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In terms of hype, Irvine Welsh has been up there with Tarantino and Oasis of late, and his name keeps cropping up in this year’s Fringe programme.
The stage version of Trainspotting (at the Assembly Roorrrs) is billed as Edinburgh's last chance to see it — believe that ifyou must. Meanwhile Boilerhouse Theatre performs Hem/state. an early Welsh project at Graffiti.
Could there possibly be a hint of overkill“? Familiar themes emerge from talking to Tam Dean Burn. who plays scam merchant Martin Sykes in Hem/state. Extreme characters. black humour. a Clubland setting and the drug scene within it. ()ne of the characters has AIDS following a brief flirtation with IV drug use.
But Burn says the idea of artists passing their sell~by date is part of the consumerist conspiracy the show tackles. ‘It is about how growing up in the consumerism of the late 20th century has affected people.
‘They treat culture the same fucking way they treat washing machines — built-in obsolescence. But the newspapers and the establishment can react lrow they like. The people Irvine is writing for are not going to have a problem.‘
Adverts and posters proclaim: ‘This is not a Play'. In fact the company inrprovised the characters. ‘Then Irvine gave it a structure. some sort of story by colliding these characters together.‘ Burn explains.
First performed twelve years ago. Hem/state‘s new promenade format features radio-rniked actors. an improved set and a soundtrack by Graham Cunnington. formerly of Test Department. Initially written with club venues in‘mind. the target audience is clubbers and those who understand the
Welsh language: in. Dean em tstbe it In
scene. Others may struggle with it. Burn admits. ‘Almost unanimously the “arbiters oftaste" don‘t like it. I'm glad about that‘.
Is it saying anything new“? Bum gives the impression that the very question is flawed. 'People say “do you not get fed A up going along and hearing a four/four beat?“ But in clubs. no. people don‘t.‘ (Stephen Naysmith)
I lieadstate (Fringe) Boilerhouse
Theatre. Graffiti (Venue 90). l6—3l Aug (not 20. 27). l2.3()pm/2.30pm. £9.50 (£5.00)
For many people, the Guardian’s front page photo oi an anonymous Bosnian woman hanging by her belt from a tree in Tuzla is seared onto the retina. it remains a pennanent icon of the conflict, one which managed to communicate a mass oi complex, seemingly lncommunlcable
Writer and director Kate Chapman wanted to pick up that tangle of emotions and create a theatrical work based on the woman’s lite, and her relationships. To try and keep the strength and simplicity ot that original image, her tour-strong cast use a multitude ot tableaux in the Play. ‘When I looked at the picture I
.. 4-, t - ‘ x l . i ‘ Alan llay, who plays The Old Man in tree
thought how terrible that this is the lasting image we have oi her. I wanted to know what her hopes and expectations were, and yes we did tind humour and positive things in her
lite. It’s not completely unrelenting doom and gloom.’
Chapman says, ‘I had a sense that she had made a decision to leave the world behind her because what she faced was too terrible. I admired her for that.’
In a society where suicide is otten thought at as an admission of tailure or deieat, admiration is an intriguing response. Chapman muses thoughtfully, “From what I knew ot what happened in Bosnia, I thought about myselt in that situation, completely powerless and without control. Could I take the future into my own hands?’ that’s not to say that the play treats her suicide as a triumph, but, says Chapman, it “raises that suggestion’. (Cabe Stewart) rm (Fringe) Bradford University theatre Group, Creytrtars Itlrtthouse (Venue 28) 2.25 3626, 19-24 Aug, 12.15pm, £4 (£2. 50)
I Rough Guide to Scottish Authors The array of literary delectables changes daily at Edinburgh‘s newest venue dedicated to all things Scots. Among the lunchtime feasts on offer this week: leading Scottish poet Edwin Morgan on Friday l6 August; novelist Robin Jenkins (The Cone Gatherers) on Saturday l7 August; novelist A. L. Kennedy on Sunday l8 August and all-round literary heavyweight Iain Crichton Smith. reading in both Gaelic and English on Wednesday 2| August.
The Rough Guide to Sr'ottish Authors (Fringe) Scottish International. The Famous Grouse House (Venue 34) 220 5606. until 3/ Aug (not [9. 26. 27). noon. £3.50.
I Parallel lines Reviewed in last week's List as ‘great. seductive theatre' with a five-star rating. Theatre Cryptic‘s powerful evocation of Molly Bloom's soliloquy from Joyce’s Ulysses has a short shelf-life. only running until l8 August. so get in quick. Parallel Lines (Fringe) Theatre
C I'_\‘])ff('. Traverse (Venue [5) 228 I404. until [8 Aug. times rary. £7 (£4).
I Paper Cuts Continental Brechtfest returns with a comedy chamber musical featuring nine new songs and sketches based on a marriage and the media. Includes free Festival Fruit Finger (iced fruit bun to you and me). Paper Cuts (Fringe) Continental Brechjest. The Gilded Balloon (Venue 38; 226 215/. until 3 I Aug. [0.45am £5 (£4).
I The Bible (Abridged) Reduced Shakespeare Company‘s fast- paced and furious rendition of the Good Book is going down a storm. but bring your Rennies. The Bible: The Complete Word Of God (Fringe) Reduced Shakespeare Company. Assembl y Rooms. until 3/ Aug (not 28). ll.30am. £9/£8 ( £8/£ 7).
THE LIST’S TIPS run THE BEST snows 9am—1pm
The List l6-22 Aug I996 23 ‘i