Edinburgh Playhouse. Until 11 June. Well, whaddaya expect? It’s a musical heading for the West End, starring lovable Cary Wilmot, with music by adorable Barry Manilow and dance routines by the woman who did Peter Gabriel’s last tour. it’s good-natured, has a handful of hummable tunes and gives the punters more or less what they came for: toe-tapping cheeriness, romantic ballads and a lull company rendition of that song . . .
But if it wasn’t for the Manilow- Wilmot marketing dream ticket, l’d question the durability of this show. By setting the musical in the 19405 (apart from a clumsy modern framing device), the creators have saddled themselves with an automatically old- fashioned form. That in itself isn’t a problem, but the feeble narrative and cut-out characters are: it’s like someone’s idea of what a musical should be like, rather than a real visionary’s attempt at what a musical could be like.
This coupled with too many songs that, jolly as they are, have no relation to character or narrative, means that Copacabana has little emotional pull. The effect is more like a slick TV
Cary Wilmot: generally genial
Seaside Special, superficially entertaining, but lighting shy of its full dramatic potential.
Gary Wilmot is more disciplined than he was in Me and My Girl, turning in a smashing song and dance routine on the early Dancing Fool and being generally genial without hogging the limelight. llicola Dawn, meanwhile, brings weight and wit to the part of Lola. But it is professional sheen, not memorable drama, that carries this musical briskly through to the end. (Mark Fisher)
Dig Stramash: sexual abuse through theages
There need be no false protestations in this case. A moving and at times harrowing performance was made all the more poignant given the minimal cast and reliance on true testimonies. The personal stories of three physically, mentally and sexually abused women are intercut with selected scenes depicting the abuse of women through the centuries: from the spinster accused of fomicating with the devil in 1600 to the eight- year-old raped in 1993 and told by the judge ‘she was no angel’. These valuable snippets give a depth, perspective and even unexpected humour to the entire play.
Though the production offers a frightening insight into how society in many ways condones male violence via the judicial and medical systems, it also offers a very positive hope that women can escape from the vortex of self-worthlessness and isolation. An emotionally exhausting, yet wryly humorous production that overcomes any preconceptions of ln-your-face lecturing to present a strong piece of theatre. (Ann Donald)
lioyal lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh. lintil 4 Aug.
Strictly adhering to the tartan shortbread-tin mould of drama, the lioyal lyceum has reached into the drawer marked classic Scottish literature and brought forth an entertaining adaptation of BLS’s swashbuckling adventure Kidnapped, in this his centenary year. But Kidnapped is more than a yarn, it is a historical novel, firmly set in 1751, in the tunnoll of the years after the Jacobite rebellion. It explores the dichotomy between lowland Whig and Highland Jacobite through the relationship between the young David Balfour, off to earn his inheritance, and the lawless Alan Dreck who beiriends him.
Enough of this is retained in Tom McGrath’s quick-witted and fast moving adaptation, to allow Tony Curran and John Kazek to shine through without shame in the roles of David and Alan. The show is let down by some hackneyed and inelegantly cliched acting, but don’t leave the theatre because of Robert Carr’s lleverend Campbell, he improves.
Much of the production’s success, and a success it certainly is, is due to a remarkably intelligent and elegant use of the theatre’s technological facilities. As the action moves from rural tranquility to hoity-toity Edinburgh, onto the high seas and up to the Highlands, so the simple sets transport you smoothly through David’s kidnap, shipwreck and desperate flight. Only the midges are missing, which is not a complaint. Add to this Martyn Bennett's thoroughly modern mix oi musical styles and you get an excellent, if undemanding, piece of theatre. (Thorn Dibdln)
Thurs 2 - Sat 4 .kme Wiseguise Productions ‘TllE IDISIIIIIG TREE - By Martin McCardie
Sun 5 - Sat 18 June "I S 1' KI D DI II 6 Cumbernauld Theatre's 6th Festival of Theatre For Children.
Sunday 5 .krne 2.00pm GIIIII OPEDIDG EVED'I'
With Stu Who?, Mr Trix, Mr Bones, The Whiz: Kids and Sparkie The Clown. Ber-icy Castle, Face-painting
and more FREE
Sat 11 Me 1.30pm & 4.30pm lleather Bishop (Canada) THE BEIIY ° BIIT'I'OD SIIOII For children aged 3 and over.
Tues 21 & Wed 22 .nme 7.45pm Kilsyth Young People's Theatre 'l’llE TIIIDERDOX From the story by llans Christian Anderson
Mrs-23m 7.45pm , v 1an IIIIITEV . ems trio with Fraser Spiers, ' lieil Warden
..m24as:n25.rune 7.45pm First Base Theatre BEIIIG I'RIIIIK
Written and performed by Alan llicary
Thurs 30 June - Sat 2 .krly 7.45pm Cumbernauld Youth Theatre TH E C RI! GI ME by Arthur Miller
BOX ornce ' 'oase‘1saee1
Tue 7-Sun 12 June 7.30pm
'bOWBfﬁJI and original" Wiseguise Productions present
The Wishing Tree
by Martin McCardie direded’by Frank Gallagher music by George Drennan
Wed 15-Sun 19 June 2pm & 7.30pm
Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama
present William Shakespeare's
Much Ado About Nothing
15, 16, 19 Jun 7.30pm, 18 Jun 2pm NngJorn
BOOK 041 552 4267 NOW 041 227 5511
25 May - 19 June TRAINSPOTTING
By Irvine Welsh
"The whole is gripping, superb theatre....a production so stuffed with best bits, that they throw in the odd merely quite good bit to
vary the tone" The List Spirit of Mayfest Award Winner
‘/2 Price Sat. Matinee Tickets
LATE NIGHT COMEDY 3 a 4 June PHIL KAY
10& 11 June PARRQT
TRAVERSE THEATRE Phone Box Ofﬁce for details
031 228 1404