Sturm troupers

Glasgow’s Citizens’ Theatre Company returns to the Festival with a classic German romance.

It's a two-pronged assault. To accompany the International Festival’s season of Verdi operas, the Citizens’ Theatre Company from Glasgow is tackling the Schiller plays which inspired them. The Robbers will be seen in Philip Prowse's full production; while three others will be presented as rehearsed readings. All four are translated by Citizens' co-director Robert David MacDonald.

The themes of Schiller's intense 'Sturm und Drang’ dramas are typical of German Romantic drama. The need for young people to adjust to society; the struggle between social expectation and individuality . . . it's all there.

’When he wrote The Robbers he was nineteen years old,’ explains Prowse. 'I like young people’s plays, because they’re not concerned about form or structure.’

Schiller's youth might also help to explain the rites-of-passage

theatre - dance - comedy

Father figure: artistic director Giles Havergal in the Citizens' production of Don Carlos, seen at the International Festival in 1995

narrative of the play. ’It’s very much about young people trying to find a way of existing in a very conventional world,’ Prowse comments. ’Two brothers both become criminals to change their lives, with very different results. One descends to complete evil, and the other achieves goodness, having been very seriously bad. One son tries to kill his father, while the other, having been rejected by his father, tries to achieve acceptance. In post-Freudian terms, both want to destroy their father and come to terms with it.’

Prowse sees the play as a product of its time, but one with a specific relevance to our own. ’Schiller was a kind of revolutionary, even though he eventually came to some fairly conventional solutions. Schiller was at the end of his century just as we are now - half the

world is moving forward to something quite unimagined, while the other half is trying to claw us back to a kind of medievalism. People go mad at the end of centuries - they always have done.’

The four-pack of plays (the others being Don Carlos, The Maid Of Orleans and Passion And Politics) is a typically extravagant gesture from Scotland’s most adventurous exponents of classical theatre. 'Nobody will be able to say no one takes any notice of Schiller ever again', Prowse comments with typical wryness. (Steve Cramer)

See Hit list, right, for details Rehearsed readings (International Festival) Citizens' Theatre Company, Queen's Hall, 667 7776, [5—[70 Don Carlos, 20 Aug, 7pm, The Maid of Orleans, 22 Aug, 2pm, Passion And Politics, 23 Aug, 2pm

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. Brief reign in Spain: Calixto Bieito directs George Anton in Life Is A Dream


Life Is A Dream

Imagine gomg through life as if you were in a dream. This is the initial premise of Pedro Calderon's classic Spanish drama, Life Is A Dream, which dates from the 17th century 'Golden Age’. Rarely seen in this country, the play tells the story of a man transferred from a prison to a palace, then returned to prison, conVinced that the opulent interregnum was a dream, Edinburgh-based playwright John Clifford, who has translated the play for this production by the Royal Lyceum company, calls it ’the Spanish Ham/et’.

Clifford explains the rarity of earlier productions with reference to the play's disregard for British theatrical convention. 'The whole theatrical

energy of the piece is completely fOreign to the British tradition, which is dominated by naturalism,’ he explains 'There's nothing imttiralistic about this this is poetic drama’

Dreaming is, of course, central to the play Clifford comments Ultimately, it asks us what really is a dream, and what is reality, and which of the two really matter7' For all the metaphysical implications of this, Clifford praises its directness 'It's not abstract the story is dramatically very powerful.‘

Life Is A Dream is directed by Spain's current theatrical enfant terrible Calixto Bieito, who scored a hit at the Festival last year With the Spanish light opera La Verbena De La Paloma.

The translator is impressed With Bieito’s work. ’He has an incredible paSSion for what he does,’ says Clifford, 'and an intUitive grasp of the piece' Prepare to be awoken.

(Steve Cramer) See Hit list, right for details

6pm—8pm LIST

H it list

Begin the evening with a smile on your face.

Labels New monologue about a catfood obsession by Louis de Bernieres, performed by Pip Utton. See reView in this section. Labels (Fringe) Company Theatre, Southside Courtyard (Venue 76) 667 7207, until 37 Aug (not Wed) 7, 05pm, [5 (£4). The Robbers See preview, left. The Robbers (International Festival) Citizens' Theatre Company, King’s Theatre, 4 73 2000, 777-27 Aug, 7.30pm, 27 Aug, 2.30pm, {5—[22 Life Is A Dream See prewew, left

Life Is A Dream (International Festival) Royal Lyceum Company, Royal Lyceum Theatre, 4 73 2000, l7—-29 Aug (not 23) 7 30 pm, (Thu 6? Sat mats, 2.30 pm) [6—-£22.

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A Midsummer Night's Dream The Seattle-based Pacific Northwest Ballet hits town With Mendelssohn’s classic Shakespeare adaptation, choreographed by the legendary George Balanchine. See Red Hot & Belgian, page 10 A Midsummer Night's Dream (International Festival) Pacific Northwest Ballet, Edinburgh Playhouse, 473 2000, 20—22 Aug,

7 30pm, 22 Aug, 2.30pm, [5-[35 John Shuttleworth Sheffield's master of the electronic organ delivers a feast of delights and a hitherto unseen character in this brand new celebration of claSSic English cuisme. See reView in this section If MUS/C Be The Love Of Food. Tuck In! (Fringe) John Shuttlewonh, P/easance (Venue 33) until 20 Aug, 7.30pm, £8.50 (£7.50).

ZumzumoKa Inventive contemporary dance from Barcelona-based Companyia De Dansa Gelabert- Azzopardi. A maverick collaboration between choreographer Cesc Gelabert and deSigner Frederic Amat. See Frontlines, page 8 Zumzum-Ka (International Festival) Companyia De Dansa Gelabert-Azzopardi, Edinburgh Playhouse, 473 2000, 7? & 78 Aug, 7.30pm, [5—02.

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