QUEBECOIS THEATRE The Reel Of The
Stirling: MacRobert Arts Centre, Tue 18 Apr, then touring. at it at a
After all the hullabaloo about its controversial content, quality, and appropriateness for the Scottish stage, Stellar Quines’ new production leaves its audience with much to challenge itself about. The general drift of this piece translates well from its Quebecois context, for it addresses something in the Scottish national psyche, a capacity to recognise the moralists in our culture, but never attribute this morality to ourselves as individuals. We're OK; it's always other people who are judgmental.
To expose this flaw, Jeanne-Mance Delisle's play must locate a subject with which none of us are comfortable. No one, except those in thrall to a particular interpretation of the Bible, or a reactionary dogma, could condemn homosexuality for example, but what of incest and violence? Here we throw causality and social context away, and condemn by knee-jerk. It's not the incest itself which Delisle’s play is concerned with, this is in no way endorsed, but rather the capacity of our culture to condemn without recourse to analysis.
The play shows a family situation of great complexity, where Kern Falconer's character, the patriarch Tonio subjects his elder daughter Pierrette (Marnie Baxter) to sexual abuse, while her mother (Dierdre Davis) tries to ignore the situation. Tonio's other daughters Colette (Melanie Bradley) and Simone (Isabelle Joss) seem in equal danger, while handicapped son Gerald (James McAvoy) is the target of much physical violence. Yet there is more to these relationships than this. Tonio’s abuse is as much the product of the culture's economic abuse as anything else; the demons of his mind reflect his demonisation in the outside community.
The entry of son-in-law Camille (George Drennan), who
How's your father? Marnie Baxter
CLASSIC REVIVAL Playboy Of The Western World Dundee: Dundee Rep, until Sat 29 Apr. A Clockwork Orange is in the multiplexes, The Driller Killer is on TV
and pop's Midwich Cuckoos Westlife are free to walk the streets. These days
= the boundaries of what is artistically
acceptable to the masses are so wide, it’s hard to imagine any new work eliciting a violent response. Yet before the kids were slashing cinema seats to the sound of 'Rock Around The Clock’ in the opening credits of The Blackboard Jung/e, there was rioting in the streets of Dublin when JM. Synge’s
The Playboy Of The Western World
was first performed at the Abbey Theatre. Nearly a century later Dundee
Rep's ensemble company is
anticipating a more benign response from its audience, although director Jim Culleton feels the play has lost none of its kick.
arranges for Tonio's arrest, seems to put a stop to the monstrosity we've witnessed, while his mouthing of the i makes him a local hero and the
very condemnatory sentiments of the average audience
bring us into empathetic contact with him. Yet he too I : ’The depiction of peasant life,
engages in sex with Pierrette, and here, a subtle
complicity on her part, perhaps inscribed by her } 5 offended people,’ says Culleton.
circumstances, disturbs our easy appreciation of the roles
of victim and criminal. The play goes on, not to judge, characters talks about "a drift of
but to explore an emotional landscape which is too
fraught with complex causalities to bring us to simple ~
solutions, as the play's tragic momentum visits itself upon one and all.
Director Muriel Romanes deploys a sensitive appreciation of the play's metricality, imitating, and in places literally enacting the dance of the title. Bill Findlay and Martin Bowman's translation captures the delicate mix of realism and its opposite required by the script, combining with strong performances to produce a gripping, but by no means easy, night of theatre.
help thinking I’d love to see Jane Eyre again.’
Film stars are full of surprises. Whereas a footballer might tell you his favourite goal was the thirty-yard drive that flew into the top right corner to win the cup final, the film star's equivalent tends to be the failed clearance which hit them on the burn and rolled over the goal line in a pre- season friendly.
Actors; they’re a law unto themselves, and law is the problem for York’s character in Double Double, a glossy thriller also starring Robert Powell. What’s it all about? York expiains, with the traditional provrso that in this kind of play, its best not to give too much plot away. ’lt begins with an apparently well-heeled woman bringing a tramp back to her well- heeled apartment.’ she says. ’She asks him if he’ll be prepared to stay for a few days and take on the outer attributes, which he already has, but also the inner attributes of her dead husband. I can’t say much more than that, but there are a lot of twists and turns}
New York play
Edinburgh: King's Theatre, Mon l7—Sat 22 Apr.
There’s no doubting the film acting credentials of Susannah York. It's difficult not to ask her about her
80 THE UST 13-27 Apr 2000
favourites, and you’ll be glad to know that we didn’t resist the temptation. ’l was thinking about Jane Eyre the other day. I had a great time making it with George C Scott,’ she says. ’Of course there are the other, obvrous ones, like Tom Jones, A Man For All Seasons and The Killing Of Sister George, but I can’t
There's financial jiggery-pokery at the bottom of it, but a lot more that she just won’t give away. And how are things working with Robert Powell? ’He’s totally professional, very hard working, and every now and then we have great fun.’ (Steve Cramer)
It tells the story of a stranger’s reception in a small community in County Mayo. His tale of patricide amorous quarry of the local women. especially of Irish women, really
’There’s a line in it where one of the
females in their shifts” and this description of herds of women in their
f underwear was where the riots
erupted, and from there performances had to be policed.’ He continues: ’The people running
the Abbey Theatre were constantly
trying to persuade Synge to remove the bad language from the play. The worst word in it is "bloody". Eventually he gave in and removed a few of them, but I’m glad to say that the text we’re using is the uncut version!’
Culleton is the artistic director of 2
Fishamble, a Dublin-based theatre company dedicated to new Irish writing. The chance to direct a classic was an indulgence he could not refuse. ’lt’s lovely not to be worrying about the play itself,‘ he says. ’There haven‘t been any times when we wished Synge was on the other end of the phone to change something.’ (Fiona Shepherd)
Synge out loud: Emily Winter and Gavin Kean