THEATRE new shows

PUNK MUSICAL Sheena Is A Punk Rocker

Glasgow: Pavilion, Wed 28 Oct—Sat 7 Nov.

A dayglo Union Jack, a safety pin and puke-green lettering the Payilion have certainly got their graphics right for feelgood punk musical Sheena Is A Punk Rocker. But the issue is not how accmately late-70s subculture Will be translated to the stage, but how the words 'feelgood punk musical’ have managed to find themselves in the same sentence. Wasn’t punk a nihilistic, uncompromising youth revolution Which rubbished all mUSIC that had gone before? How can it merit the same fate as the early rock 'n' roll or disco genres —— more familiar fodder for nostalgia musicals?

The reality is that old punk lags like 999 and UK Subs are touring to this day and punk pioneers The Sex Pistols proved their comrnerCiaI prostitute credentials when they reformed on a nostalgia ticket Punk isn't so pure that

v. : \L’


A riot of their own: Sheena and friends

it can escape the inevitability that its fans grow older and want to hear the sounds of their youth again.

'Every musical movement starts With reaction to the establishment, and then becomes part of the establishment,’ says Sheena’s director John Murtagh. ’All the 60s people I know are like that. The interesting thing for me is how

accesSibIe some of the music actually '


Casting its mUSICal net Wide to incorporate everyone from Jilted John to Iggy Pop, Sheena is a Cinderella story: the eponymous herome discovers a rebellious world beyond her Newton Mearns home and introduces her pals Senga Slapp and Naff Kevm, played by a cast that includes Rab C. Nesbitt regulars Barbara Rafferty and Nicola Park and ex-EprOited member Gary McCormack. Musical consultant,

incidently, is Johnny IvIcRotten of The :

Scottish Sex Pistols

'That's the beauty of a place like the I

PaVIlion,’ says lvlurtagh things that it's got no business to do.’ (Fiona Shepherd)


Glasgow: James Arnott Theatre, Wed 4—Sat 7 Nov; Pearce Institute, Fri I3 Nov.

’I’ve always been obsessed and intrigued With death.’ So begins Matthew Lenton, director of Glasgow's Vanishing POint company He is seeking to explain the impetus behind the collective's new play, Last Stand,

This is only Vanishing Pomt's second production, the first being The Sight/e55 a play set in the dark, which won them much admiratio:. and a grant from the Scottish Arts Council. The new piece focuses on a condemned man dreaming of his last wish, and his estranged brother, who is forced to reconsider his own attitude to life.

’It’s based on a dream I had,’ reveals Lenton, 'I read on the Internet that a death-row prisoner was allowed to walk barefoot on grass for the first time in fourteen years. It was his last Wish ~ something that everyone takes for granted.’

70 THE lIST 22 Oct—S Nov 1998

Anyone who fears that this may sound a little too Hollywood for this innovative company need not worry. The collective decided early on that the prisoner should be guilty of murder, but wanted to

’It's dOing

express ,

contempt for capital punishment. 'We I wanted it to be a crime that each of us

could be capable of,’ explains Lenton, 'Everyone has at least one thought that they can’t share With others, and we were interested in exploring the capacity we all have to do something EVI|.'

strength lies in their ability to work and deVise together, creating a coherent product born of many indiVidual styles. 'There is something

intrinsically valuable .n devising a piece

Lenton feels that the company's :

yourselves,’ he says. 'You draw on so

many diverse resources,


fortunately the company is immensely

talented in itself_' The company is aiready gaining a reputation for innovative, thoughtful

c‘rama. Last Stand looks set to be

another triumph of disjunctive minds (Nicky Agate)


A Tale Of Two Cities

Stirling: MacRobert Arts Centre, Wed 28 & Thu 29 Oct.

If you call your company Theatre Sans Frontieres, audiences have every right to expect innovation and eclecticism. Luckily, this Northumberland-based company, established in 1991, has built up a reputation for providing both. Dedicated to creating pan- European, cross-cultural, high-quality theatre, the company's latest foray into the revolutionary world of Charles Dickens is certainly no exception.

Edward Kemp, best known for his work on the RSC's Mysteries, has adapted Dickens' dramatic tale for the stage, transforming the narrative into a bilingual extravaganza that incorporates original music, physical theatre and song. The action shifts from civilized London across the channel to blood-thirsty Paris, telling the story of politically-embroiled Lucie Mariette and her lovers. It’s a tale of love, loyalty and sacrifice perfect for the stage.

The play fulfils every aspect of the Theatre Sans Frontieres agenda, exploring the vibrancy and potency of two cultures through an international medium and an international cast. A Tale of Two Cities should encourage great expectations. (Nicky Agate)

What the Dickens: A Tale Of Two Cities

SEX & FOOD COMEDY Cooking With Elvis

Paisley Arts Centre, Fri 3O & Sat 31 Oct.

Newcastle-based company Live Theatre kick off their association with new writer-in-residence Lee Hall with an irreverent comedy Cooking With Elvis. Hall adapted Brecht’s Punti/la And His Man Matti for this year's Edinburgh Fringe hit, but is best known for his radio monologue Spoonface Steinberg about an autistic girl suffering from cancer and the break-up of her parents' marriage. It provoked such a favourable response from listeners that it was adapted fOr teleVision earlier this year.

Cooking With E/ws is also about a famin hit by tragedy, when the Finis impersonator father is paralysed in a car acCident, and mother and daughter react by indulging another man With their respective obsesSions ~~ sex and cooking.

’It's qune farcical and brutal and adult,’ says Hall. 'In one way, it's a mad Joe Orton-type farce, but there's some pretty big themes floating about in the comedy framework. I want to plough this furrow of people dealing With tough situations.‘ (Fiona Shepherd)

Healthy appetite: Elvis Presley


So, So

Glasgow: Brunswick Hotel, Fri 30 Oct Anyone who has ever lain in a hotel bed wondering about its preVious ocCupants honeymooners, runaways, film—stars, prostitutes7 -- Will be seduced by this ground-breaking new work by the French/Croatian Compagnie des Loups.

Part of the CCA's current season of radical theatre, Havoc, the piece is performed in a penthouse sune at the BrunsWick Hotel, and examines the fascination exerted by unknown lives and anonymous eXistences. So, So is a radical theatrical interpretation of the work of French artist Sophie Calle.

As part of an ongoing DIOJGCI exploring the concept of absent existenie, Ciite

Room service: So, So

worked as a chambermaid, using the signs and objects in the ("Jili‘l‘v’ “0193 IV "‘-S she cleaned, she imagined the lives of the anonymous guests, and the :i'arias concealed behind closed doors Those dramas are now brought to We by int-3.: v

Branko Brezovec and three actors 'Do not disturb' does not apply (Hannah tvIcGill)