MAYFEST preview


Glasgow: Tron Theatre, Fri 2—Sat 24 May. When empires fall, the ensuing blast can travel the world. The aftermath of perestroika, the late- 805 explosion of democracy in what used to be called the Soviet Union, is a case in point. As East embraced West, money talked. But talk was cheap, and as always it was the people who ended up short- changed. Irina Brown, the Tron’s new, Russian-born artistic director, is reluctant to play up the purely Russian aspects of Alexei Shipenko’s Lavochkin—S (La FUnf In Der Luft), which receives its British premiere at the Tron this fortnight in a new translation she co-wrote with Iain Heggie.

Instead, Brown prefers to concentrate on the universal. ’lt challenges beliefs and breaks taboos,’ she says of her debut production. 'Not just political ones, though opening the day after the general election has trebled the play's importance in that it’s about people on the cusp ofchange!

More specifically, the play centres

on two characters: an old woman and her elderly son locked in a cramped room, the venue of their final verbal tussle. The legendary World War II fighter plane that gives the play its English title becomes the symbol of their unfulfilled ambitions. ’These people have nothing left except a crippled language,’ says Brown of the play, which caused something of a stir in Shipenko’s homeland, pushing him to the forefront of Russia’s new

wave of writers.

The play's linguistic playfulness made Heggie - of Wholly Healthy Glasgow fame a logical choice as co- translator. The play is a comedy, after all. ’I said from the start it was to be a translation and not an adaptation,’ says Brown. ’The lines are so specific that

POP Schino Glasgow: iylayfest Cliib, Tours 15 May.

l‘ you haven't already heard of Sthino igrout tirized 'she-know', as in 'she knows what she wants in niiisit and in life'i you will soon

The talented trio Carla «.T9i, Wendi '23" and Tashaka «20) were brouttlit together adverts plated by Edzrihui'rihhorn songwriter Karen Monroe in Smash Hits and Melony Maker The London-based girls .uditiened at the Brill Building in Glasgow, where Wet Wet Wet recorded 'Love ls All Around' The rest is history in the making at least

"They're easily the most talented rtro‘up l'ye worked with in years,’ (iaims Elliot Davies, the man behind the Wets and their Pretioiis Organisation management ('orripany 'You (ari't buy the sort ot talent they have] he tontiniies, 'You (an't buy their enthusiasrri They're always lflllifllltt], illl[)l()\.’lli(), working hard. Their drive and ambition is almost beyond belief '

This is praise indeed from the man who distoyered the Wets it's dilfitiilt to argue with his sentiments, haying heard St'hirio's demo and witnessed them sin/amt; live The fan that they


20 THE LIST '2 l‘) Llay 199/

we couldn't approximate.’

After making a literal translation, Brown worked closely with Heggie. 'l’d act each detail of each line out, and with Shipenko’s encouragement we'd take things a whole lot further,’ she explains. Now she sings his praises. ’lain would do some magic tricks in his mind, and it would end up being closer to the original than I imagined,’ she says. ’lt's not written in Scots, but Iain

Irina Brown: laying bare the Russian bear

brought his melody to it, and in some ways got inside

(Neil Cooper)

are three young black girls from London draws obyious (omparisons with Eternal In truth, their sound is similar, the same sassy 90s take on the traditional l\.l()t()\‘/tt sound, part up- tempo, at‘cessible pop, part down- tempo serious soul What sets them apart from Eternal, however, is their rawness, whith manifests itself in their down-to-earth attitude It may sound (orny, but these girls really do want to have fun

’We're like sisters now,’ says Carla ’Like we always say, "we’re sisters who swrnr] but we know our thing" We're

Shipenko’s mind. He probably knows Shipenko better than anyone now. We all think we know about Russian drama and get sentimental over Chekhov, but this is a real chance to see the bravery of Russian writers today.’

Schino: sisters under the swing

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DRAMA Speed-The-Plow

Glasgow: Arches Theatre, Tue l3—Sat 241 May (not Mon 19).

You \.'.'anna he in pit tuies‘ Everybody does these days, but you might think l‘.'.’l( e after seeinii David ltlamet's blistering satire on Holly‘.‘.:;otf, where the studio money-riien tall the shots, and exerythinc; depends on pitthinr; the pat‘karie This is firniliar lulamet territory a bluff, mat ho world of wheeler-dea|ers on the make but lylamet's own filmit ext iirsions make it espet rally pertinent Partit ulirly in Glasgow, nth-ere urban rt‘-':ener'at:ori, a small but dexelepinu ffflll industry and a horde of bin-suited patter-inerthants mirror Mamet's native (it;

"There's some sort of themit‘al relation between Glasgow and Chit at;o,' r‘er kons Andy Arnold, who's diret llllt] Speed-The-Plow for the Art hes Theatre (Lorripany "They're both hit), l()ll(lf‘. industrial titres where people talk in a very streetwise way Glasttov.» at tors t an it rt k into the rhythm of that very easily’

firieed-The-Plow is a typit ally tirihtly written llllt‘llt'l epit, in \.'.'f‘.l( h a pair of hustlers tail. theiriselyes up through a series of industry f)ll./'.’\.'.’(il'(f% When an apparently d-in temp nets in on the at t, froth the aiidiente and the tiny she Jll‘.l rn:<;lit he iitistli'ir; are left ‘.‘.’().'lff(‘-ll.".(l if she's as soft as she's stiiiee/ed 'Yiiii should never he sure ‘.'.'l‘.etf‘.e' she's the it‘lrlf :n'iotent abroad or not', says Arnold of the role famo isly played on Eiioadwi‘,’ by l.ladoriiia 'lf you play '! r ne oi the other, it", it it 'tvirnr: fit it- believable It may he the xiiiallest role, but it's the pivot of the unhole pfay'

Arnold won't fie lllffét illif} St nttish at: ( erits onto the pie: e, despite the Czlasriou'J-Cliit arro affinities 5f there is a ’lllllllilt k, it's the toriipany's ’.i".‘.ti (irieriiatit inserts ‘.‘/f‘|{ h t r-rnpiernent the live at tion 'lt's the text if‘wil males thinrts work, but thou/Ht ti‘i-r inertia,

.t'd be a good idea to llllli'rtflll e '

bet .‘itise at times the rat i1? ts ti’iriiirth

they think they're iii a ,' explains Arno-fl "~.\.'e'ie tl‘.ll‘."l it spawn-qty, though, bet atise the (tialq'ues stronri i.'."e don't ‘. igrista'1eit at

California dreamers: Callum Cuthbertson and Julia Dalkin in Speed-The-Plow at The Arches