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THEATRE PREVIEW Begin Again
KtC’s Begin Again challenges the popular notion that, during World War II, and also in its aftermath, Britain's population was gloriously homogenous, united in both its vehement patriotism and hatred of fascism.
'A lot of people bring certain preconceptions towards that time, what it was like and how people behaved,‘ says David Harrower, leading Scottish dramatist, author of the production‘s text and resident at the Traverse Theatre. ‘There's so many myths, so many films about this idea that as the bombs were raining down there was humour through adversity. The more you read, the more you realise how opinion was so fragmented. There was no sense of "we're all in this together", and “didn't we fight a good war".'
The production presents two opposing opinions about
the War. The first is that it was a veritable boon and the second is that it failed to deliver the life it promised.
Rewriting history: Begin Again
Set in a dark, nameless Scottish city and doffing its cap to film noir, it features a man's life story told backwards up to the first anniversary of V.E. Day. From that point onwards it deals in conjecture: what would have happened if he'd been a different man with a different set of perceptions?
Rather surprisingly, Harrower, author of Kill The Old, Torture Their Young and Knives In Hens, has no particular affinity with the War and the years immediately following it. 'I didn't want to write a play about this time in history. We thought about setting it in the present day, but I'd been reading about the setting up of the Welfare State and the National Health Service, so I thought it would be a good idea to use that.’ He also doesn’t consider this production a play, viewing it more as 'some text I've written through mutual agreement on characters and similar elements.’ Whatever label it's given, the piece promises to provide a provocative take on the individual’s place in society in the aftermath of war. (Dawn Kofie)
I For details, see Hit/ist, right.
time it has been completed and produced.
Sheridan borrowed from his mum
28 n1: usr 19-26 Aug 1999
Forget Shakespeare's sister, this is the story of Sheridan’s mum and a play that took more than 200 years to finish. When undertaking research on 18th century women playwrights, actress and writer Elizabeth Kuti came across Frances Sheridan, mother of the more famous Richard. 'She was very successful in her day,’ she explains, ’but then her plays virtually disappeared from the repertoire.’ Kuti was charmed by the wit of the plays and fascinated by their historical significance.
With Rough Magic, the leading Irish theatre company, Kuti has completed A Trip To Bath, an unfinished 1865 play transformed into The Whisperers. The fragment has been published a couple of times, but this is the first
It’s a tale of two rich but innocent lovers, in a boarding house in Bath and the unscrupulous operators who are trying to seduce them. ‘She's writing about money and love and sex and when these things come into conflict. It’s an interesting blend of cynicism and romance.’
While the play was never performed in its time, elements of it will be familiar. 'Sheridan's son borrowed quite a lot of things from her. In fact the famous character Mrs Malaprop who appears in The Rivals, appears in her original version in this play. There are pretty direct borrowings. From a feminist point of view it was very interesting.’ If you didn't know it already, here is the definitive proof: behind every great man, is his mum. (Moira Jeffrey)
I For details, see Hit/ist, right.
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Your full Scottish Breakfast includes these goodies on the menu Begin Again See preview, left. Begin Again (Fringe) KtC. Traverse (Venue 75) 228 1404, 24 Aug—4 Sep (not 30 Aug) times vary, £72 (£7.50). The Whisperers See preview, left. The Whisperers (Fringe) Rough Magic, Traverse (Venue 75) 228 7404, 24 Aug-4 Sep. times vary, £9 (£6). gobbledygook Boundary- breaking bunch of classical musicians bring writers like Caryl Churchill and Neil lnnes on board for wide-ranging theatrical experience. See review on following pages. gobbledygook (Fringe) the gogmagogs, Traverse (Venue 75) 228 1404, until 22 Aug, times vary, £72 (£7.50).
Deadly Physical theatre based on seven deadly sins that crosses the energies of circus and dance without short- circuiting. See review on following pages. Dead/y (Fringe) No Ordinary Ange/s, Continental Shifts at St Bride ’5 (Venue 62) 346 7405, until 28 Aug, 12.30pm; £6/£4. touched . . . Crisp and compelling narrative that chips away at myths of Irish rural tranquility. See review on following pages. touched. . . (Fringe) Granary Productions, Hill Street Theatre (Venue 4 7) 226 6522, until 30 Aug.
72. 30pm, £6 (£4).
The Bedsit Tight, witty thriller which juxtaposes hilarity and tension. Stars James Ellis from I Cars. See review on following pages. The Bedsit (Fringe) Observer Assembly (Venue 3) 226 2428, until 30 Aug, 17.50am, £9/£8 (£8/£ 7).
Play Wisty For Me: The Life Of Peter Cook Dead pan perfection and poignant moments. See review on following pages. Play Wisty'For Me: The Life Of Peter Cook (Fringe) Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550, until 30 Aug, noon, £ 7. 50/£ 6. 50 (£6. 50/£5. 50).