Tron Theatre. Glasgow: until Sat 30 Sept, then touring. in an age when Scottish theatre groups expend so much energy reducing great novels down to more-or-less workable chamber pieces, it‘s refreshing to find a performance which dares to explode its fictional source into something bigger. Five years ago. the Tron's artistic director Michael Boyd took the unpromisingly pinched sentiments of Ted Hughes’ Crim- poems and with two actors and a tiny space made a big, satisfying piece of theatre. Now. with Janice Galloway‘s agonisingly enclosed study of nervous breakdown. he‘s taken the process several leaps further.

The novel's central character ironically named Joy is recovering (or

Jennifer Black (left) and Siobhan Redmond as two of the three ioyless Joys

rather failing to recover) from a bereavement. Unable to tnake sense of the outside world. she discusses the

situation with herself. and thus finds it

useful to employ more than one voice -- the separation of self from self. of course. being classically identified with

4 beckoning madness. Boyd has seized 3 on this device. and used it as the key machinery for his staging. Three

l' women represent different aspects of ; Joy: the protagonist who must live

through her ordeal or by opposing end it. the rebellious spirit who bolsters her

against the world's indignities. and the remembered. carefree sell. now ' drowning in a welter of trauma.

Beautifully played by Jennifer Black. Siobhan Redmond and New McIntosh

? respectiyely. this divided Joy is at the

centre of a world formed from

; esasperating encounters with doctors.

psychiatrists. fellow patients. friends and family.

This succession of characters is played by a small ensemble. with iron veteran l-‘orbes' .‘ylasson and llre/i /\’(t(t(/

star liilecn .\lc('allum outstanding;

3 while actor/film director Peter Mullan ' is on especially good form. notably as

Joy’s ghastly sister .\lyra. a tragic figure of fun. lioy d could have allowed the actors

i alone to make a powerful play. but he's é opted instead to paint a broader canvas. . Numbers are swelled by a (ireek chorus of volunteer actors; slide projections of

test are a bold. post—modernist reminder of the play's literary origins; (iraham Johnston‘s decaying rust backdrop »- with its half-formed suggestions of writhing. tortured figures s augments the sense of a mind under attack; and (’raig .»\rmstrong‘s cthcrcal score conveys a tnenacing uncertainty about the solidin of the

ground underfoot


In short. this is an exemplary conversion from page to stage. one far from limiting itself to a slay ish itnitation builds paper wings from an earthbotmd book and Uses them to soar. (Andrew Burnett


Bedlam Theatre, Edinburgh, until Sat 30 Sept.

Geoffrey is a relic with an existentialist hangover, a philosophy lecturer adrift in a world beyond hypotheses. Even the act of pointing out the meaninglessness of things has lost its meaning, as he attempts to come to grips with seemingly unthinkable new notions: his wife Aileen write a book, his daughter become a college fellow and his son take part in a 45-minute television Hamlet.

Meanwhile, his more successful best pal and one-time fellow angry-young- man-on-campus is directing his archaic libido towards the newly liberated Aileen. The ageing academics bumble about each other with Chekhovian lack of purpose, sparring tired epigrams with their going-places kids on the verge of a future. Televised Shakespeare might not be everything, but neither is the purltan stance that marks Geoffrey’s downfall, despite the fall from a tree which acts as his personal Nietzschean flash of lightning.

Stanley Evellng’s first new play since 1983 has its roots firmly planted in times past, and its language and concerns can seem as cossetted from the real world as Geoffrey’s own

58 The List 22 Sept-5 Oct I995


{ Ticket Centre DHI 227 55"

Chekhovian bu

shambolic stance. Sure, it’s clever, and you can almost see the dust of centuries weighing down Geoffrey’s shoulders in Fifth Estate’s fully- realised production, wittin staged by Sandy tleilson in the crumbling University theatre. Yet it all seems too exclusive to its own peer group, and not poignant enough to have much wider resonance.

It’s good to have Eveling back on the

scene after such a long lay-off, but he needs to blow a little more dust off things before we can see the full, daring scope of his imagination, as

21 - 23 Sept

mbllng: Finlay Welsh in The Albright Fellow

seen in the recent revival of Dear : Janet Rosenberg, Dear Mr Kooning. ' (Neil Cooper)



. Seen at Adam Smith Theatre, Kirkcaldy.

On Tour. Never one of Dario Fo’s most overtly

: political farces, Trumpets and ; Raspberries at least has a healthy

overtone of the anti-establishment

5 about it even if it has been somewhat


’Mr Porter’


29 6 - 8 Oct

THEATRE BABEL ’Hamlet’/’Romeo 81 Juliet’


’No New Miricals’

overtaken by recent events in Italian politics.

There’s the car factory boss Agnelli, mutilated beyond all recognition in a failed kidnap attempt, then reconstructed in the image of his

saviour: a communist shop steward.

3 Antonio Berardi, the shop steward, is , found to be two-timing his mistress, 5 and forced into all sorts of bizarre

situations for his sins. And that

doesn’t even begin to mention Fo’s

customary derogatory portrayal of the police and judiciary.

In Morag Fullarton’s revived touring

5 production for Borderline Theatre

Company, Andy Gray has stuck Fo’s politics under his arm and marched upstage, with a performance that

l owes more to pantomime than

anything else. As Berardi, Gray

- constantly halts the performance to

ensure the audience is still up with the plot. He trumpets his own

? (slapstick) raspberries, and peppers

the dialogue with ad libs, which actually makes for a very accessible production. Try as Gray might to bog the limelight, the accomplished supporting cast led by Louise Beattie as Lucia Rismondi and Alison Peebles as Rosa Berardi - do their best to keep him in place.

With a cracking little set and lively musical interludes, this is an entertaining night out, full of anarchic

. fun. (Thom Dibdin)


A season of new