Edinburgh Festival Theatre, Fri 4—Sat 12 May, then


Robert North knows hr to put a team together. HaVing employed the talents of choreographer Robert Cohan. composer Carl Davies and designer Lez BrotherstOn fer Scottish Ballet’s last venture. A/addin. he's now assembled a tailor made line-up for Carmen. The legendary tale of a young corporal who falls for a gypsy girl. only to rue the day he ever set eyes on her. Carmen is Widely seen as capturing the very spirit of Spain. And that's exactly what the artistic

director intends to do here.

Choreographed by North himself in 1997 for Hungary's Gyor Ballet. this Carmen reverts to Prosper Merimee's original lad?) novella. leaVing Out the many additional characters in Bi/et's opera. The SDGClally-COlTTlelSSIOn€d score by dance stalwart Christopher Benstead is based on Gypsy poetry and features live flamenco song and guitar. One of Europe's most sought after costume deSigners. ltalian Luisa Spinatelli is on board. And jOining existing company inemher Jesus Pastor, is guest artist and fellow Spaniard. Maria del Mar Moreno. All of which should conspire to produce some hot Mediterranean passion. 'He's been a great help.‘ says North of Pastor. ‘Both he and

Mar Moreno have a great Spanish understanding. But I also spent a lot of my childhood in Spain. I moved there when I was six and studied Spanish dancing. I've always had a lot of love for the country'

So while A/ar/din struggled to live up to the sum of its parts. Carmen might have Just enough heat to carry it through.

(Kelly Apterl



King's Theatre, Edinburgh, Mon 30 Apr—Sat 5 May.

I might as well fess up, I love Carry On films. The only problem with them is their social content. Or rather, the little social content there is happens to be very right wing. The ultra-conservative, union- bashing antics of Carry On At Your Convenience are but one example. Alan Bleasdale, the acclaimed author of such classic television work as The Boys From The Blackstuff and GBH has finally crafted a riposte for the more liberal elements in our society, and better still, you can see it in the flesh at the theatre.

The story, located in a vasectomy clinic, with three men who are about to undergo the snip, pretty well tells you of the antics in store without further embellishment. But Bleasdale has rewritten this 1981 play for this production, including new political themes and an environmental angle. ‘I don’t think theatre should give people a headache’, he comments. ‘But if you read The Guardian, listen to Radio Four and walk around the streets concerned at what you see, as I do, there’s something there for you.’

62 THE LIST 26 Apr—10 May 200‘

‘Capturing the spirit of Spain’

NEW MUSICAL MINCE? Dundee Rep, Tue 1-Sat 19 May

We all hear voices in our head occasionally, an alter-ego telling US what we should Or shooldh't he deing. it's not often. however. that those VOices come in the harmonious ferm of a 60s girl group. But enter the mind of Donald Johnston. and that's exactly what you” find plus a whole host Of other easy listening nuggets. The surreal creation of Forbes Masson. Donald is a diSilltiSioned itiLiSiCian who finds little comfort in his advertiSing Jingles for tinned mince. and great sorrow in his recently defunct relationship. A trip to a psychotherai)ist reveals that Donald has an entire musical trapped in his head. With each song digging yet further into his beleaguered psyche.

Those who have followed Masson's career from his early days With Alan Cumming in Victor and Barry and The r-iign Life. thrOugh to 1999's stage show Stiff.’. WI” know that the ginger fella's no stranger to the art of script and songwriting. With Mince? liOWCVOl‘, Masson can also claim a director credit. his first foray into the role.

'I reSisted the urge to get up and do a hit of shot-r and tell,‘ says Masson of his new off-stage position. 'I must say I CILllie enjoyed being the director. and because Mince? is so mad. I'd have had to really explain things over and over tr again. so it was much Simpler deing the direction myself.’ (Kelly Apter)

Forbes Masson: Neverending stovies

~- ~. .r."‘!‘r..\

Sarah Crowe and Robert Duncan: comedy that doesn’t fire blanks

The play comes from personal experience for Bleasdale, but not seemingly as painful as it sounds. ‘My wife and I had three children in four years; it got to the point where I’d only have to look at her and she’d get morning sickness,’ says the cock-eyed Mr Bleasdale. ‘When I decided to be brave and get the vasectomy, I was faced with this surgeon who looked like Satan. He walked in and, I’m not kidding, said “I’m just going to give you a little prick”. I actually lost my power to produce children with a fit of the


‘I got the operation on the rates; you could get that from Liverpool council in the 705 as they were trying to keep the growing population of Merseyside children down. So, the socialist Liverpool rates department paid for me to go private. The whole thing was hilarious, and I thought, “If I can’t get a play out of this, I might as well give up”. All the same, I tucked it away for a few years after.’ I’m assuming he means the idea for the play. (Steve Cramer)


The Arches. Glasgow, Tue 1—Sat 5 May.

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lKik Heidi

A devised piece on the terrors of growing up