amni- Klub Anima
Catherine Fellows finds The Kosh failing to deliver the body blow it promises.
At the close of last Sunday's
performance of Klub Anima. the director ofthe piece Michael Merit/er
caine on stage to announce that the Arts i
Council was planning to withdraw funding from The Kosh on the grounds that its work was ‘disappointing'. After such an energetic hour-and-a-half. this announcement was enough to elicit horriﬁed ‘ahl‘s and a stampede to ﬁll in protest forms in the foyer. It was also enough to make one critic quake a little.
As the quote printed on the programme makes clear. the Jungian idea about the ‘female' aspect present in both sexes is central to this piece which expands from a basic scenario —- a woman dreams that she ﬁnds herself in a nightclub entirely populated by men.
As the house-lights dim. gauze curtains are drawn aside to reveal a space dominated by dry—ice. a thumping techno beat and an
The Kosh: under threat
amorphous pile of drapery suspended from a rope swing. Gradually. it becomes apparent that this is the nascent form of a woman. and Sian Williams frees herself from swathes of cloth and begins to explore the vocabulary of movement and rhythm allowed her by her fluid perch.
The metaphor of clothing. and the costumes themselves. are among the most striking features of this production. Men‘s suits unfurl to reveal tiered flamenco gowns; nightclub wear is full of bravado. but with vulnerable- looking areas of pale lycra tights; and
when Williams eases herself into an outﬁt suspended puppet-like from a horizontal pole. and then embarks on some tentative experiments with tap, the implications in terms of the forging of identity are unmistakable.
Later. as Williams's cheeky. guileless mixture of imitation. parody and free improvisation fail to conform to the
expectations ofthe men of the
nightclub. they Usher in a commedia
dell‘ane-type perfect couple. and the sequence which epitomises the best and
j ‘Her' a merry dance. we see
worst ofthis production. As ‘He' leads that this
Q stereotype bride in white is actually
stitched on to the back of one of the male dancers. her impassive mask-face
' strapped to the back of his head. It is a
brilliant device. But. like the Adam and Eve tableau and the (,‘iladiator-type contest played out on a huge spider‘s web which follow it. it just feels too easy.
The Kosh can be spectacular. creative.
amusing and physically impressive. But 5
when companies such as I)V8 have proved that it is possible to use the
language ofdance to treat similar
themes to elicit original insights and deep emotions. it is hard not to feel that
even if a funding cut is too severe. K/ul)
xlru'ma is a tiny bit disappointing. (Catherine Fellows)
Klub xlm'mu. seen at 'l'mi‘ers'e 'l'limtre. lit/inbiujeli; (If Citizens" 'l‘lieutrt'. (ilusgnii: Tue lZ—Sul 16 April.
Arches Theatre, Glasgow. Until Sat 5 Mar.
When the English stick their flag where it doesn’t belong, the outcome is inevitably disastrous, especially if the fools choose Ireland.
In this energetic performance of the dark comedy Purple Dust a couple of sneering toffs descend on sleepy Cluna na Geera with their Irish girlfriends, intent on restoring a clapped-out mansion and imposing English values on the rural community, which fails to conform to their absurd romantic vision of Irish life.
The locals, ‘child-like people who need controlled’, are less than grateful. When their little patch of green heaven becomes an inhospitable dark hell, Stoke and Poges respond with the disbelief of men who have sucked on exploding cigars.
Though ultimately a little lacking in substance, Sean D’Casey’s play is undeniably strong on laughs and gleams with the occasional passage of rich lyricism. Receiving its Scottish premiere, the comedy is propelled
A. d , .- Q 'r" .‘. I
hilariously along by Ian Sexon’s outstandineg pompous Poges, complemented perfectly by director Andy Arnold’s study of upper-class nincompoopery as Stoke. The stiff upper-lip of the Englishmen abroad is played beautifully against the coarse Irish tongues of the patriotic workmen (Paul Riley, Callum Cutherberton and Gerry McHugh) with their half-mast trousers, big boots and short tempers, who take the buffoons for a ride.
Jaunty songs keep the production, which kicks off an Irish season at the Arches, rollicking along, although Laoise Kelly’s rapturous harp-playing brings a little soothing calm to the proceedings from time to time.
The Arches Theatre Company really sinks its teeth into the farcical elements of Purple Dust and the madcap scenes with hysterical hens, a wild bull, and giant lawn-roller which hurtles Poges through crumbling masonry, all work perfectly.
At the climactic ending, with the cast giving it all they’ve got amidst an apocalyptic storm, the lowly workmen steal the women, and their highnesses Poges and Stoke are quite correctly rinsed right out of Ireland by a flood. (Andrew Gilchrist)
MEASURE FDR MEASURE Drama Centre at the Ramshorn, Glasgow. Until Sat 26 Feb.
Dubbed by the poet Coleridge as ‘profoundly disturbing’, this surprisingly powerful and timely presentation of one of Shakespeare’s so-called ‘problem’ plays explores not only the murky world of corruption and intrigue but raises moral questions of contemporary relevance and resonance in the light of recent politicians’ back-to-basics blunders.
The designer’s blunt yet effective spider’s web backdrop on an otherwise open stage is a constant reminder of the complicated, back- stabbing, double-dealing and double- standards that are to unfold before us.
The impropriety of Viennese politicians is thrown into relief by the tension of the main plot; this being the imminent execution of the young Claudio who has been castigated as a moral scape-goat for his sexual misconduct by the apparently unimpeacheable Angelo.
However, via the ensnaring sub-plots the company veers into impressive realms, despite performances of variable quality. Anxiety and severity are regularly punctuated by bawdy humour; nowhere more effectively than in the contretemps between the face of manipulation (played with convincing menace by Paul Bush as Duke Vincentio) and the knavish antics of IIik Wardzynski’s excellent Lucio.
The juxtaposition and resolve of twin polarities such as love and death, justice and grace, vice and virtue have been deftly incorporated by director Ben Francombe into a dramatic form with magnetism and imagination. (Ann Donald)
maim- To Kill a
Harper Lee's great novel is the ﬁnely
I balanced story of Atticus i‘inch's belief
f in the law and his battle against
intolerance — above all. racial
i intolerance in I‘)3()s Alabama. It has
I sung out against bigotry and the refusal
to accept people for what they are to
touch the hearts of countless readers.
; This universal appeal and relevance is
I what makes adapting it for the stage so
attractive and yet so perilous: how to
} retain the original's poise within the necessary truncation.
The Royal Lyceuiii‘s attempt starts
5 well. neatly drawing the various
. monsters. created and imagined by
Fincli's children Scout and Jeni. across
a necessarily conﬁned yet satisfying
set. The ﬁrst two scenes. setting up the racial tension in the town which is heightened by .-\tticiis‘s attempt to defend the black Tom Robinson against the charge ol‘iapiiig a white woman. crackle along with excellent support from .-\niii l)oiiiiiigo as the black maid (‘alpiii'nica and .lanette liozzgo .is the white iteij'lilioii: .‘vlaiidic .\tl.insoii
l'lie ei‘aeks begin to show III the
pivotal third scene when .'\llIctI\ sits outside the t.'oiii'tlioiisc at night to guard 'l’om Ii'oiii the lynch iiioli. l’auline l.oekhait and Joel Strachan. as Scout and Jeni. tail to convince that they are anything but grown-ups playing children. what should be i‘ioignant becomes distracting and aw kward. Brian l’rotheroe‘s .»\ttictis must also share some ci iticisiii. lit the drama of
the courtroom scene he is seen to be a
liberal ol the wisliy wasliy. rather than
deep and brave. persuasion
It would be ehurlish to kill this adaption dead it sings out sweetly enough to please and to keep you attentive throughout. llovv ev er. this is one play that should do more than
provide pleasure and cosy assurance it
has an uncomfortable i'clev ance in a world still fragmented by hate and bigotry. which. sadly. does not siiig through at the l.y ccuni, (Thom Dilidin)
7}) MN (I .llm A'IIIL'IilP'tl. Nova." /.\'t'('lllll. lz't/t/i/mije/i. iiii/i’l XIII 5 Min:
The List 25 February It) .‘viarch l‘l‘ti 49