Wed 16 - Sun 20 Feb 8pm PAINES PLOUGH

WILD THINGS By Anna Reynolds

A snapshot of life in a psychiatric hospital - two patients ‘struggle with the tightly woven confines of the label 'mad'

"Haunting, thrilling and defiantly dgnified' Sunday Times

Wed 23 - Sun 27 Feb 7.30pm CLYDE UNITY THEATRE ACCUSTOMED T0 HER FACE By John Binnie

Noisy, Violent and Hilariously Funny Cluture Clashing Fringe First winning Scottish show returns with force. venom and outrageous crudity.


I509!) off full price tickets for the opening night

when you buy 7 days or more in advance


BOX OFFICE 031 228 1404






Fri ll February, 7.30pm OUR HEARTS CRY OUT - RIC

Mercat Theatre. Drumchapel Tickets £2 / £|

Tel: 04l-944 9022

Fri 25 February, 7.30pm DOUG ELKINS RESIDENCY Pearce Institute. Govan

Tickets (I / 50p available on door

QUEBEC CHOREOGRAPHERS Compelling Canadian Dance

Tue l - Wed 2 March, 8pm lose NAVAS

When We Dreamed The OthC' Heaven / Celestiales / Flak HAROLD RHEAUHE

(with Yvonne Courts)

lvre / Chombre


Pavane / Dix Stations

Fri 4 - Sat 5 March, 8pm SYLVAIH EHARD DAHSE Terrains Vagues

Tickets £6 / £2.

Season Tickets (2 perfs) £|0 / (4 THE TRAMWAY,

Albert Drive. Glasgow TICKETLIHK

Ml - 227 SSI I



42 The List I l-24 February I994

unita- Give us a break

‘I probably formed the company because there was nothing good on television,’ says Doug Elkins, flummoxing me from the start. ‘The first sort of dancing I started was hip hop - what some people call break- dancing, but is actually known by the dancers as “b-boying”. We used to dance on the breaks of the records. Are you familiar with the music of James Brown? We would find a very funky groove on a break; the DJ has two turntables and plays the break over and over again, then we break on it —it’s kind of challenge dance.’ Elkins is one of those dancer-

choreographers who’s been open to

everything. ‘I guess I tend to be a collage of all the dances that have influenced me. My background is full of a lot of martial arts, because I’m

1 generally a hyperactive person. But I

also pursued what some people would

' consider a more formal training at the ; University of llew York, Purchase, in



ballet and contemporary.’

Maybe on account of this diversity, he is breaking some rules, bringing seemingly unconnected dance styles together. In Scot, Queen of Mary’s, recently premiered in Paris, he blended Scottish Country Dancing (which he has been learning for the past four months) with vogueing - a

gay, black, latino style. ‘I find humorous similarities where the worlds collide,’ says Elkins. Unfortunately, we don’t get to see this piece because Willie llinia, who performs it, is not available.

We will see The Patrooka Variations, though, danced to a mixture of Bizet’s Carmen, flamenco music and James Brown. ‘In this dance we cheaply imitate and appropriate flamenco,’ he laughs, ‘. . . with a sense of caring.’ We’ll also see More Wine For Polyphemus which Is performed to Ilandel, led Zeppelin and the ubiquitous James Brown. Elkins describes the Brown section as like doing hallucinogenic mushrooms with Balanchine, the much-revered modern ballet guru known for his cool, languid pointe ':j,irk!

‘I can tell you what I think about my work, but it doesn’t necessarily make it the thing that you should be thinking about. People need to take a look and then we can talk about it.’ (Tarnsin Crainger)

Doug Elkins Dance Company, Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh Sun 13 Feb; Pearce Institute, Coven, Glasgow, Fri 25 Feb.


I B-boying with Doug Elkins


Betting Scandalous in Just Whores f

There’s a Eugene O’Neill quote in the

l Febfest advertising leaflet that reads,

i “lake some wood and canvas and nails

and things. Build yourself a theatre, a

1 stage, light it, learn about it. When you’ve done that you will probably j know how to write a play.’

The statement could be justly

' applied to Edinburgh University

Theatre Company itself: in 1980 it

1 took over a deconsecrated church in '1 central Edinburgh, renamed it The

Bedlam and has been successfully

; running it ever since. llow it’s ; organised a week-long festival of new

1 writing, Febfest, which puts those ‘j expensive venues which should be ? promoting such work to shame. The

I festival boasts a variety of

; productions, from the avant-garde

3 physical theatre of Black Uterus, to

I gritty social realism in Just Whores,

, which promises to expose the scandal

l of Edinburgh’s saunas. There are

5 another nineteen new works going on,

' spread between the Bedlam and

. Stepping Stones, and the Traverse will

! be picking on Best of The Fest for a

; few showcase performances in March.

‘We’ve run similar events in the

3 past,’ says festival director Martin

E Danziger, ‘but now we’ve decided to

add the development and learning side

to the event. We’ve had a six-month workshop programme running since

October, covering everything from

writing to circus skills, and through

them we’re hoping to build up the

; talents needed. The festival is a result

of that.’

All of which underlines just how far this is from the sort of thing you would ; normally expect from student theatre - shows opening late and the best- lookiiig members of the dram soc getting the biggest parts. The eclecticlsm which has always been one of the strengths of undergraduate drama has been retained, not lust in the range of shows and events included in Febfest, but in the workshops which will be run during the week led by Kenny Ireland, Christoer Fry and Babara Bulatovic, I a puppeteer from the former Yugoslavia. ‘It should be quite mad,’

' promises Danzlger. (Stephen Chester) Febfest, Bedlam Theatre and Stepping Stones Theatre, Edinburgh, Fri 11-Sun

l 20 Feb. Phone 031 225 9873 to: info.



Wild at


Anna Reynolds

Anna Reynolds did not

make an auspicious start to her adult life. At the age of seventeen she killed her mother while

, suffering an extreme form

of pie-menstrual tension and was committed firstly

to a secure psychiatric

ward and then to prison. Her sentence was eventually overturned and she quickly made up for lost time. founding and editing a newspaper for Britain‘s 48.000 prisoners. producing an autobiography. various pieces ofjoumalism and an award-winning first play.

Her second play. currently being toured by Paines Plough and Salisbury Playhouse. is the first to draw on her experience of psychiatric illness. ‘I don‘t think it was therapeutic because it was really painful to write.’ she admits about Wild Things. ‘ln some ways it might have been cathartic. but I think it was more that there was something I had a burning desire to say and I had to say it whether I wanted to or not.’

Despite her experiences of everything from a fellow patient being raped to the night staff sleeping on the job. Reynolds deliberately avoided didacticism and allowed the experience of writing to force her to look from perspectives other than her own. ‘It would be far too easy to say here are

the good guys and here are the bad guys,‘ she says.

Already attracting rave reviews. Wild Things

: gives voice to those

; unable to speak for

' themselves. 'Many people _ when they‘re in a

psychiatric hospital do things that would be regarded as insane because they‘ve got into

i the habit of doing them. it

stops anyone taking you seriously and it stops anybody listening to you.‘ (Mark Fisher)

Wild Things, Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh. 16-20 Feb.