JOY OF THE WORM/
I LICKED A SLAG’S DEODORANT
The Arches, Glasgow, Wed Oct 23-Sat 2 Nov
The Swedish translation of the title of Jim Cartwright’s play is surprisingly literate, Andy Arnold assures me. I’m not sure if the implications of the words translate as easily, though if they do it’d be a triumph of cross-cultural inter- referencing.
The reason for the translation is that Arnold and company traversed the North Sea from their base at the Arches in Glasgow to perform Slag’s Deodorant along with a new play, Joy of the Worm at a theatre in Stockholm before the double bill arrives in Glasgow. ‘We’ve done Slag ’s Deodorant before,’ Arnold says, “with great success. From the Arches it went to the Fringe, and then by invitation to Ireland, so it was a play we knew we could do successfully.’
Set, as you would imagine of anything by Cartwright, in a northern England bedsit, the play is a dark but witty story of human relationships. ‘lt’s a play that
Citizens’ Theatre, Glasgow, Thu Oct 24—Sat 16 Oct
Isn’t rt rnterestrng that although we frequently depose pofrtrcrans for sexual attarrs — reasons connected to therr socral irves — we rarely depose them for startrng v-rars’? T'nrs dryrsron betsreen polrtrcal and pmate lrves rs at the heart of Jean Racrne's‘ lesser-known tragedy. tocuSrng on the struggles over the aftarrs of state by Roman emperor Nero. hrs mother Agrrpprna and rrghtfuI-herr to the Roman throne. Brrtannrcus. 'Potrtrcs of the state cannot be yrewed ;n terrrrs of our own everyday polrtrcs.' says Aleksandar Mrkrc. who plays the honourable ex-soider Brrtannrcus rn Phrlrp Prowse's productron for the Crtx. ‘Too often we Judge polrtrcrans by our own standards. and not by those that apply to polrtrcrans. There are substantrat drfterences between the decrsrons vrre‘d
make for the state and for ourselws.’
speaks to a young audience,’ Arnold adds.
To complete the repertory-style pairing is a new play by Skye Lonergan, and Pauline Goldsmith, whose Bright Colours Only attracted much critical attention at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe. Set in a subterranean institution where characters have little hope of their dreams being realised, the characters clash in their attempts to discover a way out from their locale. Like Cartwright’s, the play takes a darkly comic look at people’s behaviour. Playing some nights in rep, and some nights as a double-bill, Arnold believes the two texts complement each other well. ‘Both plays are driven by the
Woman a la commode
presence of live music, provided by a DJ and a cellist. The playwrights provide the words, DJ Twitch (Optimo) provides the beats.’
It seems like a heady combination of words, sounds, light, darkness, text and music, a multimedia-style production fusing many elements from different art forms in a single coherent production. The theme of darkness seems all-pervasive, from Cartwright’s dark, almost existential take on life, to the subterranean atmosphere of Joy of the Worm, to the implied heaving blackness of the DJ’s club. With so much darkness all around, the result can only be enlightening. (Gareth Davies)
Nasty Nero. underhand. double-cm ssrng and treacherous. rs
played here by Paul Albertson. whrle hrs mother. an equally
The Tron, Glasgow, Thu 17-Sat 26 Oct
Bafta~a‘.v'»/ard ‘c/rnnrng wrrter' lee Hall rs grtted rn the art of
unpleasant person. havrng dabbled rn rrrurder and rncest among other pursurts. rs played by exfastEnr/er Ann Mrtchell. Rome rs caught amad a struggle tor power. and as rn all the best tragedres. yrce and yrrtue are thrown together :n a fatal race for ‘x:ctor3,r.
‘lt's a short. rntense and very srgnrtrcant show] tvlrkrc says. How approprrate that It corrres on the back of roxelatrons about exPM John Major and hrs relatronshrp wrth Edwrna Currre. Therr torrrd and mutually conservatrve aftarr was termrnated. Currre clarms. because she didn't Wrsh to rrrrpede Maror's ascensron to number 10. Strll. no one does tragedy gurte lrke the Romans. (Gareth Dayresr
Kitchen sink classics
pullrng at the heartstr'rngs. Just as crnerrra audrences rrnrnedrately embraced hrs most successful character to date ~ asprrrrrg ballet dancer Brlly Fltrot theatre goers are set to be emotionally struck by Spoonface Sternberg. an early work whrch orrgrnally appeared as a radro play
A rrrrre year-old autrstrc grrl suffer'rng from cancer. Spoonface srnrles at death and. as her parents tall apart Wrth gr'ref she captryates those around her wrth her funny and acceptrng outlook on lrfe and rts tr'ansrtory nature. Publrc performance of her touchrng story h; s so far been Irrnrted to a stagrng at last year's [4drnburgh f r'rnge l estryal but that rssue's to be addressed thrs rrronth by Nomad Theatre's restagrng of that productron rn the show's professronal prernrere at the Iron.
So moved by Spoonface's story that he cr'red the lrrst time he read the scr'rpt through. Nomad's artrstrc drrector Mark Westbrook corrrrrrerrts on the show: 'l rte and death are urrrversal and so I don't thrnk there's anyone who \.~.'r|l be alrenated by the toprc of thrs playf
l"rndrng the r‘rght actor to realrse the role of Spoonface was pararrrount rn Westbr'ook's rrrrrrd and almost .' s soon he saw HSAMI) tr'arned actress Krr'sten Mcl ean he knew he found someone mature enough to handle the subtletres ot the character and young enough to be conyrncrng rn the role of a young chrld. 'Krrsten understands that she doesn't need to pretend to be a clrrid. she rust needs to be srncere aborrt her performance whrclrf he (:rucralh adds “she undoubtedly rs.' ((Jatherrne Brornleyr
.JA<:<‘>sr-_AN rnAer-‘ov THE DUCHESS
OF MALFI Dundee Rep, until Sat
26 Oct 0...
How bold of Dundee Rep to programme this most gory of Jacobean tr'agedres to open rts season ~.v-.«here rts rryals rn other crtres rush to the safest famriy t; yourrtes. It's not srmply that John Webster's gruesome drama tots up more than a half-do/en murders strarrgtrng. porsonrng stabbrng, the lot — rt's that rt sets such a tone of moral arnbrgurty that rt rs truly r)syctrologrcally drstur'brng.
Certarnly as rt rs here. alrye wrth theatr'rcal detarl. rn [)omrnrc l’lrll's superb productron wrth the resrdent enserrrble company. the plar, rs a yrsron of a socretj, sprratlrng rnto a ruthlessly Iogrcal ethrcal abyss. By. tempering \."\’ebster's melodramatrc excesses =3.th a spare and hauntrng set. all shadox‘xs. curtarns and splashes of -.'.'ater rdesrgn Tom Prper. Irghtrng Br‘rr'ro POUi‘ and performances of helpless corwrctron. the company creates sornethrng with the gore of tarantrno and the drscomtor't of Daxrd L‘y'int.
(Ientra rs a storca' Irene Macdcugail as the u'xrdox'xed ductiess who defres he." corrupt and authorrtar'ran br‘otners n1. marryrng and grang brrt'r‘. rn secret ~ onlx, to suffer a realot.s math t'r‘at verges on the rncestuous. She rs noble and vulnerable. rndependent and trapped. a tragrc martyr rn the face of tyranny. and the hrghlrght of an uncommonly mature productron. Mark l rsne'.
Slaughter off a Duchess’ back