Jung at heart
Tamsin Grainger talks about
dreams and nightclubs to The
‘It seemed to call for a rock sound — a pounding, . pulsating quality to the music.’ says The Kosh’s Sian ' Williams about Klub Anima, the story of a woman ' who dreams that she has entered a world inhabited entirely by men. ‘It is the essential pulsation that drives the woman through to the end and it has a real impact.‘ The show takes place in a nightclub to a rock music score by Craig Leaon (the producer behind Blondie, The Go-Betweens and Front 242) and, according to Williams, is both provocative and
The Kosh is a dance-theatre company with an enviable following. It all started after producer Michael Merwitzer had a dream about a solo female dancer whose name was The Kosh. ‘When he woke up,’ explains Williams, ‘Michael had this name emblazoned on his memory. it was catchy and he discovered that it had several deﬁnitions. ln Gaelic it means a safe hiding place like a cave, while in
Hungarian it is the term for a dancer.‘
Merwitzer and Williams were fellow members of Ludus Dance Company from the North West of England and were already planning the creation of a
new company. ‘l’rn very much his inspiration.‘ says Williams. ‘He’s the producer-director and l’ve worked on the ﬂoor more, choreographing.’ Ten years on, K lub Anima sounds like their most ambitious project, and that’s saying a lot for a company which has had an acrobatic spectacle televised and pre-dated much of the current penchant
for dare-devil dance theatre.
Not surprisingly, K Iub Anima is based in part on a Jungian interpretation of dream imagery. ‘The anima
Anima magic from the Rush 5
" ‘ln the club she begins to see things in the men that surround her that helps her understand herself. Although she enters Klub Anima, it is really her discovery of her own animus (the male part of a woman).’ The idea came from Merwitzer’s initial dream which was worked on by writer Ewan Maclachlan, who produced countless possible scenarios. ‘We set out with certain ideas for exploration and then the piece began to tell us what it wanted to be.’
Like the score, the costumes are original and Williams is obviously impressed. ‘They are a fantastical spectacle designed by Yvonne Deacon. On the psychological level, transformations take place and these are literally mirrored by the costumes. The characters wear their inner-selves on their sleeves. The Under-Manager is a super-sensitive, ambitious wreck of a man who jumps all over the place being subservient to the owner. His costume reﬂects this by almost missing the mark. it looks as if it should be chic, but is in fact rather OTT with cherubs on the - jacket and fringes that are far too long.’
The design and rock-show lighting by star-in-his- own-ﬁeld Joe Lewis help create the butterﬂy nature of a club atmosphere in this condensed, dream-like segment of time, despite there being only six characters on stage. But is the idea of a female ' protagonist in an all-male world seen single- mindedly through a man’s (ie Merwitzer’s) eyes only? ‘No,’ says Williams, ‘l’d say it was very much my interpretation as the only woman. Initially my character is seduced by a world that she could be part of, believing that there is a lot going for her in it. But she begins to realise what a manipulative place it is - as do the men. It is not a battle of the sexes by any
! Klub Anima, Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, Wed 26—5101 30 Jan; Citizens" Theatre, Glasgow: Tue
is the female inner part of the male,’ says Williams. i /2_Sa, 16 Am
Glasgow’s BSAIAII is beneﬁting in a concrete way from the presence of two theatre professionals from Singapore studying at the Academy on a CAT Arts Scholarship. The two, Josephine Peter and Ice Swee lin, wanted to create a performance that could develop links between Scotland and Singapore and explore the differences and similarities of cultures. Drafting in director .Iulie Austin, playwright itobin Wilson and two rnore students, they set about improvising around their own feelings in the hope of devising a play.
“They wanted to create from scratch a Scottish-Singapore connection,’ says liobin Wilson, ‘and we tried, but discovered there wasn’t any!’ Work progressed sluggishly until they stated playing with visual images. As seen as they Introduced the image of
a trishaw, the three-wheeled light vehicle pedalled by a driver sitting
behind the passenger, a host of ideas ' bubbled forth that opened up space ’
for potent commentary on Singapore - containershlp, exploitation, ownership, cultural imperialism . . .
Gradually a story emerged - but for
one Glaswegian character no longer particularly Scottish - about the meeting of a Chinese woman and a Caucasian man, their cultural prejudices, secret desires and layers of lies.
“We wanted to subvert images and wrong-step people,’ explains Wilson who, never having been to Singapore, has had to immerse himself in research. ‘We use a narrator to give wrong information, so everything is slightly off-balance in the hope that the audience would see a bigger world than she does. We use Chinese Opera music and masks and the whole thing is slightly dislocated, but I’ve had to be sure that the building blocks are right.’
llaving opened to full houses in Singapore, the production, called The Trishaw, returns to Glasgow under the banner of The Necessary Stage, a company which will present a Singaporean play in Mayfest and which has invited Clyde Unity’s John Binnie to direct his own A Little Older ‘ in Singapore. (Mark Fisher) l The Trishaw, BSAMD, Glasgow, until Sat 15 Jan.
The List r'4—27 January 1994 45