Alec Guinness, the Unknown: A Life (Sidgwick & Jackson £16.99) 000


Alec Guinness was the greatest character actor of all, with an ability to transform himself for every part. But despite him writing three autobiographies, he remained an enigma off stage and screen. Little was known of his private life apart from his devoted wife of 50 years, his son and his


Guinness exposed all in his performances, but he never played romantic or sexual. Did any leading actor cross- dress so much? Why was he so extraordinarily sensitive at playing the outsider? Spies, Obsessives and criminals were his specialities. Then last year Sheridan Morley, in his

authorised biography of John Gielgud, outed Guinness.

Gielgud had been caught cottaging, in the 50s; so too, Morley revealed, had Alec Guinness, in the 405.

Now RSC director Garry O’Connor has published Alec Guinness, the Unknown: A Life which attempts to shed light on the star’s homosexuality. Guinness was the illegitimate son of a Scottish banker. His mother was alcoholic and possibly a prostitute. His quest for respectability and utter control all stem from the terror of his mother. Guinness attempted that gay schizophrenic balancing act: not to stand out from the crowd, but to excel at what he did. He was like other bisexual actors of that period, such as Michael Redgrave and Denholm Elliot, who found respectability with a devoted wife, while continuing to have inappropriate lusts for younger men,

Glasgow Thursdays


8 Women (ll-'1‘. 12 Rose Street. 332 8128’. Thti l21)ec. 1.15. 3.45. 6.15 & 8.40pm. £4.90 (£3501. l-‘rench gay wttnderkind l-‘raneois ()zon directs a da/lling cast ol great (iallic actresses iii this catnp murder-mystery musical.


Bennet’s 9(1 (ilasslord Street. 552 5761. Thu 26 Dec. 1 1pm 3.30am. £thc. £1.50 for all drinks. all night at this Boxing Day speckd.

Booty Mercury Lounge. 142 Bath Lane. 248 1777. l lptn 3am. £5. Weekly (not Thu 26 1)ec1. (itiest 1)]s through the lestiye period with Spider and Blondellash manning the decks on Thti 12 Dec and Jo Liy‘ely ((‘arwash. London1 doing the honours on Thu 19 Dec.

Luvely Mercury Lounge. 142 Bath Lane. 248 1777. Thu 26 Dec. 1 lpni 3am. £10 (£81. The lidinhtirgh institution takes a jaunt to the west coast to show (ilasgow how it‘s done.


Giggle Mercury Lounge. 142 Bath Lane. 248 1777.8 llpitt. £4. Weekly. Alan Anderson comperes with Jo linriglil. Peter 'l‘ennand and l)es ('larke on Thu 12 Dec and Mandy Mtidtliti the musical titagician. supported by Sandy .\'e1son and a special Yuletide gtiest on Thu 19 Dec.

Glasgow Fridays


Escape the Office Party Rcyoly'cl'. 6a John Street. 553 2456. Fri 20 Dec. 8.30pm 1am. liree. Avoid the scourge ol the ('hristmas season with classic ltiiik and disco with 1)] Mrs Magoo.


Salo ('(‘x\. 350 Satichiehall Street. 352 4900. Fri 27 Mon 30 Dec. 6.30pm (1"i‘i1: 9pm (Sat1; 3.30pm (Sam 8; 8.30pm (Mon1. £3.50 £4 (£2 £2501. The last lilm ol ltaly‘s most inlamous gay director l’asolini which was harmed lor 25 years.


Thank God Mercury Lounge. 142 Bath Lane. 248 1777. 8pm 3am. lirce hclore

1 1pm; £5 alter. Weekly. lind ol the week sounds lrom 1)] lltishptippy and drag pcrlormances proy ide the entertainment

downstairs on Thu 13 8: 20 Dec. while (This Beans (ieddes and performers Pashina and Lupo take over the lounge on Thu 27. 1)] Jon Pleased continues his weekly residency upstairs except Hi 20 Dec when Newton and Stone (Luycly 1 take the reins.

Death Disco The Arches. 25.3 Argyle Street. 0901 022 (1300. 1-‘ri 13 Dec.

11pm 4am. £12 (£101. Monthly. Rolling residents the l-‘reelance llellraiscr. 1)] Mingo-(io and Drum X (Bisi are joined by the (iallic cool ol litietme de (‘recy and Jacques Lti ('ont lor a night ol trans-euro excess at this gay lriendly disco.

Burly The Big Joint. South Street. 954 6999. l-‘ri 201)ec. 10pm 4am. £8. Monthly. The new men-only club with a rtihher/unilorm/leather/indtistrial dress code holds its (‘hristmas charity eyent iii aid ol S1.(iS.

Glasgow Saturdays

Cinema 5an Hi 27 Mon 301)ec. See l‘ri.


Lifebuoy Mercury Lounge. 142 Bath Lane. 248 1777. 8pm 3am. l‘ree hclore

1 1pm; £8 alter. Weekly. l'pstairs Jon Pleased continues his residency while drag acts and music proy'ide the hut downstairs.

Glasgow Sundays


A Christmas Gift for You RC\(11\CI'. 6a John Street. 55.3 2456. Sun 29 Dec.

5 8.30pm. Free. Cocktails. nihhles atid 1)] lltishptippy with a bag ltill ol cool Ytile tunes.

Cinema Salo l-‘ri 27 Mon 30 Dec. See 1‘ri.


Life’s a Drag Mercury Lounge. 142 Bath Lane. 248 1777. 8pm -1am. l-‘ree. Weekly. A night ol music lrotn 1)] (‘olin 1)ayey plus regular drag perlormances hosted by Madame (iillespie.

Glasgow Mondays


Top of the Flops Sadie l-‘rosts. 8 1(1 West (ieorge Street. 332 8005. Mon 23 Dec. 8pm. lirec. Pantomime tun courtesy ol Satlie’s stall.

sometimes co-stars.

Connor's biography is readable, conscientious but unfortunately not dynamic. It deals with Guinness’ psychology, but fails to capture the sheer joy of his glorious performances. For that go to the GFT and see three of his greatest movies. Was any criminal so creepy and pathetic as Guinness in Alexander Mackendrick’s macabre The Ladykillers? And relish his show-off turn as all eight members of the D’Ascoyne family in Kind Hearts and Coronets. Guinness worked with director David Lean six times and it was an uncomfortable relationship. But marvel at what they achieved in Lawrence Of Arabia, a blockbuster that can only be appreciated on the big screen. (John Binnie)

Bennet’s 9(1(ilass1‘ord Street. 552 5761. Stm 29 Dec. 1 lpiti 3.30am. £thc. 1‘resh lrom passing on his sequin expertise on ('ltaniiel 4's l-irkiiie ll. l)a\c Lynn brings his drag act to (ilasgow.

Cinema Salo l’ri 27 Mon 311 Dec. See l‘ri.

Glasgow Tuesdays


Revolvers’ Top 100 Rcyoly er. 6a John Street. 55.3 2456. Tue 24 Dec. 8pm 1am. l’rce. With thousands ol' tunes on its jukehos. its layotirite 100 song rundown should he a treat.

Xmas Eve Frolics Sadie lii‘osts, 8 ((1 \Vc‘sl (ieorge Street. 5.32 (SOUS. 'lillc 24 Dec. 8pm. l'rce. (icorgie Boy is the host lot a lestiyc eyening.

Hogmanay Rcytilycr. 6a John Street. 553 2456. Tue 31 Dec. 8pm latti. 1‘rec. You're ady iscd to arriye early lor what it promises to he the party (11' the year.


Campus Mcrcury Lounge. 142 Bath Lane. 248 1777. Tue 17 Dec. 8pm 3am. £3 hclore 1 1pm: £4 alter. Student night in the coitipatiy ol Barbara La Btisli which pi‘oittiscs games atid laughter. 1)] Michelle sets the tone upstairs.

Chrismas Eve Party Mercury Lounge. 142 Bath Lane. 248 1777. Tue 24 Dec. 8pm. £thc. ()ur newest gay yenuc throws its lirst ('hristmas party.

Bennet’s 9(1(ilass('ord Street. 552 5761. Tue 24 Dec. 1 lpni 3.30am. £thc. Annual Xmas liye party night.

The Bennet’s Big One Betiiiet’s. 9(1 (ilttssltll‘tl Street. 552 5761. llillc .31 Dec. 9pm 3.30am. £thc. Bennet's biggest night ol the year and likely to he \cry busy .so get along early and it you're one ol the lust 101) your lii'st drink is lrec.

Shiny Disco Balls Mercury Lounge. 142 Bath Lane. 248 1777.’1'tic 31 Dec. 8pm. £thc. ('amp masked hall to w ay e oll 2002. w itlt a \ampislt dress code ol masks/leathcrs/diamoiids.

Glasgow Wednesdays


Merry Christmas Rcyolycl‘. 6a John Street. 55.3 2456. Wed 25 Dec. liroin 3pm. l‘t'ee. Wear that hideous wooly jumper atid enjoy the (‘hristmas l)ay lestiyitics. Xmas Party Siltllc l’il't)\l\, 3 l(l\\cs1

(icorge Street. .532 800.5. \Vctl 25 Dec. 8pm. lirce. (‘hristmas lun 111 the company ol (ieorgie Boy.

Revolver 6a John Street. 553 2456. Wed 1 Jan. From 3pm. l-‘rec. The New Year celebrations contintte.


Biva Mercury Lounge. 142 Bath Lane. 248 1777. Wed 18 Dec. 8pm-3am. 1"ree hclore 1 1pm; £4 alter. Michelle 1)]s lor this women’s night.

Bennet’s 9(1(}lassi'oid Street. 552 5761. Wed 25 Dec. 1 lpnt 3.30am. £thc. Special drinks promos aplenty at this Xmas night party.

New Year’s Night Party Bentict's. 9(1 (ilttssl‘ord Street. .552 5761. Wed 1 Jail.

1 1pm 3.30am. £thc. Those not all partied out can continue toasting the New Year with a party at Bennet's.

New Year’s Day Party Mercury Lounge. 142 Bath Lane. 248 1777. Wed 1 Jan. 8pm. £thc. The lirst party night (11 2003 takes oil in the Mercury Lounge.

Edinburgh Thursdays


Boxing Night Karaoke Sadie 1~‘t-osts. 8 1(1Wesl (ieorge Street. 332 8005. Thu 26 Dec. 8pm. Free. Sing sotig lun with litnma.

. Edinburgh Fridays


AKA liilmliouse. 88 Lothian Road. 228 2688. l‘ri 13 Stiii 15 Dec. 5.45pm (Sat): 3 tk 8.15pm (l‘ri & Stm1. £3.50 £5.50

(£2 £41. Split-screen British independent about a young gay con-titan sleeping his way through 'l‘hatcherite Britain.

A Taste of Honey l-‘ilmhouse. 88 Lothian Road. 228 2688. Hi 13 Mon 16 Dec. 6.15pm (1-‘ri1'. 3.30pm (Sat ts Monl: 8.45pm (Stm1. £3.50 £5.50 (£2 £41. Murray Melyin is the gay hest lriend to pregnant Rita 'l‘ushingliam in this dclightltil. northern. 1950s slice ol lile. L.I.E. l‘ilnthouse. 88 Lothian Road. 228 2688. 1’ri 20 Ttic 24 Dec. 3.30 tk 6.15pm. £3.50 £5.50 t£2 £4). Moy ie charting the lriendship between an American teenage boy and a local paedophile. played by Brian ('ox.


Velvet ligo. 14 Picardy Place. 478 7434. Hi 27 Dec. 11pm 5am. £6 (£51. Monthly. The new night lor gay girls and their specially iny ited hoy lriends has a special ('hristtiias late opening with music proyidcd 11y resident 1)] Michelle.

Edinburgh Saturdays


AKA Hi 13 Stiti 15 Dec. Sce l-‘ri.

A Taste of Honey Hi 13 Mon 16 Dec. Sec l‘ri.

L.I.E. Hi 20 Tue 24 Dec. See 1"ri. Some Like it Hot l’ilitihousc. 88 Lothian Road. 228 2688. Sat 21. Tue 24 & Stiit 29 Dec. 5.45pmtSat1; 7.15pm (Tue1: 3pm (Stin1. £3.50 £5.50 (£2 £41. Jack Lemmon e\periences the joy s (11 being a girl. iii Billy Wilder's crossdrcssitig lllttslc‘l'plccc.


Blast (.101) \lc‘l'ctttlo. .36 3‘) Market Street. 226 4224. Sat 21 Dec. 1 lptti 3am. £10 (£81. l‘ortnightly. (iay lriendly night with residents lluggy and Markcll.

Eye Candy (’ltih Mercado. 36 39 Market Street. 2264224. Sat 21 Dec.

11pm 3am. £10 (£81: £6 iii lattcy dress. l‘ortniglitly. Residents (iraeiiic Popstar. .\'e_iat Barton atid .\'cil (‘rookston host their inlamous. glam house party.

Men Only ('lareitionl. 133 135 Last ('lttt'clilolll Street. 5.56 .5662. Sat 21 Dec. 8pm. l-‘rce. Fortnightly. MS(' and the Bears organise the night with a dress code as wild as you like.

Jo" .r’t‘t‘ni THE LIST 81

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