lain MacKay recovering from his Y-front trauma
Glasgow’s IAIN MACKAY is the star of the Birmingham Royal Ballet’s stunning Carmina Burana. He owes it all to his big brother and a pair of white pants. Words: Kelly Apter
tanding alone on a stage in front of 3()()()
people dressed only in your underpants may
sound like a nightmare. but for lain .Vlackay it‘s a dream come true. At the tender age of 21. the young Glaswegian has landed himself one hell of a plum role in one hell of a show: and it‘s all thanks to his older brother's reticence.
[n 1988. Rory Mackay fancied his chances at the local dance school. but finding himself the lone boy in a class of 20 girls. his enthusiasm waned. Asked by the teacher whether they‘d see him again the following week. Rory turned to his young sibling and stated: ‘()nly if you come too.‘
Fourteen years later. big bro treads the hoards with English National Ballet and Iain is rising like a bullet through the ranks of Birmingham Royal Ballet. Although had he known about the aforernentioned underpants. Mackay junior may not haye concurred quite so quickly . . .
The pants in question feature in David Bintley“s stunning production of Carmina Burana. and while being the skimpiest. they‘re by no means the strangest costume on stage. Loutish yobs dressed in gaudy Hawaiian shirts. oyersized gluttons chomping on a feathery ballerina.
pregnant ladies huffing and pulling. and all manner of
fake genitalia on display: choreographer Bintley and designer Philip Prowse (of Citizens' Theatre fame) had no shortage of ideas when creating ('(ii'miiiu in NOS.
Set to a collection of l3th century poems written by residents of at Munich monastery. (‘arl ()rff's musical masterpiece is known to most as ‘lhe Old Spice tune‘. Bintley and l’rowse have changed all
60 THE LIST 7‘; .J..n .1 Jr; 20:1?
Images of blood- streaked crucifixes, stiletto heels and Reservoir Dogs-style priests will fill your mind
that. At the end of this 70min spectacle. you‘ll have images of blood-streaked crucifixes. stiletto heels and Reservoir Dogs-slle priests filling your mind upon hearing the work. rather than muscle-bound surfers.
The tale of three seminarians who become disillusioned with their faith. rip off their dog collars and go in search of loye. booze and sex respectively. Bintley"s ('urminu is a gift to the young men who perform the lead roles: one of which happens to be Mackay. Stepping out of his suit. piece by piece. the lusty cleric finally sheds his trousers and spends the final 30 minutes stalking the beautiful goddess Fortuna. clad only in his Ys. llaying missed the show in ()5. Mackay settled down to watch a video recording before the start of rehearsals. and got quite a shock.
'I was very excited about the role.” he says. ‘But the first time I watched it. the casting had just gone up saying I was the third seminarian. And I started thinking. maybe I‘m the second seminarian. because that other guy really is wearing just a pair of white pants. Btit apart from the underwear thing. which I‘ve managed to get over. it‘s great and very powerful.’
Despite having joined the company fresh from the Royal Ballet School only three years ago. Mackay has already been awarded a number of principal roles. A recent spell as Romeo was his opportunity to play a romantic hero. but it's as the seedy seminarian that he‘ll return triumphant to Scotland. And the Mackay clan will be out in force to watch. ‘My grandfather. who’s 88. is my biggest fan and he’s coming to watch it in lidinburgh.‘ says Mackay. ‘And he's told all his friends to come along as well. I keep saying to my mum: “Make sure he’s aware that I’m in underpants at the end of it".‘
No doubt granddad’s seen it all before: only this time his young grandson has his talent to keep him warm.
Carmina Burana is at Edinburgh Festival Theatre, Wed 26-Sat 29 Jun.
S 9 pers
Re: treading the boards
IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR again. Yes, if you’re up for indulging in the popular charm of Shakespeare in the open air, you’ve ample opportunity to bring your spouse, main squeeze, or both on separate days to some outdoor entertainment which hope, rather than expectation, dictates will occur in the bright Scottish sunlight. There’s a whole repertory season of Shakespeare in the park available in Glasgow (see listings for details), while Chapterhouse is also back. Among the favourites for Glasgow audiences are Romeo and Juliet, As You Like It, The Tempest and, intriguingly, a Titus Andronicus performed in Kabuki style. English company Chapterhouse, with a long and well-established reputation for this kind of work, will be touring a castle or country house garden not- so-near you (but well worth the drive) with A Midsummer Night's Dream and Twelfth Night. These two crowd- pleasing classics will begin their run with A Midsummer Night’s Dream on Friday 29 June at Finlaystone in Renfrewshire, and will be darting back and forth to Scotland for the rest of the summer.
Chapterhouse’s Midsummer Night’s Dream
CONGRATULATIONS TO Ctyptlc's Cathie Boyd. who recently reached the final of the Rolex Mentor and Protege lntltlatlve. an award deslgned to allow yOLlng artists time With senior members of their profession. In the process she Spent a day in Berlin With acclaimed director Robert Wilson, while no was lll
tec inlcal rehearsal wrth lllS Dr Cal/gall. Hopefully, we'll see even more creatlwty fl‘Oll‘. Cryptic as a result.