r‘ris ’P’i'rv SHE’S A WHORE Citizens” Theatre, Glasgow, until Sat 28 Apr, then touring 00.

Today we can look at John Ford‘s 17th century theatrical vision either as melodrama or epic, two genres as opposed as China and the USA. Theatre Babel’s production wrestles manfully with the two forms simultaneously, but doesn’t come off unscathed.

In many places, director Graham McLaren shows both vision and splendid dramatic imagination. But, as melodrama, it is difficult to engage emotionally with the characters and, as epic drama, it’s difficult to engage with the issues.

The play tells the story of Giovanni (Kevin Lennon) whose love for his sister Annabella (Frances Thorburn) exceeds accepted sibling relationships to the point of lust. Quickly dismissing the counsel of an ineffective friar (Peter D’Souza), he proceeds to play hide the horn with the surprisingly willing Annabella, who breaks the heart of both their father (Finlay Welsh) and her suitor and eventual husband Soranzo (John Kazek) by the conception of an incestuous child.

Meanwhile, Hippolita (Rebecca Rodgers), a widow who has sent her husband to his death to be with Soranzo, and is jilted by the insufferable hypocrite, plots revenge with his treble-crossing servant Vasquez (Richard Orr).

As you might imagine, the bodies mount up faster than at a foot-and- mouth landfill site. A wonderful ritualised dream sequence in which Annabella is surrounded by black-robed raven-like figures, revealed one by one to be the males who plague and control her life, brings the first half to a climax, but before this, there is a little more religious and metaphysical speculation than is entirely germane.

For all that, McLaren ups the ante deftly in the second half, where the white-noise effects and quick blackouts add nicely to the pacing of quick scenes. Rodgers and Kazek are notable among the performers, cleverly recreating the vengeful spite of the rejected and the lofty self- righteousness of the rejecter in a few brief scenes, a sub-plot I’d have liked to have seen more of. This amounts to a good night out, even if its contingent parts don’t quite make a whole. (Steve Cramer)

Peter D’Souza and Frances Thorburn as the Friar and the lady of the title

NI Pl [ti/S


Birgirdale Complex, Glasgow, Wed 2 May, then touring. O...

‘lhe oss of innocence af‘ects people in different 'i.'.'ay s. child's (:oncer'ed. they ".e "as! ITOIl‘. rig. only gained. l" the l‘()l"l‘tt. course of

events. the gathering of knowledge 2 no experience goes past wholly unnoticed. Parents. ho=.'.'e\.'er_ ‘ind the tiansition

HAL" (1:3 .(if ()5) int!

Karl Pittam and Astrid Azurdia

harder to handle. The co'tcept of sex have kid trouble in Skunk Hour aria or viole'xte entering trier offspring's

ii°-.t~ seems, " part. ke a yio‘ation o‘ and indeed by us. What made him do then‘iselyes. \.\""en they enter a ohi'd's it? Where did it all go wrong? Neither

‘llC‘ prematurely. t‘»;“.‘.’e\.'-:‘-!'. the :lan‘age can l‘t} oati’tstropnit‘ to botn parties.

Presented by LookOat Theatre Company, in the form of t‘.'.o short plays. .’ f.‘ e Ones ooks at tfl‘kll‘OCC gone yarong, “em both a'tgies. ‘ne impact of a yio‘ent cniid on I‘ES seemingly nori ‘al parents is the ‘ocai point of Rob Fraser's Skim HOa‘l‘. ‘.'.l‘llt'} Isabel \N’right's Tongues explores the wide-reaching affect of sexua: abuse. Set side by side. ths baiance of perspectiy es makes for interesting \I€\'.’ll‘.g_ the only flay, being that neither play has suffiCient length to deyeiop fully.

A modern day Edi/us. Skunk Hour once again op f‘iS up the fascinating debate 0y er chld y O’G'CG. Sectcned fer committing a tray "er‘cas "fit in the classroom. Luke is y son of animal by his iiarer‘ts' peers

Li db bellie

Question is answered here. no early scar is unearthed. Excellent performances and dialogue aSide. the play stands or falls on whether you believe events Such as this )LlSl 'happen'. For most people. that possiblztyi's too scary.

A ritere obvious cause and effect is e\.':dent in Tongues. A young woman attempts to maintain a steady reiatzonship with her boyfriend, but is cei‘stantly haunted by her abusive past. The act.on switches between past and present day. the younger and older persoi'ias sharing the stage. the boyfriend and father interchangeable. Structurally', it's nothing we haven't seen a dozen times before. and the sexual abuse stOryline is visible at ten paces. But once again excellent performances make this a powerful inSight into a horrific subiect matter. (Kelly Apterl



St Bride‘s Centre, Edinburgh, Wed 2-Sat 5 May.

My dad .ise;i t to me to always give a wouian the gist .'.:>r.i ll‘. an. argument. or it" never end. Tree or not. there does to be plenty. cf histOricai 8‘.|C1t";;{: that file treatrrtent of women throagb t'ie "i,ths arid legends of our (\iftt'létf'T‘lltl! ctiittire deserves a length. r:;'.rr:;te after thousands of ears. ll‘ s pie-oe of visual drama. dubbed 't:hrxe’:;)raifllit: theatre' by actor Kirste" lvtrtlzer. is part of that payback

Mclvei‘ describes the ‘.'.~'>'k of director Enrique Panic, of Pantbeatre. Paris as providing l“?.‘.’ ,tl‘allenges to audiences: ‘Choierlg'apiéii: theatre is very Visual. It‘s all about actors. geography. and space. The set uses several huge veils so that the audience have to move about in their seats to see eyeiything. making it a bit voyeuristic. t's not theatre on a platter. the audience have to ‘.'.'ork.'

As to the story, ‘.'.’lll(2ll is unrelated to Wedekind's cl; ssir:, it renders this myth of the fall through a contemporary re—gendering of the text.

It’s payback time

"(he ili‘,lh ()i'lltllltFI‘l the at ir, wt f " the Garden of fideil. I? ask» The

(llleSllfJIl of ‘,'.llt‘lllf" ‘l'w'll “all. itfi‘

to blame for the fall o. ii‘.i'ik;ii<i,' Perhaps need to r‘oi‘tiiiue to ask ourselves these .‘taid quests iiin :Stil‘. birds; eh? 'Slf}‘.’t? (liaineii

COMEDY DRAMA WOMEN ON THE VERGE OF HRT Palace Theatre, Kilmarnock, Fri 27 & Sat 28 Apr, then touring.

This popular comedy about two le—something women heading for [)onegal ti attend the annual tea party of their heartthrob. Daniel O'Donnell, has l‘:()tllilll, packed Out theatres in Britain and Ireland since 199:3. And llt't‘.lllt) sold out a number of venues before they even hit the road. this Borderline l/l'tilltl(,llf in lot if». like being no exception.

In the play. the women come across a magical singing waiter who them off their feet. In a light—hearted and entertaining way, the pla, raises seiioiié. iSSLies SurrOLinding women who refuse to be thrown on the sexual scrapheai. because of their age. ‘Age is Such an ISSUO for women] sa,s director Alina Newall. “Whether it's what age you should have kids. or when are you old enough to get taken seriously. or when are you too old to not get taken serioiislyg'

But the whole production lays the emphasis firmly on entertainment. 'lt's vei; acceSSible. enjoyable and a good night Outf says Next/all. 'You'll hear some great songs. have a laugh at some great Jokes and to round the whole experience oft. y0u'll maybe even get a wee greet.‘ iDaVie Archibaldi

5 M is

MUSICAL WEST SIDE STORY Playhouse, Edinburgh, Tue 1—Sat 12 May.

Now. I've seen productions of this mu3ical that made me want to sing ‘I \f/aiit To Be In Armenia. for very like its model. Romeo And Juliet. it's a piece that shows its flaws too readin when done badly. Yes. 'My Bear. I' Just Got A Pain In My Rear”. Somewhere iOther Than Herei'. I went through all the pr ssible versions of the numbers at an interminable production in Sydney some years back. but on the face of it. this revival will show the piece at its glorious


And glorious it is. when done well. For West Side Story Creates plausible working class dilemmas and relevant issues of race and bigotry out of its Montagues and Capulets. Indeed. of all the musicals made from Shakespeare. this is perhaps the strongest. with a SCTIDI from playwright Arthur Laurents. muSIC by Leonard Bernstein. lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and choreography by Jerome Robbins creating a legendary. never again seen, combination of talents.

The Broadway legend of the original production of 1957 even has a link with this towing version. for its chief choreographer. Alan Johnson. was present in the original cast. Plenty of historical relevance. then. but also a contemporan; one. for if you replace the Jets and the Sharks with the Hibs and the Hearts. you've got identical bigotries at the play's centre.

(Steve Crameri