IT COULD ALMOST BE A WIND-UP. MACBETH, WITH DANNII MINOGUE. And a load of l'k’rainian stilt-\talkers. And a \oundtraek ol tranee. \otll and Balkan roek. In a garden. B} torehligltt.
lt \tttllttl\ like some nag‘s satire on the esoterie e\perimental CXL‘L‘\\L‘\ til. the litlllthttl'glt l’ringe. ll.\ not. .IUIH'IH’)‘ 7i) .llUt'lN'l/l l\ one ol t\\'o speetaeularl} otttre takes on Shakexiware that \xill he hrought to the Ro_\al Botanie (iardenx lltlx _\'ear h} one ol' the lltthl aeelainied l’ringe eompanies ol‘ the Qt)» 'l‘heatrum Botanieum'x \peetaeular outdoor produetions hare hagged them praetieall} exer} auard lidinhurgh otters ineluding l'i\e Seotxman l‘ringe liirxtx and had eritiex in raptures )L‘itl‘ alter )ear.
'l‘hix titne around. direetor and eompan} l'ounder 'l'oh_\ (iough has learned tip \\'llll 'l'eatr 77 l‘rom Poland. the Kiev lixperimental 'l‘heatre. and the .'\u\tralian eompan} .lu.lti Spaee .la// lot‘ a projeet that he deserihex ax 'the tonie that lidinhurgh need\. alter all those eramped little theatres: to get outside. hear some great music. and nateh the lantaxtie Dannii Minogue in a great \tor_\ ol‘ hlood. \e\ and \ lUlL‘llL‘L‘l.
(iough elaims that eaxting |)annii wasn't just a headline-grahhing plo); it “as the lull‘ilment M a long-eherixlied hope. 'I eouldn't think ol an_\one hetter to pla) the part.~ he asserts. 'l'\e al\\a_\\ named to “ink \\ ith her. and l‘\'e heen planning to do llll\ \lttM' at the liexti\al l'or _\ear\. So when I asked her it she named to ha\ e a stah as the saning goexl and she agreed to do it. it “as a dreatn hit ol eaxting l‘or me.”
The lad} herer is no less enthusiastie ahout adding Shakexpeare to an alread} eronded ('\': it \\'Ullltl take tnore than one long— deeeaxed literary xaered con to shake her eompoxure. ('onl‘ident and artieulate. she eould hardl) reside lurther lrotn the leather-hraitied himhette tet't'itot') she’s generall) thought to oeeup}. l.ad_\ .\laehetli\ ~\oliloutru might seem demanding in eomparixon \\ith \litth on Home .-lm/;hi'u.\' and I‘M/It HUN/(UM. httt l)annii'\ liar lrom l‘a/ed.
'lt \xaxn‘t daunting: it \\il\ intriguing.‘ she \a'\\. It \\tt.\ the l'reedom (iottglt ol'l'ered her to de\elop her eharaeter as she \a\\ lit that eon\ ineed her to take on the role. 'l'm \et'} luv} not onl_\ ahout \\llill role I play httt ttlxo ahottt the produetion and the st} le in \xhieh it's done. 'l‘oh_\ has a unique \ ixion. 'l'liere \\11\ no \\a_\‘ l \\;t\ going to \xaxte m_\ time eoming up to lidinhurgh and doing something that‘s heen done hel'ore. 'l'lie Lad} .\laeheth l pla} \\lll he l)annii .\linogue\ l.ad_\' .\laeheth. and \\ hen people see it the} 'll kno\\ that it couldn‘t poxxihl} he an)otte else.’
Spoken like a horn theatrieal di\'a. l)annii'\ approaeh is not that ol‘ a giggl} rent-a—eeleh adding glit/ and lll\ to a produetion he}ond her intelleetual seope: she takes the proieet. and hersell'. \er} \L‘l‘lttttsl} indeed. l'nxurprisingl). the taet that the press and puhlie tnight not he quite so read} to aeeept her as a Sliakexpearian liea\ } “eight does not eoneern her. 'l'm not i—‘Ulttﬁl to Please e\‘et',\one. ll'l \xorried ahotit \\ hat people thought. I’d still he li\'ing in .r\u.\tralia and l ne\'er nould haVe tried an} thing.‘
In the menu. she tried man) things. lrom muxie and 'l'\' to l'axhion design and. reeentl}. a spate ol‘ I"/l.ll—\t_\‘le glamour modelling. l)o\\ it under. l)annii\ lame preeeded and exeeeded that ol‘ her hig \lle‘t' K}lie. hut \he has al\\a_\s I'L‘xlle‘tl eategorisation. ’lt‘x good for people to see me in a different light: it e\pand.\ their minds. l’eople eonstantl} nant to pigeonhole me. to sa} I‘m just a TV presenter. or just a singer. or jttxt an aetresx. I‘m not just amtliing. I‘m a \\'llt)lL‘
huneh ol' things and I keep puxhing m_\.\ell to he as di\'er\e as | ean.
heeauxe it interestx me. It goes along \xith m_\ personalit} di\ing
straight into thingx. doing something eompletel) l'ull-on in the
greatest possihle depth.~ 4 ‘ 'l'oh} (iougli sees l)annii a\ a natural lad} \laeheth. deserihing
her ax ’a lantaxtie perl'ormer \xith lantastie xexualit) and l'antaxtie
guts.’ l)oe\ l)annii l‘eel an_\ kinship “ﬁll that most drix'en and
determined ol‘ leading ladies'.’ ‘()oh . . . it nould he a prett_\ hroad thing to \a} l identilied \\ ith her. li\er_\one ltttx determination it‘s a
t]llL‘\llon ol lttm )ott tl\L‘ ll. llL‘l'.\ l.\ lttlxe‘tl on p0“ L‘t' tllttl \llCL‘L‘xs tttttl eonquering: \lie doesn‘t eare \\ hat \he hax to do or \\lto gets hurt in the iroeexx. In that um \ie're \er\. \er\ dil‘l‘erent. I‘m not |i\ ing for \\lteln l ha\'e a .\'tnnhei‘ ()ne reeord or \ihen I make a million trillion ll durban po’son dollars. I‘m not doing thix to get some“ here else. I'm doing it heeause I‘m doing it.~
()h. and the other 'l'lieatrum Botanieum projeet'.’ It‘s a (‘arihhean 'Ii'm/nhsl \lttt‘l'lltg Roger l.lo}‘d-l’tte‘k out til ()it/_\' I’oo/x (lllt/ lloru'x. \Vith reggae. .r\nd l'ire-hreathing. ()h\ itttlxl}.
www.tr‘ic:l<yoriline.c:c3m _“ www.island.co.ul</island/ ISLAND
Journey To Macbeth is at the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, Sun 8-Mon 30 Aug, 9.30pm, £10 (£8). The Caribbean Tempest is at the same venue, Sun 8-Mon 30 Aug, 7.30pm, £10 (£8).
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