Dundee Rep Theatre, until Sat 21 Apr 000

Any play that ends with a woman apparently cryogenically fro/en and involves a one-and-a-half decade time leap requires an indulgent audience, Indeed. the weird conclusion to this late Shakespeare play was prol’xrbly more palatable to Jacobean theatre crowds than it is to

modern children of the sci-fr era.

Ne/ertheless. the Bards story of King Leontes' maniac sexual Jealousy is an often fascinating play. These are the days before tabloid Journalists went around posing as Arab businessmen. and all monarchs had to worry about was their spouse bedding their closest friend and planning a bit

of DOSITXHIEII regicide.

A work of not only two time periods. but also two very distinct tones. the play can make life difficult for directors.

Dominic Hill opts to play the contrasts to the full. wrth mixed


Gregory Smith's brooding sets are tremendously reflective CLASSIC

of the horrendous cruelty of the deluded Leontes. as he wages war on his blameless wife and new-born daughter. But Hill sometimes fails to capture the bleakness quite so


More at home wrth the comic opportunities afforded it by the play's rural sub-plot. in which we see the king's abandoned daughter. Perdita and her adoptive family. the Rep company moves into quasi-cabaret mode with Rodney Matthew's excellent crook. Autolycus. and John Buick's

often hilarious shepherd.

Ann Louise Ross and young Rebecca Sleeman impress as the lady of court. Paulina. and Perdita. but this otherwrse strong production still lacks something in gravrtas.

(Mark Brown)


Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh, until Sat 21 Apr 0000

Kenny Ireland’s take on the Frank Loesser classic has much in common with its two leading men. Nathan Detroit and Sky Masterson start life as a pair of loveable rogues, who make us laugh but could use a little polish. Then, during the course of the show, these reformed characters fulfil their potential and emerge as charming heroes. So too this production.

Throughout the opening scenes, you can’t help but wonder why Ireland has chosen to stage a show ordinarily the domain of enthusiastic amdrammers or glamorous West Enders. The Lyceum is patently neither, having far too much talent for the former and far too little money for the latter. But as the performance jollies along, the characters become more believable and the laughs more plentiful, you begin to see why they plumped for this

Men of honour? An Ideal Husband

AN IDEAL HUSBAND King‘s Theatre, Edinburgh, until Sat 14 Apr 0..

'Westminster hasn't changed much, then.‘ So said the old

boy seated next to me at the King's. prior to ('lisappearing

into the night before the applause had quite died out. He has a point. For. some years on from Sir Peter Hall's production. revrved here by Gillian Diamond. and over a century after the original production of Wilde's classic. the resonances of political corruption and insider dealing at the

heart of the play still ring true.

But there are also dated elements. The story of Sir Robert Chiltern's career and marriage crisis. brought on by blackmail over an early financial indiscretion by Mrs

Cheveley is not a perfect match for today's climate. Lady


stalwart of the musical canon.

And then Elaine C. Smith delivers that pearl of a show tune, ‘Adelaide’s Lament’ and it all becomes perfectly clear: we’re here to have fun! Going into the interval, you feel pleasantly entertained if not exactly glowing, but my, what a turnaround in Act Two.

Admittedly Loesser saved many of his best songs for the second half, but they’re delivered with such pzazz and slickness that the show is lifted from lukewarm to red hot. Ethelinda Johnson’s choreography works a treat on ‘Luck Be A Lady’, while the thunderous applause that

Chiltern's disillusionment with her husband is because he has been. for nearly twenty years. a man of true honour and principal. COuId we say this about the pants round the ankles and fingers in the till cases of recent years? I think not. Even the dandy Lord Goring. who saves the day. seems to evoke a sense of honour which seems implausible in a Victorian somer and inconceivable in

But for all the well—made—play coincidences and excessive sentiment between the Chilterns. Wilde's farcical situations and aphoristic idioms are well played. Patrick Ryecart times his Lord Goring to perfection. even if his strangulated delivery grates a little. There's also a near showstopper in Barbara Murray‘s Lady Markby. the elderly dowager who knows more than she lets on. (Steve Cramer)

greets ‘Sit Down You’re Rocking The Boat’ puts the roof seriously in jeopardy.

In between the show-stoppers, however, lies some well-crafted storytelling which evokes real caring; we genuinely want these people to do well and be happy. Ireland drops the odd touch of comic genius in to help win us over, and the cast play every laugh for all its worth. But it is Smith that has us eating out of her hand; an inspired piece of casting that ultimately turns a good show into a great one. (Kelly Apter)


ROPULAR THEATRE, JIVE, JIVE, JIVE Perth Theatre, Tue 17-Sat 21 Apr, then tounng.

lt was a tune xxhen the American Dream became a distrnt‘t if temporary realiti. for the teenagers of trilasgexa. The {>th int'odut‘eti the world It‘r tlaitt‘e hails \outh culture. and of course. Jl‘.t‘ dancing. In J'H‘. Lalrltigltwv't‘» lrtht‘ Two Productions takes a light-heartrxl look at the unbridled optimism of that decade.

‘lhe plax 's about the choices that the first wave of teenagers were herng faced \vitli.' sans director and writer Stewart Thomas. t was this brave new r.'.rorld when it seemed as though you could have anything. The so; was a very naive time. people believed everything they were told.‘

Set in the pie» refurbishment Gorbals in Glasgow at a time of cultural turmoil. Jive follows two teenage girls struggling r~ like their community ~ to find identity. ‘Everyone was so excited that they were being sent off to these big new estates.‘ says Thomas. “They were knocking down the slums. but there was a real sense of community. and when those estates went. so did that'

As the title suggests. Take Two has put the emphasis on big dance routines. promising a great night out as well as food for thought. ‘There's Elvis. 'Great Balls Of Fire'. all those classics; there‘s a real energy about the music. It's feel-good; we're presenting our audience wrth a great night out. and that's what's important to us.’

(Olly Lassman)

Great Gorbals of fire: Jive, Jive, Jive

12—29; Apr 2001 THE LIST 63