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Ambient music; self- indulgence or the path to enlightenment? Good Morning, Aladdin; has Robin Williams saved Disney’s bacon? The Stark reality is that the end of the world is nigh, says Ben Elton. Is he right? Send us a letter and you could win a bottle of Jose Cuervo tequila.

Human conditioning

Further to the gentleman's comments on your letters page (The List 215). 1 must agree with his feelings of ‘overuse of visual aids including objects of violence‘.

()K. we live in the 1990s and this is a sign of how bad this world has become. that the human race is becoming ‘conditioned‘ to violence. We are used to seeing people shooting their fellow humans with guns or slashing them with a knife. Is this necessary to tnake the film more enjoyable?

From a personal standpoint, my dad would still have been alive today. had not some man shot him during a robbery.

All I have to add is. does the public want this type ofentertainment‘.’ Do we want the next generation to be exposed to the violence that has touched our lives'.’ The choice is for the individual to make.

Elspeth Kennedy

Ledi Drive


We could sidestep responsibility by saying that nutgazines can only write about the films that are released. but clearly if film intages do ‘conditimz' people to violence. The List could be


accused of playing a part in the process. This is a timely letter given that video censorship is back on the agenda after the James Bulger verdict and we would welcome more letters on the subject.

Vertical challenge

I was glad to see that The List was beginning to take equal opportunities seriously with the recent introduction of a code for personal ads which rule out requests for people on the basis of race. colour and creed. Quite right. But why bother when you throw all the good work away with dismissive comments about someone's stature in the latest issue Sandi Toksvig was described as a ‘Scandinavian midget troll’. I‘m not advocating patronising

descriptions such as ‘vertically- challenged’. simply that ifyou must

judge people. don‘t resort to cheap shots about their physical attributes. Personally I don't find Sandi very

> funny, but she’s a comedian and

humour is the criterion on which she should be judged. To call her a ‘midget troll' is no better than writing about

‘curvy Kirsty Wark' of The Late Show.

You wouldn't get away with that, so why try it on with Sandi?

Peter Sneddon

Moat Terrace

f Edinburgh

Back to bingo?

Glancing out from the amusements arcade on Edinburgh's Nicolson Street. it was pleasing to see that another palace of pleasure is nearly complete. The Edinburgh Festival Theatre will clearly make an impressive contribution to the city's architectural heritage. Whether it can bring about a seismic change in our theatre-going habits is a different matter altogether.

I have no doubt that the requisite bums for the 1900 seats will be found during the three weeks ofthe Festival. The right combination of teenage Australians and Blue Peter presenters might also bring them in over the panto season. But how on earth do the management expect to fill this massive space at any other point in the year?

I ask this at time when both ends of the theatre spectrum have failed to find

the crowd-pulling formula in Scotland. Audiences at Les Miserables are dwindling fast; and recently. the spectacular Romanian production of Phaedra played to a half-empty Tramway. Coincidently you could drive a constructor's lorry through the spaces in the ‘At a glance‘ theatre guide (The List 214). And the current lack of activity at the new Traverse theatres is truly a crime.

Of course. it could be a bad time of year. All the same, the Festival Theatre’s new management must surel y be asking themselves some searching questions. If they're not, then before long the demolition of that fine bingo hall could seetn like a tragic rniscalculation.

J. M. Smith Torphichen Street Edinburgh

Let's give the Festival Theatre management a chance to prove this impressive new venue is viable throughout the year before writing it off. But you are undoubtedly right that ' the overall size ofthe theatre-going

audience in Edinburgh will have to increase if the Festival Theatre is to succeed. Incidently the Playhouse has just announced that it is extending the run of [es Miserables which suggests the audiences are hardly 'dwindling '. There's a bottle of tequila waiting for you in the Edinburgh office.

Cast list

Would everyone who admits to muttering ‘break a leg' on the opening night of Communicado‘s The Legend of St Julian form an orderly queue for the stookie signing.

Kenneth Glenaan‘s (St Julian) broken knee, on the llth week ofa 12th week tour, was only the last in a series of blows threatening injuries. strains and events that dogged the production.

This letter is to thank the extraordinarily resiliant and determined company of performers and crew that by sheer force of will, strength of


Festive and New Year Double isuue! Stuffed tighter than Santa’s

. The year 's best: Readers~ Poll results.

The year 's test: The brain-probing quiz of l‘)‘)3.

character. imagination and determination. kept Communicado on the road from Dundee. Leicester and beyond.

Lining up to take a linal St Julian bow are Kenneth Glenaan. Steve Ken. Jan Knightley. Pauline Lavetty. Thomas Lee. Frank McConnell. Michael Nardone. Jess Richards. Mick Andrew and Debbie Forbes. The Legend lives

Maggie Mackay Publicity Manager Communicado Grindlay Street Edinburgh

Fast food to go

How wonderful it would be if those who operated our cinemas recognised that there are still a few of us who welcome the pleasure of viewing a tilm free frotn all horrific drink and cats. and the smells that accompany them. How can a visit to the cinema now be counted as enjoyment when there can be no escaping the constant pungent smells. It is a tragedy when pleasure is sacrificed at the shrine of mere commercial gain.

It would be wonderful it in the cinema we could have one food and dt'inkd'ree area a haven for those who wish to enjoy the film and the company of friends. Until it comes. l‘nt giving the cinema a real body swerve.

Alastair :‘vlcFarlane Colebrooke Terrace Glasgow

Address your letters to The List Letters at: 14 High Street

3 Edinburgh EHl l'l'E Of

Old Athcnaeutn Theatre

179 Buchanan Street

Glasgow Gl 2J2


Fax them to: ()3l 557 8500

We will not print yotirjul/ address or pltone number but you must include tltem. Deadline is the IVrii/ay before publication. Keep them pithy. as overlong letters may be cut. The best letter next issue will win a bottle of Jose Cuervo tequila and a natty baseball cap.


The Queen at Christmas: Festive TV highlights including Quentin Crisp‘s (left) . Alternative Queen‘s Speech.

Kevin Costner and (‘Iint liastwood in A l’etj/ect ll/or/d.

. PLUS: Ice T and Body (‘ount. Edinburgh llogmanay Party details. hearty hampers for the lesttve binge. Degas. Brian de Palma. Blue Stratos. six pairs of socks. a tangerine. three walnuts and tour Quality Street hard centres. Ho. ho and more ho!


80 The List 3—16 December I993

Printed by Scottish County Press, Sherwood Industrial Estate. Bonnyrigg. h’lidlothian. Tel: ()3! 663 2-104.