The suicides of increasing numbers of teenagers. currently at an tlllpl’OCCdClIIOU level in Scotland. is a subject so distressing that, for all the media coverage. it seems little discussed by the public. Robert Rae, artistic director of theatre workshop. feels that this general silence is adding to

the problem.

‘People are so terrified of this issue that they don't want to talk about it. It sounds horrible. but what we're trying to do is be more matter of fact about it. so we can talk.‘ he says. This new piece. the first play by Anu Kumar, one of Theatre Workshop's mixed company of actors. looks at the lives of four teenagers who are driven toward this tragic decision. One feels under exam pressure. another finds herself on the outside during her parents' divorce. while a


IN THE SOLITUDE OF THE COTTON Theatre Workshop, Edinburgh, until Sat 13 Oct. FIELDS

third is gay. out. and happy with it. but encounters isolation from family and friends because of her sexuality. A fourth

teenager brings their stories together through an internet chat room. where she expresses her own sense of loneliness. 'lsolation is the thing they all have in common. and while there's no definite cure to the problem. we feel that this alienation is something we can address.‘ Rae

adds. (Steve Cramer)

Treading the boards



Dundee Rep, Fri 21 & Sat 22, Thu 27 & Sat 29 Sep

‘Almost a lecture - but a fun one’

Since the arrival of Janet Smith in 1998. Dundee has become something

58 THE LIST '20 Sep 4 Oct 7001

Tron Theatre, Glasgow, Sun 30 Sep—Sat 6 Oct.

From queer to eternity: Koltes’ play of gay politics

and existential angst

When Gordon Anderson was recently appointed the new director of London-based ATC. there was no current work under commission. Top of his wish list for first production was ln The Solitude Of Cotton Fields by the ‘bad boy' of French literature. Bernard lvlarie Koltes. It comes to

Glasgo\.v's Tron theatre. in a new translation by Independent theatre critic. Jeffrey Wainwright.

It's the story of the transaction between two mysterious men in an urban landscape. a client and a dealer. Intense.

of the world.

392 II.

of a dance hotspot. Not only is Scottish Dance Theatre blazing a trail through the British dance scene. but her programming of the city's annual dance festival is increasingly eclectic and fun. Last year's line-up had Yolande Snaith Theatredance doing it for the kids, while this year comedy duo Air Dance are in town.

A hit at last year's Fringe with PG. Tom Roden and Peter Shenton have been touring With Air Dance since the mid—90s. attempting to combat the often intimidating signals contemporary dance sends off to the uninitiated. ‘There's a misconception that dance is pure and shouldn't be touched.‘ says Roden. “It's almost as if going to see contemporary dance is a bit like going to church you've got to suffer.'

Not at one of their shows. John Hegley liked PG so much. he wrote a poem about them. And their Dundee offering, This Is Modern looks to be just as accessible. ‘Essentially it's an explanation of contemporary dance.' Roden explains. ‘We talk about the dance forms of the 20th century and break them down to a vezy simple level. so it's almost like a lecture but

philosophical. mysterious. it is influenced by Koltes' gayness and imminent death from AIDS. The drama is a metapahor for anyone confronting their own deaths. and how transactions. both sexual and commercial. are the currency

Anyone who remembers the ama/ing I rench production which came to the Edinburgh I‘OSIIVEII a few years ago starring and directed by Patrice Chereau (director of the Mark Rylance film Intimacy.) will know how compelling Koltes' drama can be. Two RSC stalwarts headline the piece: Zubin Varla. fresh from playing Caliban in The Tempest and DaVid Westhead who was in Stephen Poliakoff's Talk Of The City.

Director Gordon Anderson is no stranger to Scotland. his production for Scottish Opera Go Round of Hansel and Cretel was well received last year. He has also worked at the Royal Court. Manchester Royal Exchange and ama/ingly. he is the co~creator of The League Of Gentleman. Anderson has exciting plans for ATC's future: he wants to develop top translations of the best new plays from throughout Europe. belieVing: 'There is a whole canon of work in Europe which Just doesn't get performed.‘ (John Binnie)

zi fiiii ()iit2.'

Joining Air Dance this Festival. is the Russell Maliphant Company. The ex- Royal Ballet and DV8 dancer has been busy choreograpliing three new works simultaneoust all of which will play in Dundee. Knot and Stream have been inspired by Celtic knots. while Sheer. a duet between Maliphant and fellow Royal Ballet dancer Dana Fouras is an interesting mix of classical lifts and contemporary contact improvisation.

And of course. our own Scottish Dance Theatre will premiere their new works. Associate choreographer Sean Feldman has been heavily influenced by Russian painter Chagall for his piece. Inside Somewhere. an artist whom he says has 'a dreamlike duality. very romantic and very playful.‘ For High Land. artistic director Janet Smith has drawn on her experiences as an outsider exploring the natural wonders of Scotland: The company toured the Highlands a couple of years ago. and we'd have these silent drives Where everyone just looked. It was ama/ing. and it does have an impact on your life.' (Kelly Apter)


Tramway, Glasgow Fri 28 & Sat 29 Sep

Experimental Norwegian dance performance company Zero Visibility Corp arrive at the Tramway for two nights to perform another collaborative piece Willi composers and musicians /()Viet'fraii(:e. a leading underground electronic outfit from Newcastle.

The music will form the soundscape against which fragments of texts from writers such as Kafka and Dostoyevsky Will be choreographed alongside the movement of a seven- strong troupe of dancers. The piece revolves around characters who confront loneliness and isolation. seeking comfort through confessions. But as they reveal more and more of their hidden selves. the reality between fact and fiction becomes increasingly blurred.

The company describe their work as a combination of action. visuals and intellect With the action based on material drawn from a variety of sources: material created by the performers. scenes from films. and television footage of weird and wonderful events. And they state that their aim is to create a state of ‘ambiguous pleasure'. Which flows. perhaps. from the content of the piece. which they warn is pretty heavy on sexual imagery and completely unsuitable for under sixteen year-olds. Mmmm, nothing ambiguous about that. (Davie Archibald)

Roll up for zero visibility