Please please me
Never ones for compromise, DV8 PHYSICAL THEATRE are back with a show that puts the boot into pretty dance. exam. Ellie Carr
Strange things are aloot iii the world ol‘ Lloyd New-son. artistic director ol’ DV8 Physical Theatre for ten _\cars. l’or his latest trick. lluuml To Please. the high priest oi hard-hitting dance—theatre is dressing tip his company in lycra leotards and drilling them in the delights ot pirouettes and pert'ectly [‘ttlltlt‘tl llt‘t‘l.
l)tlll‘l l‘t‘ l‘lHllL‘tl lltttllgll. 'l‘he :\tlssie e\—pat behind one ol' the world’s most radical companies has not gone sort in the head or tartan in the slippers. llrttt/ttl lit l’lt'tts‘t’. currently touring liurope and due to arri\e in (ilasgow this month. is a parody In the ﬂesh. it's a hard-hearted e\pose ol' the prettil‘ied world ol‘ mainstream dance that packs more punches than a delending world champion.
The cast oi eight play a group ol‘ ‘dancers‘ who throw on" the shackles oi their set steps iii a manner you're not likely to see at a .Viilt'ruekt'r matinee. Sutt'iee to say they get both naked and violent. attd it‘s not to slitm ot't~ their periect dancers' bodies »— at least t‘llL‘ Ul- lllc‘ltt is (ta _\t‘;ll's Hltl.
“The thing about dancef says \ewson. ‘is it's about people hetng the same. I would say this piece is about what happens \\ hen you ﬁnally say “I don't \\ ant to he like e\er_\hody else. I don‘t want to he the same.” In dance there are many set rules. It's an idealist setup. and while it's great to struggle tor a
‘The thing about dance is it's about people being the same. This piece is about what happens when you finally say “I don't want to be like everybody else. I don't want to be the same." ' Lloyd Newson
Naked truths: DV8's anti~dance piece Bound To Please
certain ideal. it can also he destructive.‘
This production-line aspect of dance has had famous victims. At New York City Ballet in the 50s. Balanchine‘s star dancer Suzanne l‘arrell became so revered as the modern ballet ideal that colleagues underwent plastic surgery and acquired cocaine habits to ape her bony. haunted look.
Newson‘s target is altogether more contemporary. and far closer to home. He is hacked oil with those big showy shows which ptit box office before artistic innovation and finish it all oil with a tap dance and smile.
‘I think there‘s a big move at the moment to do work that's not very challenging.‘ says Newson. ‘You can see it with pieces like Tap Dogs and River-(lance. They're all very “nice” pieces. but they're not challenging or. for me. very real. It‘s about being pleasant to each other. even at the expense of avoiding the truth.‘
One thing you can he sure of. then — Round '1}; Please is not a nice piece. Unlike [inter xlt'ltlllt's. Newson‘s rollicking dance rendering of super-lads on the piss. it makes no attempt to entertain. and no apologies for being aggressively in-yer— lace. ‘l‘ve tried to avoid all the big tricks.’ he says. ‘lt does not give audiences that l‘eelgood lactor.’
lilsewhere in litirope. the show has already sparked controversy. upsetting critics whose vision ot dance loveliness does not include a 67-year-old woman in the hull. Newson has no regrets. It is. he believes. another symptom of a Pro/ac and li generation that chooses to neck happy pills rather than lace the truth. ‘lt feels like a lot ot~ people wartt to he stroked rather than deal with harsh things.' .\'ewson says. ‘What happens‘.’ You go out and buy your chemicals or you go otit and buy your nice dance piece. We do all need to escape at times. But I do get concerned when I see people constantly running.’
Bound To Please, DV8 Physical Theatre, Tramway, Glasgow, Thurs 10—Sat 12 Apr.
preview THEATRE Stage Whispers
Words spoken softly from the prompt corner.
ACTORS REFUSE WORK SHOCKER! Or at least they were expected to as we went to press. Despite the severe scarcity of acting employment, British actors are anticipating instructions from their union, Equity, not to sign any new theatre contracts until further notice. For weeks, Equity has been struggling to reach agreement with the Theatrical Management Association over a proposed rise in the minimum weekly wage from around £200 to £250. As we went to press, the 31 March deadline — when the previous agreement expired — had passed, but Equity spokesman Martin Brown was not willing to discuss the union's response. If the instruction
goes ahead, existing contracts will be honoured, but actors will refuse ; to sign new contracts, resulting —
f eventually —< in a rare shortage of
E labour on Britain's stages.
ELAINE C. SMITH, the Glaswegian actress/5inger/comedienne, has often complained she’s not taken
seriously. If rumours circulating
about Edinburgh's Royal Lyceum
Theatre are true, all that could end. 3 According to our sources, the
theatre’s Shakespeare production
this year will be Much Ado About
Nothing; and the central roles of
Beatrice and Benedick — the sparring couple whose duel of witty ripostes leads to romantic entanglement - have been offered to Ms Smith and Forbes Masson, who both appeared
, in the Tron Theatre’s touring farce
; Dumbstruck!. A Shakespearian lead — and a feisty one at that — can be,
as Beatrice puts it, ’A dear happiness
to women.’ If you're willing to sign
the contract, that is.
HAPPILY FREE FROM SUCH CON-
; SIDERATIONS — because it’s free —A is ' 7:84 Theatre Company’s Play/writing
Summerschool. Led by Iain Heggie,
writer of A Wholly Healthy Glasgow
(see page 62), the Summerschool, now in its eighth year, runs in Glasgow, Mon 21 July—Fri 1 Aug, and complete beginners are encouraged to apply. Former participants include Chris Dolan, author of Poor Ange/s
And Other Stories, who has adapted several of his stories for the stage;
and Paul Laverty, who wrote the screenplay for Ken Loach's film Carla's Song. Send a sample of any kind of writing to Robert Thomson, Literary Manager, 7:84, 2 Port Dundas Place, Glasgow 62 3L8.
Elaine C. Smith and Forbes Masson express surprise at casting rumours
4 t/Aor WQ’THELISTSS