dramaturg. have championed a disparate array of
m . '. writers. The Citizens‘ has opened up its tiny studio . spaces to new work. while the developmental
programmes set up by Annexe are as vital as any
AN ANTHOlOGY OF NEW SCOTTISH PHYS other. Then there is the New Play Initiative at the ' Ramshorn and the brand new company lrresistable ."I‘n' (inf/(n
m u” of mm 8. I) I, Flood. These and others often knock spots off
‘ ' . . . ‘ t ‘ a 'ouo‘cm companies subsidised to the hilt. A5 ‘1 gOllecuon Of SCOttl‘Sh plays, 3 \ Fact. No matter what anyone says. a pool of good co-edrted by The Lzst’s Mark
! playwrights exists in Scotland. all distinct. and it is Fisher, is published, Neil Cooper l Let’s not forget the elder statesmen who argues that we need to see many '
seem to get shunted further into the more volumes like it, shadows with each change of artistic f management.
‘ essential younger writers. David Greig. David llarrower. Lara Jane Bunting and others. are championed at this stage as they develop their voices. John Clifford. lain Heggie. Sue Glover. Simon Donald. Chris Hannan. and George Gunn have all proved thernseves capable of longevity and are deserving of collections that could stand alongside any one in the Mel/men War/(I Classics series. And let's not forget the elder statesmen who seem to get l’mdumonS in London and C‘mud“ TCSPCC‘lVClY shunted further into the shadows with each change of Mike CUHC’TS “unlin‘c’ly brutal The Cl" “'35 I v artistic management. Collections by Donald PTOdUCCd 0“ ‘1 Silocs‘rlng b)’ (lCiOY'ba-‘Cd 00119“ch ' _ - " ' i l' “ (‘ampbell and Tom McGrath are well overdue, while Wiseguise. whose commitment is made explicit in mwmnmm’m mm
Cullen‘s afterword. Julie Allan/yer). Duncan
Let’s be honest. There‘s no such thing as a good Scottish playwright. Or so we‘re led to believe. That myth is thankfully dispelled this month with the publication of Methuen’s Made in Scotland anthology, which features four Scots dramatic success stories. Simon Donald‘s The Life Ql'Stujf. littered with scuzzed up, druggy vernacular. and Sue Glover‘s gritty. unsentimental Burrdugers both premiered at the Traverse. and went on to bigger
a collected George Byatt. the most disgracefully neglected Scots dramatist of the last twenty years.
McLean‘s saga of love and life on the North-east oil as well as academic perusal. to mainstage revivals 'should be required reading if a younger generation is rigs. was also produced by a small-scale company. in both here and abroad. So it looks as if something to understand and appreciate the poetic vibrancy of this instance Boilerhouse in conjunction with resembling a repertoire is developing. which will the dissenting voice.
Aberdeen’s Lemon Tree. presumably give writers the confidence needed to get Mar/e in Sen/land is the ﬁrst collection of new
' Though splintered geographically, there are beyond specifically Scots collections with cheeky lrn Scottish draina since Nick l-lern Books 1990 Scur- thematic and ideological links between the plays as Bru references in the title. l-‘ree (again. the iokey. self-deprecatory title, like they each. in varying degrees. squares up against The last few years have seen a huge amount of ! were somehow getting away with something). Both capitalism. corruption. the black economy and all the initiatives designed to nurture new playwrights. I are line collections and need to be celebrated in all murky residue Thatcherisrn left in its wake. All are isolated by what is ironically a collaborative medium. l their diversity. but we must also look forward to a ﬁlled not with romanticised, heroic figures. but with The workshop industry is booming. while both Tom time when indigenous Scottish playwrighting can be ordinary people. More importantly. all are deserving McGrath, in his role as Associate Literary Director accepted on a broader. more universal canvas.
of publication whatever the context and should lead. for Scotland. and Ella Wildridge. as 'l‘raverse Made in Sen/lam]. published by .l/Ier/ruen. 14 Feb.
bizarre characters, dramatic costumes and shadowplay.’
One final ‘controversial’ aspect to the production was the ‘is-she-or-isn’t she’ debate concerning A.L. Kennedy’s involvement with the production. She has now taken her name oft the credits but as Cairns diplomatically points out, everything was very amicable. ‘Alison did initial work on the adaptation, but the way Benchtours work we like the writer to
.be involved with the rehearsals which unfortunately Alison couldn’t attend. We had to adapt round that and when it came to the iinal production Alison ielt that little of her original script remained.’ Judging by the reviews the
For Salman Rushdie 14 February doesn’t mean waiting for the postman’s arrival with bated breath, but the anniversary of something a lot more sinister. For it was the day, six years ago, that the Ayatollah pronounced the tatwa against Rushdie tor his ‘blasphemous’ novel The Satanic Vases.
On February 15, Benchtours presents the Scottish premiere oi Rushdie’s Inventive comic tale llaroun and the
Sea of Stories, an imaginative, "WNW" "ms "mm" M" mmw'" company received when they Technicolor riposte to the tatwa that ielt that by staying close to the larger than life characters who on one premiered in Copenhagen it would reilected the dangers of silencing chronology and tone of the book, the level act as a oblique and lyrical appoa, may gamun has easy his story. stories. politics could be read any way.’ defence of Rushdic’s artist’s licence. telling skills despite a iatwa and
‘The timing is sheer chance,’ says In iact Haroun is meant ior both ‘The story works on two levels,’ says problematic collaborations. (Ann Benchtours’ iieil Cairns bemusedly. adults and children with its narrative Cairns. ‘There is the allegorical side nonaId) “Though we have been very, very, steeped in wild fantasy derived from that adults can appreciate and then [layout] and the Son of Stories, careiul not to play up the political Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard oi 02 there’s the other very straight-inward Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, 15-19 aspects of the adaptation because we and Swlit’s Gulliver, populated by idea that children will love: lots of Feb and on tour.
54 The List 10-23 Feb 1995