After fifteen years at the helm of Edinburgh's acclaimed Communicado Theatre Company, co-founder GERRRY MULGREW is departing to explore new pastures. He 6W“). Wth
told The List about his final Communicado production, Fire In The Basement, and (right) personal hrdh/rg/rts‘ from nominated his five favourite shows with the company. Words: Andrew Burnet ms fifteen years‘ mm
The House With The Green Shutters (1983l Adapted by Gerard lvlulgrew from the novel by George Douglas Brown 'Because that’s the first, and It set the tone for the company's work I dir'e(ted rt, performed in it and adapted it I had more energy Ill those days!’
Mary Queen Of Scots Got Her Head Chopped Off t l987r By Liz Lochhead and the company. ‘Betause I felt we were really speaking to our people, to Stotland We did it rn a way that was quite radical at that time, in that we managed to create a new form — a Violent ballad play 7
Will( h pleased me greatly,’
Jock Tamson's Bairns (1990) By Gerard Mulqrew, Liz Lorhhead and the (ompany. ’A medieval pre<e of madness. I didn't
partrr ularly enjoy dorng it at the trme because rt was so hard. I was trying to do a lot of formal rnventron and break away
IN 1983, THREE IDEALISTIC ACTORS romeo Written in 1987. the play centres on “0’” W “"‘Vem'on' . ~ . . v . . ‘ could think of The whole a new company. Calling themselves a pair of newly-weds. whose bliss rs . . . .. . setting of it [as part of Communicado, Gerry Mulgrew, Alison . ruptured when four firemen burst into Glasgbw.s European my Peebles and Rob Pickavance brought their flat. allegedly in search of a fire. Of Cultumpmgramme] together literary nous and experimental ‘lt‘s quite absurdist -- it reminds you of and the form that .t took physicality, European influences and Kafka at certain mornents.‘ says wasvery exam-1910 be Scottish sensibility. " try to go Mulgrew. ‘lt‘s bleak. but it does raise part of' Communicado rapidly became a . issues: what is power“? And does power The (one Gatherer; touchstone for inventive. colourful and 'nto rehearsa' exist if you‘re not complicit with those (1992) Adapted by Bryan imaginative work. Some shows were huge un'imited who have power over you." Elsley from the novel by successes — among them Mary Queen Of - Mulgrew uses a borrowed phrase to Robin Jenkins. 'It had the Scots Got Her Head Chopped Off, Cyrano enthus'asm describe his approach to directing: ‘I try (“031 bec’Ut'fU' 39"”‘9 De Bergerac and last year’s The Suicide. and abso'utely to go into rehearsal with unlimited WP made and performed Others failed to fulfil their promise; but all enthusiasm and absolutely no idea '1” a fore“ that the showed evidence of a reckless creative no I ea whatsoever. I think that's the most dUd'er‘msat 'n' and we heroism. whatsoever.’ exciting wav to do it.‘ Not one for were able“) ,Use natural Now Mulgrew — in recent years the G l' " 0‘ " f‘vl ‘ l" 'l l" " ' ‘ " daylight to Start the Show , . . . . erry Mu|gew p dying sit c. tc s en islet i\c actors and then moved Into company s “sole artistic director — has he s never worked with before. ‘I m “mama, hqmmg as” decrded to turn freelance. At the Fringe, always anxious to be fresh and got dark, Whmh wasvery we’ll see his final show with challenge myself in everything l do.‘ he excrrmg,’ Communicado. Typically maverick. he‘s says. the Legend Of St Mia" chosen a piece by .a writer few Scottish As for the future. he‘s taking a (1993) Adapted by theatre-goers will have heard of. Czech similar approach. ‘I don‘t have any Gerard Mulgrew from the playwright Pavel KohOut. ‘I don’t think particular plans at the moment] he says. story by Gustave Flaubert. he'svknown in Britain,’ concedes Mulgrew, ‘1 plan to continue working and l plan to 'Because agarn I felt I was brief break from rehearsals."But he’s learn more and I plan to travel and 1 WWW} myse” "‘10 the " brilliant, absoluwa brilliant.’_ plan to work with interesting people.’ realms Of the Unknown"
was trying to tell a story wrthout language — I wanted to replace it with a visual hallucrnatron. I enjoyed the Journey of
5 ._ “Fire In The Basement was discovered E’ff,."bytranslator Bill Findlay‘e-Taman well ,4 knan for lively ScotsyerSionﬁpf foreign k. plays — in a bookshop ‘It’s a
More fresh challenges.
Fire In The Basement (Fringe) Communicado Theatre Company, Traverse
farce, but with a very stronggnoral purpose Theatre (Venue 15) 228 1404, 15 Aug—3 that, and What I behind it,’ explains in the Sep (not Mon) times vary, £12 (£7.50). discovered along the teeth. really.’ ' ' Preview 13 Aug, 7pm, £7.50 (£4). way;
28 fie usr 13—20 Aug 1998