Seen at Paisley Arts Centre. On tour.

The trouble with Frank is that he’s a perceptive man in an unseeing world. He gets into situations. He hurled a brick through a window ‘because it was there’. He’s insane, but like every i insane person he can answer the question: ‘Who is the Prime Minister?’ 9 Verbally, he can get the better of most ‘normal’ people he meets.

He meets three people from the ‘real’ world in the course of this one-hour play, the debut from Beast Productions a company which aims to help community groups, social workers, etc ; explore drama as part of their working activities. Frank’s encounters are manipulated to make the necessary points about mental health and care in the community.

The psychiatrist can’t do anything for him he won’t comply with her rigid modus operandi. His sister can’t get a handle on him because he has no time for the frivolities that pass for a

I respectively give the roles the

: subtlety and the Sledgehammer

% approach needed to get the point

; across, and although as a whole the 3 piece is not terribly engaging, there

g Stevens’s drawn-out opening mime


until Sat 24 June. ; The characters in Oscar Wilde’s

actors is to deliver Wilde’s barbed bon

. the audience’s sympathy.

normal existence. The alky prostitute can’t understand someone who is in many respects more of a social outcast than she is.

Rodney Stevens and Julie Campbell

are some effective touches -

being one. (Fiona Shepherd)

M l


Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh,

‘trivial comedy for serious people’ are , essentially two-dimensional. Hone of I them - with the exception, perhaps, of ; country cousin Cecily, marginally more naive than the urbanites who surround ; her - undergoes any development in the course of the play, and the only surprises are the plot’s absurdly

contrived twists. The challenge for the l

mots with enough polish to keep their gems of wit sparkling, and to squabble over muffins with the same degree of gravity as they do over . marriage betrothals, all without losing The Importance of Being Earnest is I comedy of manners par excellence,

j and Richard Baron’s production is ; directed with a subtle hand that

nothing if not mannered. At times, its

: stylisation borders on choreography: i

, and Victoria Hardcastle’s Lady

. impeccable elegance. The whole thing 1 sweeps by with sufficient sound and

fury to defy deeper contemplation,

l which presumably would accord with

5 the playwright’s intention; even if one

; year. (Andrew Burnet)


; Playhouse, Edinburgh, until Sat 8 July. 9 For an illustration of the diversity of

j arttorms sheltered by the umbrella

: than compare Knives in Hens and

3 recently closed at the Traverse) has

charm, it suggests, is to be favoured over credibility, a sentiment not alien to the play. And charming it is too. Hick Sargent’s sets and costumes bathe the eye in sumptuous decadence; while Simon Egerton and especially James Telfer play the idle young gentlemen Jack and Algernon with a carefree exuberance that removes the sting from their deceitful machinations.

The young men are engaging, but several other performances glitter with clarity and poise, notably Amanda Beveridge’s Gwendolen, Bob Bocherty’s portrayal of the two butlers

to harvest its earthy fruits, a minimalist set and an audience of perhaps fifty. The latter - with its cast of 31, its orchestra, its sumptuous sets and costumes and its relentless, showbizzy razzmatazz - is a spectacle which attracts droves of punters undaunted by ticket prices of £6.50—£23.Sll.

At the centre of Singin’ in the Rain - adapted from the MGM classic and directed by Tommy Steele - is Hollywood screen idol Don L'ockwood, whose vocally-challenged screen partner is thwarted by the emergence of the talkies, only to he saved by Don’s reliable true love, who becomes a pioneer voice-over artiste. That’s about it for plot, but of course we’re not in the business of psychological depth here.

The meat in this fancy but insubstantial sandwich is leading man Paul Nicholas, popular as ever, despite an overly relaxed, lacklustre performance: in the title number, he’s easily upstaged by the cascades of real water that nearly closed the show on its opening night. Colourful salad is provided by the song and dance routines, which are lavish and well- drilled enough to convince us we’re getting value for our hard-earned bread.

For my money, (though admittedly I saw both shows for nothing), Knives in Hens provides more nourishment, but there’s no accounting for taste, is there? Besides, Knives in Hens has disappeared off to the Highlands, whereas Singin’ in the Rain will run and run. (Andrew Burnet)

Bracknell, a steely harridan of

exchange —- ‘What shall we do?’ ‘Hothing’ - irresistibly calls to mind the nihilism of the other great Irish play brought to life at the Lyceum this

called ‘theatre’, you could do worse Singin’ in the Rain. The former (which

three actors and one musician, is

allows stillness and the spoken word

fi.,,§‘,,, Importan

. L

229 9697


- 1-24 June


30JUI)’-3 All?» BY NOEL cownno

thrcc of theatr'c’s funniest comedies and you'll be laughing with

$310.50 each!




savings up to

.; ()yal yceum

0x . Office - 0131 heatrc



(Sun; in ling/Ah l

thus saith the KING

DirectorVMARk TINKLER Conductorolonmomv DEAN Designer.JULlAN CROUCH

monday 26 - thursday 29 June 7.15 p.m. New Athenaeum Theatre, RSAMD,

100 Renfrew Street, Glasgow

Tickets: £5 (£3 concs)

Box Office: 0141-332 5057



-_- mm. .1

'nw rm 16-30 Jun NOS 53