Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, until Sat 19 Oct,

then touring O...

The discovery of ‘stolen generations’ is quite the theme of recent times. With the imminent release of Philip Noyce’s film Rabbit Proof Fence, which tells, very movingly, the story of three young Aboriginal girls removed from their tribe in pre-war Australia, and the many revelations in the papers about juvenile care homes of the last generation, Homers amounts to a timely rejoinder. All of this might lead to the question of whether home is really what we make it or whether it is something less rationally tangible, but lain F MacLeod’s play is not the heavy fare you might expect.

In it, Alex (Alastair G Bruce) and Mary (Mary Gapinski) are sent from their orphanages in Glasgow to a remote Wee Free island of the 60s, there to reside with foster parents Calum (lain Macrae) and Catherine Ann (Annie Grace) and their son Michael (Alasdair Macrae). It’s a

most unwelcoming place, with harsh and violent discipline imposed upon the two. It

emerges that the pair are Catholic, which dischuffs Calum no end. Appallingly repressive characters such as the local minister and schoolteacher, as well as the Gaelic spoken by the locals, all conspire to leave Alex and Mary

with no one but each other.

Slowly, though, uncertain allegiances emerge: Alex with a sexed-up local wifey with some unusual uses for the local delicacies; and Mary with a gentle former priest (Stephen Docherty), who has abandoned his vocation in favour of a long, weed-smoking sojourn. With

SOCIAl, ORAL/1A FACTORY GIRLS Magnum theatre, Irvine, Thu 17 Oct, then touring. 0000

Just the factories

'We're not women. were factory grris. Arid factor, grits; never grov.’ old. and new" fade away.‘ These are some of the

ll‘-Z.ill‘," profoundly srrrple

staterr‘ents in Frank lvtr;(5.iaiiri<;:;s'

award-mi2rwing play. first staged by the Abbey Tireatre. Dublin. .r‘ 1982. T''i‘;,' years later. [ff/1's production proves that these union‘en are sill garls. they Pager‘VI faded array. and Illt; action. though set in fine ’ate r'Cs. cont/l easily be takirtg place today. Srr‘ce young corwr‘erce graduate Rohan :lJa‘xid lrelarvi took over the sitirt factory. '.l" gt. have steadin begun to come apart at the sea'r‘s. lle r‘ox.’ neer'l‘; 7? ‘;f'""..'. r/r/luce’i e.e', 13 iiti'1utes. reduri'lar‘cy is threatened. arid 37W.- ';ir‘s ‘l’atrvga Poss. Here" I ’;ll.£t/. Sally Rev/i. K51" (jigilil; It! ’2 f 3‘t",' f.” r/‘lllf’ {:“i

area". going to stand 51," I. i"<~ " union rep Bo'iner ilv‘iatt (Josie- o seems tlllfStll't: as to '.'/l";s<; s'ie r‘e's on. so the workers fake "‘afters l." c their owr‘ ".£r'"lf). l" r‘esohxng thew persona; differenc :s. lion'xc-ve". the. risk. ")féi'lt/l f3()’l‘(}Tlt"ltl rr‘ore ("circus Il‘ii'l their at»; the" so ~rfar'f .. [)espite Delft; ":eax'rl, ‘;";.'".(‘. '31:; era; has a health, we}; ":3 o‘ r.fe's grit tr‘r'osxr‘ :ri. too. er‘si.r'.r‘.g t'ra‘. the issues are not gaav‘orised or rendered glossy. Though the cast s strong across '.".(: board. (Sallie and Reid stand out as the oldest and youngest (if fine girls. both in the sairre i,"~:,-<;a"-oiis situatior‘ of being a." ring the first ‘3) go if redundancy is forced. Gallie's perforrr=ance. world-'.rveary but ieeirng slightly superior because of is perhaps strengthened by her having some of the funr‘rest l'iief‘: the old ‘.'.’()ll‘.£ll‘ cursing like a trooper stiil works to good effect. even in today's post-PC (Llfll‘élltl'. Reid's young recruit subtly manages to be r;o."tr2i(li(;tor'ily vulnerable because she's so young. but secure because she doesn't ,ret "ave the burdens the other .'.";r"eri carry. b.’ products of fiber having taxed life for 'onger. flecause of its deliberate politicai £t.'"l)lt}tlll“,’. Factor}: (-ii/‘ls pla‘, to pull off. out 'i'te’fiur (3 Hufiari'ls Hes-oi ms a cautionary arr. ensuring .ve .r>'ierst;iriri that life is rarely si'i ply a matter of ritatcl‘inq ’,’,l.ftl'f5 and cuffs. ff ‘iaretli [Jan/res;


Stephen Docherty cleaves ’em wanting more

Alex sent back to Glasgow and left to the care Hillish as to actually employ his theme tune at of the psychotic butcher, Pig, a reunion of the orphans becomes imperative.

There’s an abundance of meticulous detail in Docherty, who creates a compelling, Philip Howard’s apparently knockabout production, with the surreal wit of the script played with irresistible timing, creating a crafty from hell. emotional payoff at the denouement. Quee MacArthur’s design gets the entrapment of island life down nicely, and the six-person ensemble deal with a vast variety of roles with amid the general gusto applied to each aspect aplomb, as the farcical goings-on get so Benny of this production. (Steve Cramer)

one point. At the centre of it all, there’s some grand performances, particularly from

watchable presence in each of four roles, but particularly as the former priest and butcher

It might be quibbling to remark that the frenzied humour diminishes the final emotional impact, for if it does, it’s hard to be troubled

SCOlllSH PREMIER POSSIBLE WORLDS Tron Theatre, Glasgow, until Sat 26 Oct .00

Perhaps all of us. like TS Eliot's Lady. live in a room full of carefully caught regrets. There was that potential lover you met. but wrong time. wrong place. or the career opportunity you weren‘t sure you were ready for. or even the last Saturday night you eschewed the party or pub in fav0ur of a night at home. This acclaimed play by Canadian dramatist John Mighton examines the world of what might have been or what might have been just plain paranOia on your part.

In a fragmented. but profoundly coherent narrative. we meet George «Stephen Hogani. initially without his brain. which has been removed in a locked-room murder. The original seen-it-all cop Berkeley (Billy Riddochl and his rookie partner Williams (John Kielty) investigate. interrogating an equally recognisable figure in pulp. Penfield (Damien Thomas). a mad scientist involved in neurological research. Whodunnit’? Perhaps Joyce (Rachel Cassidy). a woman wrth whom George has been emotionally involved in several possible former lives. as a career ‘."|.’()lll£tlt with little time for attachments. an emotionally distant scientist wrth hometown attitudes and a lovrng wife. To say more would give too much away.

Adrian Osmond's sensitively developed production on John Bausor's clever revolving set is rich with symbolic resonances. from flashing lights to colours to movements. each connected by possibilities in the narrative. As one symbol »- from a living rat's brain preserved yellow liquid to a glass vase to a quiet beach flows into another, the play exposes. with a kind of glacial beauty, the postmodern dilemma of choices. possibilities and pluralities. A good cast shows a strong awareness of Mighton's intricate text. with a particularly knowing performance from Cassrdy as the woman of infinite possibilities.

But the beauty is rather arid. its intellectual compactness detracting from the emotional power of the well- created characters. with whom it is difficult to empathise. The play is well worth the look. but its intelligence is undermined by its lack of a blood link to its audience. (Steve Cramer)

Mightoned woman

'.7 THELI$T63