John Binnie has just turned 30. Which makes it more remarkable that he tirst set up Clyde llnlty Theatre nine years ago when he was still a theatrical stripllng at Glasgow University.
Since that time, the company has specialised, apart from the odd neglected classic, in original works dealing with the complexities and lrailties of human relationships, gay and straight. Taking the productions out to tough, urban communities might have seemed a risk with such sensitive subject matter, but Clyde llnity won out on sheer warmth and populist bravura, making it one of the most visible Scots companies around.
Bone marks a new diversion - it sees them working with dancer Rosina Bonsu, and also sees Binnie forced to deal with the problem oi scripting a character who is largely mute. ‘The play’s about three people living on the edge who iind each other,’ says Binnie. ‘There’s a 30-year-old woman who withdraws irom the world, and the wee boy who doesn’t speak who iinds her. Then there’s his step-dad who’s grieving aiter his wiie’s died. So it looks at dltierent kinds oi iamily. I much preier working with actors who want to put a bit oi their own lives into the script, and developing it in workshops rather than me sitting in
Bone: Stephen Docherty and Mari Binnie explore liie on the edge my ivory tower.’
This level oi intimacy is all the more achievable because Binnie has worked with two oi the cast since Clyde llnity began. ‘We’re a kind oi iamily,’ he says, ‘We believe the personal is political and the plays are always a reilection of how we’re ieeling.’ And being 30? ‘Part oi the thing about getting older is you realise you’re not
; here forever, and death suddenly
becomes very important.’ (lleil Cooper) ,
Bone (Fringe) Clyde Unity Theatre, Theatre Workshop (Venue 20) 26 5425, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 30 Aug; 1 Sept, 6pm, £5.50 (£3.50).
Mam Theatre Venue I68
37 Holyrood Road
Thurs IOth Aug - Sat 2nd Sept 7.30 - 8.30
£5 (£4 cone.) ‘ " Box OfflCCi-
a; 0|3| 5560I02
EAMON: OlOER BROTHER OF JESUS
In a move away from the straight stand-up for which Michael Redmond is justifiably lauded. the master of the deadpan one-liner is arriving armed with a one-man show.
Eamon is Jesus’s older brother. born in Ireland before they all upped sticks and moved to Nazareth. With Jesus getting a bit long in the tooth. big bro has to fill in and do the whole ‘second coming' bit. As Eamon tells us: “Jesus has had a bowel operation and he‘s got this colostomy bag. He's a bit self-conscious about it so he won‘t come down.'
But what of the business about virgin births and the three wise men? Eamon’s memory must be going in his old age — ‘They were there for Jesus weren't they'?’ Well. that’s the official story. Michael.
Redmond is the man responsible for telling the best joke l've ever heard:
, so funny I actually fell off
a chair. unable to breathe with tears pouring down my face. He‘s a national treasure and since playing the mad, monosyllabic Father Stone in Channel 4's Father Ted. when it looked like he was treading water. he now appears to be walking on it. Praise be. (Cait Hurley)
I Eamon: Older Brother oi Jesus (Fringe). Michael Redmond, Gilded
Balloon Ii (Venue 5 l) 225 6520. l l Aug—2 Sept (not 14.21. 29).7.3()pm.£6.5() (£5.50).
After last year‘s punk play Two St'l'erlx Clash. Damage Productions” 1995 Fringe event explores the diverse issues of another counter culture: the Scottish nightclub scene. Through lectures. theatre and house parties. the company hopes to examine the myths and mysteries surrounding 90s club culture.
Come ()n is experimental. devised theatre set in Clubland. where people live for the weekend and what once was a lifestyle is now a way of life. in the course of one night we see the consequences of a major drugs bust on the criminal underworld and the club
Come On: Damage limitation
underground. encountering drug dealers. [)Js and the ordinary Clubber.
The production’s director John Paul McGroarty has assembled a cast of mixed acting experience. ranging from the well-known Tam Dean Burn through to acting virgins discovered in city clubs. to devise and perform this play within an actual club environment. The lighting and PA system already in situ draw audiences round the space. shifting the action from Edinburgh to Glasgow and the Harthill service station in between. while live 1)] mixing
' integrates music with the
action and text to plunge the audience deep into the involved world of Scottish clubbing. (Rory Weller) I Come On (Fringe) Damage. Club M8 (Venue l16)226 2266. ll Aug—2 Sept (not Mons), 7.30pm. £5 (£3).
Ariel lioriman’s latest play, premiered by the Traverse company just before the Festival, is not a well-made thriller like his best known work Death and the Maiden, which veils its political agenda In a taut plot.
By contrast, Reader is a Ioose-limbed structure oi double identities and linguistic evasions, Doriman’s intention being to take his audience inside the corrupted mlnd oi a government censor. Kafka seems the most obvious influence as the censor wrestles with demons oi iamillal misdemeanours lurking in the wings oi a script he’s been given to read: a script whose central character seems
to be himself.
Filled with halt-seen images and suggested motivations, lan Brown’s uncluttered production nous menace
Clive Morrison: contemplating censorship In
sugar-coat many abhorrent regimes. It’s not an easy play, either in term or content, but it carries the leaden weight oi cultural oppression with remarkany supple wings. (Andrew
Reader (Fringe) Traverse Theatre Company, Traverse Theatre ( Venue 15) 28 1404, 15 Aug—2 Sept, various
and buried guilt. As the censor, Clive Burnet) Morrison conveys enough angst to
make .loset ll look positively stable,
while linger Swalne’s Director brings
bluii humour to the cheery lies that tlmes, £10 (£6).