NEW l’l AY


Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh until Sun 14 Apr 000

A Lament for things lost

Suspect Culture is sometimes a little like those stout old Tories in tweed from the shires that you used to see at village fétes. With such people, it was OK to allude to world events but somehow impolite, even vulgar, to talk about politics as such.

Early on in this piece, developed jointly with the actors by David Greig, Nick Powell, lan Scott and

i’leSICAi THE KING AND I Edinburgh Playhouse,

Fri 19 Apr-Sat 18 May

Generally speaking. old adages are there to he ignored. And so. haying shared the small screen ‘.'.'lill loyeahle ri‘utt Freeway in 80s shoy'; Ha"? To Hart. Stet; nie Powers is aoout to take th 2 stage ‘.'.'|Ill a hunch of k;:ls Ell Rodgers & Hammerster:i's foe King I. So "itich for not '.'.or‘ unith

ci‘z area and arir'iials

then. Although as

Po'.'.<:-"s says of rie" young charges: 'They 're adorable: I

‘.'.'arit to steal a couple of them"

Stealing chldren’? Sounds like a case for millionaire strper‘sleuths Jonat'ian and Jennifer Hart. As one half ot the glamorous detectrne couple. Pozners had the most coxetahle ha:":lo ()l‘ telexrsion. No matter how rough the

Graham Eatough (who also performs), a character comments that he’s aware of the injustices of the world but feels powerless to do anything about it. Are we really so disempowered? Perhaps the white, urban liberal middle classes that this piece was plainly written for would wish to think so, for like the Russian aristocracy of Chekhov’s era (no wonder we’re seeing so much of him lately) they can display knowledge about their world, but are ultimately unwilling to act, and will therefore be overtaken by events.

The piece opens with the actors’ reflections of their lives and regrets on video, interweaving commentaries about clothes, politics and favourite songs of lament, before moving into live action. Here we move from an obscure mountain province, where the natives are baffled and not a little dischuffed by a visit from the Body Shop lady to attain the secret of their longevity, to the metropolitan elite who practice the recommended diet from said region. This lot are presented as a


Powers’ play

kind of parody of Friends, and from here we move on to a myriad of other lives, encompassing the recurrent theme of the title. Loss of short term memory seems to be part of the problem, with actors losing (quite deliberately) words from their dialogue and touching their foreheads in despair at the loss, like overindulged hash-heads or folk afflicted with premature Alzheimer’s disease.

It’s all very Suspect Culture, with the usual recurrent use of props and keywords to propel us through an elliptical narrative full of atomised individuals. But at this stage of its development, there isn’t quite as much coherence as there might be. The feeling of ongoing process in this company’s work tends to short change its early audiences, for at this stage there’s still a better show trying to get out of a piece that needs tightening up. All the same, the performances are strong, with Louise Ludgate, Callum Cuthbertson and Eatough himself turning in some nice set pieces. A good, but still unfinished, night out. (Steve Cramer)

A WOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE King's Theatre, Edinburgh, Mon 22—Sat 27 Apr

’Sometimes you do iohs to make riioney. and they're ot a lesser guality than. say. ‘.'v.’hat am doing at the moment.~ says Oliver ’lohias. You can't help hut speculate that he might referring to his roles opposite Joan Collins in the [Us slea/e and disco epics. li‘e Stud and fire Bite/7. If so. he doesn't say. hut yarhateyer his \.l(}‘.'.'§3 on past \.'.'ork. there's little doulitrng the gualrty ot hrs current script.

Under the direction of Uljiill lyloshrnsky. the cast performs what is regarded as Oscar \‘y'iéde's darkest comedy. one that highlights the l)l'(?jll(l'(3t} arithn the class system. the settritg is Lady Hunstanton's grand C(itl'lif'ySlUU manor. ‘.-.rhere the y'reekend guests display both hypocrisy and sayagely selt centred instincts. 'lt reaches y'eiy deep into pieiudrces. into the arrogance of the c ass s stem] says lohias, resisting that the audience's reactions to this deeply

S3élllt'Etléll rand purportedly ye", (EllIOfttllYlllt’y) production haye

illustrated hoy': these prejudices are stril y'ery pre\.'alent in modern day society.

In this particular production 'l‘ohras ‘.'."|H appear opposite another star of tilm and teleyision. Kate O'Mar‘a. lt ;)l'()ll‘:lt3(?t§ to he one to rememher. '.'.'rth costumes and set sumptuoust comi)lementing \"y’ilde's style. But how does

"roe. sl‘e r‘e'na 'ieo immaculate. Max the hutler and l-rei-u'xay an actor play such famousty tight dialogue"? 'lt's al‘.'.‘ays

the dog: may l‘ét‘.(2‘ '.'.’()l’ our hearts. out Stef's luscious locks

Eii".(l (JOKE; -.'.()l‘ ()lll' {Mllllll'élilOll

Desprte Deng krio.'.n prim, riiy for her oil-screen smooc'wirgs t“- Hoher‘. \‘Jagner'. l-)o'.'.r'ers' theatre ‘.'.'ork ;r-:: Et'ltl post dates her TV and film outings. ".‘Jheril

actress. 'l".-:3 (red to <:(>r‘tr"u<;- ‘.'.'orkii‘g

I‘t,1.141”).lHdJZ'l!(li..<l.f>l}(}lfii‘ .t:l.

{1"‘(1 / is fa" iiio'e

Yul l-Er‘,.'"it:" Hi It»:

<;oi‘:i'.'."‘i'.rrg (trio. l’o.'.'~:;-rs is "‘ore tlian

airs... '.<:' ’..‘(: as A! 'ia l (,~.,"(,..-_:llf). 'lc'(.

i,"i.;i,-ge t", he aple to do 't. she sags.

.'."‘~c. l hoot,- 'prr'g about a :l-f:ll‘.£l."(l tor these sorts

Lieces. not i. t" ' "‘e‘, 'r: retro hut hecaust: this

l was if) .t.-arsr-old ‘.'.'orke<i '.'.';th Jerome Rophrris ill l'./es.' .- 84/}. so that's how I started out.' cx

'n the theatre oy'er IONSSISI-ZEl‘l. hut it's aways tic-en incci‘ a par". of my iife.'

A‘.":..rg" original; a stage sl‘<;‘.'.'. hke Powers lire K rig :a'n riai -n its celruioid town.

We "ole. lire true story of a 19th cer‘ti.r'y tt‘giisli gou'eri‘ess .‘gho trayels To Siam to teach the King's TI."|'(l"€;-l‘~. the inst: (:a' has long peen <:or‘s:<ler‘e<l the Je‘.'.'el in Rodgers 8; lla'r‘ri‘erstern's (Il()‘.'.'l‘;. A ixige last it the

gt ’rttle c-"t'iiusiastic

ra lar;.rlous piece of irk and it's a pleasure and its exoosr'ig

Rodgers (“3. llairiiire'sterri ‘.:; t"t,- '.'.vo"ld ii the l>est ix ssihle

danger‘ous.' lohias says. 'lt's like tight rope ‘.'.'alking really.

You can't really' i'nproy'ise. you’y'e got to l‘ang in. and :t you

-Vicki Shenkin.

ptaiiis the

'.'.*tl‘ an austere

W”: ff .'."'rtir‘<i s .riiiuz'a‘eeri '.<;da.. Ke. Antes:

70 THE LIST ' '

make oi‘e tiny mistake. 't sort ot knocks your confidence." lhen he laughs ‘.'.'l’.’l the confidence of Wilde himself.

Full throttle theatre

PllYSlCAl llll Alltl BRAVE

Old Fruitmarket Gallery, Glasgow, until Thu 11 Apr 0...

Gerry Mulgrew's Communicado Sounds ()l Progress co— production comhines strong narrative and epic spectacle wrth intelligence and vrgour. Making imaginative use ot the warehouse space of the Old l ruitmarket. lvlulgrew presents us With an exhibition. dealing as much wrth how we have perceived native Americans as their actuality. hetore leading us into the main space where the company tells the tale oi the persecution and more than decimation of the Cherokee nation from the 1830s to MEX). Most of the story deals ‘.'.’ll.ll the earlier period. \.'~.rhen the Cherokee were led hy' a halt caste man of Scots origin. John Ross. who lead his people on 'the trail of tears. the ()‘.’l(1ll()ll ot his people from their land to distant. less arahle


How dunnit

Metaphors of ac<:i.n‘ulation. mainly oi shoes and o‘ hooks recreate the purld up of' oppression. as the relentless tieriiands of protrt-drryer‘. mode-"iity pa'iish a5! ethical and oral cla'nis o" these tok to their land. A good cast sets off the symholic reso'iaitces tli spie'idrd tiliysica t)(?ll()'l'ltl.".tit?t§. 1'" re. ‘.'.’ate' and a' all usea .ts Zoos ll‘ the creatioi‘ of a pou'xertrrl anti riatu'a 'st: ;l|i.srori.

It the skin. :l'ooits gist a little .n the centre. caught .iii rt a loi‘ghar‘a approach to the lega‘rt'es ot' the Cherokees o". you'll r‘ot .";)li(?t‘r too i' Youye got ar‘e l'lt‘u'i" ": ii": to see .t. (in an. lie (“aye