Seen at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh. Howden Park Centre, Fri 16 Nov, then touring .000

Men should use the word ‘hysteria’ carefully. Its etymological origins relate, of course, to the possession of a womb, and its use might therefore be seen as judgementally patriarchal. All the same, by the end of the 805 the ‘we’re sorry‘ decade, as some men called it - there was a fin de siecle in the theatre where, instead of the legitimate addressing of issues of gender and power, a tampon-chucking gynofest came. to the fore. What’s interesting about Isabel Wright’s new-generation feminist piece is that it addresses many of the issues of these earlier works, but with a quiet rationality that demands attention.

Blooded tells the story of five teenage girls who find themselves confronted by questions of gender and identity which all the post- feminist bullshit of the Spice Girls era can’t address. The discovery of the sexually abused body of a similarly aged girl leads four confident young women to question their roles in society.

Donna (Christina Cochran) struggles with a growing and unjustified reputation for promiscuity, while Bernie (Laura

PROJECT GEORGIA 2001 Gateway Theatre, Edinburgh, Mon 26 Nov—Sat 1 Dec.

McKenna) is increasingly alarmed by questions of the body, as well as annoyed by her lonely, disaffected sister (Helen McAlpine) and disabled surviving parent. Meanwhile, Amy (Kate Dickie) is the tough tomboy whose physical assertiveness is seen as a threat by the local boys, while her clever and sensitive friend, the kleptomaniac Lou (Molly lnnes) comes too close for comfort. Each has moments of self-assertion, but the ghost of the dead girl (McAlpine, again) returns repeatedly to remind them of the limitations of their power and the evil that men do. Wright’s clear-eyed poetic vision is deftly facilitated by Paul Pinson’s stylish direction for Boilerhouse and Karen Tennent’s in-the-round design

on THE EDGE The Arches, Glasgow, Thu 22—Sat 24 Nov.

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Dickie bird: Kate Dickie plays chick with attitude

keeps us close to the dilemmas of the characters, physically and mentally.

There are also some fine performances. In a generally strong cast, the byplay between Dickie’s tough and independent boygirl and lnnes’ hero—worshipping smart bird create an authentic feel of adolescence. But the highlight is McKenna’s patient, much put-upon fat girl, whose rhythm and timing in dialogue make her solos about the discovery of love and grief haunting and beautiful. Wright’s script is a little overlong, and there are a couple of knots that might have been better tied, but the overall effect is both moving and thought- provoking. (Steve Cramer)


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Cottier Theatre, Glasgow, Mon 26 Nov—Sat1 Dec.

It's a pressing problem. 'There'll alt-rays be this dilemma in the theatre between what gets the money and the thing yeti really want to do.’ says Michael Emans. He should know. As artistic director of Rapture Theatre he's (IOliillltlElH). iuggled the company's interest in lesser-known plays With the financial concerns of the smaller theatres they tour to. Not an easy Job.

Valuable experience. however. for its latest production. David Mamet's 1988 play explores the battle faced by Bobby. a HOV/i). promoted studio executive. Should he fund the 'surefire blockbuster his long time friend Charlie proposes or the art}, fitm his secietar‘, and lower. Karen. thinks ought to be seen? ' t raises questions about art (“‘0 coinntercef El‘iéll)8 explains. ‘lt's ‘.’(}l\ relevant: we still make tiashy lliO‘JIOS. iike Pea/i H.’2/'t)()/‘. that blag. fast and loose WW) the truth.'

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“A N ..’ ' THE LIST 61