Auld yins smile better: PAGE \Vhen 7284's (I/rts'grrti' (ieneriirimir hit the stage during last year’s \lflyii‘sl. lltt‘ \‘cttmr L‘lll/"JIs were hailed as the

sums of the show l'he

t‘L‘l lorniers were drawn from l‘.-\(il-I rl‘ensioners .-\ction (Erotip liast). an independent forum based in (filasgow's east end. which campaigns for pensioners on both local and national issues. So impressed were 7:84 with the calibre til~ l’.-\Cili‘s contribution that they've teamed up with them again in ."(l lillll'.*lQ(’. a prtduction specially created for the (ilasgow tam licfxll\ al

\Vllllc’ lllc‘ (illitg’rttt‘ (i/‘Iii‘lti/irnii project concentrated mainly on the pensioners e\0calions ol the past. sir I linuxlge focuses on what it‘s like to be an over (ills in 1990s Britain The show. which is sul't’used with both humour and honesty. is based primarily on the seven pciloiaiers' own experiences. In one scene they complain that they couldn’t get a bus because ‘tlaat lion .lti\l wan" was holding up all the uattic. In another they talk with undeniable pride about then involvement in campaigns against hospital closures and VAT on fuel.

"l'he PAGE members are very active. exciting. positive people. open to trying out different ideas.' says John l-lcraghty. 7:8-1‘s outreach worker and project director. 'lt‘s our job to set up strtlctttt‘es for them to get across their own points of view'

And what do the performers get otit of this'.’ ‘lt's about letting people know what we do and knowing that we can do it. that we're not tinishcd.‘ says l’at Woods. .1 l’.-\(7l{ member for nearly a decade.

As l left their rehearsals. they were discussing their plans to demonstrate outside the Scottish Office in lidinburgh. Putting people a traction of their age to shame. l’AGli‘s latest dramatic venture promises to blow away some of the myths that still persist about society's senior citizens. (Cathryn ()‘Neilli At! Your x'lgi'. HAG/Vinyl. Ruins/mun iii/It'tlll't’, (i/iisgmv. Fri H—Sun l6 Jiilv. l

55'lhc List l~1-27 Jul NUS

l Cowardly lion

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That doyen of the 1920s demi-monde, j Noel Coward, was a prolific theatrical

Noel Coward: devint in a arrow society 3 . . . . . showgirl msrde it, as two associate directors will be visiting Edinburgh

all-rounder, so it’s no surprise that two j

of his shows arrive in Edinburgh

together. Private lives, Coward’s most

- celebrated comedy, is at the Royal

L Lyceum, in a production by the

i theatre’s artistic director Kenny

5 Ireland. ‘lt’s part of this season’s theme of language and wit as a

. theatrical style,’ he explains. ‘lt’s

? something Coward shares with Oscar

Wilde and Joe Orton that brilliant

ability to write sparkling conversations that are grotesquely

revealing. They’re writers whose wit

E and sheer talent allowed them their

f deviancy in a narrow society and

L they’re funny, which is always a good

reason to do them.’

i Asked about Coward’s tendency to defuse the implications of his

2 observations, he says, ‘The title of the play comes from a speech which asks

i patriotic jamboree masks itself as an

rallying sing-along to dowse the class conflict which had been thrown into stark relief by the 1929 strike. ‘The show’s more than a spectacle,’ says Crawford. ‘lt’s about a 19th century

' the world around them changes, so at

Cavalcade, King’s llead, Edinburgh

Would-be extras should watch local ' press for advertisements.

what is normal in a relationship, so it is much more than entertaining froth, and it you want to re-create the style of the period it will only work if the actual performances are quite truthful. It is romantic, and Coward wrote it as a vehicle for himself and Gertrude Lawrence. Russell Craig, who comes trom opera to design the show, should give it another dimension.’ Across town at the Festival Theatre, and all the way from the King’s Head theatre pub, lslington, comes Coward’s spectacular Cavalcade. Director Dan Crawford has been running the miniscule London venue for 25 years and the show, he says, is a kind of anniversary present. But this is a birthday cake with more than one

soon to enlist the help of 250 volunteer extras, giving local talent the chance quite literally to join the chorus and participate in various production numbers.

Written in 1932, Cavalcade’s

anti-war play, though in tact it was a

family staying in the 19th century as I

the centre of this sensational show is a harrowing story.’ (Bonan O’Donnell) 3 Private lives, Royal Lyceum, l Edinburgh, Thurs 20 Jul y—Sat 5 Aug. ;

Festival Theatre, Tue 25-Sat 29 July.

? Action pen

The latest project from the much-

| misunderstood Mime Forum, The Body

'7 of Writing is a follow-up to last year’s

Z More Action, 3 mini-festival of mime

events. More Action comprised ten

days of workshops and performances

; showcasing new Scottish physical theatre in various venues around Edinburgh. Guest performers and teachers included luminaries such as

Eugenio Barba of Denmark’s Odin Teatret, and Enrique Pardo of Pantheatre, France.

This year’s event is limited to the Traverse Theatre and its international flavour will consist of Pete Brooks’s jetlag when he returns from collaboration with Ariel Oorfman in Chile to direct The Body of Writing. ‘Budget considerations to do with the way we’re categorised means we’ve had to be less ambitious this year,’

; explains project manager Alan Caig. ‘lronic, that - since this year’s events are all about overcoming the false boundaries erected between movement and language in theatre.’

Dispelling the white-face-and-stripy- jumper image associated with mime via Marcel Marceau, Caig explains that the arttorm is much less narrow than many suppose. ‘What we’re doing in The Body of Writing is creating a theatre laboratory at the Traverse, where, over five days, two new playwrights will work with physically

masterclass in physical theatre

an ongoing argument as to how

and learn how to create new pieces of


Window of opportunity: the Mime Forum aims to stretch both performers and writers ;

trained actors, culminating in a public performance. Nobody knows what will emerge what the public should see is a laboratory fragment with its own

The events also include a writers’

techniques, led by director/designer Geraldine Pilgrim, and a debate called Are Words Enough? ‘The events retlect

theatre is made, and about writing as a tool during the physical process of making theatre, which maybe gets beyond the conventions ot a ; naturalistic text,’ says Caig. ‘But it shouldn’t just be a case of us talking to ourselves. What we want to do is free ourselves at the way language and movement are posed as opposites,

work, focusing the best from both.’ (Ronan O’Donnell)

The Body of Writing, Mime Forum, Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, Sat 15


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Struggling for words: Meridian‘s Sandy Neitson and Martha leishman Mention Stanley liveling‘s name to any theatre-goer under thirty and the chances are they won't have a clue who you're on about. Yet in the late l‘)(i()s and early l‘)7()s he was regarded as one ol‘ Scotland's most adventurous playwrights. at the l‘orcl’ront ol a lively 'l‘raverse scene some might describe as its heyday. l)enr June! It’usen/n'ig. [)(’(ll' .llr Kooning was liveling's big hit. which transferred lirst to London. then New York. More plays l'ollowed. then a dramatic silence that remains unbroken

3 to this day.

Which is why new company

.Vleridian's revival of’ the play is such

an important one. particularly as it will

: be acting as a precursor to a brand new ' liveling play. The :l/I/n'ig/II fellow. to

be produced by Filth Iistate in the autumn. ‘I think it‘s shocking the way Stanley‘s been l‘orgotten.‘ says

Meridian's director listelle van

Warmclo. "l'here‘s a whole older generation ol playwrights who seem to be neglected to the point ol obscurity. and part of the reason for doing Dear ./nne/. . . is to say that Stanley’s back. and he's so clever you better watch out for him.‘

Premiered in WW. l)(’(ll' ./(lll(’/. . . tells of a broken-down. middle—aged writer. awash with sell-doubt. who

§ receives a tan letter lrom a young woman. The relationship which ensues takes a suitably sour turn. and it is this l aspect ol the play an audience will

probably pick up on lirst. But as van

L Warmelo points out. it is a multi- i taceted al'f'air. ‘lt's like an onion.‘ she

says. "l‘he next layer is about the

relationship ol’ character to author. and

who‘s writing whom. which I think is something anyone who‘s ever written anything can relate to.‘ lf'this all makes the play sound like an obscure piece of‘ form over content. think again.

‘lt's not a period piece.‘ van Warmelo continues. ‘lt‘s more universal than

i that. The emotional aspect of‘ the play is common to its all in our personal relations-

if~ we're honest. that is. H

w e're not. we‘ll deny all links with anything the play suggests. but il‘ we're honest we‘ll see that these people are

. within us. and that‘s something that‘s

timeless.‘ (Neil Cooper)

Dear June! Rosenberg. Dear Mr Kmming. .lleriiliiin Theatre Company in us‘sm‘iri/imr will: l-‘i/i/i listule. 'Ii‘urerse 'I'lieu/I'e. Iii/inlnirg/I. /‘)—2-i’ .lIl/_\'.' T/ll’llll't’ ll'm'ks/mp, [:‘i/in/niig/i. l4-—26 xlug (no! listed in the Fringe [mic/lure).