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8pm Minimalist absurdity trom these masters at clownlng comedy...
“Fri 26 Music Makers pm?“ 422:; Stars and Strlpes
20th century American music ii Battier, Copeland, Gershwin & Bernstein
Sarah Jane Brown
“She enthralled her audience with a broad range.. I could listen alt day" (Eve Times)
W0 0 ide D ram 3 presents
an adaptation oi Roddy Doyle's “War” (charity event tor Motoneuron Disease)
Tue 30]une &Wed I July 7.30pm
ALLTICKETS FROMTICKETLINK 0 I 4 I 287 55 I I was
OR FROM COTTIER THEATRE 0|4I 357 3868 (4-8pm only)
80 THE usr 25 Jun-9 Jul 1998
SCOTTISH CLASSIC Whisky Galore
Edinburgh: Royal Lyceum Theatre, until Sat 1 Aug.
Dram overboard: Whisky Galore
Taking ourselves seriously is something Scots have learned not to do. Independence or not, we’re destined to play the loveable underdog for a while yet.
Made famous by the 1949 film adaptation, Compton Mackenzie’s
novel Whisky Galore taps into the mindset of a nation who would risk life and limb for a dram. It now comes to the Edinburgh stage, in a Mull Little Theatre/Royal Lyceum collaboration.
For anyone who doesn't know the stay, the setting is a Hebridean island community suffering the ravages of wartime. It’s not knitting socks for relatives or meagre supplies of spam that preoccupies the locals. Rather it's the whisky drought. As they pray for miracles, a ship carrying 50,000 cases of the stuff is wrecked just off the coast. Though it sounds like a tall tale, Mackenzie’s classic was based on a real divine intervention.
While essentially true to its source, the stage version takes the form of a radio play wrthin a play, as the cast of four play out assorted romantic, social and family dramas. The villain of the piece is Captain Waggett, a wealthy English landowner who decides to whip the locals into shape. ’He's typical of that breed who sell their home iii Kent, buy a couple of farms up here and then lord it over everyone,’ says director Alasdair McCrone.
The play went down a storm during a Highlands and Islands tour and at Mayfest last year, and McCrone believes it has universal appeal. ’lt’s a damn good romp,’ he says. ’While it is nostalgic there is also a wonderful cynicism there. Superficially, it’s about wartime disillusionment over shortages, militarism and JingOISlTl, but we’re dealing wrth issues that are still very much alive today.’
MODERN CLASSIC The Kitchen
Glasgow: Arches Theatre, until Sat 27 Jun.
Are you feeling the strain of what’s euphemistically called the fleXible labour market? Do you wonder if the boss really appreCiates you? If so, you’ll find some resonances in this reVival of Arnold Wesker’s commentary on hard workplaces. The restaurant kitchen of the title presents a large number of people crammed into a small space, With little recourse to happiness but their fantasies
The play is presented as a co- production between the Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama and the Arches, whose artistic directOr Andy Arnold is at the helm. 'lt’s almost like a fly-on-the-wall documentary about work,’ he comments. ’We’re doing it in period, so it’s set in the late 505, but there’s the same sense of a pecking order, a hierarchy of chefs, waiters, porters and so forth. And there's an employer who thinks as long as they’ve got a job, they should be happy. You’re getting paid, so what’s the problem? He doesn't take account of the personal stresses of his employees.’
The production wrll incorporate seventeen young actors from the RSAMD’s final year, providing a large cast — a rarity in the contemporary theatre. ’We’re going to build a realistic and very cramped kitchen,’ explains Arnold. ‘lt’s a really seedy and dark space, so the atmosphere is just right for the Arches.’ David Carter's
Too many cooks? RSAMD students Helen Coker and Abigail Lanham. who appear in The Kitchen
deSign follows his successful rendering of a similar space for The Dumb Waiter earlier this year.
The production also alters the gender of some of the original characters, taking account, despite the period setting, of changes in the workplace. 'The women in this version are more aggressive, independent and assured,’ says Arnold. ’It gives an extra edge to the script.‘
Is work getting you down? If you can’t take the heat, go and see The Kitchen. (Steve C ramer)