MUSIC/«L. CABARET Dundee Rep, 19—21 Jul 0000

Imagine living in a country where people designated as foreign by the government are dragged off to detention, hideously badly treated and then shipped away to meet a ghastly fate in a distant place. And the population are far too apathetic or passive or pathologically obedient to stand in its way. That, I suppose, is what the Swedes say about us these days and what we, sheepishly averting our eyes from our own asylum seekers, say about Nazi Germany.

The political analogy at the heart of Hamish Glen’s production of Kander and Ebb’s classic musical seems truer now than ever before, and it’s done credit with an astute production. The story of Sally Bowles (Emily Winter), a garish, psychotically bright young thing, and her ill-starred affair with the American novelist Clifford Bradshaw (Keith Fleming) in late Weimar Germany, where the Nazis are gaining increasing power against a bohemian population determined to ignore them, is one we might all be familiar with. But the resonances with contemporary culture, as young Sally designates MODERN CLASSIC BETRAYAL

East Kilbride Arts Centre, Fri 22-Sun 24 Jun, then


politics as boring, and can’t understand why Clifford won’t run well-remunerated errands for the Fascists, are truly chilling.

As MC of the Kit- Kat club, John Ramage acts as a bland-eyed, sinister witness to the events around him, seldom offstage in or out of the club, an angel of death in drag, quite different from the endearing Joel Grey in the film version. With glad-handing one-liners, and perfect, mechanical delivery, he witnesses the persecution of John Buick’s Jewish greengrocer, whose delicate affair with Ann Louis Ross’s soft-hearted survivor, scratching a tenuous living as a middle-aged boarding house landlady, is shattered by political events.

All of these performances are strong, but Winters’ Sally Bowles builds, very like the show itself, from an uncertain start to a tremendous and compelling climax. Her performance of the


Winters’ tale: Emily Winters is outstanding

title song, amidst dancers with smudged make-up, conveying the desperation of their situation with jerking, grasping movement provides insight for those who think it an anthem to good company and jocularity. Here, there’s a parallel, for those who seek it, with the clubbing generation of skittish young folk, who seek, in pure hedonism, an escape from reality and political responsibility. (Steve Cramer)


For all the pretenders to emerge over the last four decades or so. Pinter is still, for a lot of critics. the guv'nor. The peculiar power of his writing seems to lie in capturing, mainly through language. an authenticity in his characters'


An outstanding example of this is the 1978 play. Betraya/, the stony of an adulterous affair where the male lover is the best friend of the husband. Structured to go back in time from the end of the affair to the couple's marriage. the play explores the many resonances of the title.

its not Just about betrayal in the relationship, it's about betrayal of your own past.‘ explains Rapture Theatre‘s Michael Emans. the director of this production. ‘Both men start out as poets and finish up peddling novels that they

acknowledge aren't very good; they‘ve betrayed their ideals. They are also betrayed by their own memories. since

as the play goes back in time. their recollections of the past

are seen to be flawed.’

Pinter tells us much on the subject of memory in his drama. In Betrayal. the idea is that. at times of stress we all fall back on our own subjectivity, recalling what we want to have happened. rather than what actually occurred. Despite the very Englishness of Pinter's characters, we all speak this

language. (Steve Cramer)

Beginning at the end of the affair

58 THE LIST 2‘. Jun—5 Jul 2001

The Arches, Glasgow, Thu 5-Sat 7 Jul.

Croatian take on the Princess

The phenomenon that is the late Lady Di still baffles me. but

there's no denying its power. In the Books section of this

issue. y0u'll see that even as influential an intellectual force as Elaine Showalter seems to worship her from afar. in an American touristy sort of way.

Culturally, Croatia seems even further away. but Tomislav Zajec has produced an Ortonesque black comedy which

seems to say more about the cultural impoverishment

which speaks when we hear S Club 7, Posh Spice. Or Lady Di spoken of, than the normally exemplary Ms Showalter.

Glasgow director Mia Stevenson puts us in the picture: ‘The central character is an obsesswe fan, who‘s found fulfilment in his meaningless life as a mechanic in a failed marriage by IiVing his life as Diana. He Just wants to be someone. and finishes up becoming Diana. to the pomt that when her death is announced he believes it's a publiCity stunt. and tries to phone her children at Balmoral to reassure them that she's alwe.‘

Describing the characters as ‘hilariously dysfunctional‘, Stevenson goes on to speak of a less than perfect wife. who wants to be perfect. Jim's boss. an apparent hard man who's a closet homosexual. and a real hardman whose possession of a gun leads to the play's catastrophe. Maybe that's Diana's secret; her promoters eprOit our own inadequaCies. (Steve Cramer)


Tron Theatre. Glasgow, Thu 21 & Fri 22 Jun.

Fans c‘ the wist‘u eh‘ctichai Subtexts a'o phricsocnica paradoxes c‘ the work 3‘ Alasoair Gray w {)8 gratified to hear that h s work in for a Short time oniy. be axaiiabre at the theatre. Fcur c‘ Gray's sror‘. t: 8,8 and an adaptaticr‘ ot one :‘ his prose MOMS .‘M be read by a cast of professionals. incitidii‘g the canny Da/e Anderson. O/er two nights at the Troi‘. O" Thursday. the short p1eces for the theatre. The Loss Of Go/den Si/ence. Homeward Boo/7d and Sam Lang And MISS WatSOIi wil be given an airing. whiie On Friday comes the prose adaptation Maxis Belfrage and the short piece Di’a/ogue.

'They're very yistial. so the theatre really works with them.‘ says director Kate McCall. ‘The Changing Room SUits them. since the Tron's studio space gives us the kind of intimacy that these pieces require. They‘re not meant to be easy pieces. but they ShOUIO attract an intelligent audience'

The plays do scuhd like the son of stuff which SUIIS an audience prepared to think for their enpyment. but the rewards look bountiful. Essentially addressing gender issues. as one might expect with Gray's work, they seem to offer new insights for already committed Gray fans. as well as a way into his work for the uninitiated.

(Ste/e Cramer,

Shades of Gray: Alasdair Gray's self- portrait