new COMPANY ALTERED srrrs
Isolated cases: Kennedy’s ; Children i
‘A bit of a Terry Wogart
story.‘ is how director
Sarah \Voc-ley describes
the naming of her lhealt‘c
with producer Alain .Jsrrrh.
‘l was rrr Chicago.‘ she
explains. ‘and I saw this
wee hobo's cart thing. and
on the back was written
the words Rig Like Texas.‘
Oblique as it may seem. the name is appopriate.
Not only is it an ironic reference to the
company‘s humble status:
it also reflects Wooley's interest in Americana. as manifested in the debut production. Kerrriuly's r Children. ‘l’d been to America and seen what it was like.’ she says. ‘l'd
seen a lot of poverty. and Vietnam veterans with no legs. and people with
AIDS sitting on the streets begging. I did have a
really glamorous image of what it would be like. and
it wasn't at all. When i
came back. i really
wanted to do this show.‘
Written in 1974. Robert Patrick‘s play foctrses on the alienation and disappointment of young people in a country choked of idealism and hope. The live characters are thrown together in a bar. yet trapped in separate worlds. unable to respond to each other
‘1 think it's relevant to any country where there is a huge divide between rich and poor.‘ says Wooley. ‘The theme is that if people came together and talked a bit more. they‘d probably be able to solve their problems. That sounds very anrili-le'lliC‘Cllii-tll" a-bad-sitcom. but it is the real theme.‘
First performed last , October, Wooley‘s l production incorporates i design by the (‘oncrete Dog visual arts group. and breaks up the scripts I string of monologues with music and dance. A 1 measure designed to i counter monotony. this 'I proved sufficiently ; popular to allow a revival. ' If it goes according to r plan. it may help the i company live up to its name after all. (Andrew Burnet)
Kennedy's Chili/rm. Bic Like Texas, A relics
Theatre. Glasgow; Well 20. Thurs 2]. Sat 23 um! Sun 24 June. 1
52 The List 16-29 Jun 1905
r A prophetable lventur
Seeing thing: The} urning Eyes of the rophet
In a wasteland future, the final hours of a prophet are tormented by visions enacted by his followers, while an impostor lurks in the shadows.
This apocalyptic scenario is the basis of The Burning Eyes of the Prophet, a new show from Lung Ha’s, the company at the forefront of disability theatre in Scotland for the past ten years. As director Guy Hollands explains, the show’s birth follows a long and troubled gestation. ‘Originally, the playwright Stephen Greenhorn workshopped with me and the actors, aiming to develop some writing as a basis for a devised piece.
But straight narrative wasn’t really working.’
Hollands turned instead to music as a technique to create atmospheres and cue entrances and exits, enlisting composer John Irvine, whose track- record includes work for the Traverse. ‘He would come along with initial bits and pieces of composition and we’d see how that would go - run it over and over again, a small idea on a loop - until through osmosis we created performance elements that we could tell a story with. It’s driven by responses to music.’
The process has been complicated by the different levels and techniques of communication required within the group. ‘Everyone in the company , knows they’ve got a learning disability, but the company isn’t about providing therapy,’ says Hollands. ‘Hobody’s “referred” here. The group aren’t interested in issue-based stuff. They want a shot at acting, creating drama.’ At present there are 3D performers working their way towards opening night and Hollands swears : he’s never worked so hard for his 3 theatrical crust.
I Exhausting it may have been, but the l experience has been a rewarding one s for Hollands. ‘lt’s turned out to be a
l piece I could have easily found myself ! making with professional actors. lt’s
i given me a broader idea of what
3 performance is and why and how
i people go about it.’ (Ronan O’Donnell) The Burning Eyes of the Prophet,
Theatre Workshop, Edinburgh, Thurs
22—Sat 24 June.
Watching the ' detectives
Coming as they do from music- drenched Manchester, it’s not altogether surprising that Third Estate found their feet not on the usual thespian stamping grounds but on the back of the local live band circuit. ‘I’ve always had a problem with contemporary dance being so elitist,’ says Ruth Jones who heads up the company~in its present form. ‘Dancing with a live band was so exciting,’ she says of her apprenticeship with Shrink.
Taking that laid back performance ethos with them, Jones and her colleagues began staging their own shows in Manchester’s clubs and bars. ‘When we started off we wanted to bring club culture and performance closer together.’ flow a sprawling co- operative of dancers, musicians, lighting designers and filmmakers,
. Third Estate has both feet firmly in the physical theatre camp, but those early flirtatious with the music scene still filter through, most recently in a show the company did with indie band lnspiral Carpets.
The latest piece, PanOpticon, comes in a long line of politically fired works that are becoming the company’s calling card. Taking on board the skills of the co-op’s filmmakers, the company have zoomed in on the theme of control and surveillance.
Using security fencing, surveillance equipment and searchlights, the
Watching us watching you: Panopticon =
Paisley Arts Centre venue will become the Panopticon of the title - a
futuristic ‘fortress city’ from which
there is no escape. ‘The audience will
be led round the venue through
A different spaces and then back into
3 the theatre,’ says Jones, ‘but it won’t be like a theatre — it’ll be more like a
; prison. The audience will be watching us, but in turn somebody will be
watching them. Surveillance is everywhere you go - shopping
centres, housing estates, even city
3 streets. The question we’re asking is:
: who’s watching who - and in whose
r interests?’ (Ellie Carr)
Panopticon, Third Estate Music and
Dance, Paisley Arts Centre, Fri 23—Sat
24 June, 8pm.
8T National Connections: two Scofish companies succeeded in the prickly heats
. Youth theatres have proven time and
again to be special places. providing an invaluable outlet for fledgeling talents ~ -— which can go on to successful professional careers. Which is why BT National Connections. a bold new ‘ venture showcasing over 200 groups across the regions. is so important.
‘ Each group chose a new play from a : portfolio of Royal National Theatre Commissions. performed it on hotne ground and was assessed accordingly ' before ten of the best were selected to ; be performed at the National's ()livier and Cottesloe theatres.
Edinburgh's Traverse Theatre took . charge of the eighteen Scottish entries. ‘ from which two quite different companies were selected for showcase performances. The first. Fort William- ' based ()nich Youth Drama Group. will
perform The lr'r' l’u/ur'r'. adapted from a .
. short story by Norwegian writer Tariei 3 Vessas. Glasgow-based Moral Support chose ('hristopher' Hampton‘s adaptation of liar/r. Hope rrml (‘lruri/y. by the Austrian writer ()din von Horvath. and have also been selected as one of the ten companies to perform at The National in July.
‘They were just so confident.‘ says the 'l‘raverse‘s liducation ()fficer' Jane lillis. ‘lt‘s a wonderfully sulky show which they scowl their way through. They ; were tip against some pretty sllff competition. so to get to London is a real achievernent.‘
Tire company's director '/.oe ('linger' concurs that this success will have a huge effect on their profile. ‘lt's not just the positive publicity.‘ she explains. ‘lt‘s giving trs a chance to perform to a wider audience and allows young people the opportunity to find out about other theatres f
Meanwhile. ()nich's production of The Ice Palace is an impressionistic affair. ‘a real ensemble piece.‘ according to Ellis.
(To-director ofthe piece is seventeen- . year-old Jenny Williams. who. with her ! ambitions firmly fixed on a directing r career. sees her sis years with the 3 company as vital cyperiencc. ‘l've f learnt a lot about acting here. and this i has really helped now I‘m learning to ‘ direct. just understanding other l people‘s capabilities.‘ (Neil Cooper) , li'l’NuIimru/ (Miner/lorry. ’li'rrt'erse i Thea/re. Edinburgh. The lr‘(’ l’u/mv’.
'I'lrurs 22; Fart/r. Hope and Charity. Sat 24 June.