reviews THEATRE

Sleazing with the enemy: Liam Brennan and Briony McRoberts in l The Things We Do For Love

fiancee, Hamish (Liam Brennan) The instant mutual dislike between Hamish and Babs concurs with the old adage Edinburgh: Royal Lyceum Fri 9 Jul—Sat that men and women who seem to hate 7AU9 ‘5‘ 7’s ‘1‘? 9' each other’s guts are actually desperate Roger Glossop’s much talked-about set to shag each other senseless design for Alan Ayckbourn’s acclaimed Appropriately, Barbara's flat dominates romantic black comedy, Things We Do much of the set, leaving space only for a For Love, must rank as one of the most few feet of the engaged couple s ingenious of the year. The three apartment above and an occasionally apartments in which the action takes visible and quite sinister basement flat, place are simultaneously visible to the where tellingly, we never entirer net to audience, a triple-layered pine-furnished see what’s going on.




Bri l l iant”...,..,

“Hysterical. . .Unmistakable i. star of the Festival who makes ventriloquism cool again”scmm

cutaway that, combined with the sickenineg chirpy opening score at first seems reminiscent of some formulaic teleVision srtcom.

The script IS Ayckbourri or: top form, apart from a few gratuitous lanses notably an absurd and (lUIiE’ tir‘i'zec‘i-ssary sequence where sexual tension turns to violence, and his talent for astute and


This is a play about deceptive appearances though, and the wholesome facade that the four main characters are desperately struggling to maintain soon begins to crumble as acidic middle-aged career woman, Barbara (Briony McRoberts) becomes the centre of romantic chaos. The sexual tension is brought on by the arrival of Barbara’s air-headed friend, Nikki (Leigh Biagi) and Nikki's apparently love-struck

potent character Observation us more than adequately handled by .i good all- round cast. Although Brion-y lvlcRobeits, skilfully directed by husband, David Robb, gives a rnovrnq and sensit've performance, Robert Paterson's hilarious portrayal of basement-lurker, Gilbert r resident moron, artist, philosopher and postman, is worth the price of the ticket alone. (Oliver Lassman)

AUGUST 4-14 - 10PM AUGUST 15-30 - 7:45PM '


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Glasgow: Tron Theatre, Wed 28—Sat

31 Jul.

Jade theatre's Grace won itself conSiderable acclaim at the 1997 Fringe, particularly for it’s friendly and unpretentious approach to performance. Any concern that success might have created a ’serious artist’ mentality, with all the attendant pomposity of that mindset, is quickly dispelled by co-artistic director and founder of the company, Victoria Worsley.

Asked if their new play, which locates itself in a theatre, is intentionally metatheatrical, she replies: 'We don't really use words like that, it all sounds very worthy, but we’re more interested in the fun side of performance. But it does all take place in a kind of magical end of the pier theatre, so we get the most incredible things happening where else can you see paper-tearing, stand-up and bells-dancing in the

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all dancing. all...chicken?: Like Candyfloss

same show?’

Where, indeed7 But such a combination is not surprising from this gifted group of performers, whose house philosophy is to render physical theatre accessible. This is the Slow of a romance between two variety theatre performers, who With the intervention of a kind of good fairy figure in the shape Of Millie, a last minute replacement for a drunken George Micheal impersonator, find love where cold professionalism had existed before. Sarah Woods, writer of Grace produced the script, which, unusually for the contemporary theatre, concentrates unashamedly on its love stOry, a point which Worsley is keen to emphasise. 'The way the romance works is very important, lt'll make yOu feel good, but it's also qurte believable it is possible that two people who've known each other for years can suddenly look at each other in a new light. That’s all about magic, too.’ (Steve Cramer)

2 Jul-S Aug 1999 THE USTBS