mother‘s attempts to find the truth about the death of the infant son she gave up for adoption.
I Desperate Motive ( 18) Single White Female territory again in the tale of a trusting couple who invite distant cousins Harry and Connie to stay. ‘ Naturally Hal and Con turn out to be a couple of raving psychopaths and much blood-curdling violence ensues. (Reﬂective)
I The Philadelphia Experiment 2 ( 15) (Polygram)
I Nowhere To Hun (15) (Columbia Tristar)
I Blindsided (15) (CIC) I Running Cool (15) (CIC)
I Alive (15) (CIC)
I Tainted Blood (15) (CIC)
I Henry: Portrait 0t A Serial Killer (18) John McNaughton's much- discussed ﬂy-on-the wall factionalisation of the
and his inadequate companions. (Electric £12.99)
I Sweetie ( I 5) The debut feature from The Piano director Jane Campion is a bitter-sweet comedy about the relationship between repressed. neurotic Kay and her disturbed. extrovert sister Sweetie. Weird and shocking in equal doses. (Electric £15.99)
I Meantime (15) A ‘losl' Mike Leigh film from I983. Meantime stars Tim Roth and Phil Daniels as a couple ofcontrasting brothers trying to cope with unemployment. and the inﬂuence of skinhead Coxy (Gary ()ldman). Pam Ferris and Alfred Molina also star. (Imagine £12.99)
I Bram Stoker’s Dracula (I8) And very much Francis Ford Coppola's as well. in this lusth camp adaptation of the blood- sucking classic. Gary ()ldman stars as the time- travelling undeadster. in search of Wynona Ryder. and bumping into the likes of Keanu Reeves along the way. (Columbia Tristar)
I Single White Female (I5) One of the batch of ‘don‘t let them into your house' Hollywood dramas starring Bridget Fonda as the yuppie faced with the ﬂatmate from hell Jennifer Jason Leigh. Features one of the nastiest uses of a stiletto heel ever devised. (Columbia Tristar)
I Husbands And Wives (15) A rather pointed matrimonial satire from Woody Allen. in which Mia Farrow‘s character emerges as a passively manipulative piece of
work. Tres bitchy. Woods. _
I The Inner Circle (15) (Columbia Tristar)
I Dr Petiot(15) (Electric
Alexander Morton plays both Jekyll and Hyde in the forthcoming Radio Scotland adaptation.
In The List’s on-going series about Scottish radio, Mark Fisher talks to drama producer Patrick Rayner about the current state of radio play.
When debates rage about the number of plays. new or otherwise. that are produced in Scotland. arguments invariany focus on the Traverse or the Tron. the Royal Lyceum or the Citizens‘. Wildcat or Winged Horse. But there is one organisation whose yearly output. certainly in terms of new writing. puts all of these organisations to shame and whose audience figures are in a different league. One way or another you can hear a play nearly every day of the week on the radio. be it something esoteric on Radio Three or something mainstream on Radio Four. And catering for this daily drama demand. alongside units in Newcastle. Manchester. Cardiff and elsewhere. is BBC Radio Scotland whose Drama Department has a formidable reputation.
‘Compared with television. it's a Cinderella medium.‘ says producer Patrick Rayner. ‘and I suppose theatre is more glamorous. because you‘re there. and there’s lights and you all have a great time. But I worked out once that the old Traverse would have to run a play every night for sixteen years to get the average audience for one of our afternoon plays.‘
An obvious advantage for Rayner. compared to his fellow directors in either theatre or television, is that in an average year he can clock up anything up to twenty productions. In theatre you’re lucky to reach half a dozen. in television perhaps only one. ‘The other nice thing is that the bulk of our time is spent working with and finding new writers. Directing the plays in the studio is the icing on the cake.’ Icing indeed: over the past six months. Rayner reckons to have received perhaps 100 unsolicited scripts, of which only two are sufficiently interesting to merit further work with their authors.
Plays at different stages of production in the Edinburgh Queen Street studios at the moment include an adptation of Walter Scott's Waverley Novels for the
Scottish writers in the New Year. Rayner is currently excited by the work of young Glasgow writer Marianne Carey. while he is pleased that established writers such as Stephen Mulrine. Robert Forrest and Donald Campbell continue to explore the radio medium. He points out with justified pride that John Byrne cut many of his dramatic teeth working for the wireless. while Simon Donald's award-winning The Life afStzd'fhad an early. albeit uncornpleted. incarnation in radio form. It would be nice. ofcourse. for more major writers to devote time to the medium in the way that Tom Stoppard has. for example. though the lure of TV money provides a simple explanation for their talents being diverted.
Changes in the organisation of the BBC. with a shift in emphasis to accounting and accountability. don‘t appear to be having an undue effect on radio drama. though inevitably as a relatively high-spending department it is likely to come under particular scrutiny. There is talk in the air of starting to provide drama for Radios One and Two; exactly what is unclear. but an underlying motive is to develop and extend the audience for radio plays on the other channels. ‘If an idea happens we will follow it through.‘ says Rayner explaining that his work is still with the more traditional radio drama channels. ‘but it's difficult to get the right thing that doesn‘t patronise the audience or is worth doing as drama. You could do anything that was quite ﬂashy and nice. but whether it would be good drama is open to question.‘
As is often the case. the relationship between Edinburgh and London is amicable but ambivalent. Rayner accepts that any play that began in an excessively rariﬂed dialect in the first two minutes. just like one that was rife with swearing. would risk alienating a section of the audience without any apparent gain. He does however run a continual battle against the Home Counties mentality that is swift to reject 3 any accent or cultural reference point that conﬂicts with the supposed neutrality of standard English. ‘They can sometimes see things too rnucb from a London WI perspective. And sometimes people in London have a cartoon image of Scotland. they want the plays to represent their image of ‘Scotland — shortbread tins and couthie wee people. It‘s give and take. You
N L . (N) f .‘ crimes of serial killer £1599) Classic Serials slot (overtwenty actors have to advocate Scottish work and try
agariatgl: 0:. uggqggtnu“ 5“ Henry Lee Lucas. A I Young Indiana Jones and “VIC? ‘19 many Speaking Pans). a and explain why it s good. It makes you
hatred “an.” pm“ . 3" shockineg intimate . Chronicles Voi 4.5 (pg) new versron by Robert Forrest of Jekyll stubborn and makes you try not to i ‘ l g ama P0rtrall 0f 3 PSyChOth l (CIC) and Hyde. and further exposure for new water down what you‘re doing.‘ .
The List l9 November—2 December I993 71