CLASSlC THE TEMPEST King's Theatre, Edinburgh, Tue 15—Sat 19 Oct
Something in my conversation with Patrick Mason, the former director of the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, explains the paradox of the play to folk of my age. You can love the magic and mystery of Shakespeare’s last play when you’re young and also when you’re old, but to the thirtysomething generation in between it’s a little harder to engage with. Why? Because there isn’t much in it for thirtysomethings. A play that speaks with great eloquence of the end of adulthood and its beginnings might have less to say to those in between.
But maybe this is dogmatic. After all, when you actually see the kind of production this promises to be, it’ll be hard not to be seduced into recollections of youth, or contemplations of the decisions that lie
ahead. In other words, you don’t have to be an aged prince, unseated by his own brother and skilled in the arts of magic, or his young daughter, just over adolescence and looking, bright-eyed, for experience to enjoy this piece. Particularly when the much-loved Richard Briers play the former.
His express desire to play Prospero has been realised in this production. That Patrick Mason
should be directing puts the icing on the cake. Mason is fulsome in his praise of Briers. ‘He’s an
absolute delight in rehearsals, and a superb actor. But more importantly, he has great humanity. This is crucial because he shows both sides of this father figure, the authoritarianism, brutality and snappishness of the man, but also the hurt, anguish and regret life has brought him. This is a play, after all, about what it is to be human.’
But the sense of time passing and new
THE DUCHESS OF MALFI
Dundee Rep, Sat 5—Sat 26 Oct
Moonlight becomes her
So our government wants to go to war, regardless of what you think? You susn :ct them of ruthiess yenality rather than any princped positon? Well. don't think you're tii‘toue. ThrOughout h:ston.. there naye been times where self-semng and violent corruptlon ruled. and where Ordinary folk unveren't given a say. This is perhaps why Jacobean theatre has had such a revival in recent years. The word of deceit and oppression portrayed among the ralers of this society is exemplified by John Vilebster's traget >f blood.
At Dundee Rep. I’llS story of the intenxention by brothers ;n the second marriage of their
66 THE LIST Ii» ".’)’.'..'/",’.2
‘.'.'l(l()".'."CCl sister. which ends :n a tremendous bloot‘lbath. partiaily ‘or the presen'ation of their positions as rulers o‘ the state. and partially to sate incestuOLis desire. looks like touching Our world afresh. All the toyzng with dead bodies. people driven to insanity and exen one chap turning .nto a ‘.'.'ei‘e‘.'.'o|f are gothic icing on a cake of a web, contemporary flavour.
Irene lvlacd0ugal.. one of Scotlahc 's most respected and versati‘e actors plays the lead. and sees the problen‘ of exzsting l" a society where deception and dup‘icity rue as one of recognisrng your identity. 'As the play goes on. she's stripped of everything that makes her the Duchess of Malfi,' she says. 'She beco'i‘es that box of worm. seed. the creature that's going to die. But that as well is abOut finding yOur own identity under all the trappings'
Eyen Bosola. the ant-hero of the p'ay. hired by the Duchess's aristocratic brothers to disrupt her marriage to a low-born 'nah loses his sense of self. 'He can't CO'l‘O to her except in disguise.'. she says. ‘He has a contract to fulfil. but he can't he himself as he does it.’
Perhaps l.": a corrupt society disguse is all we have left. Ho‘s: many lClOlllliiCS do you have to adopt to get through the day? Come along and see yourseif. ISteye Crameri
beginnings that we might expect from the aged Shakespeare’s theatrical swan song has also been interpreted, through the figure of Caliban a native of Prospero’s island dwelling, as an essay on colonialism and its oppressions. Mason, though, has chosen to go down another road of interpretation. ‘You can see Caliban as a kind of dysfunctional adolescent, who has a strange
The not-so-good life: Richard Briers ages and ails as Prospero
inhuman nature. The crucial thing about him is that he’s been abandoned, then adopted, then abandoned again. So he’s got some problems interacting with the other people on the island.’
Seen this way, the play becomes a metaphor for how we learn to live with people around us. Surely even us in-between ages have something to learn from that. (Steve Cramer)
FLAMENCC DANCE JOAQUIN CORTES ‘LIVE!’ Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Tue 8 Oct; then touring
As Scotland l>.<'s 'ola' to the long-haired lovely from Espanol. look at how JOEiCltlll‘ Cortes :s the very embodiment of flamenco . . .
F is. of course, ‘or flah‘enco. the dance style ‘.'.’lllCl‘i Cortes has single-handedly dragged onto the ‘.'/()HCl stage. A dedicated dance pupil since the age of 12. Cortes Joined the Spanish National Ballet three years later. But. after touring the ‘.'./crld .n t'g'its. (llSCO‘JCl’OU the tight black trousers of flamenco were a far more comfortable ﬁt.
L ;s for La Flor de mi Secreto. the Pedro Ain‘oooixar fllll‘ \.-./hich_ in t996. gave Cortes h:s acting de‘>ut. Admttedly the roles haven't exactly flooded ll‘. since. but he's been busy taking flamenco to the masses.
A is t'or At‘ll‘t'i'l’. the ll‘Eil‘ p-xho designs all of Cortes stage costumes and x-rho. according to Joaguin, is soh‘ething of a kzndred spirit.
M is for Michael Flatley. to whon‘. COFlCS constantly compared. Both have taken their national dance to the n‘asses: both have an incorrigible penchant for thrustirg their naked sa'xeatinr torsos at the ladies: and both think they're God's gift although in Cortes' case we might be in agreement.
E is for En‘n‘a Thon‘pson. '.-./ho fell to her knees unre're-not-‘.'.'orthy style after seeing Cortes perform Mira Somno. Jennifer Lope/ and Sting are also pig fai‘s.
N is for Naomi Can‘pbell. who stepped out with Cortes back in 1997. He speaks no English. she speaks no Spanish and thus. .insurprisiiigiy. their “very physical' relationship soon ‘i77led out.
C is for Cordo >a. Cortes' Spanish l'i<>ii‘.etoi.'./i‘.. where in 1969 he was born into a gypsy family who put fire in his blood but few riches at his table. inspiring the young lad to get out there and make his millions.
O is for Oscars. In 1999. Cortes perforn‘ed at the 71st Annuai Acade'i‘y Awards in LA. Unfortunately his role as Sexy Man with Ponytail failed to secure lllll‘ a coveted gong. IKeily Apterr
You must be Joaquin