Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh, until Sat 2 Feb .0.

Class entertainment

Grief. like many a human emotion. is exacerbated by the denial of language. Be it sudden loss through death or the abrupt departure of a loved one by some other means. the source of the trauma for those left behind is the inability to articulate deep held feelings. In the case of the characters of Grace Barnes' new play this denial leads to trauma and self-rlestructwe neurosis.

The story of Lily (Pauline Turneri is along such lines. Having endured the mysterious disappearance of her twin sister in her latter teens. she's hit her

nervous 30s with more than her share of

ssues. tired from her Aussie TV

producing job for drinking too much. even by antipodean standards. she's returned to the comfortless bosom of a repressive. posh Catholic fari‘ily in the Borders. Her mother iEileen McCallumi has buried her guilt. and attempts to live out her life quietly are disrupted by Lily's reappearance. So too are the lines of her surviVing sister iAndrea Gibbi and on-the-up brother in law iJimmy Chisholmi. Even her benevolent little brother ilan Grievei is disturbed by the news that Lily claims to be in correspontlence from France with a sister long 2 ssumed dead. The remainder is a complex psychological story. with the 'i‘ystery being as much about the mental pathology of the characters as the revelation of the sisters assumed late. Barnes' play is old fashioned in technique. bringing to mind both Preistley and Rattigan in different places. but not quite of their exacting and questioning standards. Muriel Romanes directs with her usual precision and sensitiVity. while there are stand-out performances ir().'l‘ both Turner and Cl‘JSilOill‘. All the same. the class bigotry that the famin show this latter character re'nains unchallenged. and even confirmed by the text. You wonder whether a 'l‘.l(i(“(}- class audience would allow the kind of stereotyping this character endures had he

been black. iSteve Crameri



Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, Fri 1 & Sat 2 Feb, then touring.

lt's the question that h; s dogged us since time began. And while we may have our theories. nobody really knows what happens to us when we die. Heaven? Hell’? Reincarnation? Or simply a pile of dust and some nice memories for the folks left behind? It's a subject of endless fascination and the inspiration behind The Dear/y Departed. the latest offering from X Factor Dance.

Like most of choreographer Alan Greig's work. this new venture was born out of personal experience. Having lost both his brother and mother in recent years. the choreographer found himself drawn towards the Royal Museum's 2000 exhibition. Heaven and Hell. So much so that its curator. Alison Sheridan. has pretty much become the star of the show along with countless other people Willing to spout forth into a microphone. Performed by four dancers. The Dear/y Departed explores; our multifarious beliefs about life after death. set to both original music by Tom Murray and the aforementioiied testimonies.

‘Alison's the backbone of the piece.' says Greig. ‘She tells people's stories in the third person; Muslims believe this. Shamans in North American society did that. But I also got my

Dead good dance

students. friends and lust people we grabbed and asked them all the same question: "What are your religious beliefs and do you believe there's an afterlife’?"'

From that came over two hours' worth of material. which Greig cherry picked doWn to :30 minutes. ‘I chose the best so that they're all really interesting.' he says. ‘And I think this piece. more than anything else \.A'/e've done. has really varied choreography: there's slow. fast. busy. guiet. emotional. abstract. We go from a hell section full of suffering into "well. | always went to Sunday School . . . “: it's constantly changing'

As for Greig's thoughts on the matter. he's remaining impartial: “There are only so many options: live on through your genes. reincarnation. a spirit world or you're punished or rewarded. So I'm ending the show on a question ~ what do you f)elieve'?' (Kelly Aptei‘l



Palace Theatre Kilmarnock

Sat 2 Feb - 7.30pm 01563 523590

Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh

Tues 5-Fri 8 Feb - 7.45pm Matinee Wed 6 Feb - 2.30pm 0131 248 4848

Village Theatre East Kilbride

Sat 9 Feb - 7.30pm 01355 248 669

Dundee Hep, Dundee

Tue 12-Sat 16 Feb - 7.45pm Matinee Sat 16 Feb - 2.30pm 01382 223530

Curran Halls, Uban Thu 21 Feb 0 7.30pm 01631 567333

Magnum Theatre Irvine

Fri 22 Feb - 7.30pm 01294 313010

Theatre Royal. Dumfries Sat 23 Feb - 7.30pm 01387 247780

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Brunton Theats‘ Mussel gho

Ifih 0-7.30pm 81 6652240

Motherwell Theatre Motherwell

Wed 27 Feb - 7.30pm 01698 267515

Byre Theatre

St. Andrews

Thu 28 Feb - Sat 2 Mar ° 8pm Matinee Sat 2 Mar - 2.30pm 01334 475000

Vikingar Theatre. Largs Tues 5 Mar - 7.30pm 01475 689777

Cumberna ‘St‘atre Cum 12 mg

3% r o 7.45pm 1236 732 887

Carnegie Hall, Dunfermline Thurs 7 Mar - 7.30pm 01383 314000

Gaiety Theatre, Ayr Fri 8 - Sat 9 Mar - 7.30pm 01292 611222

Tron Theatre, Glasgow Tues 12 - Sat 16 Mar - 8pm Matinee Sat 16 Mar 0 2.30pm 0141 552 4267

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