with the Dublin Easter Uprising of the
same year. While the Dublin uprising
led to a Catholic ‘blood sacriﬁce'. the _ Somme was largely a Protestant
sacriﬁCC- Take a deep breath and indulge in
Mason s production operates on many some se'iously hot shows, selected by levels. however. Both an ensemble
piece and an epic. its topicality is coupled with its handling of such universal themes as war. bonding. sacriﬁce and death. McGuinness — whose 1992 play Someone Who'll Watch Over Me reached both the West End and Broadway — is. like Brian Fn'el. a Catholic from Donegal. Both continue the great tradition of lrish playwrights tackling large themes with
mam- War and ceasefire
As Northern Ireland‘s fragile ceaseﬁre holds, Ben Brown looks forward to the timely revival of Frank McGuinness’s award-winning play Observe the Sons of t t ‘
Ulﬂe r Ma rCh i, I X To WU "(IS [Mozzrgrtarlliziiliisiiii]: 1y) 1 y. critical l y
the Somme. acclaimed as a masterpiece and modern Blood and loyalty: Stuart Graham (Iett) and elassie‘ as: tone of the greatest we’ve Frank McCusker in an epic production
it is difﬁcult to imagine a ntore premiered here' and inevitably due for
poignant event at this year's Festival the 36th (Ulster) Division in the a major revival. However. with last
than the Abbey Theatre production of trenches and on leave durirtg World year's ceaseﬁre in Northern Ireland. it
writer Frank McGuinness‘s Observe the War 1. leading to the Battle of the seems especially appropriate that what
Sons of Ulster More/ting 'I‘otmrrls the Somme on 1 July l9 lo. the play asks he calls this ‘profoundly paciﬁst‘ play Q
Somme. among other things why they should be seen again. ‘The play is ” “ _— J Patrick Mason. director of the original volunteered. As Michael Billington about grief and there's a lot ofgrief ‘- Lanark A landmark in modem
production and known to Festival wrote in The Guardian. it is ‘less around and not many outlets for it.‘ he geotttsh htemtttre‘ Alasdair Gray's
audiences for last year‘s The Well of sentimental and class-ridden than says. novel has heeh hmttght tt, the stage in
Saints. has resurrected the play in Journey 's linrl‘ and ‘one of the best If I could see only one play this an athhtttouS production hy the etettttve
response to the ceaseﬁre in Northern plays about war since The Silver summer. it would be this one. team that wowed Festival ttttdtehees
Ireland. It won McGuinness a clutch of 'Iitssle'. I Observe the Sons of Ulster with A 5”,” QM“,- tn 1993.
awards a decade ago and in Dublin the Mason also draws parallels with Sean Marching Towards the Somme Umurk Us“,th TAG Theatre,
new production has been met with ()‘Casey's work. seeing Observe the (Festival) Abbey Theatre. King‘s Company. Assembh- Han, 225 5756.
standing ovations. Sons of Ulster as a counter-balance to Theatre. 225 5756. 18—23 Aug. 14—19; 22—27/lug, 7.30pm. £5—£l4. Tracing the lives of eight men from The Plough and the Stars. which dealt 7.30pm. 56-“ 8- I Scott oapurro’s Love and Atiection
Tour Since steam-rollen'ng last year’s Fringe with his show Risk-Gay, the 1994 Best Newcomer has nestled into the nation‘s consciousness and onto its television screens. See him in this journey of passion. guilt and redemption before he really makes it big.
Scott Capurro ’s Love and Affection Tour (Fringe) Pleasunce (Venue 33) 556 6550. I] Aug—2 Sept (not 15. 29) 6.50pm. £7.50/£6.50 (£6.50/f5.50).
I Bone Award-winning Clyde Unity Theatre’s new production explores the complexities and frailties of human relationships.
Bone (Fringe) Clyde Unity Theatre. Theatre Workshop (Venue 20) 226 introspective musings of an overgrown 5425. 14. lo. 18. 20, 22. 24. 26. 28. 30 schoolboy were hardly a basis for i Aug; 1 Sept. 6pm. £5.50 (£3.50). drama. how Hudson has selected the lost Continent: in search or Amalgam. USA I Stuck in the Middle From the
unam— The Lost Continent
Ir he keeps this up, Paul Hodson will get a reputation as a man who adapts unadaptable novels for the stage. The success of 1994’s Fever Pltch, based on Nick Homby’s confessions of an Arsenal tan, which returns to Edinburgh tor a rematch this year, surprised those who thought the
another book by a male humorist oi smalltown America,’ says Hodson. But “many, bottom. an autumn imagination of Greenock‘s award-
iacing up to middle age. ‘l’ve tried to bring out the drama of English “Mom, [to to"; m, damn winning writer and comedian Parrot. The Lost Continent, anglophile the book by tocusing on the people he country in. m; to hay. at}, comes a new play featuring the voices
American Bill Bryson’s account or his meets when he stops ott.’ hauntth an" at. my America of Jo Brand as God and Greg Proops as
lourney across the States and back to This is not the tirst time a road trip should be; 39..., "om... this the devil.
his childhood, begins with typical has been used as a metaphor tor a looking back nostalgia", on his Stuck in the Middle (Fringe) Gilded
Irony: ‘I come trom Des Molnes. search tor the American dream, which chndhood and m; tau." [3 a constant Balloon (Venue 38). 226 215/. 1/
Somebody had to.’ This is also the Bryson believes he will tind in the pm”. In at. books Aug—2 Sept. 6. 30pm. £6.50 (£5.50).
starting point for Hudson’s stage mythical town or Amalgam. However 11.. ultlntate irony is, after twenty I Tali 9008 Kicking the butt of
version, in which Whose llne Is It Bryson’s angle Is as someone who has m It. 3mm", gtmn he, nutmeg contemporary dance — with jack boots
Anyway? regular Steve Steen plays lived In Britain for most or his adult to m; mm toot; Somebody had to. on - is this athletic. passionate
Bryson and around 80 or the life he has developed an outsider’s (auto Gibb) Australian sextet- Forget the top hat and
characters the writer encountered on eye which he uses to satirise tails. this is dance in the WW-
his 14,000 mile road trip. ‘A lot or the mercilessly the places he visits, The lost Cont/neat (Fringe) Assemny Tap Dogs (Fringe) The Palladium
book is Bryson describing how bored rechristening them with names like Rooms (3) a6 2428, 11 Aug-2 Sept, (Venue 26). 556 6969. 11 Aug-2 Sept.
he is and you get a very good picture Crudbucitet and 0ullard. 7.40pm, £8.50 (£7.50). 7pm. if 7.50 ( £6).
The List il-l7 Aug 1995 39