Ruby Worth Glasgow: CCA run finished s

Self-styled performance vigilante Ruby Worth has developed a knack for combining dance, video and sheer surreal performance in recent years, and Tracing Houdini is probably the most successful of her efforts. In 50 minutes she manages to in turn amuse, bewilder and impress with a concoction of text and movement, somehow managing to skip lightly from one image to the next without losing the audience's concentration. All right, so Worth's choreography isn’t ground-breaking or breathtaking, but it is quirkily original and she has three able dancers in Anna Krzystek, Grace Surman and Cindy Cummings. Their opening appearances through a silver tinsel curtain are sheer kitsch, contrasting sharply with Krzystek's following solo where she demonstrates an unconventionally solid technique with quite ferocious leg strength.

When the dancers step in front of suspended sets of antlers to recite text, the ludicrous visual image is suddenly paired with oddly evocative, warm and all- encompassing language. There’s the compelling fascination of a B-movie to the piece, with bizarre sights alternating with moments of raw style and beauty.

THEATRE Defifious

genre du Jour.

Mind games delirious

Escape artists: Tracing Houdini

Annis Joslin's video work adds a highly professional edge to the visuals, the huge circular screen drawing the eye but never distracting from the movement continuing in front of it.

There’s a child-like charm to the piece, whimsical and naive without ever becoming sickly. The playful hand gestures might recall a compilation of childhood games, but the allusions to fluffy bunnies are always contrasted with the impression that these hoppy steps might also be a rabbit trapped in the glare of the headlights, lost and fearful. It’s these double-layered aspects of Worth's work that separate her from some of the more introverted dance coming out of Glasgow, along with her playful approach to the body’s balance and bouncing abilities. Dancers make their entrances in a wild range of movement quirks, mock magic tricks and Houdini-like rope escapes occur, and all the while Tom Bancroft keeps up a mysterious presence, providing both percussion and an enigmatic movement input.

From the moment you tread the trail of plastic grass and flowers into the performance space, Worth invites you to suspend reality and rational adult thinking. The audience are encouraged to enjoy a sort of performance weightlessness, not to mention the always seductive flavour of a free packet of jelly beans. . . (Don Morris)

about his prone hotly ill a private hospital bed He is confronted by a SticCtESsion of surreal Visions involvmg the hospital staff, a wcar presiding wrth impatient perfunctorriiess‘ over his funeral and his family l’lvly mother is God and plays the saxophone7' he gasps, at one particularly delusionary Visitatio i).

As the plot reveals :ts‘elf as less play than lllLlSlstll revue, these Visions begin to allegoi'ise the central character as an everyman of middle-aged, middle class failure His earlier politiial idealism has dwmdled to the token liberalism of being a Protestant Celtic supporter, while his ambition has led him toward becoming a kind of Scottish Jerry

Glasgow: Cottier Theatre, until 3Apr

State-Of-The-Nation plays have become common over the last few months, perhaps a iiiaiiifestatiOn of Scotland's anxrety over the impending realisation of it's new ror‘istitutional status Wildcat, who, after their recent funding crisis, looked for a while as if they wouldn't see an the new Parliament, have struggled on garnely to produce their own version of the

DaVid Anderson's play, whit h contains some additional material from fellow heavyweights Peter Arnott and Davrd Maclennon, is less a narrative than it thumbnail-ske‘th stor‘ylirie, around which are (reateo some memorable characters, a great deal (if episodic satire, and some giggly, well- performed songs The story, suih as it is, concerns the out of body experience of one Jack Richie (Anderson), a TV medra-luvvre, who reflects on his wasted Sl-year life as he wanders

Springer, a position he is offered by the deVil in another parodir rendering of the Faust myth, as if one were needed. There's good deal of wrt and topical observation in the script, which makes the play worthy of a watch, but the nature of the satire ;s a littie diffuse, movrng from the central tar'g >ts of the Scottish media i,‘A kid ve iian industry in a kid ye oari tounti'y'i and private iriedicine, to Lady Di, Scottish football, and vegetarianism, so that some of its coherent e is lost (Steve Cramer)

reviews THEATRE

MUSICAL Martin Guerre

Edinburgh: Festival Theatre, Tue

l3--Sat 24 Apr After various stops, starts and revisions, West End musical Martin Guerre was Judged to be in a fit enough state to go Out on a national tour. The new version makes the most of its edge—of- the-seat story and dramatic themes, but it's let down by a bland score and a surprising lack of spectacle.

Anyone familiar with the French film The Return Of Marti/i Guerre or its Hollywood remake, Sornrr‘iersby, could find this retelling of the story -- with strrn-i siniiifitirrat .‘liaitge‘l of fetus {yr-n inori rei.'.w" ill" i 0‘. (“illllil‘it‘ is roughly il‘ii- Billet‘ when i'vlar‘tir‘ Guerre is isuppose :iy: iataiiy .'.'oiir.tled ill battle, his friend, Ari‘iazid du Thil, undertakes to break the rxigws his Wife, Bertrande, who has not seen Martin for seven years. Circumstances conspire to make the villagers believe Arnaud h'lar'tzzi, the prodigal son returned Arnaud, caught up in the euphoria and falling in love wrth Bertrande, plays along Ulllll suspicions are aroused and, at a trial, the real i'v‘iartiri comes horrie.

The story is taken to a tli‘>i3;‘ii}r‘ - and darker - levti irv its diarriatisation of religious ter‘sioris 'r‘. the Village Early on, sue see the young islartiri whipped

by the ‘."‘ l‘lllc"\l to exorcise the devil that tirade liirt‘ afraid to consuniinate lll‘. rr‘arrraagt; later, the

Catholic verge personal Jealousies with lfiiSlt superstitions, blaniirv: Ber'traride and Arnaud's deceptmn on i‘ver‘yti‘iing from poor weather to the growth of the Protestant faith in the Village Unfortunately, for every theatrical positive, Martin Guerre contains a musical negative it's as it casting sessions actively sought out singers with uniform voices : lose your eyes as another llLlllll)(:" is given. the over— cooked Ceiine Dior: treatment, and you won't know \‘Jlllcll (hai'atti’?r' is' which. Nor is there anyti‘iinr; of distinction in Claude-Michel Schonherg s score, it truiidlc-s along truly rrieriior‘i'ible song in sight, before bursting to an anti—climax wth the most cloyirigly, :rrngirigly sentimental rutihish of the evening iAlar‘ lvlorrison)


\-'-.ritl‘:«'iut a

Identity crisis: Martin Guerre


STAR Unmissable w it Very good x'Y w x \lVOfth a Shot v 6 Below average You’ve been warned

l --l s Apr i999 THE llST 57