European union: a scene from Waiting Room Germany, an earlier production in the
Glasgow: The Arches, Wed 23—Sat 26
Jun. A kind of musical One Flew Over The
Cuckoo ’s Nest about the guy who put his name to one of the most popular sexual perversions known to man. Sounds like something that could only have come from the twisted mind of Chris Morris, but it is, in fact, the result of the latest collaboration between Arches director Andy Arnold and final year students from Glasgow's Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.
Set in a 19th century French mental asylum, the production sees the incarcerated Marquis de Sade directing his fellow inmates in a self-penned play about the murder of Revolutionary leader Jean-Paul Marat. Although
RSAMD's current season
writer Peter Weiss based the play on historical fact, it is by no means a straight retelling of the story.
'We have used a lot of theatrical license,‘ explains Arnold. 'There are a lot of mocking elements and some very black humour and also the occasional erotic element. One of the Revolutionary songs which gets repeated a couple of times goes, "What’s the point of revolution without copulation?“
'We’re converting the theatre space into a three-tiered Victorian bath- house,’ Arnold continues, 'and the audience will have to come in through a long corridor lined with inmates’ cells. It's a fantastic environment for this play. I think it'll be a big hit.’
TRUE LIFE DRAMA Fingerlicks Two
Glasgow: Ramshorn Theatre, Thu 24—Sat 26 Jun.
Following a highly successful week at Glasgay! last November, the inimitable Fingerlickers are back with a brand- spanking-new show. The group of 'sassy and wise' Glaswegian lesbians have been working wrth acclaimed Scottish playwright Isabel Wright to produce a cabaret-style performance which encompasses a variety of theatre
styles, all delivered with their trademark honesty. 'We got a huge amount of
admiration for these women,‘ says Wright. ’lt’s a very brave thing to stand up and play yourself as opposed to acting out another character.’ As
58 THEUST 10—24 Jun 1999
Behind the labels: Fingerlicks Two
’writing facilitator' for the group, her role has been to run a series of workshops giving the group the autonomy to create pieces on their own, rather than doing the writing for them.
As mature women, they have a wealth of life experience on which to draw for inspiration, and they’ve devised a number of stories which express their different personalities yet combine to give the show a sense of unity. Although there is an inherent emphasis on sexuality, this is not an issue-led performance, and will appeal to anyone who has experienced life with all its humour and tragedy. 'It will strike a chord with jUSt about everyone,’ says Wright. 'It's a very honest show.’ (Kirsty Knaggs)
DANCE REVIEW Carmen
Edinburgh: Festival Theatre, Tue 22—Sat 26 Jun war at at
story of doomed lust down to three 30-minute acts. She has also transplanted it from Seville to modern, industrial Rio de Janerio.
But the real coup of NBT’s interpretation is Didy Veldman’s choreography. In the sweaty climate of designer Lez Brotherston's superb factory setting, the dancers melt between skidding and looping moves. In the bar scenes they clamber over each other, slung back at shoulder or
’ . hip, tumbling down and sinuoust
rising up again.
The roving sensualist Carmen
. (Charlotte Broom) first appears
barefoot and bare-midriffed, munching
de Andrade in Carmen
Northern Ballet Theatre’s latest dance- drama is a fresh take on this sexy, cigarette factory morality tale. Director Patricia Doyle has pared the familiar
an apple like Eve crossed with the snake. Her conscience-free sexual appetite induces her seduction of security cop Jose (Daniel de Andrade), who succumbs despite a genuine love for his prim fiancee Micaela (Fiona Wallis). Insolent, impulsive and driven by unbridled passion, Broom’s Carmen makes you believe that the dangerous mischief she embodies is the greatest aphrodisiac known to man. And there’s something noble about the fearlessness with which she faces her
i, own end.
NBT rings a few other changes on
this hoary operatic pot-boiler. There’s a neat use of film to fill in plot, and ' t ~- bullfighter Escamillo is now a preening Rio Bravo: Charlotte Broom and Daniel
rock stud who dances, rather than sings, to a guitar-heavy, stadium-style treatment of the Toreador tune. John Longstaff’s arrangements of the Bizet score are, alas, canned. Little else about this populist sizzler is.
PSYCHOLOGICAL DRAMA The Collection
Touring ear air
It begins promismgly enough. Imagine a vague underworld take on David Mamet’s Oleanna meets Glengarry Glen Ross, and there you'll find Rapture Theatre's presentation of Mike Cullen’s The Collection, slowly dragging its audience reluctantly — and delicrously _ into the "grimy psychological mire of debt collectors and their indebted clients.
Digging furtively round the male posturing of a triumvirate of 'recoverers’ — and their interactions with the 'smart, sexy and desperately in need of cash’ Elena — the production attempts to expose the dynamics of machismo. And, on the level of inSightful and astute social commentary. The Collection does work well.
Where it falters, however, is in its uneven exploration of Lawson, the main protagonist and erstwhile
Glaswegian hard man. For a production whose verve relies heavily on the collapse of a character with the reputation Lawson once had, he remains largely unconvincing as the battle-scarred master in the midst of a mental breakdown. This may be due, in part, to the fact that the audience is introduced to Lawson only after he has 'lost his nerve'.
But even the denouement disintegrates into a cliched confrontation, one in which a hard- working cast fail to resurrect a largely ineffectual script. Unlike previous Rapture successes — where the philosophy of bringing ’accessible drama' to local audiences has led them to stage powerful performances of works by Sam Shepard, Arthur Miller and Ariel Dorfman — this production does not fulfil its potential to provoke. (Alison Chiesa)
I East Kilbride: Arts Centre. Fri 77 & Sat 72 Jun. Irvine: Harbour Arts Centre. Sat 79 Jun.
. hi! ., 1,
Marie Hennigan and Andy Willians in the Collection