Theatre Royal. Glasgow, until Sat I 8 Novmber.

The programme notes for Mark Rylance's eagerly awaited production attempt to explain his reasons for staging the Scottish play in a cult environment with most of the principal actors swathcd in Hare Krishna robes and parkas to keep out the bitter Highland cold (but no exhoitations to call out ‘Gouranga!’). Certain historical parallels may exist. but the tangerine sheets don‘t really work aesthetically.

Elsewhere in the programme. Rylance mentions the Nine 0‘ Clock Services. which held rave services in an effort to build a new style of worship. Now there's an effective parallel. Just as the cult sought to draw in adherents with a modem approach, so this erratic production uses bright lights. pumping beats. colour and young hip actors like Rylance himself and Jane llorrocks to convert a new audience to the Bard.

Sometimes it works the fancy-dress banquet scene is a hoot. particularly given that the shaven-headcd ghost of Banquo has no ‘gory locks‘ to shake -- but generally the fun impinges on moments of high drama. When Macbeth consults the witches. it's like watching a performance of l’avlov's Puppets; when the Weird Sisters arrive for their rave-up with l-lccate in a


A ‘Erratlc’: Rylance and Horrocks

graffiti-ed car. it's like watching Zoo TV.

Thing is. Macbeth is such a ripping yarn Litat if you're not attracted to the play iii the first place. then the fripperies are hardly going to foster a new appreciation of its fitter soliloquies. And the liner soliloquies are not going to have much of an impact delivered in such an understated fashion, either.

l’aradoxically. a minor scene here or there does really work, but you cart be sure it will be followed by something pivotal to furrow the audience's brows.

The most impressive. sustained positive

point is Albie \N'oodington's Macduff. who keeps up the dramatic interest in what is usually an overlong supplication scene with Malcolm.

()h. and a footnote for gimmick- scekcrs »— llorrocks' peeing scene has been cut for (ilasgow performances. (Fiona Shepherd)

pulled out (oo-er!). Opera singer Steven Griffin provided the evening’s hors d’oeuvre with a rousing rendition of Figaro, punctuated with belching, back-chat and beer-swilling. Further musical interludes came from Robert Deering, who chucked some music trivia in between old favourites. Invited to give a demo on baton technique, local community copper PC Charlie was less than arresting with his tired tales of squashed squirrels a la Tufty Club, and would be well advised to stick to his usual beat.

With a collection of tat shop prizes up for grabs, Dallas and Packer then slipped into game-show mode with the Tunisian Vodka Challenge, before indulging in a tacky variation on The Antiques Roadshow. To bring proceedings to a sizzlineg seasonal end, sparklers were handed out to accompany a singalong finale to the Home and Away theme.

Switching from Stepping Stones’ attic to the Pleasance’s cosy confines looks set to pay off, and Dallas and Packer shouldn’t have to try too hard to fill the place. Bar prices are cheap even if it does mean risking both the cold of the courtyard and a slagging from the stage to get there. Quirkiness is the name of the game here and looks set to drag The Gong Show kicking and screaming into the 905. (Claire Prentice)


Playhouse, Edinburgh, until Sat 20 April 1996.

All through Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera you wonder,

‘iust how did they do that?’. The Phantom himself, for example, has a tendency to disappear into thin air. From the dry-ice rivers to crashing chandeliers, the production is filled with spectacular special effects. Why then - unlike les Miserables— do you not come away saying, ‘Wow, I have seen 3 SHOW!’?

The Phantom is certainly not a bad production, and there are plenty of redeeming features. Both the male leads - the disfigured Phantom and the handsome Raoul - are excellently delivered, by Mark McKerracher and Andrew Halliday respectively. Nicky Adams, who plays Christine, torn between the love of both men, is a joy, singing with compassion and depth. There are also nice comic touches, from Anthony Raffell and Paul Monaghan, as the Opera’s owner/

managers Messieurs Firmin and Andre.

However, the most intriguing character is Madame City, who seems to know all of the Opera House’s dark past, superbly played by Carol Duffy. Musically there’s very little to complain about, as Julian Jackson’s orchestra belts out Lloyd Webber’s cinematic score.

All the ingredients are there for a classic but there simply isn’t a clear enough sense of direction to push it into those realms. There is the disturbing feeling now, after Les Miserables and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, that the Playhouse and Cameron Mackintosh think all they have to do is mount a West End transfer and they’ll get record audiences. To a certain extent that is true this a grannies’ coach-tour delight - but theatrically it lacks a crucial nerve. (Philip Dorward)

95 Altw

Tho I

8 00pm Tickets Tel (i l



by Sam Shepard d. loseph Chmkm


r". D'lv't‘ Glasgow

Sit! it} Dirtiiériilw.’ int): Sun)

125 ()0 (£1) ()0; ll 99/ 551i '(illl (ll-ll

fifil 917 l 9




l l\’(-)\


An evening with Alistair McDonald, Monday, 7.30pm, 20 November at Dunbar Corn Exchange.

Sleeping Beauty - The Panto - script by S - 28 December I995, shows at 2.30pm starring Russel Hunter at the

Brunton Hall, Musselburgh (all ticket

Tickets (CXCCpt where stared) (6 00 (Fun), (5 OO (Cor

For reservatibns, venue information, further details and a brochure pleaSe telephone the Brunton Theatre Box Office on 0l3| 665 2240


The Seal Wife

y Sue Glover

b D

()n ltllll Ill Stu/lt/ittl lllr'rtllt/lltllll .\

_+. -... -,._ .-. .. ... . . .._,-_ ..._._ .....—

iTheatre Workshop, lFll'lllitlHjl‘ t‘.‘.’t‘(lrrt*s(1.i, 7 tiOtrrri

liiux ri‘it(t* 0i 3‘.

Satatttrt, ‘1

22‘) 542‘)

lThe Lemon Tree, Aberdeen

E'i'ticstlti‘, / / {Oti'rx ;‘.'.’<*(lt‘(‘8(lzi‘, s .> oopn- élitrv (>‘f'rrc (H.224 full 1.).)

(Byte Theatre,

fSt [woman's

5Thursday 9 Saturday ll {8 00pm

litix ofka 013311 13/6288

The Tron Theatre, lGlastim'. fittestla,’ id {8 00pm I80X Olin P Oltll 552 4267


:Paisley Arts Centre Ellttlrstieiy ."I

8 00;)";

’8“. oftm- ow. as; 1010

MacRobert Arts Centre, .St‘rl'm,‘

ffr (iri‘, 2K1,Stttttt(i.t=, 2'.)

/' 11‘)r)rr‘

:80! (iffy t‘ (H 78f) 46H)?“

iii «mu/unit It'll/l tllllll/llll/ rlt'p/lzs o/‘t'nt'ri/t'.

{maturity uml ski/l" Scotland on Sunday

irected by Gerda Stevenson

Raymond Ross and 7.30pm

s (5.00!)

KS). (4 00 (Mat'ncesl

Ul't'illlit'l l‘)‘)‘;

: f


K "u .z' s



v--- -- - l

- - l

_ _.___-.-- _e_-____l

lllt' l.l\l l-V ill \t\\ [005