THEATRE reviews


FEB - MARCH 1998



Clyde Unity Theatre 20 - 21 Feb With Una MacieanJi/een McAllum and Kathrine Connolly


Brunton Theatre Company 6 - 21 March A hilarious comedy taking a light hearted look at family life


Stand-up comedy from the sensation of the Edinburgh Festival 97


Laugh yourself wiser and healthier with this 20 March award winning comedian

20 Feb


Music of rare passion and joy inspired by Celtic music

23 Feb



One and Sign of the Times 25 Feb

Vibrant dance accompanied by stunning live African drumming


Sexual 27 Feb Exciting and controversial dance exploring the extremes of male sexuality

WARNING Sexual is Not suitable for those under 16

' BOX OFFICE 0131 665 2240

82 TIIE UST 20 Feb—5 Mar 1998

IRISH CLASSIC Juno And The Paycock

Edinburgh: Royal Lyceum, until Sat 7 Matti

Guest director Marc Lambert promised textual fidelity to O‘Casey's play and has in large part delivered it. His production leaves little out of this study of poverty, entrapment, unfulfilled dreams and abused ideals, and resists improvisation on it. This makes the performance a little longer than one would expect, but provides scope for its movement from flippancy to gravity, and adds cathartic power to the finale.

Curse of the drinking classes: Conleth Hill as Joxer and Roy Hanlon as the Captain in Juno And The Paycock

This is the tale of a Dublin tenement family, the Boyles, to whom Juno, the hard-working mother, plays saviour; while the Captain, a bevvy-brained bullshitter, plays Satan. Their crippled son Johnny is threatened by pissed-off paramilitaries, while their daughter Mary gets way too close to the hymen- unfriendly posh boy, Bentham.

Add to these the malign interventions of Boyle's mucker loxer and a large but illusionary inheritance, and you have a naturalistic take on tragi-comedy, perhaps the finest example of its genre.

As Juno, Ann-Louise Ross takes a little time to make peace with the verbal complexity of her part, so there were some early fluffs on opening night; while Roy Hanlon ~ as the Captain makes his baritone-voiced, workshy braggart a little camp. Both performances seem to settle, though, as the play progresses; while Conleth Hill's Joxer adds much to the play by borrowing from his namesake Benny creating a spiteful foil for Hanlon. Their mechanical breakfast-table business, as a sausage becomes a metaphor for the deferred appetite of the whole play, is particularly clever.

Particular mention should also be made of Ruth Hegarty's Maisie Madigan, for her grating performance of a song in the crucial party scene which prefigures the tragic finale. This has the audience howling and generously provides the cast with a great variety of opportunities for variations on the theme of ’cringe’. (Steve Cramer)


Glasgow: Arches Theatre, until Sat 21 Feb Hm The Arches' studio theatre was made

for gritty realism, and this is what The Street is all about. Four prostitutes, their pimp, the police and the beat that they all tread nightly. Carole is going to leave the streets whatever the price. Kelly is the new girl her arrival throws a harsh light onto their painful interdependence, and upsets its fragile equilibrium.

This will never be an easy subject. Writer Alan McHugh’s dialogue both moves and shocks, and succeeds in conveying the horrible inevitability of the prostitutes' lives. We're made aware that it's not really a question of morals, however uncomfortable it is. This is all about women trying to do a job, make some money, make ends meet. It's all about complicity, guilt, fear and desperation. There is a powerfully clear message: there's no clear distinction between goodies and baddies on the street. Nothing is simple in this world. They’re all victims; they're all breaking the rules somehow.

The problem is not that this is a production about prostitution, but that it’s a musical. It’s difficult to escape the notion that the music detracts rather than adds to the drama of the piece. There have to be very good reasons for making any story into a musical, and in this case, they don’t seem to be good enough. The lyrics don't manage to avoid the temptations of cliche, and

On the beat: Gailie Morrison, Debbie Young and Alicia Devine in The Street

somehow the arrangements jar with the seriousness of the women's predicament.

This ultimately distracts from the bigger picture. Performances from the four female leads cannot be faulted, and there’s no doubt either that they could carry any melody or harmony, from the pathetic to the slapstick. Debbie Young as Kelly strikes the right note between naivete and grim determination, and Alicia Devine shines particularly brightly as Maggie. (Kate Smith)