0F MICE AND MEN
Kort/l lama/m. lt't/m/mrg/l. tin/ll Sui _‘ .l/urt‘lr.
It's no accitlcnt that .loliti Stcinhcck‘x no\‘cl. and his stagc atlaptation. pL‘l‘ltll‘lllL‘tl licrc lw thc l._\ccum compan_\'. arc sct lll ('alilornia. l‘hc statc at thc ctlgc ol thc cotilincnt. cstahlishctl h} l‘ronticrxmcn con\ lllt'Ctl
lloll_\wootl. that ntagnct lor tlic ainhitious. w ltoxc licst laitl schcmcx gang all a-glc_\'.
l)cxignctl h) l)crinot lla_\cs antl Kristinc Khan. this production xtrcsscx thc inspiring hcattt} ol thc (‘alil'ornian lantlxcapc. )ct it li'atncs lltc hig opctt sky and thc l‘crtilc rixcrhank in tigI} titnhct‘ constructions. to rcprcxcnt thc grintling lahour tlctnantlctl ol' lltc xtoiy‘s migrant l‘armhantlx.
thc ll'all littpcx (ll. thc tlcsl‘clalcl} [‘Hill. )ct it cattnot ol‘l'cr much optimixin. hccausc thc ccnti'al. rcpcatctl tnotil ix innoccncc and hopc snul'l'ctl out hctwccn latc‘s lingcr antl thumh
.\'ow hcrc is this tnot‘c poigttanll} portt'a) ctl than lll llat‘lc_\ l,outlon’s willow _\'. t'ootlooxc toting woman
‘('urlc_\ ‘x' \\'ilc‘ l. l’rcparctl lor hcr h) glimpxcx through thc tlixtortiug lcnx ol' masculinity. w c c\pcct a \ i\cn. llttt whcn xhc rc\calx hcr stor_\ to l.ctmic. thc not-gcntlc»cnough giant. w c lcarn that shc too ix a i. ictim. llccing niiscr}. tlrcaming ol~ an unattainahlc litttn'c. 'l‘hc talc's most intriguing cnigina. howcvcr. is its kc}xtonc rclatiouxliip hctwccn two woulil-hc larni-ow ncrx. Clcarl)’. htnnhling l.cnnic t‘clics on practical (icorgc; hut (icoigc's uncntling loyali} tlcrix'cx ll't‘llt inoic than tlcccnc)’. lt lakcs catastrophc to drag it l'rom hitn. hut w hat (icorgc hcarthrcakingly ncctlx trom l.cnnic is
a licttcr lil‘c la} to thc wcxt; thc honic ol'
Kt‘llll}' lt'clatitl\ production l’ocuxcx on
(signilicantly. thc cast lixt i‘cl'crx onl} to
Ever hopeful: Bob Barrett (left) and Tom McGovern in Of Mice And Men
llls nai\c l‘clicl’ lll thcir tll'c‘tlllls. th‘I‘llc llic oh\ iottx c\ itlcncc, 'l'otn .\lc( ltwcrn ((icorgcl antl lloh liai'ictt ll.cnnicl capturc this tragic tlcpcntlcnc}. hut tltc stjttalitl woi'ltl thc} inhaliil xonicltow litL’lx's tlk‘Plli. ‘l'llt‘l‘L‘K lit) l'L‘ttl \cllsc til c.\hauxttng toil sticking lil'c ll'ttl‘.) tltc charactct's ol'lixtagc; l)a\ ltl .\lc( lowan‘s ('tn'lc) lackx an} con\ incing xcnsc ol mcnacc‘. c\cn lhc tlccrcpit iiitttt ix portra_\'ctl h_\ a l'ctching crcaltu'c w itli a pronnsing lttturc in \\'inalot corntncrcials.
’l'lict'c's sonic authcntic pla_\ ing 'l‘hanc licttany's ('antl}. l‘ot' c\ainplc antl thct‘c arc touching niomcntx txuch ax thc inootlil} hacklit cntlingl hut this tlratna will only tlrixc homc its mcsxagc il' wc hclic\ c in thc charactcrx‘ acltingl} gloom) circtttnxtanccx. 'l‘hcrc‘x simpl} not cnough swcat antl tlcxpair in cvitlcncc. l.’\lltll'L'\\' litirncti
BEHI— HUMAN TALES
Seen at Dundee Rep. On tour.
Rising from the ashes of the long- disbanded Dundee Hep Dance Company, the all-new Scottish Dance Theatre leapt into view this week to take up position as Scotland’s only permanent contemporary dance company.
Although sadly lacking in any Scottish dance talent whatsoever, the company’s official launch night raises the curtain on a strong, spirited, ready-for-anything group of six dancers who, if a tad coltish-looking, have that just-out-of-college and champing-at-the-bit ability to whip up an irresistible energy on stage.
So far so good. But with a choreographic menu concocted by just one man - the company’s new director Neville Campbell - the evening has limited appeal. Juggling furiously with limited funds, the ex-Phoenix Dance Company frontman has created four very different pieces that to their credit manage a good line in crowd- pleasing, but clearly mark out Campbell’s real talent as that of director, not choreographer.
Neat, fast, muscle-sprung and polished contemporary dance of the mid-80$ kind, with streaks of narrative and humour and a hint of funky vibe, make each of the four pieces easy, enjoyable viewing. But not one lets this promising young company really take flight.
With a swift injection of outside choreographers, however — something
DEEM— PRIDE AND PREJUDICE
Seen at Gaiefy Theatre, A yr. Plays Theatre Royal, Glasgow, Mon 26 Feb-Sat 2 Mar.
Having never read Jane Austen or seen any adaptation of her work, it is impossible to say how faithful Good Company’s version of Pride and Prejudice is to the original text. With this qualification, their production remains a consistently excellent piece of theatre.
Adapted and directed by Sue Pomeroy, this slickly staged story of five ‘not so well connected’ daughters seeking suitable husbands in 19th century Hertfordshire may leave Camille Paglia reeling, but the accomplished cast takes relish in Austen’s strong characterisation. Literally waltzing between every scene, they handle this comedy of English manners with confidence — moving from sitting-room to ballroom to morning room, in a merry-go-round of love found then lost (for the time being).
Cranking the handle for the duration, Mrs Bennett — mother of these beauties — is played wonderfully by Francis Cuka. Her nervous disposition, relentless scheming and mixed parental motives periodically leave everyone gasping or guffawing. With her continual buzzing, the foil provided by laid-back Mr Bennett is perfect. Jonathan Cecil’s measured, deadpan delivery wrings a laugh or revealing insight from practically every line. He has his daughters - and the audience — hanging on every word. Of them, Lizzy (Cornelia Hayes D’Herlihy) struggles a little to shine in such experienced company, but Nigel Leach’s Reverend Collins is appropriately anaemic and ridiculous.
Mirth is wisely allowed to dominate over romance and morality in this telling, bridging the gaps in content inevitably found in short adaptations. Changes of pace in the second act lack some dramatic coherence, but the spirit of the piece is always maintained. Period music performed by the cast helps recreate an authentic drawing-room air, and if puffy sleeves, well filled britches and a waspish sense of humour are
favourites, this fantasy world should be a future destination. (Paul Welsh)
E31133!- ARTIST UNKNOWN
Seen a: (i/(tsgmr School of :ll‘l. ()n IUllII
‘liqual But Dil‘l'ct'cnt‘ was thc mantra CVle'L‘tl hy post—punk rail-l'cm squat rockcrs thc Au Pairs rcgartling thc pcrcnnial imhalancc ol' opportunitics hctwccn thc scxcs. Sue (ilovcr‘s play for young pcoplc adopts a similar linc. clcvcrl)‘ training a thorougth motlcrn l’cmalc art school sttttlcnt's strugglc to hccomc an artist arountl thc ghosts ol‘ Joan liartllcy antl .\largarct .\lactlonaltl. two of thc rc-tliscovcrctl '( ilasgow (iirls' who found hoth pcrsonal antl crcativc cmancipation amidst a prctlictahl)’ tloincstic hacktlrop. .\lactlonaltl was inari'ictl to ('harICx chnic Mackintosh. who puhlicly acknowlcdgctl Mactlonaltl's inllttcncc on his own work.
.’\x xtrcctwisc stutlcnt ('axsic ix ll’llSll'illL‘tl at cvct')’ turn llatshai‘c hcll. mounting tlcht and unrctptitctl paxxion it hccotncs clcar that not much has changctl sincc liartllcy autl Mactloiialtl's tla}. th a mch hack to thc strccts shc grcw up on allowx
(’axx‘ic lo tlix‘cchr hct‘ trttc artistic \ illL‘c.
It was ati inspirctl inox'c by ’l}\(} 'l‘hcatrc (‘onipauy to opcn this ncw show iii a httiltling which has prox‘ctl so important. not just to thc protagonists (leiClL‘tl. httt also to succcssivc gcncrations ol~ Scottish artistx who‘vc sct thc \\'0l'l(l alight. ()nc hopcs this informal attnosphcrc can hc cat't'ictl o\cr into lllc schools atnong thc tour
'l'hc pla_\' itscll' is a misctl hag. lll tnuclt ncctl of a strongcr opcning to grah thc atitlicncc straight from thc start. .\lactlonaltl antl liartllc} 's xpccch sountlx \llllL‘tl. ax though lil'tctl straight trom a rathcr attcicttt tc\l hook, .-\n attilicncc ol' l\\Cl\'L‘-}L‘Lll’-t)ltls might hc ptll ol‘l' lw this. though ('assic. a spark_\' huntllc ot‘cncrg)‘ playctl with gusto h_\ (‘athcrinc Kcaliltg. coultl wcll hcconic a minor icon. inspiring young girls tan/l hoyx) to pick tip hrttsh antl chiscl lllltl inayhc tnakc a mastcrpiccc. All schools hail hcttcr gct rcatl}; 'l‘lic ncst gcnci'ation is waiting. (.\'cil (’oopcrl
. H 6_ i - I. .E 3 l ' i i". arts um” , l
Campbell insists is top of his list — the new SDT could truly cruise on high.
- Picture this: Mairi Gillespie (left) and Pene Herman Smith (right) offer moral support to (Ellie Carr)
Catherine Keating in Artist Unknown
Pride And Prejudice: ‘consistently exceHenf
50 The List 23 Feb-7 .\lat' l‘)‘)(i