Northern exposure

Proving it's anything but bloody grim , tip north. the tltirteenth Aberdeen Alternative I’estival kicks olf this tiiotitli with a 70—act feast of music. theatre. dance. comedy and cabaret that‘s expected to attract 11p to 1(1.(1(l(i people during its ten-day run.

Now the third-biggest arts festival iii Scotland. this north-cast culturcjam continues to give the Iidinburgh International l’estival. the Fringe and (ilasgow ‘s .\1a_\ fest a good run for their money Highlights this year include cotitposcr Michael Nyntaii (see panel 1. chart-toppers l):l<eani. It" inc \Velsh's

cult show li'rrriis/iu/Ii/re. Scottiin stand- tip comic 1"i'ed .\1ac.-\ulcy. Aussie

funny man .\1ark Little. legendary Scots poet and comic I\ot‘ Cutler. and for a touch of international flavour. Black Spear and NASA Theatre from Aberdeen's twin city Bulawayo 111

South Africa. A full programme cmering all ten days is available from the l’cstival office (01224 (135822) bttt for now. w e‘vc chosen a few pointers to help navigate you towards the hottest tickets iii town.

(Iillic Carr)

£5: .. 5' '- 1:.- The Featherstone aughs: the all-male dance troupe set the stage alight I The Bends The Lemon The 5 West North Street. 01224 (142230. Thurs 12 ()ct. 7.30pm. £7 (£51. A rare visit to Scotland from the excellent London— based. all-male dance company The Featherstonehauglis pronounced Fanshawes - witlt a programme of short. zappy pieces designed to conjure tip the idea of ‘chamiel~hopping'. I Aly Bain and The BT Scottish Ensemble The Music Hall. Union Street. 01224 (132080. Thurs 12 ()ct. 8pm. £(1- £10. The Festival scores a world premiere for its opening concert with this unique collaboration between Shetland fiddle maestro Aly Bain and the acclaimed BT Scottish Ensemble —- a new suite for fiddle and strings in traditional Scottish style. arranged by Norwegian composer Henning Sommero. I The Songs of Robert Burns The Music Hall. Union Street. 01224 (132080. Fri 13 Oct. 8pm. £(1—£10. Wecl-keiit Scots singer Jean Redpath. renowned for her faithful interpretations of the lyrics of Rabbie Burns into song. is joined by acclaimed Scots fiddler Alasdair Fraser. and renowned singers Dougie Maclean and Christine Kydd for tonight‘s performance.

I Bob Downe Arts Centre. Kitig Street. 01224 (135208. 1511 13 ()ct. 10.30prti. £(1.50(£5i. (‘otiicdy's camp king of polyester and bad shirts. returns w 1111 a show that promises to speed you oii the fast track to the time that taste forgot. I D:Ream Music Hall. lTnion Street. (11224 (135208. Sat 14 ()ct. 0pm. £10111 advance. £1 1 on the door. The man whose' sultry ga/e has stared down from many a bedroom wall over the past year. I):Ream ft'orititiati Pete Cunnah returns to consolidate the chart-topping. club- storriiitig success of daticc—aiitlterii ‘Things Can ()1in (ict Better". with a gig to support his latest album World.

I Ivor Cutler Arts Centre. Kitig Street. 01224 (135208. Sat 14 ()ct. lptii. £9 (£7). A welcome appearance from Scotland's most bizarre and unpredictable talcttt -- comic. poet. actor. musician and novelist lvoi' Cutler. best known for his wry observation on soor-faced Scots l’r'esbytet‘iaiiisrii life In A .Sr‘uls‘ [iii/termini. At 72 years old. Cutler perforitis rarely these days. so stiap tip your tickets fast.

I Fever Pitch Arts Centre. King Street. (11224 (135208. Strii 15 ()ct. 8pm. £(1 (£4). New-lad novelist Nick lloriiby's litba» era/.y bestseller l-i'i'r'r l’ite/i. ttrrned around lor the stage by Paul llodsoti. with excellent results. Follow Hornby as he looks back over 25 years on the terraces. arid a life that at every twist and turtt has been dormnated by his love for Arsenal 1"C.

I Rob Newman IIis’ Majesty's Theatre. Roseriiouttt Viaduct. 01224 (137788. Mon 1(1 ()ct. 8pm. £8-~£l2. Catch the long- haired lialfof ace coiitedy—duo Newman and Bridtliel 111 this sneak preview of material front their forthcoming TV series. lispect sharp w it arid laid-back laddiin humour from the titan last seen 111 New/nun (Illtl Brit/(lie! in Pieces and The Mary \Vliitehouse lixpericnce.

I On Broken Wings Arts Centre. King Street. 01224 (135208. Mon 1(1()ct. 8pm. £4 (£3 ). Take 111 one of several shows visiting Aberdeen from the lidinburgli Netherbow's innovative liuropean Season of Mask and Puppet Theatre: Theatre of Story. Theatre of Dreams. ()/1 Broken iii/res is the offering front lrisli cotitpany 'I‘heatre ()mriibus and uses a grand total of 4(1 different masks in a contemporary tale ofemigration arid return between Scotland and America.

I Wadaiko Ichiro Drummers Music Hall. Union Street. 01224 (132080. Tue 17 ()ct. 8pm. £(1.50—£‘).50. Super-fast precision drumming frorii the rigorously-trained Japanese percussion ensemble. dubbed as being to the arms what flamenco is to the feet.

I In Flagrant Delicht The Lemon Tree (studio theatre). 5 West North Street. 01224 (142255. Tue 17 ()ct. 8pm. £7 (£5). Two Scots with equal gift of the gab. sitiger-songwriter Michael Marra attd poet-playwright I.l'l. Lochhead get together for art evening of songs. sketches and rhymes round the auld joanna.

I Mark little Sucks Arts Centre. King Street. 01224 (135208. Wed l8—Thurs 1‘) ()ct. 8pm. £7 (£5). You've seen him co-

starritig with Bouncer the dog iii .\’¢'ig’/l/}(ttll‘.\'. You've seen him presenting The Big Break/11.1! when you've been munching oti your corriflakes. Now see hint minus the labrador. the TV cameras and the breakfast cereal in a otic—tiiati stand-up show that sold out this year's Edinburgh liriiige.

I Nanci Griffith The Capitol. 431 Union Street. 01224 583141. Thurs 1‘) ()ct. 8pm. £11 £15. liollowrng huge success with her tiiost recent album l-‘lver. singer- songwriter Nanci Griffith takes time to look back over her past achievements with; this back-to-basics acoustic retrospective. Don’t miss the woman who is one of 111111 Dylan‘s favourite singers. I Trainspotting The Lemon Tree st" "'1 theatre). 5 West North Street. 0122» (142230. Thurs 1‘) Sat 21 ()ct. 7.30pm. £8 (£0). lt sold ottt in lidinburgli and (ilasgow. now it looks set to sell out iti Aberdeen. Irvine \Velsli's drug—fuelled journey through the seedier side of lidinburgh culture complete w 1111 junkies. miners and colourful language. is proving

as big a cult success on stage as 111 print. I The Reduced Shakespeare Company Arts Centre. King Street. (11 224 (135208. liri 20/Sat 21 ()ct. 8pm. £7.50 (£51. A hilarious romp through The Complete Works of William Shakespeare as this unstoppable trio perform all 37 of the bard's plays in just ‘)7 minutes. l)oii‘t blink. You might miss .11111/11'1/1. ()11 Saturday night it‘s the entire history of America 500 _\".tts 111 (1000 seconds.

I The Michael Nyman Band Ills Majesty's 'I'heati'e. Rosemouiit Viaduct. (11224 (137788. 1‘r'i 20()ct. 8pm.

£6.50 £15.50. See panel.

I The Best of Scottish Comedy The Playhouse. Rosemount \‘1aduct. (11224 1117788' Sat 2‘ (1 ' [7(L'51 lleadlin. - hairlined) by the brilliant e.\«account..nt with the shiny pate. lircd .\1ac.'\uley. this evening of borne-grown stand-up also features (ilasgow double-act K't'l'llttll atid Leach. and Lynne 1'erguson the woman behind manic gossip columnist l‘ergski in 1111C Scotl;itid's.1/eeri Mire.

Knowing the score :

1 Alan Morrison ponders over Michael Nyman’s ability to keep his musical identity when writing for the big screen.

Most film music is simply there to squeeze (sonictirites bludgcon) home the dominant emotion in a relevant scene: scary violin sct'ccclics. romantic syrupy strings. heroic blasts of brass. Few film composers could be said to have a consistent style and. even if they do. fewer still have the ability to blend this with the particular demands of individual films.

Michael Nyman. on the other ltand. has a sound that is instantly recognisable from his work with Peter Grecnaway 'l’lte Dmug/tlmim 's (.‘mi/I'rtr‘l. Dirac/ting By Nunrbers. A Zed/1nd 7117) Natty/HS. l’mvpet‘u '.v Bun/1's and The Cook. 7711’ 771117. His ll/i/e Alirl Her Lure): Like a meeting between the tiieastired formality of the classical period and a more melodic approach to contetitporary tiiiriiitialisrti. it perfectly suits Greeiiaway‘s deliberately stylised frames. while retaining its own sense of tintelesstiess. Away from the cinema screen. this is the Nymaii sound that also defines his chamber music from the 1980s and his three string quartets.

It's also there. to a lesser degree. 111 the works that stretch otit from this musical hub: the scores for Jane Campion's The Piano (the work that. more than any other. has brought liitii wider. more popular fame) and Christopher Hampton's (fairing/mt. as well as 111 his short opera The Mun W/iu fwaIUUA' His Wife For/l Hut.

'The film score has to be written iii such a way that it‘s tiry music. recognisany me.‘ Nyiiian insists. l

Michael Hyman: specs and violins

‘ldeally you keep your identity and allow the project to stretch you . . . ()ne of the interesting things about doing a score is that one is inspired to think one's own musical language mid way of working in a totally different context 211111 for totally different purposes.‘

The live set that Nynian brings to Aberdeen is. virtually. a short retrospective of his work for the cinema. Testural diversity is assured. as the fifteen-strong Michael Nymaii Band delve back into the archives for the (ireenaway collaborations. Nymaii himself takes the spotlight for a solo set from The Piano. and »- perhaps the soprano Sarah Leonai'd joins tlietti for the ‘Ariel Songs' front l’ms/iem ".1" Hooks and the expressive Mentor/til. Live. the Michael Nyitian Band are by no means a po- faccd classical ensemble: once tliosc

concert‘s real treat

repetitive phrases grow in noise and tempo. they prove that they cart rock with the best ofthem. To translate this musical itttnicdiacy from screen to disc to stage is no ttiean feat, btit it's a skill that Nyman. composer and perloritiei'. achieves without equal.

The illir'lrue/ Nymmi [fa/1d play His Majesty's Theatre in Alien/ecu on I-‘rir/rrv 20 (If 8pm.


The Aberdeen Alternative Festival runs from Thurs l2~Sat 21 ()ct. Tickets can be purchased front Aberdeen Box Office. Music Hall. Union Street. 01224(141122/(12001 1. Credit card bookings welcome. General enquiries should be directed to the Festival iiiforttiation lirte on (01224) (135822.

The List (1-1‘) Oct 1995 103