Citizens’ Theatre, Glasgow, until Sat 30 Mar .000

What is there left to startle us out of relativism? Most of us like to think of ourselves as balanced individuals, tolerating absolutism, shrugging our shoulders at extremism with a liberal ‘well, it depends how you look at it’.

But our repression of a sense of the moral and ethical absolute comes at a price. For what happens when the US plans attacks on third world countries virtually for looking at it in a funny way? It’s all very well to tolerate, in a post-modern, relativistic kinda way, the many lifestyle choices we see around us. But surely if we feel nothing when confronted with paedophiles, serial killers and Mrs Thatcher, it is an alarming sign of passivity.

I suggest this, because the late Sarah Kane’s play should provoke anyone out of this nihilistic stupor. Set in a plush hotel room in a British city, Blasted shows the burnt out dog-end of a dysfunctional relationship. Cate (Vivien Reid), a profoundly unstable young girl, is spending the weekend with the consumerist and consumptive Ian (Stuart Bowman), an ailing tabloid hack without any hint of ethical


Festival Theatre, Edinburgh, Mon 25—Sat 30 Mar

It has been previously described as ‘the most inspirational musical in the world'. and with over 60 amateur productions in the UK alone last year. the statistics seem. for once. to Support the claim. The original production of Fame. made into an Oscar-winning film in 1980. was conceived and produced by Davrd De Silva. a native New Yorker. who described the notion of a musical drama set in NY's High School For Performing Arts as 'a great idea waiting to happen; if I didn't do if. somebody else would'. The story follows an intake of students; onto the institution's legendary performing arts programme. and traces the progress of their lives and aspirations as they embark upon a relentless pursuit of fame. ‘l've never promoted the notion of celebrity.‘ De Silva insists. a reaction to the suggestion that fame today is different from the idea that the story's characters have. He believes true fame is the result of genuine talent and honest hard work. not simple. shallow self-promotion and hype. ‘We have in the

Stuart Bowman shags, shits and shoots himself

redemption. This marquis-de-sad- bastard practises various sexual tortures on the girl, who tortures him in return, before the interruption of a soldier (Alasdair Arthur Lay) who is as unstable as Cate, but more violently disturbed. The imminent war, which has earlier been casually commented on from among the piles of tabloids scattered about the stage, has broken out for real . . . and not on the telly. Much scatological, sexual, and emotional violence follows. Director Kenny Miller’s design perfectly evokes the alienated world of the characters, which quite literally explodes halfway through, creating Kabul on England’s green

r'v'it 18K)";


world a build up of talent which. until now. has had no real


Edinburgh Playhouse, Mon 25—Sat 30 Mar.

unpleasant land. A hysterically pitched performance from Reid grates at first, before revealing the logic of her character, while Bowman is utterly compelling as

the dysfunctional, dying racist hack.

Kane’s play is chilling in representing the kind of atomised culture that creates impersonal throw-away relationships, and makes a link (though you wish it were clearer) between this and our political culture of indifference and hostility. Her immense and savage indignation shines clearly through her shock tactics, making this a powerful evening of theatre for those that can take its disturbing imagery. (Steve Cramer)

What’s the word that you heard?

lt's enCOuraging to hear De Silva's veice in a world where t i‘trcs chic rs back in vogue. How fitting then that the stage ‘farne' frequently equates to notoriety. And whether your greatest ambit:on is to be a world-class ballet dancer or simply a senior dogsbody. Fame won't fail to inspire you. (Gareth Daviesl

women of the film. immortalised by OliVia Newton-John in .‘hose skrntrght satin pants and .John Travolta with that gurff. lf~ co'rrrrfg back. Having started life as a play. which was full o‘ enough profanities to rival lryrne Welsh's work. Grease has become a feel-good classic. ls there anyone who doesn't know the story of how leader of his pack. Danny lf‘Ifff‘) to woo prim and proper Sandy. without making a fool of hu'rself in front of the boys'?

lakng < n the role of Danny is South African actor Craig Urb; 'ri. llaving previously played the lon/ under the (it"(tfilltJf‘r of his creator llenr‘y \“t/lllkkl'l'. Ur‘bani is no stranger to playzng the stud. ‘I think Danny could learn from the lon/.' l lr'rzani says. ‘lhe l'on/ would be cool even if he was jlifr‘. t,'ai‘;"."1g his teeth alone in his bathroom. Danny's not. Darn; puts it on. At the end of the day he's just another guy. trying to say the right thing to get the girl and l)"(i()llll.'l(l a humbling geek instead. And therein lies the court/i. at» l the charm."

Sc ’lfrl‘i a poodle skirt if you dare lll()l you boys. that ‘.'.'<,_rld inst be sillyr and head down to the Playhouse for scrrie fit/'rr/ne' low/f. rKik Heidi

NEW DRAMA INCIDENT Ramshorn Theatre, Glasgow, until Sat 16 Mar 0

‘This is a play about |oss.' claims the programme note. and the effect it has is of seriously lessening the audience's Will to live. Written and directed by Steve King. the play is supposedly a dramatic exploration of the after—effects of a fatal car crash. but instead feels like a two-act theatrical brain haemorrhage in slow motion. There is a germ of an original idea nestled away at the play's very core. but the vast majority of the text is cliched and uninspired.

Feeling as though it wants to be a John Grisham—style thriller. it's simply an overlong. undercooked sub- rnelodrarna that the dead would find turgid. There are more lifeless characters than in the last scene of Hamlet. and to say that it's repetitive and repetitive would be to grossly underegg the pudding.

Cut out an hour. and maybe a character or three. and this could be a tight psychological drama. but instead this is flabby nonsense that doesn't ever seem to make its point. Which is a shame. becat se the research that King has put into the play is extensive. Almost as extensive as the traumatic effect it has upon its audience. (Gareth Davies)

Lack of incident