Edinburgh: Traverse 8r Paisley: Arts Centre

Who it said that the devil has all the best tunes‘ The first half of KtC's generally excellent new show is intelligent and thought provoking. It details the life of a illll(](‘lll, good hearted clerk he strives to perform the aclrr‘anistratrve rnzracle i‘egiiii'ed to establish the \.\'eilaie State He sniorks

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Aston thriller: Ross Stenhouse

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Theatre noir: Being again

director Guy Hollands, the increased excitement of the later scenes may be a subtle critique of audience appetites, iii‘ an indication of their own seduction by criiiie's slea/y giaiiiour Either way, they've pi'oduc ed a unisonably involving lesson in social history, and a genuiner intriguing thr:l!ei

(Rob Fraser)

decision lies in the tasting Get the right actors on board and trust them to (lo the material jll‘silic' 3? that rs the case, Arnold is to be gtill'lltlltlldit‘tl on In excellent pitlciernerit, let three members rrl



are :ast a'e Andrew i")ail:nei.'~:>r plan's Danies as shifty and lllzillllillirlll‘Jg illll .i‘ sell- "l(‘ltl(lllltl ‘,t‘ll-Illi[)(lll«i'lti' Llis eyes dart about beneath a t brow, words escape through a intiuth ‘.'.’lll(ll looks as though it has spent vear's sucking this inerriorable cliai'acterrsation has flaws, they are minor the ‘.'(li(£" a touch reminiscent of Peter Cook's E L Whisty, the long Johns a tad pristine fora hobo

As lv‘ll(li, F‘aul Riley exudes volatile menace think Ray Winstone and you'll get some idea of the :r'epth and

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reviews THEATRE


Edinburgh: King's Theatre until Sat t7 Apr 8% ‘2?

It's a curse hovering over any production of Anthony Shaffer's vvhodunnit.7 (or more accurately whodunwhat7) that compariSOn will be made With the leads and their ability to make us forget messrs OliVier and Came from the 1974 film. Which is a shame because the show is a good old-fashioned romp across that most fun of genres, the English country house murder mystery.

Hidden Within the puzzles, riddles, clues, mischiefs and double-double bluffery, there are hints of something a bit Weightier. Class, race and moral philosophy are all wrapped up in the dual roles of Anglo-Italian Milo Tindle, nee Tindolini (Michael Maloney) and true blue— blooded Brit Andrew Wyke (Peter Bowles)

And so, to the leads. Undoubtedly they had much fun performing and not all of that was lost to the audience, but, predictable as it may seem, Bowles is no Larry and Michael’s surname is not Caine. The former is a mix of the Basils, Brush and Fanty, while the latter indulges a little too much in a Roberto Benigni going through RADA kind of way

Two warnings: those With a dodgy ticker should be aware that there are a few gunshots fired and anyone With a morbid fear of clowns should stay well away. (Brian Donaldson)

NEW WRITING Friends In Love, Sex . . .And Death

Glasgow: Cottier run finished rs

This is a new play from a newly formed yOung company (Beacon): as Such, it possesses many of the qualities and a few of the faults you might expect. There’s a fair amount of invention in Bryn Owen's writing, and boundless energy in the cast’s performance

The scenario, initially at least, Wlll be familiar to anyone Who's seen the movies Sha/low Grave, The Last Supper or, more recently, Very Bad Things. A group of largely unpleasant, unsympathetic friends get together, and things get out of hand to a homiCidal extent. Murder is committed, splinter groups form, and skin- saVing paranOia ensues.

Where the play differs from its cinematic equivalents is in the stylistic treatment of the StlblGCl. Matters guickly take a turn for the surreal, not to say absurd, and the lines between reality and guilt-induced hallucination become blurred. Such an atmosphere is difficult to create and harder still to maintain, but Owen (who also acts) and his cast generally pull it off There are problems: the Cottier lS not the ideal place for the frenetic scene changes required here, and the characters are too soulless to involve the audience, but this remains an interesting production from a promising company (Rob Fraser)

Sleuth: it’s a mystery

comrri‘p'aamiia“"““—‘""' " Liquid Oxygen Glasgow/:Arches Thu lS--Sat l7Apr

The title of the latest piece by Jane Howe and Malcolm Shields seems to suggest breathless energy, particularly as thc. company's name (Fight Or Flight) evokes dramatic movement responses So it's a bit of a disappointment to find instead an hour of lumbering paced actrvrty, spiced up by some imaginative Video work and a soundtrack by the ever versatile Quee MacArthur Sure, we see a certain amount of heavy breathing and inflating imagery, allied to moments of twitchy energy, but what are these four dancers doing7 The opening sequence of kiddie pushing and shovrng hardly stretches them, and when a bit of choreography comes along the tec hnigue looks loose and limp.

The late 90s rage for video paired With live dance has certainly been done worse than this, though here it sometimes seems the screen size draws the eye away from the deficiencies on stage Moments of laiiguiclly lubricated body contacts flit by all too quickly, punchy arms and siclling legs are lost in the blur of unresolved ideas, and the work ends With such a burst of banality it seems more than oxygen is needed to resuscitate this effort. (Don lvlorris)

Breathing difficulties: Fight Or Flight

-. .__-___..____l is 20 Apr i999 THE llST57