THEATRE REVIEW was the adapter for both). this

[ruins/minim strikes me as being closer T I I I I E to the novel in content rather more than

in patticulai'. being both sickenineg effective in itself and more meaningful in the context of the play. Stuait Bowman. too. makes a frightening Franco. giving his psychopathic logic an almost credible air. ()wen Gorman. as Mark. and Ronnie MeCann. as Tommy. strike up an endearing rappoit. though the language doesn‘t sing and coruscate in quite the way it did the first time round.

In a way this production is more realistic btit less artistic. more depressing btit less theatrical. I stress that I'm comparing it to an

in spirit. Welsh frequently takes his reader to those extreme. ugly. but very . human moments that leave us teetering Mark Fisher squeezes into the seihout run Of a lone reader errs towards disgust. an t . audience reacts collectively with I'CVlVCd and I'CVlSCd laughter. At least. that was the case . round. in a slower paced. more sober Cltz- interpretation. the big laughs are more E commonly replaced by a sense of

between hilarity and disgust. Where the e a . s s' v . with Ian Brown‘s )roduetion this time drugged-up Classic at the : i Dll’L‘CIOl‘ and adapter H11l’l')’ Gibson W118 - unease at the Sigm of these young

quoted “‘Wml-V “lying mm his VUIHCWNC PCOPIC destroying exceptionally strong original and it Pl't’dUCth’“ (it “Vine WCI-‘h‘n' themselves and each other through :1 remains the case that \Velsh‘s novel has TWIN-VIN’Iil'iis' \‘v'liS the ambient hOU-SC combination of drugs. alcohol. violence , gt muscular-(w, vigour and freshness that remix “t ht“ Hm“ it“ Ulitmm hill'dwrc imd ttC-‘Pilhi a is all too rare on the contemporary (’l'liilhitli Y0“ C11” ‘90 “hi” [10“ i—‘Ctlth‘c’ Not that it is without humour nor stage and. as such. is still energisng to at. but a better metaphor might be that without its hiin points _ Michelle see.

this version is the cold turkey compared (ionic; gets to grips- wiih the various

s , . c s. . ("Trainspotting l/H'tl/H’. (l/(IA‘L'UH. lIIlII/ .Sul Io itlul‘t‘h.

maiz- thirty years younger. A marvellous Munn is superb as the calculatedly Emm— anachronism. (Neil Cooper) appalling Martin), Hew Stage Theatre’s P'CmeK w socially aware production of MAX AND JILL’S Brimstone and Treacle is undoubtedly, connunov HOSTESS

Edinburgh Festival Theatre until 11 - . . March. BRIMSTONE AND m the BBC s own words’ a may for With The Weather Girls’ ‘80 Many

Long ago, when London swung and Seen at Greenock Arts Duild "may ' (Mark mow") Men . . .’ still ringing in our disco-d Andrew Lloyd Webber was choosing A surreal, chillingly banal atmosphere Elfin- out eardrums, on stride our cord between merchant banking and the is exposed in disturbing, often hostesses with the mostest, Jill theatre, the west find was tun ct ambiguous terms in Dennis Potter’s Peacock (vitriolic Evening Times

columnist) and Max (Jack Dee understudy in the making). How in the third week of their residency and costly ensconsed in Blackfriars Underground basement, the duo have already attracted a faithful posse of funsters looking for a screwball night out, with celebrity audience member this week being Phil Kay.

musicals like this. Huge casts would Stage Play Brimsmhe and Tfeaete. belt out life-affirming show-stoppers orginallv intended for television, but with scant regard for pyrotechnical Shehled by the 330 When it was spectacle, which is exactly the case deemed too hot to handle. Written here. Beginning with a near-Brechtian egaihSt the heekdiop 0t the Sheial series or Victorian street scenes crisis and resultant labour unrest of among the audience, Pickwick charts 70$ Biitaih, the they Symhelises in the travails of its eponymous hero and microcosm the Shilddei 0t Pieteuhd his bachelor boy chums as they face political reaction felt by much of a

destitution, debtors’ prisons and, terrified middle class. 7“. Against a backdrop that is a shrine to worst of all, the formidable Mrs ; Victim of a car accident, the Bates’s Z: a stunted 7Ds childhood see Twister Bardell, cartoonified here by Hi-De- j daughter Pattie is severely f—‘Z floor game, Connect 4 and obligatory Hi’s Ruth Madoc. I handicapped and unable to speak 2 disco ball for this week’s Disco The choreography is splendid and the 5 coherently. Into their devastated, Dancing theme - our oddball MCs bat direction flawless, while a lively petrified lives steps Martin, a f' a host of harum-scarum, gossamer supporting cast are more than well- discomfiting human chameleon - at Traverse theatre, Edihhuigh. Until 25 thin and instantly forgettable string of versed in the chirpy, stage-school once a devil, a conscience and a Match. funnyish lines to and fro. Mention Mockney recently revived by Blur. i healer, yet something unquestionably Meiisei is e itispahie New Yorker with must be given to their accomplices in Indeed, whenever Michael Howe is on ‘- and ever more obviously malignant. millennium iitteis wh0 dies on the cord though: the most excellent scatty stage as smooth-talking charmer ' The sinister reality behind Mr Bates’s subway at the start (it the piay. Nazis Joyce Grenfell protege Ann, and a Alfred Jingle you half expect him to mediocrity, fear and bitter bigotry - as . are huming the hemeiess, God is laconic, chain-smoking pianist Mr launch into a medley from Parklife. , that of the society which the play sehiie and the pentagon is hhiiiiihg B(ald) who keep the whole shebang But this is Harry Secombe’s show. allegorises - is reflected in Potter’s space tees to retiieiie a iiiittiiig hiue ticking over with ad-hoc precision. Still in fine voice after all these years, televisual techniques, as characters moon. Maiisei is seen dying on the ii, In fact, Max and Jill play second he corpses and ad libs shamelessly, i cut from their situations. This often news and triehds ,ihg to teii heii fiddle to their conveyor belt of ‘light forming quite a double act with David ? disquieting dialogue with the its a white wheie eiieiiithihg is entertainment’ guests who hop on and Cardy as his man Sam. After thirty audience tears us from our initial, tietion and aii its myths are in off the stage. First up we have the years in the role it’s the least he’s i misplaced sense of security as tetmihai eehtiiet with each othei. hideous T-T-T-Tim (apparently the entitled to, and such is his warmth you i Martin’s seeming dark humour is Aheeis piht agaihst gods shit Lenny, Pope’s favourite comedian. Boom! could forgive him anything, especially 5 awkwardly, and intentionally, fused whti doesn’t know how to channel his Boom!) who thinks he’s a weird hybrid after the perennial ‘If I Ruled The i with the unpalatable articulation of tuihuieht death tahtasies, gets of Alan Partridge sports casual and World’. If Harry ruled the world he’d do i his pathology. pregnant. Thieueheut this testivei at the lost umbilical Brother. He spins us away with radio mics and we’d all be ' Excellently played throughout (Derek ettects the actors somehow balance a loopy line of physical nonsense and their zombified imperviousness with a trainspotter car knowledge. Next! An New York manic nonchalance. This adU't Sized Ned Jones “"959 swapped piece relies on language overcoming Whith ShOWhieh ti" ehem'ea' ‘Show' hisakness to, our sympathy, yet a" and Isn’t terribly funny. Lord Save Us!. that could be heard crackling through A3“! Amoz 9t 01 " What atsm tut“: ""5 the Ginsberg pt,eties was ah girl is genuinely funny. Kitted out in 0mhiseieht author’s giggles. ruffled showbiz shirt, her ironic Bivera creates such dream-bound ""me 0' 9'9” Vegas mag'c'a" was spectres that the play lacks any sub'tme-

resolution. It’s so geared towards total t" a", this was a medeeptihie'week breakdown that an the audience gets night out, worth investigating if only is a sense at mocking irony. for the congenial, alcohol-laden

If you’re prepared to accept this as atmosphere and surprise talent that

apocalyptic operetta, then the piece POPS "Ii eliei’V weeti- (Ahh Donate) does bristle with runny conceptualist Max and Jill s Corduroy Hostess is at

" ' Bell jokes brou ht to life by a roup of B'aCRt'ta'S Undeigiel'hd. 35 Ah exceptionafily good actorss.J (Ronan Sheet, Meieheht City New ThUTSdeV

Pickwick: Ruth Madoc and Harry Secombe on song O’Donnell) at 9pm,


54 The List lU-23 Mar I995