Bruce Morton: talking as much shite as he can
So far as I am aware. Bruce Morton‘s middle name is not. and has no likelihood ol‘ ever being. l.a/.arus. Yet the title of his new beanl‘east is The ()6 (lune/melt Special. For the man who recently dipped into the Channel 4- watcher"s psyche as a stalking neurotic delving into the concept ol‘ sin. and languishing in the coffee sltops of Amsterdam. sampling their heady wares. this title appears a mite odd.
‘So rrtany people were stopping me irt the street to ask me if I was still doing my thing.‘ counters .‘vlorton. ‘But l have been quite busy so it‘s just a bit tongue-in-cheek and a sell-rrrocking kick tip the arse l‘or mysell‘.‘ ll~ the lack of public performances on home soil have made him seem like a long- l‘orgotten subject. he is keen to set this straight. with a new show which he hopes will earn him the same acclaim which led to him grabbing the 1988 So You Think You 're Funny award.
But what is the set about. Bruce‘.’ ll! be r‘eprisittg some older work such as Home. previewing sortte new bits and talking as much shite as I can.’ he offers. ‘lt seemed appropriate to describe it as a comeback btrt I won't be wearing a leather suit.‘ Thank the blazes for that.
ll‘ his past material is any guideline. Morton will continue to follow a path of quasi-surrealism where velcro pyjamas. lizard-keepers in l’ossil and jumping party queues in l’artick are commonplace dilemmas any sensitive Glaswegian corrtedy guru has to cope with. Another more practical problem is the loss of inspiration.
‘l’overty is a great spur.‘ admits Morton. ‘But I think I‘m like most writers in that I don‘t really enjoy it until the linal l‘ull stop is on the page. When all you've got is that blank page it‘s. “I'll make more coffee. go for a walk. procrastinate some more." You could be changing a light bulb when the muse comes to say it only has two rnintrtes to spare.' That leap from inactivity to lien/ted motion. Perhaps only La/arus could fully understand that. (Brian Donaldson)
T/lt’ ()6 ('unrelmek Special. llrtu‘e .llm'lmt. ()ltl.'ll/l(’ll(l(’lllll. (f/(Ivg'mt‘. l'il'l 24/Stll 25 .l/tl)‘. .‘l/th (ll ‘Il‘tll‘t'l'se Theatre. lz'ilt'iI/mre/r. Her/2.717111” 2.? May.
It is really only a matter of months since Tan Dun was appointed to the post of Associate Composer/Conductor with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, yet in that time he has made an impact which defies comparison. Chinese born — Si Mao village in central Hunan in 1957 - Tan now lives in New York and is recognised as one of the most celebrated composers of his generation, especially for the way in which he unites Chinese shamanistic traditions with the western avant- garde.
Showcasing this mix of styles is a mini one day festival of his music, comprising an open workshop tor composition students, a BBC Invitation Concert of his chamber music programmed alongside that of his teacher Chou Wen Chung and his teacher Edgard Varese, and finally an evening orchestral concert. ‘lt’s all very special tor me,’ he says, ‘because this Mayfest day is not the usual a- coming and a-going opportunity composers get. With the students, I’ll be trying to get to the spiritual side of composition, to get them to create in such a way that they are more willing to share with their audience.’
Speaking in Munich the morning alter the incredibly successful premiere of his opera Marco Polo, where, among the capacity audience were representatives from 66
Tan Dun leads the ceremony
newspapers and producers and directors from Festivals throughout Europe, Tan says, ‘I think Maytest is going to be like this.’
at most excitement to Glasgow audiences will be his Circle - with four trios, conductor and audience — and Death and Fire - Dialogue with Paul Klee. ‘It will be very atmospheric,’ he says. ‘lt’s very ritualistic, like an Ancient Greek spiritual ceremony. I’m not just illustrating Paul Klee’s paintings. It’s more like having a dialogue from a different cultural angle.’ (Carol Main) Tan Dun in Glasgow, Sat 25 May, various venues. See listings for full details.
Prepare to weep during Mayfest. The title of Charlotte Delbo’s play Une Scene Jouée Dans La Memoire may have changed in translation, but in The Last Adieu, fActional Theatre are still telling a genuinely tragic story.
Members of the French Resistance, Delbo and her husband Georges Dudach were taken prisoner and interrogated by the Gestapo in 1942, neither realising their better half was incarcerated in the same prison. The night before they executed him, the Gestapo told Georges his wife was nearby. Offered a final wish, he chose to see her. After the execution, Delbo was transferred to Auschwitz.
The last Adieu dramatises the couple’s last hour together with an intensity which proved problematic for director Mariela Stevenson. ‘When people think of the French Resistance they think of bad black and white films and ’Allo ’Allo,’ she says. ‘We forget about the courage and integrity of these people. Until I saw Braveheart, I could not get a handle on the concept of dying for your country. I know it’s a cod movie, but suddenly I was struck by the heroism - the possibility of being swept along by an ideal. I encouraged the actors to find a Scottish angle that would help them, as well.’
Using dance and movement, plus an
The last Adieu: tragically true story
original score by Karen Maclver, Fringe First winners fActional are transforming the Citizens’ Stalls Studio. lleutral, non-period clothing and a white stage will help focus hearts and minds on this extraordinary story, where the recurring themes of grief and ‘time does not heal’ are explored by Delbo’s alter-ego Francoise.
‘I haven’t felt this positive about a play in a very long time,’ Stevenson insists. ‘The play is tempered by humour but I can still guarantee there will not be a dry eye in the house.’ (Paul Welsh)
The Last Adieu, fActionaI Theatre, Citizens’ Theatre, Glasgow, Tue
21—Sat 25 May.
Head to head encounter
Art of the body: Duffus‘ Body Print
The last few years have not been easy for Paul Dul‘l‘us. Since l‘lh’o’ he has juggled his career as an artist w rth treatment for paranoiac sclll/zrpllt'c‘llltt. At times it has been a hellish struggle: a seemingly endless round or therapy set against a determination to work as an artist. Now things are coming together for Dull'us with a show. ()rll (l.r Ill: Hem]. at Glasgow‘s Project -\bility.
It was while doing art .\l:\ in printrrtaking at London‘s Royal ('ollege of Art that Dull‘us. 33 years old and Edinburgh-bor'n. had a nerv ods breakdown. ‘l was under pressure to produce work ol' quality and quantity btrt I had no tirrte to develop personally.’ says Dillllls. ‘When I was diagnosed as schizophrenic. I didn‘t even know wltat the word really meant. But in retrospect my work showed that l was going that way. 'l‘here were portents of disaster?
Art has always been vital to Hill-lit» He remembers a childhood '.lts'ett‘vcty ol' the magic paint book which when painted with water turned to rnulti coloured pictures. But l)ullus. ttc\ er one to take things slowly. threw the book into the bath to produce \v hat he called ‘a book ol' instant art'
l)ulltrs is now an established printtnaker with work in British and international collections. and tor the past few months. has been working at Glasgow‘s Trongatc Studios a multi— media sttrdio space accessed by over 7() members with a range ol mental health (lil‘l'ictrlties. Dull‘us‘ has been running a print workshop and (hit ()r l'lrz' llt-ta/ brings together this work along with work by Dullus made to er the last sixteen years. In one piece. 'l'lre 'l'ree 0/ Life I'irle/tls‘ ll'r'I/r Ils' Slim/ow. inspired by Freud's writings. a curling tree trunk is plagued by dark shadow s~ It‘s an emotive work. all the more so when l)ul‘l’us says: ‘lt‘s‘ all part ol the human experience. What is sanity. what is not sattity L" (Strsanna Beaumont)
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