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THE OLD ATHENAEUM, Buchanan St., Glasgow 8pm Fri-Sat 28-29th October Advance Booking (014i) 332 2333 or Tourline: Edinburgh (0131) 346 4l63
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30, Midland Street. Glasgow. phone: 041 221 9736 Until - Sun 23 October
NATIONAL REVIEW OF lIVE All'l‘
Information: 0in 221 was or 221 9736 Presented [0L1 New Moves Ltd
Tue 25 Oct - Sat 5 Nov - 7.30pm Soundhouse Theatre
One Two - Hey!
by James Kelman
Tue 8 - Sat 26 November - 7.30pm Arches Theatre Company
The Crucible '
by Arthur Miller
an ‘in-the-round production in the Northern Arches
Tickets from The Ticket Centre 041 227 5511
Return of the great ' offender
The stand-up comic once described by a liberal newspaper as ‘an iconoclastic boot boy’ is well on his way to offending a politician of every shade. llis act has prompted liberal MP Sir David Steel to castigate him as ‘a disgusting individual’ and a Conservative councillor to resign in tuming protest. Mr Mark Thomas, how do you plead? ‘lt’s a sign that I’m doing my job if I offend,’ replies an unrepentant Thomas. ‘I only need to offend a labour MP now and I’ll have the set.’
Behind the expletives and his role as social irritant Thomas is one of the most articulate and media-aware comics around. As an old hack himself - his reviews have graced the pages of llME, Time Out and The Guardian - Thomas is wary of any political body or party that professes liberal tendencies. ‘Everyone has their own agenda,’ he notes. ‘ I left Radio 1 and Loose Talk (which he co-hosted with Kevin Day) because I was made to cover someone else’s agenda.’
Mark Thomas: ‘filth and politics’
The advantages then of his own one- and-a-hall hour show is that he is in control and can set up his own parameters. 30, Mr Thomas, what does your agenda consist oi? ‘Well, I talk about filth and politics. You can put them in any order you like and you’ll encompass every aspect of our lives.’
Beware - the man with the bite of a bulldog and political knowledge of Jeremy Paxman is appearing in a theatre near you. (Ann Donald) Mark Thomas, Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, Sun 30 Oct; Mitchell Theatre, Glasgow, Mon 31 Oct.
notar- Bowl of
The Cherry Orchard: ‘rich tapestry of characters' Mention Susannah York’s name and what comes to mind? The Killing of Sister George? A lot of unmentionable fantasies (if you were a seventeen- year-old man - or gay woman - in 1970)? In that film she played Beryl Reid’s girlfriend. Twenty-five years on, Susannah York as The Cherry Drchard’s Madame Bavensky is about as different as, well, Chekhov and cheese. York describes the play, which she last performed in drama school, as one of her all-time favourites. ‘I love the universality of it. Even though it was written before the revolution, it is timeless. It deals with the falling of the old order in the face of the new.’ As Russia’s last vestiges of
innocence now disappear, there’s an obvious topical relevance in the story at an old aristocratic family fallen on hard times and forced to sell their beloved orchard. It’s a relevance brought to life by the play’s director, Moscow Arts Theatre’s Micha Mokeiev. According to York, he’s inclined to toss logic aside in favour of intuition and instinct — a characteristic perhaps unexpected in one who was once a nuclear physicist. By the end of their four-week rehearsal period, he pretty much ditched his interpreter and worked directly with his actors. ‘llis English is coming on in leaps and bounds,’ says York. ‘What he lacks in syntax he makes up for in body language.’
Mokeiev is only one of a Russian triumvirate: the set and costumes are designed by Valery Leventhal, chief designer oi the Bolshoi Ballet; and the specially-commissioned score is by Russian composer Olga Thomas- Bosovskaya. Together they combine to create a very Russian conception of The Cherry Orchard. If you think that means very heavy going, think again. ‘Micha has followed Chekhov’s precept that this is comedy,’ says York. ‘Where the high comedy tips into farce, that counterparts the real tragedy of the play.’
‘It has such a rich tapestry of characters, all so different, but so human. And they are so outrageously funny or lronical, but their silliness is tinged with a sadness, a sort of self- mockery,’ says York. ‘There’s a view that this is a terribly sombre, heavy liturgy from the Russian canon, but people are constantly surprised by the gaiety.’ (Gabe Stewart)
The Cherry Orchard, King’s Theatre, Edinburgh 31 Oct-5 llov; Theatre Royal, Glasgow, 14-19 llov.
54 The List 21 October—3 November 1994