new shows



Edinburgh: Brunton Theatre, Fri 17 & Sat 18 Apr, then touring.

Moliere's creation of the semi-mythic lover, Don Juan, has taken a long time to reach Scotland. Banned on the grounds of blasphemy after a brief run in 1665, the play was not produced again in France until 1945, and Iain Heggie’s adaptation will be its Scottish premiere ‘When I was commissioning the piece,’ says director Graham McLaren, ’I was so glad that lain deCided to do it, because if anyone can put blasphemy back on the stage, it's him.’

The play's comic format belies a tragic central figure. McLaren says: 'He's a tragic figure in that he doesn't compromise. But it’s well known as a tragi-comedy. Don Juan takes the hand of the deVil, and he doesn't repent. He's all about self-destruction. Anyone who's seen friends or even movie stars like James Dean or River Phoenix press that self-destruct button knows Don Juan '

McLaren is generally pleased With a strong cast in rehearsals. The title character is played by Henry Ian CusSick. ’He's used to playing sex- Gods,’ adds the director. 'He fulfils the requn'ements that a lot of people have of Don Juan: he's a) good looking and b) charming and wrtty'

lain Heggie sees the play as about

POLITICAL DRAMA Thirteenth Night

Glasgow: The Arches, Wed 22—Fri 24 Apr and Tue 28 Apr—Sat 2 May.

Power play: Thirteenth night

Let's get the Important stuff out of the way right at the start: Howard Brenton’s Thirteenth Night features no on-stage buggery

Written in 1981 "immediately after Mrs Whitehouse got her knickers in a IWISI over his Romans In Britain, Thirteenth Night is still Violent in parts. It is, after all, based on Macbeth, explains director Sarah Wooley, the co-founder of the small- scale, Glasgow-based theatre

Theatre lover: Don Juan

the aesthetics of transgression, and how the supposedly immoral are seen by society as both seductive and eVil. 'The 'omance of Don Juan is in all of us,’ Heggie reckons. 'He fulfils the Wish to be anything, do anything. When peOple get uppity about a person they call immoral, you feel that the person they're objecting to i3 really part of them.’

Heggie’s version of Don Juan draws on his mythic status to defeat history. So while the play is set ll‘. the 17th century, the language is updated, giv ng a broad reference to the play, and many different accents.

(Steve Cramer)

company Big Like Texas Brenton’s reworking of the political tragedy is played out Within the

contemporary Labour party. Jack

Beaty has a dream of leadership,

believes his destiny is to change the face of Britain, and the rest, as they say, is history.

One can’t help but salivate at the prospect of putting New Labour names to fictional characters’ faces \Nlll Lady Macbeth resemble Harriet Harman? -— but Wooley is trying to av0id those guessing games. The audience at the original 1981 performance were concentrating so much on who was supposed to be Tony Benn, or Jim Callaghan, that

Brenton felt his central message got i

lost. The play's machinations are Quite distanced from today's present

political Situation. The very left-Wing, Benn-rte poliCies discussed in the play would stand as much chance of

being taken up by the present Labour Party as Bill Clinton's dry cleaner getting a day off. That distance allows the SUbJGCI of leadership itself to come under closer scrutiny.

'The play talks about how if this country lets one man, or one woman, take control and not question what's

gomg on, you get an elected dictatorship, like Thatcher,’ says Wooley.

Despite the occaSional ’funny moment', Wooley thinks it’s ’a very disturbing play'. Is this a leaked memo I see before me? Talk about art mirroring life.

(Gabe Stewart)

new shows THEATRE

CITIZENS THEATRE L‘itizens' Theatre

G&J Productions, Bright Ltd., Royal Court Theatre and Out of Joint

Shopping and F***ing

by Mark Ravenhill 4 - 9 May £10/£5


Love, Lies, Bleeding

devised by Raindog with Daniel Boyle 13 - 23 May E8/E4

Circle Studio

Mull Theatre


by James Saunders 5 8. 6 May {8/24

Dr Sullivan & Mr Gilbert

by Christopher Webber 7 - 9 May £8/f24

0141 429 0022

Arches Theotre Compon

y , . Walter :


The Du

' I " " Big Like Texos " Thlrteenth Night < by Howord Brenton '

Wed 22—Fri 24 April Tue 28 Apr—Sol 2 Moy 7.30pm 2050/2350

Gilded Bolloon presents

' Still Game by Ford Kiernon & Greg Hemphil directed by Alon de Pelelte

Tue 28 April Sol 2 May 8.00pm 2050/2350

2 T0! 1 OTTBI' on DIIBIITIIQ nights 03" 0141 2214001

Tickets ovoiloble in odvonce liorii the Aiclies Box Office Ol4l 22] 400i or in person of 30 Midland bl Glosgow

16—30 Apr 1998 THE LIST 61