Maiden voyage

As Edinburgh’s Royal Lyceum and Dundee Rep prepare to enter a new phase of co-operation, Mark Fisher talks to director Hamish Glen about upping the profile of the jute city


Co-operation has been a buzz word in Scottish theatre for several years. but it is only recently that anyone has managed to do something about it. In theory it sounds like good sense for theatres to pool resources. investing in better quality productions that can run for longer and be seen in more places by more people. Practicalities. however. have meant that

collaboration is easier said than done.

The name of one company. however. crops up repeatedly in the list of instances where forces have been joined and fronts have been united. Dundee Rep. under the auspices ofex-Winged Horse director Hamish Glen. was the theatre that backed the Tron for last year's brilliant production of Macbeth (starring kid brother lain Glen) and it was the organisation that gave 7:84 the muscle to mount a large-cast version of The Grapes of Wrath earlier this year. Now it is linking hands with the Royal Lyceum. Edinburgh. itself no stranger to collaboration. for what will be strategically. if not artistically. the most

ambitious project yet.

When Ariel Dorfman‘s Deal/1 and the .llut'den opens in Dundee. the Royal Lyceum will be going through the final technical rehearsal of Brian Friel's [hitter/re (ll Lug/mush. Nothing exceptional about

Swap shop: Dundee Rep’s Death And The Maiden changes places with the Royal Lyceum's Dancing At lughnasa

that. except that three weeks later. Dorfman's play will be opening in Edinburgh and Friel's back in

productions opening simultaneously. keeping two sets of actors employed for twice as long as normal and spreading the good names of both theatres abroad.

‘lt makes good sense for two companies to think about doing projects together.~ says Glen. "There was a bit of to-ing and fro—mg about what exactly we were going to do together and how it would fit into each other“s seasons of work. These are just two out of four for each of Us so they had to balance. in the

Dundee. In other words, there are not one but two co-

end it works quite well. because Kenny lreland wanted a bit of meat alongside some of the more popular work in his season and l was allowed to maintain an edge to the programme with Death and the Muir/en.‘

There are further spin-offs as we. I. An in-demand actor is likely to take tnore serious ly the offer of a long run that includes a high-profil e Central Belt theatre than they would a short stay in Tayside. Thus Glen was in a stronger position to attract actors of the calibre of Alison l’eebles. Michael Mackenzie and Robert McIntosh (all of whom it ill ust be said have worked in Dundee before) to star irr Dorfman‘s three- hander. ‘The other thing is l‘m very keen to maintain the profile of Dundee Rep.‘ says Glen. ‘and this doe' s give a national profile to the work. ‘Ne‘re not in a hermetically sealed little world all 0 four own. We' re standing alongside any production tl iat‘s produced in Scotland.‘

Death and the Mutt/eh is a moral tl triller set in South America in which a woman believes she h: rs come face to face with the man who abducted an d tortured her fifteen years previously. A bit in the West End. where it starred Bill Paterson and Jul iet Stevenson. the play is currently being; made intl .) a film by Rotnan Polanski with Sigourney Weav er and Ben Kingsley. The Dundee productic n is a Set )ttish premiere. ‘The former Yugoslavia is going to have to heal itself at sotne point and interestingly Sot tth Africa's just created a commission to look in to human rights violations.‘ says Glen. 'The w hole idea of a nation healing itself was interesting to l' he just now. It felt like there was a lot of healr ng th at still had to be done. I‘m also interested in work that takes on major themes and political debates in a ' strong

3 theatrical context —- this is like a thriller or an ? American B-movie and I'm interested in h ow you

take the audience from A to B in as thrillith a way as possible while powerfully releasing huge political thctnes and contradictions.’

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Hotel on the side

With its origins in a work-in-progress performed at the New Moves festival

in Glasgow earlier this year, Anatomy’s

latest work is the much-developed culmination of Marissa Zanotti’s examination of the universal and myriad emotions of human relationships. The Japanese love hotel, where couples can escape the crowded city streets for anything from fifteen minutes to six hours, provides a perfect physical and symbolic arena in which to explore our desires and vulnerabilities.

Choreographed by Zanotti, who performs with item Lee (of The Featherstonehaughs fame), with a set

i l l

Anatomy: love by the hour ambitious piece of dance theatre.

by the renowned designer Simon t Vincenzi and a soundtrack by previous j Anatomy collaborator Philip Jeck, the ! project offers an exciting and

Much is promised by a show that was acclaimed even in its embryonic form. Zanottl promises us intense and

: sensual movement whic h expresses through its own vocabu' tary the reticence, complexity a ind contradiction of human passion. In its % search through the ten sions and conflicts of relations t tetween women and men, Anatomy war its to create an expansive dance language, which fuses more classical iiorms of dance with raw animal move ment.

fin episodic discove' ry by' means of a fascinating and inven .tive concept, Fit'teen Minutes to Si x Hours is an ex citing prospect. Pl ans for a site- specific perfonnancte in a space constructed in the centre of Glasgow in tiiecember are ind icative not only of Zaiiotti’s sense of experimental adventure, but also of her desire to put: contemporary dance ever more firmly on Scotland’s cultural map. (Mark Brown) Fifteen Minutes to Six Hours, Traverse Theiatre, Edinburgh, 23-25 ’Sept; Paisley Arts Centre, 29 Och.

The List 23 September—6 October I‘M-1 47