Glasgow: Theatre Royal, Wed l4—Sat 17 May.
In an ideal world, the UK premiere of Peter Maxwell Davies’s music- theatre piece Resurrection might have spawned a bold new production. It has taken ten years to get it performed in Britain at all, so perhaps we shouldn’t complain. So all strength to Mayfest’s elbow for programming it, especially in the Muziektheater Transparent production from Antwerp, which the composer describes as ’full of life and tremendous conviction.’
Conceived during the 605, while Maxwell Davies was a student in the USA, Resurrection is not a complex piece of music. ’Rather,’ says the composer, ’it has various levels, which it goes through at a hell of a rate. At the end, you come out with something straight- forward. lt's a mixture of visual material, sound, rock music.’
Resurrection does not have a storyline in the traditional sense. The piece is composed as a collage - musically, dramatically and visually. Further definition comes from the two levels on which it operates: first in reality, through the central character (a still, silent dummy) and the society that surrounds him; and second in the world of television, through the use of mock commercial footage.
'I had the idea of doing this piece partly from the move towards extreme commercialisation in America — which has since happened in Britain,’ says Maxwell Davies. ‘There were ridiculous adverts on W, every bit as daft as mine in Resurrection. I wanted to do something which would point that up. At the centre is the figure Ham - and if you want to find a moral in it, it is "don't treat people badly or they might turn on you and do you harm." '
In both musical and verbal terms, Resurrection takes a lead from Mahler and Shostakovich. ’The music and
'Rude and anti-estabalishment’: Peter Maxwell Davies's Resurrection
words say much more than they appear to say,’ explains Maxwell Davies. ’I come from what used to be called a working-class background, in Lancashire, and in that sort of society things were not always said. For example, you hear couples say, "that’s our tune”, which would mean more than they could ever express in words. Part of the technique of Resurrection is the way that the cliche stands for something much more profound.’
Describing the piece as ’rude and anti-establishment’, Maxwell Davies feels it will work well in Glasgow. ’There’s a chance that people will know what it’s about,’ he believes. 'I don’t know about Edinburgh,’ he adds. 'It would probably get a very different reaction there.’ (Carol Main)
Tickets and information
All you need to know about Scotland’s second-biggest arts festival.
DATES: Mayfest runs Thurs t—Sat 24 May, at venues all over Glasgow.
INFORMATION: The Mayfest information line is 0141 552 8444. You can also contact individual venues to ask about the performances that are on there.
TICKET OUTLETS: You can buy tickets for most events in person, by phone or by post from The Ticket Centre, Candleriggs, Glasgow Gt tNQ,
0141 287 5511. Tickets for most events are also available at the venues where they take place. Box office numbers are given below and in our listings.
MAYFEST TICKET HOTLINE:
0141 287 5000. MAIN VENUE BOX OFFICES: 0141 221 9736 0141 332 0522 0141 429 0022 0141 357 3868 0141 332 8128 0141 353 4137 0141 287 5511 0141 287 5511 0141 332 9000/ 0141 556 5555 0141 287 3900 Tron Theatre: 0141 552 4267
THE LIST’S MAYFEST PREVIEW: On this page and the next two, we preview a selection of the most exciting Mayfest events this fortnight. Events beginning Fri l6-Sat 24 May Will be covered in our next issue, published on Thurs 17 May.
Citizens' Theatre: Cottier Theatre: GlasgowFilm Theatre: GRCH
Old Fruitmarket: Theatre Royal:
LISTINGS: To make it easier for you to find what you're looking for, we’ve divided Mayfest events into our usual listings sections: Film (page 31), Music (page 53), Drama and Dance (page 68), Comedy (page 73), Clubs (page 75), Art (page 89), Kids (page 98).
NAIVE ART David Shrigley Glasgow: CCA Sat 3 May—Sat 7 Jun.
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Keeping the home fires burning: David Shrigley‘s cement and enamel piece. Campfire
18THELIST 2--l5 May i997
We have all seen them. The hand- written, forlorn notices tied to lamp- posts proclaiming the lost of a much- loved cat called Sooty or the like. Band Shrigley certainly has. He once pinned a note to a tree announcing the loss of a ’grey and white pidgeon [sic] With black bits . a bit mangy- looking'.
Shrigley has a knack for lampooning the mundanely tragic His crude drawrngs are populated With a hybrid of Beano-style characters and idle, graffiti-like meanderings. Caught up with everyday banalities, his characters and their attendant speech bubbles teeter on the brink of minor disaster, serious self-delusion or downright silliness. They are an odd bunch. They are also funny. His sculpture likewise. Throwing together the ordinary With the sublime, his piece entitled God consists of a mini-mountain of cornflakes With the head of a bearded gentleman nestled in the summit. Perhaps a tease on the repeated serialisation of our Lord?
Sitting in his Glasgow kitchen and munching on a bacon roll, Shrigley expresses surprise When asked about the humorous intentions in his work. ’I am a serious artist,’ he says with not one hint of irony. ’I don’t see myself as a comedian, and I am surprised if my works make me laugh.‘ The expected response from any true, self-respecting comic, but Shrigley has certainly hit the funny bone.
With a recent solo exhibition in one of London’s smarter private galleries and work currently on show in Zurich, Shrigley is a twenty-something artist Who's gained entry to the international art world. But for his exhibition of new SCulpture at CCA, Shrigley looks set to stray into a different spiritual terrain. 'lt’s going to be very Zen and spartan’ he says. But his absurdist humour looks set to remain intact. Thanks to the Yellow Pages, he has found a local supplier of polystyrene bits to fill a giant, pink and furry soft snake-like soft toy. It'll be called Strange Toy For A Strange Child. (Susanna Beaumont)
Mayfest highlight: Irish company Macnas present the epic Celtic myth of Balor the cyclops at the King's Theatre