The Cresteia for beginners: Aeschylus’ everyday tale of deities, royalty and the common people is in three parts. ‘Agamemnon’ introduces the man himself, whom liueen Clytemnestra murders in revenge for his sacrificial killing of their daughter. The Queen’s lover becomes King. in ‘The Choephori’, Clytemnestra’s son Crestes kills both the King and his mother to avenge his father’s death, and laces the rage of the Furies. The final ‘Eumenides’ (butt of many a knock-knock ioke) sees Crestes’ trial in the first human, democratic court: the Furies prosecuting, Apollo defending. Athene reaches an ingenious compromise after a blistering courtroom drama.
Peter Stein calls the 2,500 year old script ‘the foundation of the European tradition of theatre. It also tells us something about the birth of democracy.’ lt’s democracy, Jim, but not as we know it. ‘The same word, but different meaning,’ agrees Stein. ‘Everything has changed totally, but the development of change remains the same. Compromise is clearly the basis of any form of democracy.’ Compromise is the buzz word in Russia today, and reflects how Stein’s original 1980 production at the Schaubuhne, West Berlin, has developed. ‘It was very pessimistic. It has become much richer, deeper. In this Russian version, the last part, the
l l l
ven-anthaf-horir sesh of Greek j drama with Stein's Crestela
: gaining of democracy, is much
: emphasised. It’s more comic and light- .
Since its January premiere in
5 Moscow, this production has seen
5 some exotic locations, like the Italian
t open amphitheatre performance which
? began at dusk and continued till dawn.
; lf damp Murrayfield Ice Rink doesn’t
compare, Stein isn’t perturbed. ‘We
5 need a wall only with a space right in
: front of it. I checked the space, it
2 seems 0K. Also we have very good
* surtitles.’ No matter how gripping the
drama, seven-and-a-half hours of it can leave you with a numb bum, so bring a comfy cushion and plenty of
; chocolate rations. (Gabe Stewart)
l Cresteia (Festival) Murrayfield Ice
Rink, 225 5756, 25, 27, 28 Aug, 3pm,
mammo— Geordie The
Geordie the Viking: the land that llintendo forgot
3 ‘The show’s a simple wee tale about a
l trainee Viking who falls in love with
i Greta, but Greta’s money-mad mother
5 uses all the powers that are available to her to hypnotise her daughter and
a make her forget about Geordie The
: Viking. So Geordie goes up to Shetland to propose to Greta, and she tells him
, to go away. Greta’s granny then tries to intervene with a bit of magic, because it’s Greta’s grandad who handed on the magic to Greta’s mum - confusing isn’t
; it? So Greta’s gran"! "'93 ‘°
. unhypnotise Greta and sends Geordie
‘ on a journey to Glasgow, where Greta’s
? grandfather now lives and the
grandfather discems what’s going on and everyone has to go back to
; Shetland.’ And that, barring the climax .
5 (which includes ‘the promise never to
make tripe and onions again’) is the story of Geordie The Viking.
' This is ‘stand up and become the
2 characters story-telling’ for nine-to-
j fourteen-year-olds, performed by Robert ‘Googs’ Williamson, one half of
x i : Pictish Puppets. Inspired by the
r clowning he used to warm up
5 children’s shows, he relishes the
. challenge of being in a situation where i there’s no help at all if he fluffs it, and 1 being able to take kids on a )oumey to g lands that llintendo forgot. (Stephen
; Geordie The Viking (Fringe) Robert
: ‘Googs’ Williamson, The VIRALE Venue ) (Venue 35) 220 1512, 22-24 Aug,
; 345m. £3 (£210.50).
Ever wondered what to do if your tubers are rotting?
These people know the
answer. but you may have to sell your soul to find it
Conjuring up a cast of thousands withjust two actors. Chancy
Productions lead you into the murky undergrowth of the Leith Gardeners‘ Club
where the cosy world of
the Womens Institute and
twinsets hides a seething
bed of sex and satanism. Gardeners‘ Question
Time and the occult are
curious bedfellows but the
show works very well. The humour blooms
beautifully although Percy
Thrower is probably
1 spinning in his grave.
I Bedding Clay Jones (Fringe) Chancy Productions. Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 226 2151. until 3 Sept. 4.30pm. £6 (£4).
,4' l Bedding Clay Jones: earthy humour with Kilmurry‘s commitment obvious. but ? attempts to stylise things
simply aren‘t enough. and ' there is an air of hesitancy which an outside director i might have dealt with. But as a study of how hero worship can evolve into something a lot more dangerous. it is firmly rooted in truth. (Neil . Cooper) l I One Shot (Fringe) ? Snarling Beasties. Assembly Rooms, (Venue ;3) 226 2428. 12—18. 21. 23—25 Aug. 4pm. £7 (£6). 19.20. 26—27 Aug. 4pm. £8 (£7).
V THEATRE ONE SHOT
Robert De Niro‘s inﬂuence on ﬁlm fans and actors alike is monumental. This one man show written and performed by Mark Kilmurry is a neurotic letter to ‘Bobby‘ from Charlie. a man obsessed both with De Niro and with his ex. who ditched him for, horror of horrors. an actor.
This is a patchy affair.
Kissing Marianne: out. and
proud to integrate K issing Marianne is a gay play that gives it to you straight. Whatever your sexual inclination. this story with its universal themes of loving. leaving and walking the dog
should strike a chord.
Tightly crafted dialogue between two life-long friends sweeps you along
on the rollercoaster of
emotion that results when
' OneShot: all ehotup
twelve-year separation. Fast talking Joshua. faced with his own mortality. is wide-eyed in wonderment at the world and ﬁlled with new-found
l they reunite after a painful
. t i humanity for all around.
Will is a writer, whose
“ j academic cynicism
( controls a viper‘s nest of
1 Tender. funny and cutting
words are performed with
eloquence and passion. as
the two men cruise the
fine line between love and
hate and try to bridge the
gulfbetween a shared past
and an uncertain future.
7 I Kissing Marianne
2 (Fringe) Starving Artists.
Hawaii. Traverse Theatre
' (Venue 15) 228 1404.
j until 21 Aug. various times. £7 (£4).
L V THEATRE
eow ro THE gBEAST
Jan Knighth as the anti- Christ in Bow to the Beast
Novelist Barry Graham
; has turned playwright to
tell us that our saviour is a
psychopath and, where
once we were said to
share in the goodness of
Jesus. now we must share
in the evil of the anti-
Christ. I don‘t think he
needs to take 80 minutes
to tell us this. but his
thesis does allow him to
wade through much
fashionably nihilist water
— meaningless murder.
sexual brutality. the
unfathomable cruelty of the Holocaust and the spiritual emptiness of 20th century western life.
Unsettling stuff. even if
it doesn't take us anywhere in particular. and it is given such a
possessed performance by
Jan Knightley. physically
audacious, witty and
wicked. that the line of argument doesn‘t seem that important anyway.
Ideal Fringe material.
g brutal. curious and fresh.
I Bow to the Beast
Traverse Theatre (Venue
15) 228 I404. until 21
Aug. various times. £7
32 The List 19—25 August 1994