r Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh, until 7 Aug.
.. (next-5“". ‘1“. 3 ~ _ ,_ A ' ' £1. ....'
I This is a play that has won a Scotsman Fringe First, an Evening News National
Award and the Independent Theatre
Award. After its initial production by
Fifth Estate in 1991 it transferred to the Rampstead Theatre, London. All of
this is by way of saying: a lot of f people like it.
Certainly the play’s material is
' gathered from an intriguing historical 3 backwater; the final alcoholic, exiled
years of the once Bonnie Prince
Charlie. Bloated and bitter the
perpetual pretender sits in Florence, unrecognised by other crowns, waiting passiver to be called to the throne of Britain, killing time by abusing his much younger wife. Robert Carr
carries the role of the pungent, odious
hero with some fine belching and farting, and offers an impressive number of on-stage vomits, but tragically the tragedy of the Prince is not particularly involving.
OK, it’s won awards and people like it, but I'm not just being contrary when I slip into the stilettos of Miss
a Critical Backlash and say, ‘This is a
bad play’. Not only is it utterly undramatic, it lacks any sense of progression. A man argues with his wife, and then, er, carries on arguing. Better things have been made from less, but they don’t usually exhibit as many cliches as this: power-brokers play chess, romantic heroes have olive
skins and dark hair, timid girls wear
glasses and the Oxbridge queers that are British spies have lines like, ‘It is this that makes kings so very dangerous’.
My other objection is that lines like
that are delivered with a hyphen
between every word. Subtlety has, one fears, been bundled in the back of a car and is now lying hooded and bound in a dark shed many miles away from the Lyceum stage. But the end of the evening there was loud applause and everyone seemed to like it, so it’s doubtful the ‘5’ word will get its ransom dosh that quickly. (Stephen Chester)
Seen at the Iletherbow Arts Centre, Edinburgh. Returning to Edinburgh Fﬁnge.
It is a strange task to attempt: bringing Francois Sagan’s first, voluptuous and passionate novel of
CARLUCCO AND THE QUEEN OF HEARTS
the eated budding of love to the stage. A strange task which demands a strange production if the long summer heat of the seaside, the
brilliantly evoked desires and awakening sexuality of the original are to be retained. At first glance, Theatre Cryptic has caught the heady, dreamlike state of the book with a set made from contraptions, strung together to create a pliable diversity of shapes that summon the beach to the stage.
In the play’s opening scenes, the casting too seems to suffice. Loeiza Mariq Jacq is elegant and sinuous as the narrator, L’Esprit, while Kate Dickie as her alter ego, the seventeen-
year-old Cecile, has an ungainly, naive
sexuality. Her father Raymond, played
by Claude Kagan, is suitably aloof and
masculine and, as his lover, Elsa is a
hedonistic swirl of lust. Anne at first
has all the attractions of decadence,
; which Iure Raymond away from Elsa to
_' her charms, while underneath
betraying the tendency towards equilibrium which so distresses Cecile
and precipitates the ensuing tragedy.
However, to conjure the full delicious fatality of the novel demands more
, than reasonable casting and the
rippling body of choreographer Erick
Valentin Mauricia as Cecile’s lover
‘ Cyril. Instead of luxuriating in the
story, letting it drift towards the
yielding climax, Mariq Jacq falters and hurries through the script, doing it and the company no favours. This is a
brave and strange attempt which still
has the potential to work, but which
falls towards pure pretentiousness. (Thom Dibdin)
: READING RICOBERTA
Seen at Theatre Workshop, Edinburgh.
9 Returning to Edinburgh Fringe.
, A guiding rule of reviewing says that if a show might just as well have been a book or a film - if, in other words, it
has nothing intrinsically theatrical about it - then chances are it will be inadequate. I have no prejudice against adaptations per se, just that if they don’t find a truly theatrical form, their purpose becomes questionable. ; So much for the rule book. John I McGrath’s adaptation of Rigoberta j Menchu’s ‘I, Rigoberta’, a shocking i testimony to torture in Guatemala, 1 makes hardly the slightest attempt to
I be theatrical. Apart from two short ' new passages that top and tail
, aghast horror, but the very fact that she is reading means that we
I characterisation, but on bleak ! political reality.
Elizabeth MacLennan’s performance, the text is taken directly from Menchu’s book. And I mean directly. Maclennan comes onto the stage - a florist’s shop worth of grow-bags and plants — and begins to dip into the book for a ‘lunchtime’ read. Once or twice she moves from one side of the stage to the other; throughout, she keeps her head in the book; dramatic though the material is, she does not dramatise.
The obvious thing would have been to cast MacLennan in the role of Menchu - the book, after all, is written in the first person - but by setting the action, and I use the word advisedly, in a Central Scottish garden centre, McGrath ensures that we keep a critical distance from the material. MacLennan may read in a tone of
concentrate not on sentimental
And the fact that this reality hits home so hard instantly justifies the performance. I don’t know if you’d call ! it a play or a reading or a dramatised j adaptation, what I do know is that it ends with a stunned silence and a sense of embarrassment that I’ve never sent off that subscription to Amnesty International. The final line about there still being hope in the world may seem glib, but there is more than enough to unsettle a frivolous Fringe audience in what precedes it. (Mark Fisher)
tue528 june- tri8jUIy-7.30pm
29 June - 3 July 8pm
WISEGUISE THE WISHING TREE Myra began withering the moment she made her ﬁrst wish.
15 July - 7 August TRAVERSE THEATRE CO
Presents the British Premiere of
POOR SUPER MAN - A PLAY WITH CAPTIONS The hot new play by Brad - Unidentiﬁed Human Remains - Fraser Calgary, Canada. love triangles in the fast lane - sex. lies and hidden identities.
Fast, dangerous and disturbingly funny.
It b .
Phone Box Office for details
031 228 1404
glengarry glen ross . by
"...essentiai.a contemporary masterpiece...” The Herald
I by sean ocasey _ ”...splendrdt/ entertaining ri raucoust tinny." The Guardian
Tickets: 96.50/E3 Or see both tor £10/i25
from Tron Box Ofﬁce: 041 552 4267/Trcket Centre: 041 227 5511
The List I—l4 July 199461