PREVIEW OF 1999
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who prefer their jazz served in the pub need not be disappomted, as fringe gigs abound in ale houses around town.
39. Edinburgh Festival Fringe (Edinburgh, 8—30 Aug) If you've ever wondered what it's like to be chased down the road by a man wearing a
l - ,,___p clown's nose and
J—_'—' flippers, then
Edinburgh during the Festival Fringe is the place for you. Actors and artists of all persuasions and from every nation flock to the world’s largest arts event. The box office (0131 226 5138) becomes operational from mid-July.
40. Edinburgh International Book Festival (Edinburgh, 14—30 Aug) Housed in a purpose- built, canvas village in Charlotte SQuare, the now annual Book Festival provides a restful haven among the usual festival madness. Last year's programme featured over 150 events, from major author appearances to discussion groups, health and lifestyle demonstrations, music and a full programme of children’s activities.
41. Edinburgh International Festival (Edinburgh, 15 Aug—4 Sep) The grand-daddy of them all opens its doors once more to the great and the good of the international arts world. It will, however, be a different set of doors: 1999 is the year the International Festival makes the move to a new home on Castlehill at the top of The Royal Mile. From this newly-renovated nerve centre, the theatre-going public will be able to purchase tickets for the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Cullberg Ballet’s production of Mats Ek’s Giselle and Verdi's Macbeth, directed by Luc Bondy — to mention but a few of this year's highlights. Box office (0131 473 2000) opens on 17 Apr.
42. Edinburgh International Film Festival (Edinburgh, 15—29 Aug) Whether it’s because of the stars hitting town or the new films receiving their world premieres, the Film Festival is now sure to create a buzz both on home ground and within the world-wide film industry. Last year saw the likes of Ewan McGregor, Emma Thompson and Tim Roth drop in; 1999’s to-die- for programme will be unveiled in June.
43. Big Big World (Glasgow, 20—30 Oct) This is only the second year that Glasgow has hosted a full-blown Big Big World festival — in previous years it existed only as an offshoot to Big Big Country and then as a weekend event. Dr John, Papa Wemba and salsa veterans Vieja Trova Santiaguera have brought the house down in the past, so expect an equally diverse selection of internationally renowned talent.
20 THE LIST 7—21 Jan 1999
Fresh from a scene-stealing turn as Art Stilton in The Young Person ’5 Guide To Becoming A Rock Star, actor Forbes Masson is set to make a musical splash of a different kind in 1999 as writer and star of Faustian easy listening opera Stiff!
The show is as semi- autobiographical as is possible for a piece featuring a devil called Neville. Drawing on Masson's background as the son of a Falkirk stone mason, Stiff! marks the 35-year-old Bairn's most ambitious theatrical venture yet. He’s previously written the two- hander Babes In The Wood and performed in a variety of productions, including a
memorable turn in Becket's Endgame.
Masson is still fondly remembered as co-creator of Kelvinside double act Victor & Barry and trolley dolly TV sitcom The High Life, both alongside drama school friend Alan Cumming. With Cumming currently the toast of Broadway thanks to his role in Cabaret, it's perhaps fitting that his erstwhile partner should take a musical path of his own — the difference being that Masson is the creative driving force behind the entire project, rather than just a hired hand.
I Stiff! begins its tour at Edinburgh ’5 Royal Lyceum in April.
44. Under Construction (Glasgow: various venues, March) To mark Glasgow’s year as City of Architecture and DeSign, 7:84 Theatre Company’s community team is working with Castlemilk Youth Theatre and other groups, assembling personal stories, experiences and aspirations. The result will be a touring piece about the personal, social and political implications of architecture. Later in the year, the company will present Arthur Miller's gripping early drama All My Sons.
45. The Cosmonaut’s Last Message To The Woman He Once Loved In The Former Soviet Union (Glasgow: Tron Theatre, June) The long- awaited re-opening of the Tron's auditorium will mark the climax of a £5 million redevelopment. Artistic director Irina Brown’s first project in the revamped main theatre is this new, enigmatically titled piece by David Greig. ’lt’s deep and yet it’s accesSible; it’s funny and yet it’s sad,’ she told The List. ’lt’s about the world as seen from Scotland.’
46. Communicado (venue to be confirmed, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, August) The debut production by Helena Kaut-Howson, the new Polish-born director of Communicado, is fixed to take place during the Fringe, but no title or venue could be confirmed when we went to press. Expect something dynamic, exciting, and in a whole new direction.
47. King Lear (Touring Scotland, April—June) Glasgow’s young touring company Theatre Babel tackles Shakespeare’s bleakest tragedy with a seventeen-strong cast. Expect fast- moving and compact staging. Like the company’s Hamlet and Macbeth, the production is directed by Peter McAIlister.
48. Freaks (Touring gallery spaces in Scotland, autumn) Boilerhouse present a mixed-media show which investigates the idea of outsiders in society. Developed over more than twelve months and scripted by Edinburgh writer Sandie Craigie, this ’performance event’ takes the form of an installation including video projections, soundscapes and individual scenarios. Boilerhouse also performs Bleach, a collaboration With New Zealand company Trouble, in Edinburgh and Glasgow during August/September. Two other projects, Circus and Beach, are in development throughout the year.
49. Family (Edinburgh: Traverse Theatre, 9—-27 Feb) A trio of short plays, presented on one bill. Traverse regular Russell Hunter appears in all
three, jOined in two of them by his better half, Una McLean. Alongside Acts by Riccardo Galgani and One Good Beating by Linda McLean, the show includes lain Crichton Smith’s final work, The Visitor. From January until March, the Traverse company revives its big hit of 1998, Liz Lochhead’s Perfect Days, for a tour of major venues in London and Scotland.
50. The Wake (Edinburgh International Festival, Aug/Sep) Presented by Dublin's prestigious Abbey Theatre, this recent play by leading playwright Tom Murphy —- like much of his earlier work — tackles social exclusion in small- town Ireland in an uncompromising yet poetic fashion. Bursting with life, it tells the story of Finbar, a y0ung man struggling to survive in a council estate known as The Punjab. Expect verbal and emotional fireworks.
51. Mr Puntila And His Man Matti (Citizens’ Theatre, 3-13 Mar) Following the success of Brecht’s dark comedy in the Almeida/Right Size production at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe, the Dundee Rep Company has taken the unusual step of presenting a whole new version, translated by leading Scottish playwright Peter Arnott. The show centres on a landowner, whose personality swings when he gets drunk, and his downtrodden chauffeur.
52. Popcorn (Edinburgh: King’s Theatre, 29 Mar- 3 Apr) Ben Elton’s much-lauded black
Phelim Drew in The Wake