THEATRE reviews

30 June to 4 July Tue-Thurs 8pm


6pm 8. 9pm

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Tron 'tiicatio Company /. Dundee Rep Theatre Company Co-Production


sea urchins

by Sherman Macdonald

Author of When I Was a Girl I Used to Scream and Shout and The Winter Guest

"catch it i'fyou can a gem The Herald

> 63 Trongate Glasgow '




Glasgow: King's Theatre, until Sat 13 Jun * 4: 4r

All artforrhs need constant reinvention to stay alive, and musical theatre is not exempt. Given the legal restrictio s on reinterpreting Jerome Robbins’ 1957 production, it’s a miracle to find West Side Story Still breathing, but remarkably it still sustains talented young casts after four decades of ossification.

AS everyone knows, the strer is modelled on Romeo And Juliet Tony and Maria's New York love-affair is doomed by the feud between their rival clans the European-blooded Jets and the Puerto Rican Sharks In 1957, the emergence of teenage gangs -- and the police’s racist response were truly topical. In these days of pre-teen crack dealers and school-hall massacres, the gang’s skirmishes can never pack the same punch. Also unconvmcing is the choreographed Violence. it may well be a symptom of our desensnised culture that it is difficult to buy in to light- footed athleticism as a stylised substitute for bone-crunching Viciousness, though the rape scene in Act Two is still highly unpleasant

Bereft of theatre’s customary ability to adapt itself to new audiences, this stage version is frankly overshadowed by the readily-available l96l mowe, but it’s not without its merits In the

MODERN CLASSIC Fear And Misery Of The Third Reich

Touring * sir i:

The soul of woman under Nazism: Jaqueline Carroll in Fear And Misery . . .

Bertolt Brecht’s cheerily-titled 1938 montage was renamed The Private Life Of The Master Race when first performed in America aptly reflecting this fierce, unsparing look not at the NaZis' victims but at the collaborators and ordinary Germans who tacitly Supported the regime.

There are no heroes here, no innocents, just people concentrating on self-preservation at all costs. Theatre Works’ slightly patchy but

Robbins reliant: David Habbin and Katie Knight-Adams in West Side Story

absence of Natalie Wood, equally pretty Katie Knight-Adams makes a fresh and innocent Maria to DaVid Habbin’s handsome Tony. Their relationship feels a little sterile, but both navigate Leonard Bernstein’s hugely challenging score with aplomb. Meanwhile Anna-Jane Casey's Anita almost puts Rita Moreno in the shade her duet With local girl Celia Graham on ’(I Want To Be In) America’ is the show's star turn, a surprisingly rnovrng irnmigrants’ idyll to the American Dream. Here, as elsewhere, the chorus work is terrific: expertly danced, heartily sung and dazzlingly costumed

Even after 40 years, there’s a place for this. (Andrew Burnet)

effective production takes place in what looks like an Expressionist house, With slanted walls and crazily-angled windows. There’s something structurally wrong, jUSi as there's something corrupt at the heart of the society shown in these eleven short scenes.

The show takes a while to get going, with a number of very brief scenes taking less time than the scene changes, as actors trundle soitcases on and off stage, and some of the intervening songs and chants are a little muddy.

But the cumulative effect builds to an uneasy sensation of paranOia and suspiCion in every aspect of life, especially in 'The Spy', in which a liberal cOupIe turn from snappiin cynicism to paranoid terror when they suspect their fervent Hitler Youth daughter could be reporting them to the SS. And in "The Chalk X’, a hapless chauffeur is asked to sound off about the regime as part of an SS man‘s bar- room demonstration, but how far dare he go? The cost of keeping your head down surfaces in the last scene, ’The JeWish Wife’, where Lowse McDonald is excellent as the woman anticipating the gthy relief of her once-loving gentile husband when she announces she’s leaVing him

These short dramatic flashes don’t leave time for explanation or apology, Just a goick spotlight on the little betrayals that make up the bigger tragedy. (Andrea Mullaney)

I Reviewed at the Pearce /nsti'tute, Govan.