In Praise Of Love King’s Theatre, Edinburgh, Tue lB—Sat 17 Feb.
Julian Glover and lsla Blair are all loved up Well, since this issue of The/1st is about sex, we might perhaps talk about the idlth’lllldlly related issue of love and its downside Anyone who has been left without a word of explanation, dumped by e—inail or fax lit's not Just Men Behaving Bad/y, I've met real people who do this) or given no means of disctisSIon of emotional issues Will understand the agony of being denied a voiie in matters of the heart The characters of this late Terence Rattigan piece are in a kind of double trauma, since their silence is self-imposed
Tron, Glasgow, Fri l—Sat 3 Feb, then touring
In a society that seeks endlessly to prove that youth is truth, we’re seldom asked to think of the aged, This deVised play by Vanishing Pomt, directed by Matthew Lenton, brings insight to this neglected section of our culture With a kind of teasing, primal whimsicality.
Kay Gallie IS Lucy, a woman of 70 whose dementia has advanced to such a stage that she shows few moments of lucidity We meet her addressmg her televrsion, and asking Gloria Hunniford to leave her room, a place in a faceless residential care unit Through flash back, and forward, we learn the stOry of Lucy‘s life as an archaeologist who, twenty years before, investigates the discovery of a centuries-old body found in a Sutherland peat bog.
The story that emerges is a porgnant one, that of Main (Hope Ross), an old woman who suffers a similar affliction in 1645. The tale Within a tale shows a woman much persecuted by her Village
This is the story of Lydia, a woman dying of a terminal illness who dOubts the depths of her newspaper critic husband's feelings for her Her ebbing life IS complicated by a troubled sOn and a friend of her husbands who has long nursed an unrequited passion for her The real discovery of the piece, though, is that everyone leven us hardened old criticSi IS capable of love lsla Blair returns to her native Scotland in the lead, and explains the dilemma ‘It’s ab0ut how bad the British are at expressing love A lot of people, particularly men, find rt hard to say they love someone, but easy to say they fancy them ’
Now, you shouldn't say yoo love someone if you don't mean rt, but there’s a worse crime in not declaring rt if you do, as the character of Sebastian, played by Julian Glover, Blair's spouse both onstage and off, attests ’Sebastian isn’t aware of hrs einotions,’ says Blair, ’He actually doesn't realise how deeply he’s been in love With her until very late on in their relationship'
For all the grimness of its apparent subject matter, Blair has found its effect SUTpiISlng, 'What we've found is the audience is actually quite uplifted by the play,’ she says, ’They find there's
a kind of JOy in the pain of love, You
can go out of this play feeling better than you came in, even though the subject matter is rather painful
Hope Ross cups her ear
for the onset of what looks like Alzheimer’s. She is given to atheistic rages and the digging up of bodies afflicted by the plague which besets her village. The suspicion of wrtchcraft leads her son (Paul Cunningham) to take strong measures to control her, The parallel narratives are linked by a succession of opposnes. Rationalism is pitted against the supernatural, and science against the elements of water, earth and wrnd, as the mental state of the two women bewrlders us through the alternate opaqueness and clarity of
their observations. Whether any conclusions can be drawn about the
play’s themes is a moot pomt, since its process seems more about giVing us momentary inSIghts into the characters than a definitive statement. This is perhaps the significance of the title. Each audience member is prowded wrth a box half filled wrth earth, a torch and two notes intended to advance the narrative at significant pomts, so perhaps we’re meant to parallel the play’s characters, havrng moments of elucrdation among longer periods of mystification, (Steve Cramer)
2nd-3rd Feb 8pm £6/£4 life and death in milton kegnes
Actor puppeteer Chris Duffy on the rise-and demise
of a failed soap star.
8-10 February 8pm £6/£4 (2-for-1 1st night)
THEATRE INFORM 3 xi, m a n WI i ‘ g
C O n ne 0 I- by Alexander Gel '2': n '
A black comedy portrayin a crumbling marriage in th - dying days of Soviet Russ.
'Young hope of Scottish " . Mark Brown, Scotland on ’ day
._ ~;-:_ 28 Feb - 3 Mar 8pm
I £7/£4 (2-for-1 1st night)
OF PROGRESS PRESENT
A WEE BIT OF
How DO YOU DO
so av GERRY MULGREW
‘, - WITH FORBES MASSON,
‘ GERDA STEVENSON
8: MEMBERS or THE
sou~os or PROGRESS BAND
‘ A surreal story set in the
, c of Glasgow and the Cosmos, ‘7‘ ‘. ' C s is a powerful, emotional and . ' I x. , funny piece of music theatre .' v about the human soul and the
" -' prisons we make for it.
All performances will be signed.
253 ARGYLE S'I', GLASGOW
C-‘i'ls clicirqwi ri‘ ?5r; per mw
l—iS Feb 200i THE LIST 63