Polish director at communioado
Edinburgh-based theatre company Communicado embarks on a fresh path this month With new artistic director Helena Kaut-Howson. Her apporntment follows a long period of speCulation over the company’s future, caused by the troubled relationship between founding artistic director Gerry Mulgrew and producer Linda Borthwick, which eventually led to Mulgrew's resignation.
The name Communicado Will eventually revert to Mulgrew, though he has still to agree a timescale with the board. Meanwhile, Communicado will continue without him: Kaut-Howson's task is to establish a strong new identity for the company, to carry it through its forthcoming name change.
Born in Poland, Kaut-Howson has spent most of her adult life in England. She brings an impresswe pedigree, including three years as artistic director of Theatre Clywd in North Wales, and productions for Opera North, London's Young Vic, and Manchester’s Royal Exchange, where she is currently working. She also has a mayor international profile, having directed at theatres in Canada, Japan, Ireland, Israel and Poland.
However, her experience of working in Scotland is limited to one production at the Citizens' Theatre in 1990; and she has seen only one Communicado show -- Blood Wedding, in 1988. Can she effectively lead this distinctively Scottish company into the millennium?
’I can only bring what I can bnng,’ she states calmly She is neither tall nor young (she declines to reveal her age), but there is a youthful intensity in her eyes and a quiet authority in her vorce 'I would not presume to try to discover what the audience came to expect of Communicado and imitate that. I accepted the lot) because Gerry created a consistently interesting, free and exciting type of theatre which is worth continuing'
Edinburgh reminds her of Krakow, Kaut-Howson says, glancrng over rainy rooftops of the New Town. When she finishes in Manchester, there are commitments to fulfil in GreenWich and at the University of California in Los Angeles before she can settle in Edinburgh. But she wrll
Arches regulars prepare to let the sun shine in
Helena Kaut-Howson: bringing a new theatre language to Communicado
make time to familiarise herself With the city, its culture and its artistic community
’Theatre ls collaboratwe,’ she says. 'As an artist I can only create if ! respond to the context l am in The purpose of my work is to keep pushing forward and renewing the theatrical language, presenting original, powerful, forever fresh theatre '
An ambitiOiis undertaking perhaps, but Kaut-Howson gives every impression of confidence Ooubters will have to hold their barbs until August. her first Communicado production will be unveiled at next year's Edinburgh Festival. (Andrew Burnett
run courses .or local schools and Cornrriurtity groups
'We want the Arches to become a hive of activrty in the city centre,’ general manager Sarah Wells told The List ‘ihere will he shows and courses 0n throughout the day, and the place wrll be so much more \.ve|c‘c:rriirig to casual Visitors we'll have windows and natural light for the first time It's a place of raw beauty, and that's not ()Olllfl to change, but in terms of accessibility the improvements Will be huge '
Local architects Murray Design Group selected above 100 other applicants to proch the project's blueprints, and now must rise to the ‘ keeping the venue Open
challenge oi while work is carried out As founder
Brat future undeneaththe Arches
It's fair to say that the Arches owes its high standing among clubbers and theatre-goers to the quality of the events staged there, rather than the salubriousness of the venue itself. That’s all set to Change, however, With a masswe £4 million refurbishment
The most significant development ‘Nlll see a new main entrance to the building on Argyle Street , through
30 THE LIST t9 Nov-3 Dec 1998
which punters can access a state-of- the-art box office and a foyer bar a move guaranteed to raise the Arclies' profile (onSIderably. Theatre companies, bands and DJS Will benefit from the facelift planned for the currently derelict basement, where rehearsal rooms, dressing rooms, storage space and even, it’s hoped, a recording studio will be positioned. There are plans to
and artistic director Andy Arnolcl pointed out 'Only 3% of our income‘ comes from public subsidy, so we can't afford to close at any point '
Work on the project wrll begin in June of next year, with a completion date of December 2000 Funding has been proVided by Railtrack plc’, Glasgow City Council and Lottery coffers (Rob Fraser)
The Scottish Inquisition
Questions you don’t expect.
This issue: Neil Murray, Administrative Director of Glasgow’s Tron Theatre.
Tabloid or broadsheet?
Guardian man, through and through. First arts-related job?
As an usher at the Palace Theatre in Manchester.
Last night of Stephen Greenhorn’s The Salt Wound for 7:84 in Islay, in the midst of a gale. Exhilerating and heartbreaking.
Name a work of art you cannot live without?
One Hundred Years Of Solitude, Nick Drake's Northern Star and the opening sequence of Raging Bull,
Where would you spend your last night in Glasgow?
Watching Partick Thistle gub the Old Firm at Firhill, dinner at Rogano, completed by the Blue Nile sending me sadly into the night.
Glasgow, City of Architecture 8: Design 1999: which building should be destroyed?
The Vile offices that kill the View at Charing Cross.
The Lifetime Contribution to Scottish Culture award goes to . ..
Alan Home for setting up Postcard records, Without whom no Roddy' Frame, Edwyn Collins, Go
Top Scot for new millennium?
Peter Mullah -- fantastic ac tor, writer, director, top bloke His time has come. What should be in the Millennium Dome?
A true representation of UK -- not just London -life
What motion would you make as a Member of the Scottish Parliament? To see theatre and the arts as a source of inspiration and change, and fund them accordingly
How do you see Scotland's future? Undecided and exciting
(Compiled by Rob Fraser)