Glasgow: Central Hotel, Fri 22-Sat 30 Oct.

Upon the announcement that Glasgow was to be 1999 UK City of Architecture and Design, Suspect Culture brought together a number of Glasgow based artists to develop an appropriate cultural response. The result was MIM Projects who are currently staging a number of

events to mark the year. Pamela Carter, one of the group’s

founding members, outlines how things progressed from their initial meeting three years ago: ’We met every couple of months to discuss ideas and over a period of a year and a half we came up with six projects.’ One such project is . . . With A Gun, a site-specific collaboration between theatre academic Carter, designer Minty Donald, writer David Greig, director Guy Hollands, architect Alan Part and dancer/choreographer Marisa Zanotti.

Set in Glasgow’s Central Hotel, the audience will assemble on the fourth floor before being led to the once derelict sixth floor. There they’ll be given a head-set and undertake a guided tour as a number of scenes are played out in one of the city's most famous hotels.

As you might expect, the setting is not incidental. 'We wanted to do a

project that was absolutely site- specific in that it couldn’t be anywhere else other than the building that it was in,’ explains Carter. ’It took its inspiration from the building and was as much about that building and how it’s used.’

So how do you go from derelict building to site- specific performance? ’When we first started going in there in the summer we didn’t find it particularly creepy or anything,’ says Carter. ’We kind of saw it as an adventure playground, a sort of fun-house that you could go to. We started playing out gun-fight scenes and rolling in and out of doorways.’

The idea of spaces where people can live out their fantasies began to take hold. ’We started to look at hotel rooms as anonymous places where you can be what you want to be,’ explains Carter. From there

.-. ,.,, e, A: A very unguarded moment: The MIM group

cinematic influences were developed. ’We looked at films that we personally really liked,’ she continues, ’people that we wanted to be, or action scenes that we wanted to re-enact. Because of the frames - the doorways and corridors - we felt it was very filmic.’

The outcome of this experimental piece is obviously yet to be seen, but you’ll have to be quick to get a ticket. With audiences restricted to eight groups of three per night, over the course of the run, less than 200 people will see the show. However, Carter highlights the performance’s potential intimacy. ’I hope that for those people who get to see it, it will be really special,’ she says. ’There’s so much going on just for you.’

(Davie Archibald)

Chief protagonist: Mike McShane in One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

84 "IE "81' 21 Oct—4 Nov 1999


One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

Edinburgh: King's Theatre, Tue 26—Sat 300a.

Mike McShane’s face is best known to British audiences through such television programmes as Whose Line Is It Anyway?, but the big fellow's performance pedigree is in fact quite different. ’l'm not a stand-up, I don’t have that disadvantage,’ he comments. ’Actually, I started out in the theatre, going from role to role in San Francisco.’

McShane's latest part presents us with a familiar character in an unfamiliar medium. Ken Kesey’s acclaimed novel, which was adapted for the screen and directed by Miles Forman for an Oscar-winning film in the 70s, might be a well known story, but this stage version varies from

advantage or '

both. McShane’s role, Chief a gigantic, but for the most part silent, native American - is crucial to the novel as first person narrator, but tangential, because silent, in the film. How does his character fit in here? ’It falls between the two. In the first act, I don't speak, but there’s a lot of voice-over, describing the arrival of McMurphy [played by Danny Webb] and his perceptions of him.’

The play's moving, comical descrip- tion of life in a lunatic asylum tells us much, McShane suggests, about life on the outside. 'Some of the characters, more than half of them, are in this position voluntarily - they've chosen to marginalise themselves to examine their problems. McMurphy, who’s been in a Korean prison camp, can't understand this. His solution has been to be liquor-drinking, chick-shagging lumberjack.’ Mind you, which would you choose? (Steve Cramer)


Edinburgh: Grand Graffiti, Thu 28—Sun 31 Oct.

lt’s Sod’s Law. You invent a computer with the potential to bring peace and harmony to mankind and just when you're ready to market the thing, you drop dead. Still, no one ever said spiritual salvation was easy game, and in Black Earth, David - inventor of the most fabulous object in the world isn’t about to give up the ghost just because his clogs have popped. Circle X's debut production blurs the boundaries between the spiritual and physical realms as David and his team of professionals explore a world where angels and spirits are as much a reality as microchips.

’We're concerned with the spiritual side of life; it's not taboo anymore to talk about people who have died as more than bodies in a coffin -- we're interested in angels, spiritual beings, the whole theme of spiritual development.’ If this sounds a bit too religious, writer-director Christopher Marcus stresses that Bible-bashing is not on the agenda: ’There's this unfortunate tradition in Europe of spirituality being biblical Black Earth isn't about any specific religion or culture.’

This outlandish techno-ethereal setting is brought to life using some radical audio-visual and choreographic techniques: 'In a way, the story is a scaffold around which a whole house is built, a structure of colour, form, sculpture. We've used extraordinary custom-made instruments and

eurythmic movement with intense lighting effects. The stage itself is quite monumental, more a sculpture than a stage set. The end result is stunning.’ (Ollie Lassman)

Post Raphaelites: Black Earth

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