MUSICAL PLAY BLACKPOOL Gateway Theatre, Edinburgh, until Sat 2 Mar .00

It’s the musical by Irvine Welsh. Except it’s not really a musical. And it’s questionable how much of it is by Irvine Welsh. Look closely at the programme note by director Harry Gibson and you’ll find that Blackpool is a ‘revised version of Irvine’s first draft’. I point this out not to quibble about authorship, but to explain the weakness of the show. In short, it hasn’t been written yet.

It’s not that Welsh doesn’t have the basis of a decent play. The story he sketches out - and, really, he has done no more than sketch - contrasts the

Musical jeers


SHOPPING AND FUCKING Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh (in rep with Pit Bull/Sexual Perversity In Chicago), until Sat 16 Mar .00.

Broke? Sell phone sex. According to Lulu inare Garnseyi and Robbie 'Chris Perkini it's easy and lucrative. That's all they're capable of after the'r drug. dealings brought ecstasy to tl‘ally. Free of cnarge. Thzs :s the opening gambit of Shopping Arid Fucking. part of the Gilded Balloon Ensembles man Jestixra. In Mark RZWClll‘fllS 1996 debut. Mark lJoei Reuben Gang leaves a cyc- triangle ‘~.'.rth Lulu and Robbse n. a b o to ditch drugs and dependency. \l'l/ir e he's gone he ’oriits an. attachment to rent boy Gary Liam O'Dvryer. Yes. more gr'tty realism and workzng casses experimenting wrth sex and drugs. But that's not am. This prodacton doesn't use sex and S‘.'/CEllll‘g to 'nere'y offend; they're waeloeo as a means of exploring pols/er. sexual hamfliatzon and (EXlD'O’YElYIOll :n the modern world. The majority of the cast execute the (lC-lélf'S in Ravenni 's eli‘g.)uag(3 vrtl‘ prec son.

It s O Dyryer p ay rig a 110', l.'.l'ic can t

Jobbing actors

.enoer love that s most disarb "g.

It's often relitarkeo that the younger generation are apatl‘et c. Coco it be because tney're s.) conclrt orieo :ntc tninkng inere's no alternative to get); (lEll)".’d"Sll‘-? As Ré‘i‘.’(-},'"‘i" suggests

‘c w sation s 'i‘oney {i'lil pecpe arc- a coiiiii‘odlty. But as long as l'tt) younger generation '2; proc..-<:.i‘g theatre like tn s. on a tight budget. tnere's "one. You'l

SOC SOU‘C‘ COCK "‘ I'VS l)?‘()(lthT O". BLil

Ioadsamoney 805 with our own post-socialist era, setting nouveau riche

against nouveau Labour.

In the first half, he throws an entrepreneur, three prostitutes and a carousing ex-footballer into the hedonistic, cocaine-snorting world of Blackpool circa 1985. Amid the sexual groping and flaunting of wealth, someone gets hurt. In the second half, we catch up with the same characters fifteen years on, a little older, a little blander and with old scores still to settle. One of them has become an MP, though she doesn’t seem to

know why.

It has the potential to add up to something but not in this form. Welsh has done nothing to develop the characters, he’s left most of the plot exposition to one garbled sequence in the second half and he’s yet to explain what is significant about these two periods in our recent history. The dialogue has none of his linguistic flair and, if he must call his show a musical, he’ll need to get his mate Vic Godard to write more than three songs (and better


Gibson and his large student cast pad out this meagre material with drama workshop exercises and tableaux vivants, often creating an illusion of coherence. For that they should be praised. Otherwise, file under work in

progress. (Mark Fisher)


THE DAUGHTER-lN-LAW Perth Theatre, until Sat 2 Mar 000

Theatre at the coal face

This revival which was reSCued from obscurity by the Royal Court in the 70s. dabb!es‘ with the hang-ups and preoccupations that would be developed in DH Lawrence's lElll‘OtiS novels.

The action takes place in a mining ccii‘iixinity against a backdrop of littlestrlal unrest. and ;s ostensiny the story of the two Cascoyne brothers. The younger. Joe. sage and effete. seems intern‘inably tied to his II‘OIliefS apron strings. while lumbering, sensual Luther has recently escaped into marriage Wlili Minnie.

Lawrence adds a subplot in which the mother of a girl whoii‘ Luther has made pregnant arrives to demand money for

60 THE LIST 7?: l -’:t, '0. Mar .7242?

the child's upkeep. But the reaf stony unfolds graoaaiiy n. the b; tte for L..tnc-r's socl. surreptitiously tought cut betl'reen Minnie and Mrs Gascoyne.

Michael Winter‘s prouuct on inakes a relatve success Out of a problen‘atic play. The cast copes aoinrably x'r-th the strong. West N()ltl'lgll(’ltl‘8llil0 diatect. though occasionaly their attention .s foCused too much on the peculiarities of the accent rather than on (trying the narrative forward. At times. the perforn‘ances are simply too small too much like television acting. to sustain attention.

There's also SOlI‘Cllllllg inaiithentic and over-glossy about the production design: everything in tne busy period detail of the set and costumes. right dos/n to the grin‘e on Luther's face. looks artificial and adds We to the substance oi the piece.

Nevertheiess. though. none of Lawrence's characters particularly deserves sympathy. there's a guietly moving central [Xiinfll‘élllCO from Rachel Miilcany as Minnie. The final exchange between mother and daughter in law. in which Mrs Gascoyne finally relinquishes controi of her son. proVides the play's most poignant scene which. in this production, is worth '.'/alt:ng for.

(Allan Radcliffei

(,ontelnpate a mutual, respect 'lg. be . Charotte \.'./(i'fli

Dl-lAfle PREl/lll RE


Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh (in rep with Sexual Perversity In Chicago and Shopping And Fucking), until Sat 16 Mar 00..

Dogs. some see >e l)(3l:(3‘.'(}. often rel ect the persona tl, and pnys ca' attributes of tile-ll on'rners. On. its Brit s'i brem'ere. Lionel Spycner's "yr cal drama s..ggests

t'létl man. 8 DOS! 'l'l(2.'l(l8 CRUX)“; l'lti

‘Subtly life affirming’

sp-rlt o‘ thilllEt'lIT‘, tse". A "'gn-rlse estate (I()lll'll..‘"l'.".' Lyes ;n t"e snaooz'.’ of tragedy: as successvse

members of fine sanie *amily "a;1 ti: t"<>'r oeatt‘s. Tones ’Gét’l“, Docso'i Sl)t)"ilS h s

‘.'.'nl e Lcc 'Joe Reape't Gan/ enters eua

:iog‘ ghts ;n tne baseiilei‘t. Pr ncess Roma Foulus ma "ta "s an a most inanc be le"

tnat God sees (3‘."(3',".""‘§jl'. le‘(l Le'a Ceiiiina Fa r e

ESétllC " t'lC {lltCl'ltlétlH ()7 :l‘C' ClC‘ElT'WS.

time constantly .ncoinma'tcatlo.

street: es to keen ‘atner

It's a tale of confrontat'ons: oog meets dog. oreaiiis meet "ea samty meets madness. earth meets sky arc'i:te::ts meet Goo. Sbycner's senst=vely and yrnory tl'll)"(}l(}"l!().lf3‘, treateo by the <:<>iiipal‘-;.. Dooson's oatsta'iii ng performance as the .nter'ially persecuteo Tnomas :s botn nauntlng and bea;.ti‘t.. n's pnyslca= contort ens eriipnas sng tne intensity of h-s tno..g"‘ts ano unloros.

VV'lIlO at times. the product-en's emotions fee! llS'l‘Ct’El’C. more cite" than "ot the poetic resonances hit pou'rer‘ury home. Tnere's something subt y lfe-af‘riitng here. enough at least to counterba a'ice t'ie rea sation that life really can. be a b'tcf‘.

'Garetl‘ Day'esi

'u'd .thl f)


SEXUAL PERVERSITY IN CHICAGO 5 Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh (in rep with Shopping & Fucking/Pit Bull) until Sat l 16 Mar 0..

Chastity is the mother of all perversions. Sexual gratification is simply a human I reflex (like snee/ingi or an instinct ilike a distrust of politicians). Btit David Mamet's t play suggests that the battle of the sexes can he a far from fair and \‘JllOItESO'lIC b fight.

A foursome of tweiitysomethings from Chicago IJo'iny Burr. Will MacDonald. Zannah Hodson. Emma Laird Craig) blllhely gi'ope their way through ins'nceie l chat-tip lines. trip over hastily discaided un(Iel'\.'.leai' and fall headlong into bedrooms of brutality. It's deep. dark. and very. yery nast . 'I don't inlnd physca Violence] one guy screams. but I can't stand emotional yiolencef k This latter is what Mamet does best. and he is totally tincoinbi'onl s ng .ii shoWing us exactly how unpleasant we are. But despite strong and confident performances all round. this production loses some of the subtlety of Mainet's writing, reducing the vicioust witty text almost to the depths of ill/fer: Ht?.’lt'l'.’I/Pg Bad/y. The obViously misogynist element of the play is exposed too readily nuhust the M deepei themes get slightly lost among the expletives. But ll()\.(?l3ll(}‘(?8t$ 't's funny ?_ frightening and painful. and you'll almost certainly Ieaye (T()ll:3l(lt?llllt} lather ll’Olt? seriously the Virtues of chastity. iCai‘eth Daylesi it