This fortnight, three not- very-wise men shall come from the West, calling themselves the Reduced Shakespeare Company. They shall go among the people of Scotland, preaching their own take on the Good Book. And lo, The List did ask them How It All Began. And they spake very much as follows. Words: Adam Long
In the beginning, God created Heaven and Earth. And the Earth was Without form and mushy and there was no co|0ur to speak of. In fact, everything was so drab you couldn't see your hand in front of your face and if you tried to read a newspaper you had to scrunch up your eyes
So God decided to take a week or so to set things right. First, he separated
Out in the barren wasteland, Adam and Eve started begettihg, and all sorts of mayhem hrolce loose.
the dark from the light, which everyone reckoned was a much better arrangement Of course, when I say 'everyorie’, I don't really mean that there was anyone because there wasn't. All was primordial ooze, in which there existed a statistical probability of dogs and horses and trees and stoats and parameciums and all such things as we would call life.
So the Lord rolled up His sleeves and separated the goo into plants, animals and single-celled organisms. And that took a couple of days — but what God really meant by 'a couple of days’ was a couple of thousand million years, which caused a lot of confusion among fundamentalists. At the end of six days, God was pooped, so he Just laid on the sofa all day and didn't even get up to answer the phone.
Now that God had created all this stuff he needed somewhere to put it. So he made a garden and shoved
80 THE lIST 2—I6 Apr I998
Genesis on tour
The shortest story ever told: the Reduced Shakespeare Company spread The Word
everything in there. The two humans in the garden were Adam and Eve, and they had no belly buttons and ran around naked. But they let a serpent talk them into eating fruit from the tree of knowledge, and from that day to this, knowledge never did anybody any good. God cursed the VvleOd serpent and said that henceforth it would slither on its belly. Presumably, the wicked serpent had had legs prior to that, so the Wicked serpent was more likely a Wicked lizard. And God bethought himself that Wicked Li7ard would be a good name fora band.
Because of their fruit-eatnig escapade, Adam and Eye were thrown out of the garden wearing nothing but fig leaves to cover their naughty bits Adam had only one naughty hit, whereas Eve had three, which is why women are universally held to be much more fun than men.
Out in the barren wasteland, Adam and Eve started begetting, and all sorts of mayhem broke loose First, Cain hit Abel’s ass wrth a Jawbone, Then there was a great flood Then the Lord got very upset about a tower, so he made everybody talk in suangelanguages like Welsh and Californian
If it wasn't one thing, it was another If it wasn't being sv-rallowed by a whale, it was being turned into a pillar Of salt. If it wasn’t walking through the shadow of the valley of death, it was coveting thy neighbour's ox
Finally, it all got sorted out when God sent down His only Son to tell everybody, 'Love thy neighbour, and do unto Others as you would have others do unto yOU'. Well, everybody deCided that this was pretty good advrce and set Out to kill anyone who didn't agree With them. And thus the world ended up pretty much as it is now. That's exactly how it happened. That’s the God's honest truth
The Bible: The Complete Word Of God (Abridged) is at the Theatre Royal, Glasgow, Tue 14-Sat 18 Apr; and the Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh. Tue 2-Sat 6 Jun.
HISTORICAL DRAMA The Clearing
Touring as as any
Scenes of love and JOy give way to rape, death and tyranny in Helen Edmundson's award-Winning play The C/earing Now touring in f‘.‘ltlll(‘l Romanes' new production by Scottish company Stellar Quines, The C/earrng lS set during Cromyrrell's ‘ylt.l(‘iUS ethic cleansing in 17th century Ireland
Irish Catholic, Madeleine is married to English Protestant Robert, and they are overjoyed at the birth of their son But their happiness is Undermined as the political climate changes. Their kindly English neighbours Solomon and Susaneh Winter and lamin are threatened wrth exile in Connaught for haying supported Charles I Madeleine's foster sister Killeine meets a terrible late at the hands of Cromv-rellian soldiers Madelerne's reaction is to resist, putting her family at risk by angering the English r:overnor, her husband opts for self- preservation and collaboration They revert to birth-loyalties and prejudice
The play is a well balanced affair, steering clear of moral over- sirnplification All the characters are well drawn, With identifiable and thought-provoking inner dilemmas, and every member of the cast gives a praiseworthy performance. Bernard Horsfali's thoroughly good-hearted and credible Winter is essential to the
play's egurlibrium, and Veronica Leer is beguiling as Madeleine, though Kern Falconer pushes his sinister governor to the limits One step further and he'd be in the realms of Dr No
Parallels wrth modern-day ethical conflicts are inescapable, but The C/earing is about other age-old polarities too. men vs women, logic vs magic, integrity vs sunival Hats off ts directOr Muriel Romans for a
production as supple and rhythmic as the Jigs that punctuate it Not a minute of the audience's time is wasted (Stephanie Noblettl
I For tour dates, see page 65
Oliver's army are on their way: Hugh Lee and Kern Falconer in The Clearing
co—NT—Eueortrtitr DANCE ' Wipe Out
Why are you here? Marissa Zanotti in Wipe Out
The starting porrit .‘or Glasgow—based Anatori'iy's latest piece is a question by director and performer Marisa Zanotti. 'How do you know you are her'e7' The problem is that the audience is more likely to szt through the performance wondering "A‘hy am I here7'
Zanotti's frame of reference for her work seems to have shrunk as her Scottish Arts Council funding has increased, so that the ftill 50 minutes is
enclosed Within a lighted area about eight feet sciuare 'iler' re‘iular' sound score collaborator Philip let k has produced another of his live concoctions of static noise and old records sticking ~ unfortunately it leels like the Visual aspect of perforn‘iance IS equally stuck and lacking in movement
Dim images on a vrdeo screen open the work, which continues by apparently pursuing a theme of movrng in and out of darkness At times the lighting redeems the work, creating flickering lli'ltltJC‘V that might be inerriorable if Zanotti were doing more than t-ralkrng slotzily, trr exp'rrririg endless ways of posItioninr; lier lands and lying on the floor instead :3", lile watchmg a rather merlonr; «,ldtv show 7 the light flashes as we change from Zanotti in profde to full-frontal to wen/ed from the bac f:
It may seem (hurlish to want to pigeonhole Zanottis work performance art, but for a comapny that has three Years of Dance DeveIOpment Funding, a little more than swrnging arms and the occasional One-legged balance might be expected. It may be that lt/r‘pe Out has an intensely personal message for Zanotti, but when she takes her clothes off and pours salt through a funnel between her legs, it’s difficult to feel more than beWilderment at the introverted posturings on stage Easy er10ugh to Wipe out the memory of this particular piece anyway (Don Morris)
e ere Out is at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, Thu 76— Sat 78 Apr
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