NEW PLAY Working Legs Touring a first

Regardless of what the PC posse say, our society’s still not good at dealing With people deemed ’different’. Turning our pTQJUdICC'S neatly on their head, Alasdair Gray's new play for Birds of Paradise the Glasgow-based company which works with physically disabled actors presents a world where the able-bodied are the minority: patronised, pitied and faCing discrimination at every turn. However, an exerCise of the worthy-but-dull variety it ain't.

After a run-in with a Juggernaut which flattens his wheelchair, Able Mctviann finds himself an outcast for refusing to conform by taking to his wheels and rejoming the contentedly disabled masses. He is constantly overlooked in the bar and when he gets his new girlfriend up the duff, her parents, disapprovmg of her relationship with this able-bodied freak, fear that their grandchild will inherit the socially unacceptable condition. Meanwhile, when he decides he wants to prowde for his family and get off the welfare list, he finds himself continually on the receiVing end of an uncaring and infleXIble system.

It’s still easy to stereotype a company which regularly addresses attitudes towards the disabled as a minority- interest agit-prop group With no Wider appeal. But although it does not build to a substantial climax, Alasdair Gray’s


Down The Tubes

Edinburgh: Netherbow Theatre, until Sat 13 Jun a is

When he loses home, job, wrfe and child ~ and faces drugs charges -

j Gillies thinks he can sink no lower. He hasnt reckoned on his descent into


sewer system, a

netherwoild peopled wrth characters all too familiar to a Visitor from



in Jonathan Falla's fantasy-parable for Base Community Theatre Company, a corrupt council prospers while the two-party parliament bickers ineffectually, eprOitative busmess enterprises stitch up the most iriipoverished Citizens, and a workers' uprising is put down by the Sinister Cleansing Agents, led by VICIOUS Frank the Filter. Other colourful figures include a jOi)S‘.‘:Ol'Iii doorman, a court clerk who acts like a games-show host, and Running Sore, the tabloid reporter With a heart of gold

Spurred by his anger to set things to iights, Gillies embarks on a crusade agains 'lies'; but his misguided efforts rust cause more problems, until the disembodied mice of his commence, the ethereal image of his Wife Morag and a reunion With his daughter Vhairi finally restore his senses.

Design by Paul Ambrose Wright and Alison Brown are ingenious, bright and attractive; while Rob Harris's music enhances the piece enormously. But despite an inspired premise and a few inventive moments, Falla’s script is repetitive and predictable; while

Out on two limbs: John Hollywood and Ayse Bak in Working Legs

satirical fantasy, drawn from the personal experiences of Birds of Paradise, deals With its subiect-rnatter in an engaging, humorous and movmg inanner

Lent an unexpected pertinence by the Labour Government's recent treacherOus threats to cut benefits for the disabled, the piece challenges us into rethinking our own mis- conceptions. Yes, we all share the same basic physical and emotional needs, and human beauty IS far from being only skin deep. (Claire Prentice) Reviewed at St Bride '5 Centre, Edinburgh For tour dates, see page 8

Drained: John Mooney and Pamela Linaker in Down The Tubes

Stewart Aitken’s production badly needs an IHJGCIIOTT of pace, especially in the plodding second half

It's true that a non-professional cast cannot be expected to supply the same momentum as the-ii profesSional counterparts, and of cOurse community theatre is created largely for the benefit of the performers; but to remove audiences from the equation is patronismg and insulting to both parties. The makings are here of a Witty and powerful piece, but a more ruthless honing of the script wOuld have improved it no end.

(Andrew Burnet)

STAR RATINGS it a w i‘ r: Unmissable 'k a w it: Very good it it it Worth a shot w. * Below average it You've been warned

reviews THEATRE

.“~ ._:;” '

Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama RSAMD final year students in

By Arnold ,Wesker Directed by'Andy Arnold

“The language is raw and demotic, engaged in a blindfold groping towards poetry. The Kitchen achieves something that

' few playwrights have ever

attempted: it dramatises w0rk"

Kenneth Tynan The Observer

Wed 24 Sai2'7'“ June 7.30pm £6.50/£3.50

Tickets available in advance from the Arches Box Office 0141221 4001 or in person at 30Midland St Glasgow

‘nghe Happy Gang

Castaway Is 5de

i .... .iietiortt°'s"ih9.‘ami'v

I 28. I3 lune matinees


ita Jim en" & Arte Flamenco

Dance with poise, precision and panache...

2 , l3&l 7.30pm

ope , A... éh A Summer Night at the Opera

IS lune 7.30pm

.,,_ & ~W‘f '-: -.-;1;r.E-"-:'~:"x1:--, Lir.: .-; , _ , - _ ,1 v 8.00pm The Exhlb 1t 10 nlsts

A deliciously datt look at the world of Contemporary Arti.

Richard III

notiter cita cc to see Shakespeare's timeless masterpiece..i _

22,23,24 June 7.30pm

mafia Makers " gm

! :34? . S ars and Stripes 27 June Sarah Jane Brown



air/832.. 0R FROM COTTIER THEATRE 0|“ 357 3863 (4-flpm only) m

i : enthralled beratidience witha broad range.. I could listen all day-"f

11—25 Jun 1998 THE U8T85