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As he launches his 33rd and final season, artistic director GILES HAVERGAL considers all the c-words that have made the Gorbals theatre so very special.
Interview: Mark Fisher
C IS FOR COMEDY
Havergal staged Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest in 1970 and, in a cross-dressed version, in 1977. He is now directing it for a third time.
“I’lzc I))I[)()I'I(ll1('(’ of Being liar/1m! has played a very signiﬁcant part here. It was the last production we did at the end of the lirst year in May. I had wanted to do The Bu/mny [by Jean (ienetl and I was banned by the hoard from doing it. lillen Sheean arrived thinking she was going to play ('hantal in The Bali-(my and found that she was playing (iwendrrlen in The Importance o/‘Bving [fumes] [Sheean is now back playing Lady Bracknell l.
‘lt was designed by Philip Prowse and it looked l'abulous. but it was in no way a conventional production. It gave me the clue that as long as the text was vaguely something the (ilasgow audience knew and trusted. they didn’t mind what you did with it. That gave us the springboard for the Hum/('1. which was done with a gang of 22 year olds.
"l‘he second production of the play was enormous lun. We did the full l'our—act version and we had Jonathan Hyde as a stupendous Lady Bracknell and (ierard Murphy as Miss Prism. It was just a lovely do and it went very well.’
C IS FOR CONTROVERSY
So outraged was The Scotsman’s critic that his review of Hamlet made front page news in 1970; earlier in the same year Artaud’s adaptation of The Cenci also provoked a storm.
"l‘he row about The (rm-1’ wasn‘t about the show at all. We used to lind it irritating that you would be doing an important play and. at the photo call. all the photographers wanted the girls to lean forward ladopts lusty pose].
'So rather naughtily. when we had the photo call for The (hid. the director Robert Walker said to the actors: “I think we should do this run with no costumes." So they did the whole run completely naked.
‘W'ell. of course. the whole press went absolutely wild and I should think that al’ternoon was the basis ol' many darkroom wanks over the next few days. But there was no possibility ol‘ us doing it and the next day they came and the actors had