l Targetting an ' audience
When is a play not a play? When it's a ‘tcxt‘. Before that horrible sensation of pretentiousness beyond the call of duty sets in. Theatre Pur's artistic co-director Simon Bailey explains. l
‘Fora long time we’ve been making our own work but have been really influenced by this one guy Richard Foreman. He‘s written a lot ofessays about performance and it‘s that which i has inspired us. We were doing a lot of i things he'd done.‘ .
A correspondence with Foreman resulted in his complete works. published and unpublished. am'ving through Bailey's letterbox. Place and ﬁnger was selected and devised from Foreman‘s original text which was basically just pages of dialogue. with no indication as to who says what. how they react or even how many characters there are.
The company used the skeleton manuscript as the basis to further the themes and characters they had developed while working on their own material.
' bridged. it steers a course between the . surreal and the everyday and it‘s never
1 some kind ofconnection you feel is
Theatre Put: chaotic comedy enjoy an almost philosophical speculation on the big problems in life. It's about the really trivial and minute mixed up with the grandiose.‘
The performance style is fast. involved and slick. In 50 minutes. Theatre l’ur utilises between 50 and ()0 props. and bombards the audience with 70 sound cues. The company name. appropriately enough. is derived from the name of a Jewish festival of chaotic in an urban culture where we're comedy performances. Not suitable for constantly overloaded with information children. (Fiona Shepherd) and contradictory experiences. so it's I Place and Target (Fringe) Theatre basically saying what kind of mental l Pur. Theatre Workshop (Venue 20) 226 attitude can we have that enables us to I 5425. until 2 Sept. 1 lam. £4 (£3).
‘The text was very fragmented.‘ says Bailey. ‘There are huge gaps to be
deliberately obtuse. There's always
there and that's what leads you through.‘
He gives away a bit more by describing Plate and large! as a ‘stratcgy for psychic survival. We live
Dream of the little Prince
It ain’t been easy. Finally, I get through to the leader of Tuzla Youth Centre, Miriana Tahirovich, whose words are interpreted by an 18-year- old actress, llata Zhuzhich. The crackly line keeps fading away, or going dead altogether. They’re not calling from their Bosnian home war zone, but from a mobile phone in Edinburgh. lie, the director can’t come to the phone; he’s so deeply asleep, no one can wake him. He and 33 members of the long-established Tuzla Youth Theatre and llational Theatre of Tuzla have only just arrived in Edinburgh, alter a gruelling five day bus journey. Their difficulties started in Bosnia, continued in Croatia, and extended to the Italian border.
i ask about home, trying to get an idea of what their city is like. Culturally, is it like Edinburgh? But the patchy telephone line and linguistic misunderstandings conspire, and llata laughs sardonically. ‘After four years of war, and especially after the massacre on 25 May, Tuzla can’t
compare to Edinburgh at all.’ Half of
.I . 1
Tuzla Youth Theatre: ‘not just acting, but llvlng’ Tuzla’s population are now refugees. Llata is one of them but considers herself lucky to be in free territory, despite the shelling, which occurs at least weekly, often daily. One of those shells hit Tuzla town square on 25 May and killed 71 young people. ‘We were there, we saw everything. A lot of friends we meet in the street - they died.’ But life, and work, must go on. At the Youth Theatre Bosnians, Serbs and Croats work alongside each other. ‘I hate the man who shot that shell, but I don’t hate my friend ’cos she’s a Serb. It’s not just acting, it’s living; it’s the only way to continue,’ says llata. Tuzla Youth Theatre, Demarco Mirlana adds, ’For tour war years, i Foundation (Venue 22) 558 3371, 28 young people were more creative than t Aug-2 Sept, 11.3mm, £5 (£3.50).
before, and our performance is the result of their creativity.’
The play, based on Saint-Exupéry’s surreal fairytale, has nothing to do with the war, Llata says. ‘It is about love and madness. In every man there is a Little Prince.’ Performed in Bosnian, the tale’s elemental aspirations and emotions transcend language barriers. ‘lt is a play,’ says llata, who was fourteen when the war years started, ‘For adults who were once children.’ (Gabe Stewart)
Dream of the Little Prince, (Fringe)
Gabe Stewart keeps popping the Vitamin C pills and offers five shows worth setting your alarm clock tor.
I llingali Generations of Aboriginal experience in this one-woman show, plus stand-up. C & W and audience participation to boot. Even-toned warmth shot through with strands of frosted bitterness and blood-red anger. Ningali (Fringe) 'l'raverse (Venue [5) 228 I404. until 2 Sept (not 2/. 28 Aug). various times, £7 ([4).
I Easy LookOut Theatre's Mayfest bit confronts the issue of date rape. Just who is the guilty party when a woman is easy? Fault—free performances. laughs and live cabaret. and proper Fringe ticket prices too.
Easy (Fringe) LookOut Theatre Company. Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 226 215/. until 2 Sept, [2.30pm. £4 ([3).
I Bloodbirds Expect much from this Scottish. super-physical dance company, Crush. This dark, fiery piece has been specially commissioned by Glasgow’s Tramway Theatre as part of the forthcoming Dark Lights season. a multi-attform cxtravanganza.
I Creative Fire Burns Surprise hit this. Throw out your preconceptions about poetry (and Robbie Burns in particular) and enjoy Bill MeColl's captivating performance, enhanced by a soundtrack featuring ex-Eurythmics Dave Stewart. Creative Fire — Burns (Fringe) (ii/(led Balloon II (Venue 51) 225 6520. until 2 Sept. l [.30am, [5 ([4).
I Embarquez-les Enchanting troupe of clowns explores the limits of desire and disappointment through dance. Captivating and poignant. limbarqaez-les (Fringe) Theatre Winks/tom Venue 20) 226 5425, until 2 Sept (not Suns). [2.45pm. £6 (£3.50).
Feetival for free? 566 Pages 17 &19.
The List 25 Aug-7 Sept 1995 21