; GOTHIC DRAMA The Mysterious Mother

Citizens' Theatre, Glasgow, Ti‘u l-«Sat 24 Feb.

Sexual perversity in the Gorbals: Robert David McDonald

V/hat Vxnlrtln><atrnthflrnrsltnwd (a confidentiality practised at The list, I'm sad to report that heg, plead or borrow, I've heen allowed no access to your replies to our sex survey They're locked away in a safe (uphoard, where no ratchet, (rowhar or l()( k-pr( king (an access them one I've seen left me

rrrxagrne with grey harr

The only

and the tr'emhlrng palsy, and that was jllSI mrne

All the same, my many

COMEDY DRAMA A Listening Heaven

Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh, until Sat 3 Feb When we speak of repressed anxieties among the chmkrng teacups of the stolrdly (()lt%(‘l'\“(lI|V(‘ British middle classes, we’re dealing wrth a condition pretty famrlrar m our theatre Writer Torben Betts plays thrs genre straight, painting hrrnself as a krnd of pocket Alan Ayckhourn The analogy rs drffrcult to resist, hut Ayckhourn's protege thrs play was commissioned for Scarborough doesn't gurte amass the power of hrs master There are some moments of tense humour and astute observation on the way, but the end can be foreseen Within a few minutes of the opening

Alexandra Mathre's bourgeois Edinburgh housewife greets the guests to her suicidal son's funeral wth the brittle, painstaking, hospitality of the grrevrng She's offered little help from her drscretely adulterOus husband (Craward Logant and her t_)r‘ofoundly disaffected artist daughter tMolly Innesi As the atayrstrc drumming of the son's eco-warrror friends down the road pounds against the desperate Crvrlrtres of unanswered ‘AlrrghtS?’ and


'{-'/,"{o v‘ Hrlv ,. .o.

<,:.y\t\‘r/‘ (;()tt\\/ ' ,1, '2 -- op rrtcesf and dark “1-0-11”: " «a, reefre, Rope” [3a. r: I? ,' a ': adapta'. on, r" a sr ’: loo-s to (or‘fa " a. frorr‘or you r: assoc ate " t' e

But l,rchor‘.a d 'r‘ar'rtarr‘ws t'wrf ' s herome isn't as helpless f' -.I t'ernale goth ‘.r-<'_ In 'T' e ea': 'V:'° rr‘rore 1'1 tor-17o. o‘ fhrr‘gs 1* a" .a it's not gothrr it flat

'Sne's (o'rrrrratied a ‘afa e

hast, out the men are ue"e'a . r -t-<r l)‘,’ it all and Z're. ‘.'.ar‘<rer r:f’.,,.' ': \'.'or‘.der'rng '.'.hy e.e.",'o."es {te'ia.

such a strange fasiwon

lhrs kind of theatre often lends Iserf to narld campery and unrestrained melodrama, hut l‘.l(Dor‘.ald :s see} mg a more realistic approach to take rt seriously If you don't, very short time rt hecomes a pore Besides, the play has considerable psyc hologrcal rnsrght It's a very groun- up piece, the entertarnrnent

'l'l‘re :)o:v‘t s

not usual gotlr;( There's a consrderahle amount of sexual repression m the text, and relationships \.'.rthrn the farrirly are very stressed But these days, it's a subject ‘r.'.e're more able to talk about

All the there's plenty of


sensation, surely" '\"‘./eli, ant-"e < interested In sexual per"\.'ersrt\,r, aren’t Stew ( rattle"

we” |’m not Honest

Kitsch and sink drama

'OKs7', tensions mount \‘.'rtltrn the family

Their houseguests are no help erther, lv‘rathre's phrlanderrng rughy, golf and motorway bore of a brother IJrrnrny Chrsholmr and hrs rnc"easrrw;ly r_)lastered wrfe tMorag Hood‘, who gets drunk enough to make a fey; ueg revelations about their childless mar'rrage Add a grandmother figure «Colette O'Neill) racked With what passes for guilt among Episcopalians and fearing an unchr'rstran existential V()l(l, and you’ve got the rough picture of thrs room full of carefuliy-catrght regrets

Muriel Romanes directs ‘.'.:Il‘. a real sensrtryrty to the social and i.ngurstrc nuances of thrs class of folk, white there are standout pc—>rformances from Chisholm, Innes and O'Neill But there's a tendency in Betts’ writing to use a.“ axe where a strletto will do A couple of really movrng monologues, especially two from O'Neill, and some Cleverly contrived set pieces around Hood's pissed-up 'nousfrau contrast wrth the odd overcooked moment All the same, thrs shOulcl play well to a Lyceum audience, a good proportion of whom will identify characters mrlreu 610W? Cramerr

'rth the

reviews THEATRE

Listening .' Heaven » ~

by Torben


vanishing point prese '- '

G Ll ,

a ghost story. two tall tales XL;

reams: "' .-

. 'ence is ma


NJ“ as

16 January - 3 February, 7.45pm.


0 al from £3.50! $4116 0131 248 4848

heatre (nnpany


Feb 2001 THE llST 57