The‘be'stfof 1‘

Stage whispers

The talk of the green room

THE SCOTTISH ARTS COuiicH IS much 0\ erstietched in terms of reSOurceS fO' education, but Ode L‘roiect ca" be L‘Olllied to as 925.000 we» spent The new Traxerse website. V/th/(E Val erse will be up am rupflll‘g short y \"v’lllSQt‘lS received a sneak preview of the Site in November. and its potential is mOre than fulfilled. The site represents a profile of the Edinburgh theatre from its inceptiOn in 1063 to the present day. There will be archives of all 600 productions at the Traverse. as well as a selection of programme notes, Video clips and images from prominent D'OClUCllOlTS. Proiect Officer Jan McTaggart has worked with the experienced web and arts experts at SCRAN (Scottish



Tron Theatre, Glasgow, Thu 10—Sat 26 May.

with a North American theatre-

goer, watch out. They’re likely to embarrass you with their superior knowledge of something that should be very close to home. Because, although Scotland has taken an active interest in the

theatre produced on the other side

i of the Irish Sea, it has missed out on several defining Irish hits of the last decade. The universally acclaimed work of Conor McPherson and Martin McDonagh has typically gone from Dublin to London to New York, leaving Scotland in the dark.

3 That imbalance, however, is finally to be redressed. Next month, McPherson’s The Weir ventures this way for the first time with a run at the Edinburgh King’s, while in Glasgow, the Tron Theatre is to stage

I f you ever fall into conversation

Universally acclaimed for an assured blend of comedy and cruelty

fantastic , says Heggie when I meet him at the Tron. ‘lt’s as dark as I’d want a play to be, but it’s also

the first Scottish production of McDonagh’s The Beauty Queen Of Leenane. Raved about world-wide for its assured blend of comedy and cruelty, the production has helped McDonagh, 30, become the most performed

compelling, it’s got great language, fantastic characters, and the story is so simple, clear and strong. It challenges an audience into accepting something very dark and laughing at places they shouldn’t really

Cultural ResoLirces Access Network) to produce the site. which should prove an invaluable reSOurce for students. researchers and

playwright in America after Shakespeare.

The production is made doubly interesting by its director. Known as one of Scotland’s most vibrant playwrights (and his new one, Wiping My Mother’s Arse, already promising great things at the Traverse in the forthcoming Edinburgh Fringe), Iain Heggie is building on his reputation as a drama teacher by making his professional directing debut. Whether it is the start of a long directing career, he is too cautious to say (‘lt’s one day at a time,’ is as much as he’ll concede); all he

be laughing.’

Starring Una McLean and Anne-Marie Timoney, the play tells the story of a woman in her early 405 whose last chance of romance is thwarted by her manipulative mother. It was McDonagh’s first play; his latest, The Lieutenant Of lnishmore has just opened in Stratford, produced by the RSC. It has, says Heggie, a timeless quality. ‘It is one of the only modern plays that’s like reading a classic,’ he says. ‘I kept thinking, “Is this Tennessee Williams or something?” It had that quality

interested members of the public.

Among actiVities available to users WI” be the opportunity to write an on-line scnpt based on a synopsis developed by a profeSSIonal playwright. so yOu need never feel excluded from the creative processes of the

. . . .. . theatre a an. knows Is that as soon as he read The Beauty Queen of inevrtability. It has that sumple open language of g I . . . . . , . , . The new res0urce can be (livmg In Glasgow, of course, he never saw It) he knew modern plays, but it s also richer. It s such a fantastic located at

he wanted to do it. ‘When I read Beauty Queen, I just thought, “this is

play that Scottish actors deserve a chance to have a go

' ' .V'rt alTra rersecon and at it.’ (Mark Fisher) WWW ' U \ l

wrll be available to internet users from Tuesday 8 May at noon.

PHYSICAL THEATRE UNDERWORLD Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, Sat 5 & Sun 6 May.

What is it about horror movies? We choose to believe them. but should we? I mean, if you'd just heard that there was a roving psychopath in your area on a stormy night. then you hear a window break and your lights cut out. would you go down to the cellar with a candle in your hand? No. you'd leg it. But all the same. we love to believe these pictures. for if we're scared and survive. we've found a way of psychologically cheating death. Nicola McCartney. whose most recent work on Scottish stages was the Splendid Heritage at the Traverse. has spent the last wee while watching nothing but horror movies. 'I watched Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Rosemary '3 Baby. The Shining, a lot of Hammer films; loads of these movies.‘ she says. All of this was in response to a request by Frantic Assembly to provide them with a ghost story narrative for their latest piece of characteristically visual theatre. McCartney's story brings two sisters to the house of their dead

F' ht ,r' ht h h fi n9 ener rlg ener er ems on re Jimmy

Logan has been widely reported over the last week or two, and Whispers wishes to add its condolences. The loss of this admirable and very unselfish man, accomplished as both a comic and straight actor, is sad for all who care for the theatre.

grandmother, where the younger of the two. who has a history of mental disorder, begins to see visions of violent death in the house. The elder sister. a psychologist. suspects insanity. but with the visit of two friends. the shades in the house begin to up the ante.

'This is a stOry told in pictures'. McCartney explains. ‘l've looked very closely at the genre. and this piece is

the result. It‘s got all the ingredients. the binary opposites of the horror film - light and dark. good and evil and there’s even a screaming competition at one point. This is all stuff that Frantic Assembly wanted. I acted as a kind of dramaturg, really. giving them a structure they could work from. It just lets them go a bit crazy.‘ Go on. cheat death, if you dare.

(Steve Cramer)

80 THE LIST 26 Apr—10 May 2001