M Beatle suit and Willy Russell hairdo,

the current leading lady Clodagh Rodgers Eurovision saddoes will

remember her comes on like a Scouse Mother Courage high on superstition,

King is Theatre. Edinburgh. until Sat I 9 whose desperate circumstances set the Oct. whole ball rolling when she gives her Is Willy Russell just the Andrew Lloyd son away to the highest bidder. Webber of the underclass? For in as Paul Crosby as Mickey the bro' at much as they both have a consummate the shitty end of the stick and Susan understanding of the craft and push the McArdle as Linda the object of the same emotional buttons in the huge brothers‘ affections - are the shining audiences they each command. they do lights here, leading a cast full of energy pretty much the same thing. and verve. Bill Kenwright and Bob

But Russell differs in that he writes Tomson's touring production proves it with passion and depth. That way his can still bring out the waterworks some over-riding concern for the human thirteen years on from its premiere, spirit however sentimental blaze even if Russell’s own music (can‘t be a through. Though dressed up as a pop star? then write a musical instead) working-class musical. Blood Brothers is forgettany mediocre, and some of mixes up Greek Shakespearian and the singing is woefully off-key. Brechtian drama. plus a bit nicked from And of course, Russell's passions get fellow Merseysider Elvis Costello‘s in the way of his writing, but rather that ‘Watching The Detectives’, fixing them than schematic austerity. The in such a readily identifiable context marvellous way the story is conveyed that you can‘t help but be bowled over so simply and economically is by the tragic saga of the twins testament to the play's youth-theatre separated at birth who fall either side of roots. and could teach much of the new the tracks and then for the same breed of ‘popular' theatre practitioners Who"! “Mlflcmg'i cal Ma“an 3'5 Hamm 3‘ "'8 Wile"? "I08"! woman. a thing or two. while its message . . . .

While the play‘s narrator stalks the remains a lively reminder that class still w and use “Re mimomm? upwind action like an avenging angel in a counts. (Neil Cooper) g'a'es‘ones' " s a “8'9" "me" 9"”

perfect physical shape to the action, by turns propelling it forward - opening up the bleak expanses of at Citizens’ Theatre, Glasgow, until Sat land desolated by deceit and misrule -

19 Oct. and shutting off claustrophobic A new production of Hamlet at the Cltz sections to isolate Hamlet (Cal (and particularly one directed and MacAninch) in his internal turmoil.

designed by Philip Prowse) brings with This inner turbulence finds it a whole barrowload of history and expression in MacAninch’s tightly-

expectations. The mythology wound energy: he darts across the surrounding the company’s previous stage, delivering sharp-tongued three Great Danes - of boldly observations at breakneck speed. If

irreverent interpretations and public the heightened, hectic pace borders at outrage - is now an established part times on the melodramatic, losing in of Glasgow’s theatrical folklore. This its relentless drive some of the

Hamlet, though, comes happily subtleties of Shakespeare’s language,

unhampered by its own historical ultimately MacAninch creates a

baggage. It’s a production guided by wholly convincing picture of

an assured sense of the play’s internal paranoiac restlessness, pent-up

logic, one which builds its own youthful anger and contusion. llis

unstoppable and utterly compelling Hamlet - no gentle philosopher - finds

momentum. perfect foil among a strong cast, who Prowse’s deceptively simple Elsinore together create a cruel, cold vision of

is a space defined by a thrusting, the Danish court a world where

diagonally-raked stage (strewn with artifice and self-delusion hold sway.

hallmark funereal crepe-paper leaves), All told. the Praduction has a

-‘ . backed by a towering stretch of coal- confidence, force and coherence that ' " " "' black bricks, and divided by a series makes you envy those coming to the

Blood Brothers: ‘you can’t help but be bowled over’ 0' Memcfing plans, which descend play for the first time. (Minty Donald)




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The List 4- l7 Oct 1996 59