A View From The Bfidge

Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh, Sat 10 Feb—Sat 10 Mar.

The problem of tragedy over the last century has been endlessly debated by critics and writers alike. The argument goes that since our era has produced no individuals who can be elevated to the status of true greatness, the fall of a modern character can never be as great as an Oedipus, Hamlet or Phaedre. Try as we might, it's hard to find some great public figure who we can elevate to heroic status. Kennedy? Wasn't he shagging Marilyn Monroe? Churchill? Wasn’t the old alky responsible for Gallipoli? Thatcher? Where do I begin?

Arthur Miller's solution was to seek tragedy beyond the great and good. One of his outstanding tragic, but lowly, characters is Eddie Carbone, a working-class longshoreman, whose love for his longsuffering wife Beatrice is compromised by his possessive, unconsciously incestuous relationship with his orphaned niece Catherine. Threatened by the advances of the illegal immigrant Rodolpho upon Catherine, Eddie takes radical action with tragic consequences for himself and those in his ambit.

Matt Costello, who leads as Eddie in Kenny Ireland's upcoming production, feels that the play's Italian American cultural location translates well to a Scottish audience. ’Being Scottish helps, because there's more savvy,’ he says. 'We have a better understanding of hard times than, say, an upper-class English audience.’

His personal empathy for one of the issues at the centre of the play goes beyond this. 'I lived in America for over three years as an illegal immigrant,’ he says. ’So

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Christ knows how much it's raked in


Matt Costello: Illegal immigrant

I understand that feeling that Rodolpho and his brother Marco have, and that whole, paranoid world.’

One of the mysteries of Miller's confused family man is our sympathy for him, which intensifies the catharsis of the play's finale. Costello feels he understands this. ’At the end of the play he allows himself to be "wholly known” [the phrase is used by Mr Alfieri, Eddie's lawyer, and a kind of Greek chorus figure in the play] and this makes him sympathetic. He strips himself naked to his soul, and a lot of us can’t do that, we only allow half of ourselves to be seen, we keep that dark side hidden. A lot of what he does is wrong, but I can't help but love this character.’

Miller designed the play along the lines of classical tragedy, so be prepared to encounter one of the more complex, ambiguous, but still moving characters of the last hundred years. (Steve Cramer)

anomted as King of ngS. ‘The musical never takes a stand as to whether he was actually resurrected or not. But we’ve also had priests approach us after the show and they've been crying and saying what a powerful image it was for everybody’

This latest incarnation has been directed by Gale Edwards, whose prewous work iii the RSC and involvement With arguably more seriOus stage productions than this may come as a surprise, 'Gale’s approach is that this is very much a piece of theatre, when it came Out in the 70s, it was more of a rock concert,’ says Larson. ’But we’ve definitely gone for the narration and story as the central focal pomt.’

Multimedia proiections, an intifada- style scene where Christ’s followers attack the Romans with UZI machine

Jesus Christ Superstar

Playhouse, Edinburgh, Sat 10 Feb—Sat 3 Mar.

Since its birth as a concept album in 1971, the rock opera that Wienched Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice from obscurity has had a bit of a rough

time. Still, portraying the foremost religious figure of the western world as a Jive-talking hippy was never really gOing to endear itself to the majority of J.C.’s greatest fans.

‘What was most criticised when it first came out was that the performance ends with Jesus’ death,’ says Arvid Larson, latest acIOr to be

guns, and slowmo police beatings all echo a determination to update the text. 'When it first came Out, it was very much a love, peace and flares kind of thing,’ says Larson. ‘Today we've made it very much for the 21st century. The mUSlC really jUSI amplifies the story, and this is one of the greatest stOries ever told.’ (Olly Lassmani

preview THEATRE

Stage whispers Re: Treading the boards

THOSE IN TUNE with Scotland's cultural heritage will need little introduction to Lewis Grassic Gibbon's Sunset Song. Its conflicts of tradition and modernity represent a snapshot of the development of Scottish society in its rural location, as well as an examination of the ravages of World War I. Prime Productions will be reviving Alastair Cording's adaptation of Gibbon’s classic novel ~ last performed by TAG in the Edinburgh International Festival in a touring production beginning 8-10 February at Cumbernauld Theatre. Directed by Ben Twist, and with a cast including Cora Bissett and Stewart Porter, this new production sets out to enthral audiences well beyond the novel’s Mearns setting.

THOSL WHO RLMF MBfE R the Traverse production of Alexander Cieliiian's A Man With Connections a decade ago, might well be keen to see Theatre lnformer’s reVival of the play at the Arches from 877-10 February Stephen Mulrine's adaptation of this intense story explores the relationship between parents whose child has been seriously injured in an industrial accident. The responsibility for the loss of the son's hands might ultimately devolve to the father, as the mother discovers on the night of the play's setting This intense drama is set in the former Sowet Union, and has much to say about the links between personal and public politics.

IF YOU'RE A parent, you’ll be familiar with the dilemma of needing to get away from the kids for a couple of hours at the weekend. The Royal Lyceum is providing a theatregoer's solution throughout this season. On one Sunday for each of their next three productions, the Lyceum will provide a creche facility, run by professional Childminders at the civilised matinee time of 3.30pm. Here, you can safely offload the kids for an afternoon of sports, games and crafts, while you enjoy an afternoon at the theatre. The Childminding days are as follows: A View From The Bridge, 25 February, Guys And Dolls, 8 April and Woyzeck, 13 May.

The free creche at the Lyceum

l—lS Feb 2001 THE “ST 61