MUSICAL Pal Joey
Citizehs' Theatre, Glasgox'r, Fri I—Sat 23 Dec.
The erotic attractions of unkindness are legendary. The devil might be the bad guy in Paradise Lost, but there’s no denying he’s much sexier than God. On the plain of earthly experience, many a man has come to believe that a woman shown beastliness and indifference will show you her boudoir, while one shown kindness and sensitivity will show you the door. If you want to quibble, don’t take it up with me. Letters and postcards should go to the Citz, where Philip Prowse is directing Pal Joey, the classic musical of Broadway and film.
It is not, as the title might suggest, about someone befriending a juvenile kangaroo. Rather, Rodgers and Hart’s musical was based on a series of columns in the New Yorker by the American satirist John O’Hara, disguised as letters from the fictional Joey Evans to his friend Ted. In them, Joey, a mediocre nightclub singer, describes conquest after conquest to his friend, as he systematically uses and abuses women, gaining advantages both sexual and financial from them.
In this version, Paul Albertson’s Joey seduces Linda (Estelle Morgan) with promises to write a book about her, then switches allegiances to the wealthy Vera (Andrea Hart), a femme fatale who seems to have met her match in Joey, whom she sets up as a gigolo and man of means. Much of the humour of the hard-bitten, bleakly comical story comes from Joey’s subsequent comeuppance, as the women wise up and plot revenge.
Albertson, who plays the eponymous cad, can find few merits in the man, but does his best. 'His only redeeming feature is his confidence, which is the most attractive thing about him,’ he says. ’He’s a charmer, but he's a bastard. He doesn’t have any male friends, except when he needs them to buy him a beer or do him a
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Rock n' troll lifestyle: Tam Dean Burn is King Of The Trolls. Really
Nice guys finish last: Paul Albertson
favour, and really, he’s pretty sad. He's a self-destructive egomaniac of a nightclub singer.’
Enough said? Well, not quite. Albertson also sees him as a victim. ’But the women end up controlling him, and he’s unaware of it,’ he says. 'Although the two women are miles apart on the face of it, they’re actually quite similar. They use him quite a lot, and get pleasure from him as well.’
Featuring songs like 'I Could Write A Book’, ’Take Him’ and ’Do It The Hard Way', there’s plenty of songs from the golden age of musicals to carry you off to fantasy land, with the highlight ’Bewitched’ to bring alive that loved-up feeling. So boys, if you’re ’wild again, beguiled again a simpering, whimpering child again’, go with the feeling, just don’t kill it with kindness. (Steve Cramer)
in the mountains is to give you a mere appetiser Beyond this, he has the odd rea/ adventure Venables' take brings all this into a contemporary location ‘lt's all set in an urban, British mwronment,’ she says ’Within that, the play veers all over the place from romanticism to straight satire '
But ll()\.". does she render lbsen's more specific satire of I876 Europe into a contemporary context) ’Well, my version isn't so speCific, but you'll find some very identifiable political satire of a modern kind in it,’ she says ‘There
CLASSIC Peer Gynt
Citizeiis' Theatre, Glasgow, Thu 27 Nov—Sat 23 Dec.
Where can you find a decent troll in the theatre these days7 GIVO up7 Director Claire Venables has the answer, Wl'ill her modern adaptation of Ibsen's comic epic 'It’s an extraordinary landscape,’ she says ‘It includes
dream, fantasy and cjritty ordinary life' This epic satire is too cietaIeci to render fully here, to tell you that the i'oquish title character is rejected by his intended, Solveiq, carries off the betrothed Ingrid from her \‘thlClIIIg feast, goes off to make a fortune in the slave trade, is snamdleci of it by a guileful Arab woman, is locked up as insane in an asylum, and returns to his native Norway to live a'nor‘rc} the trolls
are references to what we'd call Thatcherism and Ibsen might have called right-Wing capitalism in it, for example '
You can see the aptness of Venables' metaphor, given that the protagonist is an example of the kind of selfish go- getter we're encouraged to be in our still too Thatcherite somety. But what about the trolls7 'Well, we have to find the troll in all of us lSteve Crameri
Stage whispers Re:Treading the boards
TWO NEW POSTS created by Scottish Arts Council funding promise to provide a rare opportunity for young theatre workers in Scotland. Glasgow’s TAG Theatre Company has awarded the position of trainee director to Lu Kemp, until recently a student at Edinburgh University who directed an adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting Of The Snark with distinction in the Edinburgh Fringe of 1999. The company has also appointed Rosie Lewis, a young graduate of Leeds University, as trainee education officer.
A STEERING GROUP has been created to assess cost proposals for a Scottish national theatre which take 't from Whispers is not so much a proposal as a done deal these days Committee members include Wise heads such as Hamish Glen of Dundee Rep, James Brininc) of TAG and Shona Powell of the Lemon Tree in Aberdeen The plan for a national institution was one of the few proposals to be cjiven concrete backing by the Scott;sh Executivc-Vs recent Cultural Strategy document The idea, forwarded by the Federation Of Scottish Theatre, is to have a commISSioninq body no building, no monoliths that would celebrate and develop the work of the eXistinq body of theatre producers across the country In this way, there would be no drain on resOurc es, no competition With the current infrastructure, only enhancement Well, that's the theory
GOOD NEWS FOR pub quiz buffs. Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre, after the resounding success last month, will now continue its monthly pub quiz. Don't feel you have to be artsy to do it, either; the questions have a general knowledge and popular culture bent. The next event will be Monday 20 November at 8pm, and will just happen to coincide with several cheap booze offers, so you might not need the five bottles of champagne offered as prizes if you wrn.
New appointments and a responsible role: James Brining
76—30 liO.’ 2000 THE “ST 63