Smack in the eye: Joanne Davy and Gabriel Quigley in The Gun


Glasgow: Citizens' Main House Theatre, until Sat l9Apr bur

Drugs, disadvantage and death all feature in The Gun, one of three Wildcat productions currently at the Citizens'. Musical theatre is often associated with romping tunes, ham acting and dodgy lyrics; and coupling music with social commentary makes this project doubly ambitious. But The Gun avoids those cringeing ’cue for a song' moments by having hardly any dialogue this production is an almost seamless set of songs.

Set in Glasgow’s East End, The Gun follows the fortunes of a group of trends torn apart by drugs, delving into issues of power, poverty and the breakdown of relationships. Progession of the plot is patchy, although the use of crossword clues as links between scenes is a clever device. Not much

happens in the first half, and the ability of the bright young cast is under-used. There is little in the script that allows them to express frustration and dissatisfaction, or to explore their ties to each other. As a result, violence, betrayal and death seem crammed into the second half, without the emotional depth needed to touch the audience.

The problem is that neither the story nor the issues are new:The Gun doesn't teach us anything we didn’t know already. The characters live in a society that affords them little opportunity; and smack seems a way out of the cycle of poverty and boredom. But the treatment of these issues is shallow, if not patronising; name-check drug references are not enough to make The Gun credible. Holding the production together is the music. Covering all options from country, rap and reggae to a Shaft- inspired 70s thriller theme, it is an excellent showcase for the talented Sounds Of Progress band. (Kate Smith)

COMEDY An Actress Prepares

Glasgow: Citizens' Circle Studio, until Sat l9Apr “a”

Cringe with embarrassment at seeing an actress far from her prime. Cairo McCoy has a hangover and is in no fit state to be seen by an audience. But don’t worry. That simply describes the opening of this 90-minute monologue written by David MacLennan, directed by John Bett and performed by Juliet Cadzow. This new show by Wildcat sandwiched between the company’s two others at the Citizens', in which actors are doing their ’normal' job of playing someone else - reveals the warts-and-all off-stage persona of an actress. The parallels between reality and fiction allow life and play-acting to merge together into a brutally honest, irreverent and brilliantly funny performance.

Both actresses have played the title role in The Prime Of Miss Jean Brod/e Cadzow at Edinburgh’s Royal Lyceum in 1993; her alter-ego the preVious night. While Cairo awaits the critics’ verdict in the Sunday papers on her Miss Brodie, and nurses her hangover from the post-show party with a combination of hair of the dog and Maria Callas, she recalls the highs and lows of the acting profession. The often tragically large diVide between dreams and reality is portrayed as pure comedy. The actress recounts going to a 10b in Egypt with expectations of

epic filming in the desert a la Peter O' Toole; but finds herself starring in an advert for Egyptian tourism. Entwined with such reminiscences are her comments on the state of being an actress in Scotland, battling not JUSI With lines, but With agents, directors, the Arts Council, harsh critics and constantly looming unemployment. The stories are unashamedly based upon the facts of Cadzow's own career, but far from being a predictable and indulgent piece of autobiography, the play is a whirling journey through the mind of a performer as she tries to relax on her sacrosanct Sunday. (Helen Terry)

Stage fright: Juliet Cadzow in An Actress Prepares

review THEATRE cm" "I u n I E H theatre company 4‘ presents

"stupendously inventive” THE SCOTSMAN

"a beguiling feast of tales” - THE HERALD

TRAVERSE THEATRE Cambridge St. Edinburgh

£7 (£3.50) Family Ticket £l7.50 Box Office:0l3l 228 I404

TOUR: Cumbernauld Theatre 29 & 30 April ° Citizens Theatre Glasgow Mayfest 6 - lO May °

_ The Lemon Tree Aberdeen I7 & l8 May

Cottier Theatre

Hyndland Street Glasgow

April 20 HALLEI.U.IAH! Glasgow Gospel Choir &

Dance Company

VISITING HOUR by Richard Harris Pantheon Club presents a new comedy

April 23 - 26

MUSIC MAKERS Young Musicians Recital

April 27

SHAKERS RE-S'I‘IRREI) Wee Slice Theatre Co in John Godber‘s hit comedy

April 30 - May 4

'I‘()M PAX’I‘ON Special visit from famous US folk singer

May 26

l8Apr—l May 1997 THE IJ3T59

l7-2I April 7pm (3pm of Sundays)

Adam SmithTheati'e Kii‘kcaldy 2 & 3 May lnvergordon Arts Centre l4 & l5 May

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