THEATRE preview


Danced 612,Gilmorehili,Glasoo'.'.,itie28 Nov—Sat 2 Dec.

However much we try to rationalise our lives, the person we find ourselves in love with is something beyond logical explanation. It's for this reason that Oscar Wilde’s parting gesture is an ambivalent one. For despite the destructive impact upon his life of his last great love, Lord Alfred Douglas, who treated Wilde abominably in later life and denounced him after his death, it is to Douglas we must look for the authorised translation from French of Wilde's last play, Salome. Wilde’s account of Salome's dance, which brings the death of John the Baptist and the destruction of the court of Herod, was regarded as too scandalous to perform for most of the last century and has only been seen with any frequency over the last decade.

A new version of the play, along with the British premiere of a closely related text, Now She Dances, by American gay dramatist

Doric Wilson, is bound, then, to be of interest. Stephen Bottoms, director of these productions for Flexible Deadlock, has a fresh angle. 'We've updated it,’ he says. ’Some of the dialogue is a bit stilted, so we've carefully judged when we can paraphrase, without interfering

too much with the poetry.’

He adds: 'We're interested in the psychological business of the play. When Salome offers to dance, bringing the death of the prophet, she's partially revenging his rejection of her, but mainly avenging herself on Herod, who is effectively guilty of child

abuse, in her case.’

In a world dominated by the Spice Girls and Madonna, Salome questions whether women's use of their sexual allure to empower themselves is productive. Salome's interrogation of the prophet has an S&M sexual game quality in this production, but does it do her any good?

GRlM TALES The Boy Who Left Home

Paisley Arts Centre, Tue 21 Nov, then touring

You know exactly where you stand with a good fairy tale The big bad wolf always ends up with an arse- whipping, the eyil witth gets flame- grilled, Prince Charming ineVitably gets a snog Happily Ever After Or so we're told The little publitised tr: th is that the original fairy tales were mirth

64 THE lIST l6-3O Nos 2000

Salome and masochism

'She’s still trapped in a patriarchal world,’ says Bottoms, ’and finally her actions bring destruction on herself.’ Now She Dances is equally fascinating for its narrative and writer. Doric Wilson was perhaps the earliest openly gay playwright, as well as a key figure in getting the

Off-Broadway scene running in the 605, thereby helping

to create the American avant garde. His play was first produced in one-act form as early as 1961, but this substantially rewritten version is, in effect, a premiere. It posits the Pirandellean premise of six actors, who are in fact characters from Salome, showing up at a down-

at-heel theatre to perform The Importance Of Being

Dark fairy story

darker, irrioi'edirtable affairs, where Printe (harriiing was more like Prince Naseen: Or OJ Simpson And that big bad wol.p He'd have Walt Disney for breakfast

Nitl. Phillipou, dirertor of ATC's untonyentional take on the reality behind bedtime stories, says there are many things grandma kept guiet “The original Cinderel/a is attually an amazingly dark story called Dori’kej,rskiri,‘ he says ’lt's about a girl who’s pursued by her father He goes (razy and she tries to escape from him

Earnest. This subversive comedy reflects Wilde’s polished dialogue, while satirising attitudes to gayness, with closet gays protected and out characters persecuted, all occurring under the jaded eye of Sir Herod, a tyrannical actor manager. (Steve Cramer)

by disguising herself as a donkey I mean, let's not even go there' What is interesting is how those stories haxe been so censored In a sense xxe're children of the Vittoriaii age, we (an't deal wrth fairy tales about men who want to have sex with their daughters

ATC's (’onteriiporary fairytale, The Boy Who Left Home, while not aiming to be quite as dark as DOIiAt’ySKI/l, represents a more psytliologital attempt to strip away the sugar- (oating of the traditional fairy tale 'We wanted to do something about what fairy tales were really about,’ says Phillipou 'For example, this sense of being lost, trying to find your way home, what that means to a (hild becoming an adult is something that exrsts in every fairy tale '

He adds 'The problem is there see'iis to be two images for fairy tales The Disney image, birds t\'.ieeting, et (etera, then theatre grotesque, tariere it's all very physital Both place the fairytale world somewhere else Not here, not with us in the world of Cora Cola cans and real things But of (Ourse, fairy tales are still magiral, wonder tales, so what we also \‘Jdltlt'd to say was "Yes, that's our world as well" ' nOlly Lassman=

ADAPTATION The Fall Of The House Of Usher

',.A“ I‘\\‘o\ as \ I l' 8 a U 85 l' to. L‘, U who'd“ \. .t’t. .‘Q

.,’ , , H‘ ti t ' t'\ '.. i{‘ it}. lit! l '3. t} l . I‘. ' l ' ‘Cr'. 7"t't l‘t' ' oi ' It It "i I 'i"i t't{.l‘i°. ‘r‘ 1st: 0 it t' \ ’i K. r“ I t ' 21' k:\: X t' " ' t” l' (h l ' 'tlii L. 't i' .t' r‘ 'r " t" .' rl’ " :\\\\1. 't

A" f )[3 I‘m/K: ' f.» t) lx ."

p'l) V'il10't. ' tt‘llir". 'r j t” s (Ill't“'l“\t\, 'lrl.t' "tut" 't'ti . "oil the edge r'a tl‘ 7w ~ t" l’slh' ‘t ', '"tl'rltis ti {‘,.tl tl'll(;'\ .i! and sema f’auva a'x’r mafia ilt‘ltl‘. tart take on arxioute ",rie “l‘ fay/ti.’ Rift" .“ (l'i. (Iii. "Ni ii 'Jr"'.r:s'.t ai‘ti “o” Ti story, e""‘. le"'

Seaiey (l 'r‘tfti' r" liftli'ae atriai".e<i ta'r (' or Veneer ller- i. i‘ adaptation l'xi- riia, asks :r whirliw : (ritesfioris about I!» line llt‘fffi't‘“ sanity ar‘rl irrati".esx, ai'o‘.‘."‘o

(llElY‘-l)‘it‘ o‘ giaintii‘ .i. ileum: T' a' \-.‘.ltll\1”\i()(l("‘(lfll‘)

A toiiiriariy ‘a’m-d ‘o' 't r illi."".llllt),.‘ and nro‘.o<a’.:‘.e t"'ll):\l," erit disabled at tors, (iraeai- rides .()l( e to a strata of sot ety all fihl tati war ‘.'.itr,


“Niel V‘.

isolat.ori arid .tiir‘t-iatiiliti,

"elatiorisliiri l)t".‘.'.(’t‘l understanding of (lt‘ra‘,'r"<; 'iiiiir: and its s stei's illness .solate them, ‘.‘.'lll(ll is part of aha: ll“,tll)h'(l llt'til‘i‘ otter‘» experiei‘t e,’ says Si-air-y

lhe (oriioany's toriiriiitriierit to lll'f‘f) and visually irnpaired audit-rat“. iriean, every slioix." is audio—(testfiber: by t'ir- attors, soriieth'ng tl‘at netoiiies an integral asnert of We play ll"(".'."‘s(‘, the perlorinarite ‘.'.il; be ‘.’!‘>lltlii'.’ strong, with iiiiiltiriierlia l)l()J('( t:or:. int lH‘lt":

sign—language arid ().'>r"\.‘.().' or, irriager'y as e‘ter true as my tier-try store, l)l()l.’tl‘,!l‘.(; a .er, flllil‘lr'li'. experierue from the iisiia (lllllt'l

lire audio desr ripfrorr has great... eniaariterl true rila,,' say, ‘ieaii-i, ‘lt betorries a story ‘.'.lil‘i'll a story ltre

artors l)(‘(()l.".‘ stirred rto tlzr-

iritesttioiis world of 'js‘ie' a'irl lyladeline

fantasy heroine irretr'e‘.abl, rilirr'ert’

li‘e line l)(‘i‘.'.’f'('li reality and

(My lassrriani

A very creepy adapter: Steven Berkoff