Citizens’ Theatre, Glasgow, Thu 31 Jan-Sat 23 Feb
If his Woyzeck at the Edinburgh‘s Royal Lyceum is anything to go by. director Guy Hollands has a sure touch with oft-performed classics. reinventing them vigorously. We might. then. set some store by the reappearance of Harold Pinter's classic as directed by ktC's wunderkind. a frequent collaborator with David Harrower.
So what is it about Pinter's story of three men - a cuckoo-in-the-nest old tramp. a troubled tenant in a run-down flat and his rather sinister brother -
. that is so ceaselessly fascinating?
Perhaps the title itself tells us something. for its meaning shifts inexorably from one character to another. In a sense all three or none of them c0uld be the caretaker: each “takes care' in different ways.
This ambivalence is something Hollands relishes: ‘The play is set in its time. and there is something a little bit dated about it in places. but there's still this questioning quality about it. We're left wanting to know more about the characters. and this is Surely deliberate on Pinter's part.‘
Pinter claims to be none the wiser about his characters. being as unable to account for their actions as his audiences. but Hollands takes this with a grain of salt. 'There‘s this heightened realism that goes on for a while. then these long speeches that take you to another place. In these speeches. Pinter is clearly meddling. but this is where the quality comes in.‘
Part of Hollands' new take on the play is a piece of adventurous casting. Davies. one of the fattest parts in the British repertOry canon. is usually played by an older actor. but here Hollands has cast John Kazek. The thirtysomething Kazec is one of the best actors currently on Scottish stages. and Hollands maintains his appropriateness to the pan. ‘Normally. he might seem way too young for the part. but this is a part of our approach in trying to reinvent the play. We don‘t want the audience to walk in and feel straight away like they're in Pinterland. we're trying to make it new.‘ (Steve Cramer)
HISTORICAL DRAMA OBSERVE THE SONS OF ULSTER MARCHING TOWARDS THE SOMME Citizens' Theatre, Glasgow, Fri 1-Sat 23 Feb
The Citz opens its spring season with a play of real significance to today's political climate. As troops are being mobilised in the east. Frank McGuinness' play recounts similar events from the early years of the last century. when Britain's Armed Forces were despatched to the front line of the First World War.
Directed by Giles Havergal, the production features Tam Dean Burn as one of eight Irish Protestant men and boys who wake up suddenly to the harsh world of war. In the process. they discover more about themselves. their faith and their religious attitudes. ‘The play starts at the beginning of the war and covers the two or three years until they're killed at the Somme.’ says Burn. whose celebrated roles include his recent one-man version of Irvine Welsh's Filth. ‘Only one of them survives. and it's this character who goes into the past to show what he's lived through. Each is struggling with their own individual and shared problems.‘
Premiered in 1985 and numbered among the National Theatre's best 100 plays of the 20th century. the play was last revived at the beginning of the Good Friday peace-process. 'lt had an extraordinary effect on audiences then.‘ says Burn. 'People were able to
52 THE LIST 11—31 Jan 260?
Somme enchanted evening: Tam Dean Burn
view it with a sort of maturity. with a willingness to pay attention to the other side's viewpornt that maybe wasn't there before. A few years on again, the play now has another relevance that people didn't feel in the past. the idea of getting involved in a world war being back in the public consciousness.‘
The play is partly about the attitude we have towards people of other belief systems. but McGtiinness goes beyond bigoted religious cliches and demOristrates a whole range of experiences that can come from within a single community. ‘MCGuntness suggests that the biggest problem is not lowrig thy neighbour'. says Burn. “it's Simply learning to understand them.’ (Gareth Davres)
Drama is listed by city, then alphabetically by venue. Dance is listed after drama for each city. Shows will be listed, provided that details reach our offices at least ten days before publication.
Drama & dance listings compiled by Kelly Apter.
DISABLED ACCESS KEY
WA : Wheelchair Access: P = Parking Facilities: WC = Adapted Toilett s). TICKETLINK
Tickets for major venues in Glasgow are available from the Ticket Centre. Candleriggs. .\lon-~Sat 10.30am 6.30pm: Stilt noon—5pm in person or until 9pm by phone on 01-11 287 55] 1. Any Ticketlink box ofﬁce cart sell tickets for other venttes. THEATRE TOKENS
'l'l‘ indicates venues where Theatre Tokens can be exchanged for tickets. Tokens cart be bottgltt from the Ticket Centre. Candleriggs. Glasgow. ()l-il 287 5910: most branches of W“. Stititlt. John Menzies and James Thin Booksellers: or by credit card from Tokenlinc. 0171 240 8800.
l 1‘) Gorbals Street. 42‘) 0022. IP. H. Ti. WC. WA]
The Caretaker Wed 30 Jan—Sat 23 Feb. 7.30pm. £10 (£3). (Circle Studio). Free preview on Wed 30 Jan. Harold Pinter's groundbreaking [950s play about two brothers who are the guardians ol‘ an unkempt house. See preview.
Observe The Sons Of Ulster Marching Towards The Somme Thu 31 Jan-Sat 23 Feb. 7.30pm. £10 (£3). (Main Theatre). Free preview on Thu 3] Jan. Prank McGuinness' award-
. winning play about eight very different
men from the same Irish province. thrown together as volunteers during World War ()ne. See preview.
l) l'niversity Avenue. 330 5522.
Tango At The End Of Winter Thu l7-«l-‘ri IS Jan 7.30pm: Sat 1‘) Jan (rpm. £(t (£3.50 £4). Peter Barnes adapts Kunio Shimizu's surreal story set iii a dilapidated cinema. Performed by STAG theatre group. the play ﬂuctuates between the deeply comical and the moving. The Double Life Thu 31 Jan» Sat 2 Feb. 8pm. £3.50. Ptish Bar To ()pen presents a tttulti-media performance fusing new writing. physical tlteatrc.
The Caretaker Harold Pinter's classic is reworked by innovative young director Guy Hollands at the Citizens'. The familiar stOry of two men seeking spiritual contact in an impoverished bedsit and a third. characteristically Pinteresque intruder promises new takes on design and casting. See preview. Citizens' Theatre. Glasgow, Thu 37 Jan—Sat 23 Feb.
Menu This fresh young company promises a new approach to theatre. lt'll present three shon plays in a format that allows patrons to choose just how much theatre they want to see. as well as providing a variety of other entertainment. See preview. Counting House. Edinburgh, from Wed 30 Jan.
visual art attd ttittsic to reflect chance encounters between strangers. Pre-show events begin at 7.30pm.
297 Bath Street. 287 55] l. Iii. WC. WA]
Babes In The Wood t'ntil Sat 1‘) Jan. 7pm (pltis ntats). £3—£l5.50. Described iii The Lisr's panto round-up as the ‘best looking show iii town'. Balms" stars Iilaine C. Smith. Tom McGovern. Mark Cox and Patti Riley keeping the Christtttas ﬂag flying long alter your indigestion ltas died down.
(T Granville Street. 287 551 1. III. 'lVI‘. \VC. \VAI
Li’l Abner Tue 2‘) Jan- Sat 2 Feb. 7.30pm (Sat tttat 2.30pm). £6 (£4). Glasgow Youth Theatre gives its
Space oddity: Opera Gaiactica plays at Dundee Rep until 19 Jan