I Scottish Ballet— nlghT LiFe

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With the uncertainty in the company over the last 18 months, it was brave of Scottish Ballet to programme a triple bill of works new to Scotland, including a work created for the company. There’s always a struggle to find audiences for more enterprising short pieces, as a company runs the risk of losing the punters who favour the classics, yet not getting the contemporary dance bums on seats who are put off by the 'ballet' label. The three pieces chosen have plenty to stretch the dancers in terms of technique, or to put it more bluntly, show up the deficiencies in the expertise of the company.

Diversions, a 19605 Kenneth MacMillan work, is danced to a spiky Arthur Bliss score of complex timing, and features seriously testing footwork. For some reason principal dancer Vladislav Bubnov is repeatedly paired with partners too big for him here the stylish Sabine Chaland which is a shame, as he brings considerably poise and elegance to his dancing, even in the unforgiving costume he's lumbered with. But it’s a rather ordinary piece and overlong in the end, a

Scottish Ballet

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Lorna Scott and Ivan Dinev in nlghT LiFe

criticism which could also be levelled at Tim Rushton‘s nlghT LiFe. Rushton's full of good ideas and a sense of fun to begin with, in this stylishly designed series of flippant liaisons. The set looks like a spartan art gallery, great for the playful opening section, slightly at odds with the later swooning romantic pairings. The quirky characters, particularly Robert Doherty’s nicely understated louche sleazeball, are appealing enough, but apart from endless exits and entries through the many crevices of the set, they don’t have much of interest to do.

Lila York's Rapture finally jump starts the energy level, bringing the company out in massed battalions, ripping through the Prokofiev score with jumps long and high, teasingly twined arms and circling groups that wouldn't look out of place in a West End musical. The real joy of the piece is that York seems to produce a sense of connection, amongst the dancers and with the audience, in a work that includes sombre and thoughtful sections between the exuberant thrashing. The dancers respond well, seeming to kick out with relief at being able to move freely. Let’s hope they’re given the chance to do it more under the new regime. (Don Morris)

reviews THEATRE


As writer, composer and star of Scotland's first ever full on, big budget, production number of a musical, Forbes Masson laces a huge task. Fortunately, the multi-hyphenate ginger is a man of impeccable taste,

His pastiches/homages of everyone from Brecht & Weill to Bacharach & Dd‘Jlfl to Tennant 8r Lowe are lovmgly, bl'lllldlllly accurate. SIIT'Illarly, when it comes to parodying the bloated excesses of Lord Lloyd Webber, his aim is hilariously true. Lyricaliy, perhaps, he is guilty of over egging the pudding, to the extent that some choice couplets are lost in a frenzy of word play. That said, several lines saw the audience burst into si'iontaiieous applause, and the Peter Ivliillan gag may pass into Scottish cultural folklore

t/iasson's vision is magnificently made flesh by a ten strong cast who possess more energy and ability than many (:Jlllfhlllli‘S three times the size, givmg an already iiii;;-ressively mounted show the illusion of an even grander scale. There's also soiiiethino strangely thrilling about seeing actor‘s play musical instruments live onstage, never more so than in George Drennan's in character trumpet solo as the 'safety raror king' turned prospective l/ISP As superb as everyone iri'onvt-d is, Robert Carr and Robert Dateison deserve special credit for their shamelessly ene stealing double act flaw, it may stem 'rri‘. the 'lesire to tovei so many bases Zieath, sex, :iizpotence, gangsters, drug

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' "STAR RATINGS : Unmissable

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29 Apr l7) ltlay lQQQTHELIST 53