Two Way Mirror

Glasgow: Citizens’ Theatre, Thu 21 Sep Sat 14 Oct

13:1 ‘2... {a . Miller’s short plays upset the critics but could amuse audiences

Arthur Miller will always be associated with some of the most collosal works of 20th century American drama. But his slight double-bill, the enigmatically entitled Two Way Mirror, first premiered in 1982 under the title 2 by AM, has so far received little critical or public acclaim.

Two entirely different plays with different characters and settings are placed side by side as the playwright returns to themes familiar to Miller aficianados; the nature of both reality and truth. But though the subject

matter may be well known, the structure will be somewhat different. 'They are brief snapshots, fragments really,’ says director Jon Pope. ’lt’s not a three hour, three act drama, but it’s extremely well written.’

Anne Marie Timoney and Tristram Wymark are the two actors who, Pope believes, will be crucial to determining the success of this production. ’The interest lies in how the actors play the characters,’ says Pope. 'Because the way Miller set up the plays, the actors have to be four very different people.’

Initially, the opening piece, Some Kind of Love Story, appears to be a crime thriller with the plot following a detective visiting a woman with whom he’s had a prolonged relationship. The woman seems to be the key to accessing the truth of the situation yet, simultaneously, she denies access. In Elegy For A Lady a man searches for a gift for a dying woman. Again the ability, or otherwise, to access the reality of their relationship is illustrated. The search for truth and reality are recurring themes in 20th century literature, and as Miller grows older the desire to access them remains, even if here the possibility of success is problematic.

’lt’s not a monumental work of literature, it’s much more fragile,’ says Pope. 'lt's late Miller and he went through a period of not being terribly good, but these are excellent and very entertaining.’ (Davie Archibald)


Glasgow: Citizens' Theatre, Fri 22—Sat 14 Oct.

Not to be confused with the synonymous early 90s children’s game show presented by tragically mulleted pop-funster Pat Sharp, Eric Bogosian's one-man show, Funhouse is a shamelessly cynical study of the darker side of social existence. No parallels there, obviously. One thing to bear in mind about Eric Bogosian’s subversive take on American society is that the characters you’ll meet in Funhouse may not be any less sordid or distasteful than anything lurking in the average male mind.

’Bogosian’s observed various walks of life, choosing the most deviant sections of society to concentrate on,’ explains director, Kenny Miller. ’These are things that all men have in them. He’s just sort of brought the deviance to the surface. The first monologue is about a guy who cocoons himself in black rubber. Any kind of black rubber excites him. One of my favourites though is ’The Specialist’, a character

Stephen Scott examines male sexuality


study of a high ranking army officer. It’s all about the sado-masochistic things he does to his soldiers.’

Consisting of a wide selection of character-driven snapshots, the British premiere of Funhouse is a highly- charged whistle-stop tour of American dysfunction, introducing a cocktail of unsavoury character types such as 'Calamari’, a TV obsessed couch potato. 'The common link between the studies is that they deal with male insecurity and sexuality,’ says Miller. ’Every form of sexuality gets covered; gay, straight, S&M.’

Performed with theatrical schizophrenia by Steven Scott, Funhouse is a one-man show which attempts to encapsulate everything about the male psyche, even the stuff that we blokes might prefer not to admit. ’If you look at them individually, they’re very studied characterisations of people; a brilliant thing for an actor to do, because you have to jump so quickly from one character to another. But when you see them en masse, you really feel as if you’ve seen society.’ (Olly Lassman)



Like A Virgin

Cumbernauld: Cumbernauld Theatre Wed ZO—Sat 23 Sep, then touring.

Depicting the musical ambitions of two young Madonna wannabes, Like A Virgin, written by Gordon Steele, promises to be a moving and funny comedy with plenty of energy about it. Originally a hit for Hull Truck, the play is being directed by Simon Sharkey. ’l’m always looking for shows that entertain, are popular and accessible and that are targeted at young people,’ he says. ’l read Like A Virgin and loved it. I decided there and then that I had to do it.’

The focus of the play is the two central characters, Maxine (played by Carmen Pieraccini, from BBC's G Force) and Angela (played by Angela Darcy, freshly graduated from RSAMD). ’They’re just out of school and are full of youthful optimism,’ says Sharkey. ’They think they’re fit to take on the world and the title of the play reflects the naiveté they have. They’re virginal in all aspects of their lives, but their optimism helps them to deal with a whole load of issues.’ Sharkey promises belly laughs one minute and tears the next. Sounds like being a teenager, right enough. (Doug Johnstone)

Hull Truck-style entertainment


CandoCo Edinburgh: King’s Theatre, Sat 16 Sep.

The gifted Venezuelan dancer- choreographer Javier De Frutos combines here with an integrated company of physically disabled and able-bodied dancers, bringing new work to the King’s. ’I wasn’t daunted by the idea of working with disabled dancers,’ he says of the assignment. "Psychologically we’re all 'disabled to some extent.’

American playwright Tennessee Williams is one of De Frutos' obsessions. CandoCo’s dance is based on a Williams' short story about a one-armed hustler on death row. ’Tennessee describes this amputee as having “the beauty of a broken Apollo",’ De Frutos says. ’The sense of poetry attached to this imagery was a seed. From there we started talking, and were able to establish a homogenous frame of mind.’ The half-hour work is steeped in self-conscious theatricality. It bears a title (’l Hastened Through My Death Scene To Catch Your Last Act’) derived from a quote by the legendary Sarah Bernhardt. The music is excerpts from the Broadway musical Peter Pan. ’I like using pop culture in different ways,’ De Frutos says. He hopes CandoCo’s dancers will achieve a fearless vulnerability onstage. ’The only unrehearsed part is the audience.’ (Donald Hutera)

Ability in disability

CLASSIC Antigone

Glasgow: Citizens' Theatre, until Sat 9 Sep, then touring *‘k *

Part of Making The Nation, TAG Theatre’s ambitious mission to use theatre to politically inspire young Scots, Antigone is a generally undiluted update of the classical Sophoclean tragedy that pre—empted girl-power by a few thousand years. Antigone, rebellious young niece of the murderous Creon (boo! hissl), attempts to expose the hypocrisy and inhumanity of her uncle, who refuses to allow her brother Polynices proper burial after his death during a bloody civil war.

While the actual political details of the play seem intended to remain of secondary importance to its heroine’s symbolic quest for recognition, there’s no escaping the unfortunate gulf between the play’s archaic narrative focus and contemporary reality. The character of Antigone (Molly Innes) is performed with relentless zeal, and Matthew Zajac does an engagingly sadistic Creon, but the problem is that Antigone’s vehement mission to obtain burial rights doesn’t quite captivate for a full hour and forty. However beautifully designed and tightly directed this performance is (featuring an original set so stunning it almost warrants displaying in an art gallery), it's the slightly tedious and predictable text that, these days, really doesn’t seem half as appealing as the undeniable talent that’s gone into this production. (Olly Lassman)

Molly Innes performs with ‘relentless zeal’

7—21 Sep 2000 THE UST 51