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Montrose:‘the script never allows a fully rounded character to emerge‘


Royal [.yr'eimi. Iz'rli/i/iiirjgli until Sui 3'." Marc/i.

With the recent Holly wood vogue t'or Scots swashbucklers. it seems tinter for theatre to follow suit and resurrect any unsung historical hero it cart get its . hand on. Robert Forrest's new play makes an admirable attempt at authenticity. but trying to tease a relevant. accessible piece from one oi the most confusing periods in our history is as great a task as getting independence itselt‘.

For here. rather than any run of the mill English-verstis—Scots yarn. we have a 17th century Scots cavalier who witnessing the struggle against the State's religious dogma become a quest for power —- lights against his own countrymen. The honour-driven Montrose stands out in :t battlefield ot' seltish motivations. but his own conflicting loyalties to Covenanters and King eventually bring about his downfall.

All this should otter rich pickings for high drama. and Mini/rose does capture something of the highly charged emotion of the times. Yet the static pace of Kenny Ireland‘s production can't sustain this. while the unavoidable academic baggage ot' tlte script is at best dull. Sti'iding across an uncomfortable-looking St Andrew‘s Cross. Liam Brennan‘s Montrosc displays the man‘s blind conviction. 'out the script never allows a IllIIy rounded character. with all the human failings and contradictions that implies. to emerge.

The Scots have always taken a perverse pride in championing the underdog. and .l1miimsc is one more example of this. But things are never taken any further. and any parallels to Scotland today are slight. It‘s good to see a brand new Scots play on a ntain stage. but whether it's the right play is debatable. (Claire Prentice)


Seen at Paisley Arts Centre. On tour. You would need to be a dour soul not to enjoy this streetwise but lighthearted comedy. There is nothing particularly deep or original in the play, but with playwright/actor/ director Kathleen Buddy’s tight handling of Rubber Ear Productions’ excellent performances, the piece

works a treat, with the ring of authenticity and genuine feeling.

Set around a mythical Perfect Homes Exhibition, the plot concerns a group of three Govan women: Cheree (Buddy), Kelly (Patricia Mullin), and Magrit (Jeanie Mitchell) who hatch a plan to swipe the takings and escape from their mundane lives.

Each puts in a fine performance, but

pride of place goes to Jeanie Mitchell, ' ,' who develops Magrit from a timid housewife to adulterer and cabaret

singer. Granted she has all the best lines; but she nonetheless beautifully combines a believable character with quirky humour.

The two male characters (played by

Hugh Latin-n and Raymond Burke} seem

happy to play idiots with no insight into women’s lives, but their clowning contrasts well with the colourful women. Andy Drummond’s set design

is simple but ettective and the use of : Perez Prado’s music creates the right 3 ironic tone for this cracking show.

(Philip J. Cowan)


thrill til / li'tiil/ /\'r’\.l./. (It'tltl'c’t'lt. .‘Il

.llt t' H 'i’yl.

there‘s a quiet revolution going on in

; Scottish BLIIlt'I.\ wardrobe tlepztt'iillei‘tl. last year. the company went otit on a

limb. trading the traditional tuttis ot‘

Swan lull~ tor designer thicads troin

the t'oi'eycr elegant and labelworthy .laspcr ( om‘au.

Now Ivor ‘lt’ l'tl’ltt; Kiss” the latest piece trout Scottish Ballet‘s hottest property in a long. time. resident

choreographer .‘ylark llatdwin the

some fabulous dancing. Daria Klimentova is ravishing as tlte (literally) tligltty Sylpliide. \'Iadisnov Btibnov is big. powcriul and polished as James. And last word goes to the corps. who sweep the floor with last— tii'e blasts of ensemble dancing. (Iillie




Iii/iia'iiirg'i'i lint/it'rn’ Hint/rt" ii/ili/ .Vtil 3.? ;

Arches Theatre, Glasgow, until Sat 23


The programme notes for Tangerine

f Productions’ rendition of Joe Orton’s ' black comedy record the ‘storm of

controversy’ it provoked when first

unveiled in 1964. It comes over as

faintly apologetic: 32 years later, the behaviour depicted on stage includes

. nothing that isn’t beamed daily into 2 our living rooms like manna from

dancers are looking good in i. ltiii-t'tinky'

L designs from Scottolt born designer f Jaccpielinc llaticlicr.

Still Ilt pointc shoes but ditching trad pink in favour ol~ satin black. the girls strike crisp. clean poses in two-tone mini ttitus and ultra-tight. llltltt‘w lute body- stockings. topped w ith a body -

v circling black three—stripe iuotit any

Adidas wearer would be print! or l'ltc men strut a parade of boxy. punchy

. steps in (ills two tone check shirts.

minutes later changing to vests that litig

. the to: so in mind bending black and

white swirls.

So far so lllills'} But groovy costumes

alone do not make ti dance piece. .‘lc’

l'oiiti' Kiss. like all ISaIdw in's work. is a neatly ordered amalgam oi ballet and contemporary. I'Ic'lc‘. he swings heavily towards the classical. and w ith ait

almost Balaitchincstpte l'tl'z’fllltllil/‘r'. throws a hip-pitting jar/2y inflection 1 into the ini\. It's no eat'tit~sltattci'iiig choreography -- and possibly not

Baldwin's best but it is slick. sassy and vivacious; proof that. minus the floaty frocks. 90s ballet can look pretty tough

la: .\'_\'t’;2/ii'o’c. on the other hand. is a very tloaty ballet indeed. It‘s also Scottish - in that shortbread—tin [irigudom kind of way -- with a super- clicesy storyline. It‘s rarely performed -~ possibly due to the lactors listed above ~— but Scottish Ballet don‘t seem to care. giving it their all. with a tai'taittriiiiined tlamboyance that‘s itnpossible to resist. Mostly it's treated as an excuse for

Broadcasting House. But it’s worth dwelling on the fact that physical and verbal abuse

l towards women, sexual hedonism, ; bisexuality and violence against the

elderly did once seem unsuitable subject matter tor the theatre. Safely

i ensconced in post-modernism, we chuckle wrily at the amorality on

'. main protagonists are a past-her-best widow, her repressed homosexual

display, seldom allowing that a mirror

cynical generation.

Entertaining Mr Sloane is perhaps Orton’s snidest assault on the sexual hypocrisy of 19605 Britain. Its three

brother and the smooth-skinned lodgers

who exploits their compliance to the

point of getting away with murder. The '

Entertaining Mr Sloane. ‘hana‘somely inountetl‘

i l

nastin blunt Sloane plays well off Linda McLaughlin’s breathy Kath and Grant Smeaton’s pinched Ed; while director Boss Stenhouse makes a fair

1 stab at their frail but obstreperous . faither. The proceedings flag a bit

; during the overlong negotiations of

the second act, but mostly this is an

i enjoyable, even poignant reminder

I M i

that mores may change but morals seldom improve. (Andrew Burnet)


.Vcci: at lit/wt \( litt'ttfu‘. ("ax/MiaFujli.

li'it'llliitl‘t' (Ii/liltg't’ll'. [ill -T/Mlmt‘i't’il’.

With the litayersc itiaik‘ing (he \i‘t‘i.

Iidiubtu’glt based all male dance otttlit

I 'I lie .\ I’actor return to the place that

sttlilitli‘lle clioicogia (‘holinoittllt-y st set to a Iltlilll


whom are new recruits

i their tip—tempo paces.

nii\cd. boxy. desiL'

pi'citiicicd last years l'.l‘. rut. icwcd

: /\’t t.’ to give liiglll to i'ltyntealong

\Cclllt'l [hilt]

Sticking: to the sparky lilttcprint ol /\’t if. director".‘liorctit'raph. i. and this little rotiittl tlaitcci. .-\l‘ati (ii'ciy‘ dcliu rs 4* minutes. woith ol'titiii‘l.}. snappy


{ii-v IIlIi\.\

i'etttinisccnt til I.l.‘(l .‘\.idcrso:i's


soundtrack li‘otti (ilastjow 's (I'lltlil\lt

.\gainst the snatched

sounds or. kitst il sci it t'iliit liarintro/.21.

\at'iotis 713's cltccsyhstcntn}: lot is that

is being held up to our own, more ;

y icw ing‘i 'l‘\ programmes and

throwaway voicco‘.ci's on dinosaurs. g Ilitlct ‘s diaries and Judy (iai'land. the {our boy s t'ioni X l’at'tor

lltl't‘e tlli

run through

'I'hcy ‘rc young and tip to a poiitt hungry tor the stage. I'ltcy «.tll a dash in . uci'} aist.’oats and

bt'ecks. Hut. ultimaton they tail to do

drama’s crux is that Sloane’s immunity : wait-c to the stun a trans potential.

stems from Kath and Ed disguising their sexual needs: neither Bedlpat, menopausal women nor gay men are socially permitted to express desire. Similarly, much of the comedy (which survives the generation gap untarnished) derives from the double entendres, euphemisms and evasions i

- which still litter British speech: if

f conceived in passion but ‘thought of’.

Orton can slip in a phrase like ‘let me i plump your cushions,’ he will; I conversely, Kath’s baby was not

Tangerine Productions approach this i material with enthusiasm. Veronica I Bennie’s handsomely mounted setting . wisely remains vaguely 19605, but now i occupies an eccentrically genteel l Glaswegian semi. Bab Christie’s .

liming is oil. passion is lacking and

i locus falters once too often. (ii'eiil's

last-lane. cut and paste choreography is vital and itit'c'ctiotis. but requires total application and splitsct outl timing to set its itink'y wheels in motion. \Vithont

: these qualities. nuggets oi movement . look bitty and snatches ol imagery are

left floating Illini'iIII' There are moments w hen the whole thing suddenly gels. and when it does.

2 it does so with :t streamlined. sesy. * casual ease. shot throttin with cheeky. ironic wit 'l'hcsc tlasltes oi thrilling.

tanked-UP ‘llls dance are what [it (at

should have been. but without the

talents of Cireig‘s lirst time round cast the new work‘ plays out as a pale shadow or lit (1. tl’illie (‘arri

Mubgi WWW——