SINGLES NIGHT Traverse Theatre. Edinburgh, Tue 16—Sat 20 Apr. then touring

The Traverse's championing of new writing is admirable, but who else is doing it? There aren’t too many and at the end of this particular touring production one more outlet will be closed. Yes, it’s my melancholy and, these days, nearly fortnightly duty to inform you of yet another company forced to close by inadequate levels of Scottish Arts Council funding. Nicola McCartney’s LookOut company, after this programme of four short plays by first-time or newish writers becomes the latest victim.

And McCartney, an established and much— respected writer on the Scottish scene, whose Cave Dwellers was recently produced by 7:84, is less than pleased. ‘I understand that there are quite a few companies and not a lot of money, but I feel distressed by the lack of a system in place,’ she says.

It would be a simple enough matter to dismiss McCartney‘s views about the selection process for funding companies, were it not such a common complaint - usually off the record across the Scottish theatre world. “There doesn‘t seem to be a coherent policy in the Arts Council about what's required for funding,‘ she says. ‘We need a policy and not the goalposts being moved every year.’

McCartney has no desire to get personal: ‘lt's not about particular personalities in the Arts Council, it’s just that when we apply for funding, we’re asked to provide a plan, a vision over three years. Where's theirs? If you phone the drama section and ask for a document outlining cultural strategy for drama, you find that there isn’t one.‘

But for the moment, McCartney is concentrating on what looks like a fascinating

ARABIAN NIGHT Tron Theatre. Glasgow. Thu 25 Sat 27 Apr

Giving you a high rise


Kate Dickie in Lament. Her debut as a writer occurs in this programme

programme of work. all centred on the idea of being single in the modern world. The contributors, too, make for an intriguing combination. The work of Ronan O'Donnell has already been given a major airing a few years back at the Traverse in The Chic Nerds, while Matthew Lenton, artistic director of Scottish avant garde company Vanishing Point will be a familiar name to theatregoers. Kate Dickie. on the other hand. is a skilled and highly acclaimed actor on the Scottish scene, and her first play

will be keenly observed. 80. too. Kathy McKean. a young newcomer to the scene. who was discovered as a student by McCartney herself.

With subjects ranging from a mad old lady singing Elvis songs in her potting shed to a chat room—addicted muscle builder. it promises to provide a commentary on the old lyric about ‘Iooking for love in all the wrong places'.l looked under my sofa the other day and found none there. (Steve Cramer)


Edinburgh Festival Theatre. 25 Apr: Tramway. Glasgmv. ;:‘»—-l May

Scots choreographers work together