Passing Places

Edinburgh: Traverse Theatre, Tue til—Sat 25 Apr (pet/tents

Fri 10 & Sat 11) then tourin Fasten your seatbelts:

last February, John


The long and winding tour (which includes Warwick as well as five Scottish destinations) is appropriate for this picaresque comedy adventure. Starting in Motherwell, it follows two lads’ journey to the north coast in a Lada with a stolen surfboard strapped to the roofrack and its psychopathic owner on their trail. Greenhorn wrote it for ’a lot of my friends who don’t go to the theatre', and it shows: it’s funny, accessible and liberally sprinkled with pop culture references.

But it’s also a serious meditation on the two faces of

gtephen Greenhorn’s ’road movie for the stage’ is revving up to hit the highway. Presented at the Traverse Theatre for just two weeks Tiffany's interpretation was so well received that a revival seemed inevitable. Now it rolls off the production line again, oiled and toned for a six- week tour.

For 33-year-old Greenhorn, it’s been a good fourteen months. Far from ticking over, he’s shifted up a couple of gears. Passing Places was a watershed in his career, propelling him from gloomy contemplation of a change of job to a smart London agent, film and radio versions of the play, television scriptwriting (two episodes of Where The Heart Is), and a collaborative theatre project, Sleeping Around, with three other writers including Mark Ravenhill of Shopping And Fucking


modern Scotland urban and rural ~ and of course, the

real journey is into the souls of the two young Scotsmen. Wary of having his play dismissed as lightweight, Greenhorn still believes it can transmit his message. ’If people go away thinking that all they’ve heard is a good story well told,’ he says, 'then I know that in the back of their heads the things that l was trying to say are there, even if they’re not overtly


The revival has allowed him to add a couple of go- faster stripes to the script, which he’s souped up with a '- . . fares

NEW PLAY The Herbal Bed

Edinburgh: King’s Theatre, Tue 7-—Sat 11 Apr.

Running battle: Robin McCaffrey and Jason Hughes in The Herbal Bed

0n the road again: Paul Thomas Hickey (Alex, left) and Colin McCredie (Brian) in Passing Places

new scene, as well as sorting out some misfiring. The two central roles are played by their original actors, Paul Hickey and Colin McCredie, but the rest of the cast has changed. Notably, Peter Kelly still perhaps best known for playing Jimmy Boyle in The Hard Man takes over as Binks, the lads' motorbike-borne nemesis.

Those who caught the show first time round will

want to renew acquaintance. Those who didn’t should

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preview THEATRE

Stage whispers

They have their exits and their entrances. . .

PLAYS ARE EASIER to write than novels, according to Irvine Welsh, whose debut play You'll Have Had Your Hole is published on Thu 9 Apr (Methuen Drama, £6.99). Premiered in Leeds in February, the script includes a foreword, in which Welsh points out certain advantages of plays over novels (‘for a start, you only need to fill up about 100 pages, rather than anything from around 180 to 500, which most novels are expected to come in at') but warns control-freak novelists that a script is an 'enabling document’ for collaboration. Aside from the benefits of shared creativity, this helps when dealing with the press. ‘I hate doing interviews,’ he admits, ’because basically, more often than not, I haven't got anything interesting to say.‘

DAVID MacLENNAN HAS had some interesting things to say about the Scottish Arts Council over the past few months. The founding artistic director of Wildcat Stage Productions whose SAC funding was slashed last autumn MacLennan has spoken out with rage at his company‘s treatment. Last Monday, he announced his decision to resign. 'l'm hoping to do a lot more writing,’ he told The List, ’which is why I set up the company in the first place.’ Wildcat will continue with co-founder Dave Anderson as both musical and artistic director. The company’s next major project, Liz Lochhead’s opera Carmen McGurk will not now be staged until next year. A consortium of venues is collaborating in a Lottery application to augment the SAC's project funding of £50,000.

OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS FOR aspiring comedians this month, as The Comic Store holds auditions. The London- based promoters are looking to fill open mike spots for Comedy Store shows at the King's Theatre, Glasgow on Fri 15 and Sat 16 May. A winner from each night will go on to semi- finals in London on Mon 18 May, with finals on Sun 24 May. Entrants - who ’have the opportunity to win over £5000 in prize money and become hugely famous' should contact Norwell Lapley, Lapley Hall, Lapley, Staffordshire ST19 9JR, 01785 841 991.

Writing himself out: former Wildcat director David MacLennan

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2-—l6 Apr 1998 THE LIST 59