ISSUES DRAMA 24 Hours
Edinbur h: Traverse Theatre, Thu
l6—We 22 Mar, then tourin . After eight years at the elm of
7:84, Artistic Director Ian Reekie is preparing to chart fresh waters. But before departing the company, he’s set to direct their latest production, 24 Hours. It's a show that encapsulates the differences between his approach and the more forthright politics of the company’s socialist founders. 'I set myself an objective which attempted to embrace 7:84’s past but to develop the work so that it had a meaning for its times,’ explains Reekie. ’It was my intention to provide a platform for a wide diversity of voices.’
Despite accusations of drowning the proletarian baby in a sea of postmodern bathwater, Reekie maintains that 7:84 have reflected political developments. ’We're dealing with a variety of issues that we think are of concern to the people of Scotland,’ he states. ’But the company has broadened its
outlook to embrace other politics in a way that perhaps it didn’t previously. The way that society views politics has changed and what we did was to go with it.’ Political theatre undoubtedly invites sharper criticism, but Reekie reflects favourably on his term. '7284 is producing work which is unique in many ways,’ he states. 'I’m talking specifically about the community outreach work, which now constitutes 50% of the company's work, but also in terms of new commissions.’ 24 Hours is one such commission. Produced by six writers, it explores the impact of round the clock consumerism, utilising one setting in six different ways. ‘We gave the writers the context and let them take it from there,’ explains Reekie. ’Some of the pieces are little narratives, others are reflections or meditations. Some have interpreted it naturalistically, in others
POST-WAR CLASSIC All My Sons
Glasgow: Citizens' Theatre, Wed 8—Sat ll Mar.
Running for more than a year on Broadway, All My Sons firmly established the name of American playwright Arthur Miller. Written in the aftermath of World War II, it tells the
Miller plight: A pensive moment in All My Sons
tale of Joe Keller, an aircraft manufacturer whose delivery of faulty equipment during the conflict results in the death of a number of his countrymen. Melodramatic in form, it gains power from the ensuing familial conflict.
For Dundee Rep's Artistic Director Hamish Glen, this production is not
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He ASDA go: Ian Reekie signs off from 7:84 with supermarkets
you’ve got things that would never happen in a
But Reekie refuses to weave the threads into one uniform tapestry. ’My job is to accentuate the voice of each one to allow each one to stand alone, or as individually as it possibly can,’ he explains. ‘We're not trying to force them into bed with each other. It’s an experience of great contrast and that’s what it should be. When you add them together they come into a powerful whole, but in a wide variety of ways.’
24 Hours looks like being one of 7284’s more experimental pieces and Reekie insists that it will be provocative. ’24 Hours will be a challenging piece that talks quite directly about political issues, but it does it quite specifically in six different ways. I think that’s quite healthy.’ (Davie Archibald)
srrnply a case of dusting down an old text from the past. 'It is one of the great plays and it has a resonance now,’ he states. ’lhe heart of that resonance rs the idea of your responsibilities in a time of war; whether that's us going into The Balkans or trying to bomb Mllf‘"*‘.' c into submissrorr. it's about hi you maintain your ltwpttil‘ﬂbrli . as .r human being rn that context?
This is the first time that tl e cc many have ventured out of their llatl‘.‘_.‘ city since becoming a full time (.‘lrséji'llble last August, and Glen .rrgirtvs that it will be something new for (Zilasgow audiences. 'l‘here is something very interesting about seeing what is produced by a group of artists that
work together all the hire", he insists. ’We're the only full time ensemble in the country and i do think that it is a different and a llt‘.‘.’ v. 3;, (if \‘nrrkinci
There is a quality to the work that is generated out of artists \\"t)l'r2llt-C_l
consistently this ‘.'.'l” he an ev ‘rillr'rti
prodUction til .i (Davie Archibald)
Re: Treading the boards
THE NEXT FORTNIGHT will witness some of the best theatre to be seen over the coming year. Among the most notable writers to appear shortly will be Mark Ravenhill, whose Some Explicit Polaroids looks set to explore the inner-selves of two generations in a contemporary context. A similar style of writer, David Greig will be exploring metatheatre in Candide 2000, as well as presenting an intriguing adaptation of Oedipus in Greeks, which one supposes could be called fetatheatre.
The work of these two writers is of unquestioned power. Ravenhill's Shopping & Fucking had a sense of raw emotion about it which stunned audiences on its appearance at the Fringe a few years back, while anyone who remembers last year’s The Cosmonaut. . . will need no encouragement to book a ticket for Greig's new play. But while you’re there (you’d be a fool not to be) you might notice the same old idea running under the dialogue and
3 action: postmodernism.
Yes, yes we know you've been hearing the term for donkeys years, and wish it would go away, and also that it’s a catch-all term which fills hours of academic seminars, but until they stop writing it we've got to talk about it. As it reveals itself in the work of these two writers, we witness a multitude of voices revealing many points of view, but no final judgement on the characters is presented by the author.
To make such a judgement would be to subscribe to a Grand Narrative, a narrow version of truth tantamount to paranoia. But what should we do without some affirmative worldview, and why shouldn’t we condemn paedophiles, acid rain and Mrs Thatcher? Come on folks, you’ve got the talent, so lighten up and give us something to behevein.
David Greig: Postmortemism?
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