. THEA “’36a1

Working their '5

. r -- if“ way up to diva: “‘


Boys might be fitba crazy '_ '


but soccer sisters are even madder, as Fiona Shepherd discovers when she goes into extra time with Glasgow-based theatre company Virgo lntacta.

There have been many dramatic attempts to explain the bonding ritual on the terraces. the emotional assault course that is The Match. the way that football supporters strip away the working-week facade when they pass through the turnstyle. but when has that examination ever taken place from a femcentric viewpoint?

There was the amusing film 'l'lmse Glory (Ilory Days in which a female footie reporter accidentally meets her childhood hero Danny Blanchflower. and memories of a Spurs-crazed adolescence involving much defamation of Arsenal among her and her girlfriends come flooding back.

In new Glasgow-based company

. fl" ' r pic-7i (If 5 to


‘3 ‘4‘

Red Devils: goals out for the gals

Virgo lntacta's production of Debbie

Horsfield's Red Devils. the team is

Manchester United. the event is the

Cup Final. the object of desire is Ryan Giggs and the object of hatred is

Evenon. Director Julie Austin has updated the l97‘) script to this year‘s final. although (boo! hiss! the referee's

; a womblel. etc) the result ~ defeat for

United is the same. The play. which eventually turned out


to be the first in a trilogy also including 'l'rue Dare Kiss and (‘runnutnrl ()r Promise. follows the attempts of four eighteen—year-old Mancunian girls to get to Wembley for the Cup Final and events mirror the development of the

5 girls' relationships.

‘lt's about their attendant loyalties.

humours and tenacity of how they stay

together but it‘s not sentimental or

i sensational.‘ says Austin. ‘The ; characters are very northern so there is

a lot of rawness in there. There‘s the

humour of what girls of that age are

about. what they drink in clubs. what they think about men. what they're trying to do with their lives. but it‘s knitted together in that their

3 relationships are brought out by this 3 catalyst which is the team.

‘When it was performed originally it

was done in the Liverpool Playhouse. People seeing it there thought it was i too close to home. Then it moved to

London where it was like “this is too far-fetched; I can‘t believe people like that exist".‘

Austin says the reason for a Glaswegian company doing a piece about Mancunian girls is that the play

offers four equally important parts to 1 young actresses. Did she pick football-

crazy damsels‘.’ ‘They're not ardent football supporters.‘ she says. before adding (by

way ofexplanation'.’). ‘they've been to ' some Partick Thistle games.‘ (Fiona


I Red Devils (Fringe) Virgo lntacta. Theatre Workshop (Venue 20) 226 5425. 28 Aug—2 Sept. 4pm. £5 (£3).

Grassrnarket Project: reality bltes back in 20/52

The central premise of Jeremy

Weller’s latest work for the Edinburgh- based Grassmarket Project seems to

l he that since art is not life, the most

effective way to discuss social

realities and personal tragedy on stage is to let the protagonists speak their own words without the intrusion of dramatic devices. But the flipside of this argument is that life is not art, and, be it ever so worthy, the loosely- structured, partly improvised 20-52 at the Traverse makes for an uninspiring theatrical experience.

Starring Stephanie Lightfoot-Bennett

3 as herself, the play recounts her

struggle to uncover the true circumstances of her twin brother’s death in police custody three years ago. It was said that Leon Patterson died from a Mogadon overdose, but the gruesome injuries covering his body suggested otherwise, and when a Home Office toxicologist admitted that he had faked his findings, a second inquest returned a verdict of unlawful killing. This was overturned after Manchester police took the case to the High Court, and Stephanie is currently seeking a further inquest.

We witness her commitment hold

strong through disillusion with campaigners and journalists and

watch her freeze out her crack-addict brother and jealous husband, whose

. explosive frustration is convincingly conveyed by Ray Smith. Hers is a brave E performance which unsentimentally

exposes the bitterness wrought by unresolved grief and is honest about her selfish single-mindedness, but as we lurch from one authentically inarticulate domestic row to another, our concern is gradually eroded. We are no longer learning what it’s like for her, nor are we learning any more

i custody. To be brutally frank, we are

simply learning the limits of our own


I You haven't slept for days, your liver’s

caving in, and your Fringe programme

is falling apart at the seams. Yep it’s the third and final week of the

lwithfive more tips n the top.

Festival, and before you stride off into the sunset with a back-pocketful of flyers and a hangover, here’s Ellie Carr

. I Soup Fringe First winning master of

the one-man show. Michael Mears single-handedly plays a smoothie architect and a streetful of dossers. in

' this humorous. hard-hitting new play about homelessness.

Sou/i (l-‘rrngel .S'u/rs/turv Play/rouse

presents .llrr'lutel .llertrs. l’leusrtnr'e : ll’enue 33’) 556 6550. until 2 Sept.

4. 15pm. [7/[6 (en/£5). I Enveloppes et Debaliages French

, company \'elo Theatre chalks up big

points for the much-maligned art of mime. \\ ith this surreal. captivating tale of a postie whose parcels open tip to reveal the sluffof his dreams. lfnr'elo/i/u’s el Delta/limes (Fringe) l’e/(r (Ii/tertlre. 'Iltertlt‘e llin‘ks/urp ( l’enue 20) 226 5425. until 26 slug. 4. l5pnr. [6 ((3.50).

l The Tim Vine Fiasco So blonde and smooth looking you could take him

home to your mum. newcomer Tim ldi)\"ine's unique brand of rapid-lire.

corny—as-hell gags has made him this year's surprise comedy hit. I Dakota Award-winning playwright

: Tim l’leslcr‘ of lndent Theatre (‘ompany . shoots down the John Lennon legend in ' style. with a slick. w ilty fantasy

reworking of the events leading tip to his death.

Dir/tutu (l-‘ringet lnrlent 'I'lterrtre

about the growing number of deaths in

('onr/utny. gleouvtrr' .llusu' ('enlre (l'enue 25/ 2202-162. until Aug 27.

J._i()/nn. {4(1‘3).

endurance. True, as Stephanie pointed Stephen Frost and Neil Mullarkey dress

out at the end of the play, few of us

would have been aware of Leon’s death and her own struggle were it not whole thing up as they go along. You

for the Grassmarket Project, but while the facts demand our attention, this

repetitive documentary drama does its . either.

Int/mn' Ml) (Fringe) (it/(led Balloon (Venue 38) 226 215/. 27 Aug—2 Sept.

utmost to divert it. (David Harris) 20/52 (Fringe) Grassmarket Project, Traverse Theatre ( Venue 15) 228 1404, until 2 Sept, various times, £7 (£4).

I lmprov MD Three kings froin the land of comedy improv. Eddie lzzard.

up in silly outfits. canvass the crowd for suggestions. and generally make the

know the kind of thing. And sorry. we don't know what the Ml) stands for

4pm. £6.50 (£5.50).

The List 25 Aug-7 Sept I995 29