POL TlCAL DRAMA A Little Rain
Glasgow: Paisley Arts Centre Thu S—Sat 7 Oct, then touring.
During the recent fuel dispute 3 local radio station broadcast a pickets' demand for more people on the refinery gates. Within minutes, several hundred people had arrived in support. Now, we might all suspect a good deal of multinational collusion with this particular dispute, but events around picket lines told us something else, beyond the familiar position of ’they're in control, there's nothing we can do about it' that we all suck through the nipple of the mass media. What we might gather is that in a society that endlessly tells us that our dilemmas are completely individuated, there’s still potential to discover problems that we all have in common, and that we can act upon en masse, without a go-ahead from the BBC.
Such politics of mass movement were part of the remit of the original 7:84 Scotland under John McGrath. This fine company could justifiably have claimed to be Scotland’s only internationally recognised theatre company, with work attracting respect as far away as Australia in its heyday of the late 705 and early 805. Still one of Scotland’s leading companies, its changes of direction over the last decade or so have been widely documented, but where is 7:84 going now, under a new artistic director, who at 24, is younger than the company
Gordon Laird, the man occupying this revered position, represents a balance of continuity and change, seeking to continue the work of his predecessor lain Reekie in exploring individual, post modern politics, but also recognising the old 7:84’5 value. 'There's an immense history behind the company, and you want to do honour to that,’ he says. ‘But at the same time you've got to move it on a bit; we’ve got to avoid sentimentality and retrospect. We’re looking at base
TRADITIONAL CIRCUS Stars From The Old Moscow Circus
Edinburgh: King’s Theatre, Mon Z—Sat 7 Oct.
There’s an old saying h. the circus world that once you get a piece of sawoust in your eye it's hard to get it out. Vladmir Kozhevihkov, the wh te- faced clown of the Old Moscow Circus is a case in point. Raised in a cirCus fami:y, brought up with a
Well, rather a lot of rain, really
issues rather than party politics. This year we've seen some ugly things in Scotland with Clause 28, asylum seekers and so on. Increasingly we're seeing Scotland as fairly bigoted, and with devolution, we can’t blame Westminster as we used to.’
Laird's assertions are borne out by A Little Rain, Peter Arnott's play, which explores the social issues facing Scotland a year on from devolution, from the interior of a Glasgow pub where a number of punters have taken shelter from torrential rain outside. Their discussions
range from the state of the nation to their own
Three rings? I've got four!
disciplined training regime that would make a marine shiver, he st0icaily defends a style of performance tnat many wou'd now diSl’TlSS as 'traditionai’.
Has traditional cirCus become more of a case of ’roli over than roil up'? Memories of the brightly lit Big TOD, smelling of burnt popcorn and candy floss have faded into a forgotten world along with Cannon and Bali and The CranKies. But Vladimr believes that CirCus can appeal to all
individual problems, creating, Laird says, a microcosm of the new Scotland. Representing the third part of a trilogy after David Greig's Caledonia Dreaming and Stephen Greenhorn’s Dissent, the play explores individual dilemmas and their connection with the bigger political principals that we often associate with the distant world of parliament and the media. Perhaps as well, like those pickets, it'll tell us about things we all have in common. (Steve Cramer)
ages. The large mixed audiences at h=s shows in Las Vegas bear this out.
C rc-..ses <e the O'c Moscow Circus are st 3- very chocn ave ai‘ me" the no 0, but in B" ta n we "ave ‘a'len “to tne trap of watch ng so-ca'eo o'areoev theatre oer‘ r"nances ike Turbozone, which are s moly c rcuses o sgurseo as a ternative theatre. And after a , the ol no-fo oed unicyci sts st: attract 'arge crowcs on the Fringe. So ‘.‘."‘y are nae subected to haf an hour 0‘ agon 5 ng TV watchhg Anna, Me, Dar'en and Craig walk ng a 6ft tightrooe when we cou'lo see the rea' th. ng?
Vladimir believes tnat although. C;rcus is stronger in Russia than. in the UK, there's still very much a place for it, ThlS is their second Visit to Scotland, and while the King’s Theatre may not seem the most obv:0us place to house twenty separate acts, the old world charm of this theatre might add to the atmosphere.
Glittery G-strings and red noses may not be yOur idea of entertainment, but in a world of I-Books and Big Brother, a bit of tradition can be a good thing, even sf you are a bit old to be running away With them.
Myths Of The Near Future
Glasgow: Tramway, and various venues, Fri 22 Sep—Sat 7 Oct.
JG Bal‘a'd’s SC'-l| wrating COuId b clesoxoec: as ether the epitomy of morbzci technopni ia or as a flagship for a ‘.'.C"i(l n munch. technology anti l“..i'"‘(i'“ eXistence become nci'st "c;_.is"aoe. Eve"- SO, it's hard to deny tnat "- a society where a simple malfuncton o" computer’s internal COCK has the o tentzai to cause interhat ona. reci aiert, the term sCience-‘ctlor ooes begin to seem almost obsolete. As Ballard himself puts "vi/e we at the interior of an enormous “over The fictlon as already there. The \.'.or'< o‘ the novelist is to invent rea ity'
Director 0‘ i'/i','rhs Of The Near Future, Stew/a": Lang discusses his partiCular ta<e on the ever-decreasing gap betx'xee" Bahards ficton and reaiity: ‘l tnn< that Ba arr: nas the pomt of View that you ca"'t afford to ignore technology a"y more, It’s part of human exo’utzon | In nK yOu have to embrace tnat Yot. can't resist it, you’ve iust go: to ta<e t on board and move WI." 1.
A oeve oo'hent 0‘ three indiVidual short stores, r'ﬂ/rhs Of The Near Future, The Enormous Space and The Drowned Gxar‘t, the productiOn not on y prom ses to ntroduce audiences
to one of 8"ts'“ f:ction's most innoxatve waters, but also to showcase some pretty original
theat"ica' approaches The Enormous Space is one 8.1:" example, with audiences oe "g moi-oussed over to a noise in the s..ou'os of Giasgow fOr the per‘orn‘ance
'it's about a man Locks his front door anc: ciec oes to co'onise hzs own hOJSE’, "ex/e" set: "9 foot OutSide aga-n,’ says La ng Because the story’s aOOut a man ioc<s himself inside a suburban nousenoio, we deCided to actuawy oer‘orm the olay in a hOuse, and aucr ences Oved tne whole exoe" ence" t“ other nzghtmarish H‘s g"ts T"C do "(3. a "etel‘eng of the class c Tra/e/s in which Gt. .-.a:s"es up oeao on a beach, and t"(‘~ o‘ a man who OUDHCIy OlSC.‘8§,'S :: a": not" graphic images in memo", <2" " 3 dead Myths looks set to ::= an e"gag "g exoer-ence tor eve". :"e most acute sufferers of post- M. ‘e""‘ IOC""OD."OD a
'O; y L(‘:SS"‘a"
Didn’t you used to be in Doctor Who?
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2' Sig-1} ‘3 Oct ZCCCTHE “ST 55