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Traverse Theatre. Edinburgh. until Sat 5 Apr 0..

Perhaps it's just contemporary paranoia that makes me think it, but love seems a more complex business now than in former times. It must seem even more so when two brothers. one with cerebral palsy, contest the affections of one

That's the premise of Isabel Wright‘s version of Quebecois dramatist Francois Archambault's comedy of sexual mores. Claude (Joe McFadden), a wasterly refusenik of mildly radical views, lives with his disabled brother Mathieu (Jamie Beddard), who makes a more stable living. but has found little to comfort him in the field of love. Claude meets Charlotte (Gabriel Quigley), an advertising agent aware of problems of perception in others, but not herself, at the dog- end of a difficult relationship with the rather conventional. but melancholic Richard (Paul Blair). The two begin a rather tenuous relationship, with Claude displaying an early indifference that betrays a history of not so much serial as surreal monogamy. Meanwhile Mathieu feels something far deeper. With Richard reappearing and seeking explanations for his break-up, emotional escalation is bound to follow. a modern kitchen, to a lounge room, to a fountain wonders if the play isn't a little too long for its

Roxanna Silbert’s production brings fine in a park, to (hilariously) a post-coital bed. The simple premise, while its emotional centre, a performances from both McFadden and Beddard, humour is well kept up, with Wright's dialogue scene where Charlotte is made to kiss Mathieu, is each of whom display the play's fine line in ironic catching a nice colloquial feel (as Archambault no a little too contrived for strict verisimilitude. All humour to good effect. A highlight is Anthony doubt intended) and the actors timing their lines the same, it's an engaging and thoughtful night Mcllwaine's set, which ingeniously converts from very cleverly. But there are a couple of flaws. One out. (Steve Cramer)

Fable for two: Gabriel Quigley and Joe McFadden

Nl W DRAMA . ltl \.’;VAl

(1008. (it)! hit} ‘53 ()‘.'(}l. but Traverse Theatre. Edinburgh, (:C'V‘Onz’r'z”: Amman“ ’53 "‘3 Dundee rep, until Sat 5 Apr 0000 Um” Sat 29 Mar. then touring. pr mar; focus 0‘ the attentions .... cf ‘.'|(l(}() docunentar st Ber‘ .Johr‘ Ka/ek. She is the as: remarirng speaker of a (1",Illg language. .‘.’l‘l(2l‘. ne has been requested to doctrine-"t fcr presenratroc and re‘erertce; a :ultura! beguest for futare peopres to inherit.

McLean's play. directed l)‘, Nichoas Bone. is S'.‘."(}(3l)|ll§) in :ts scope. and beautifui an its (3X(?(IUI|()". The coilaboratsxe process by which it has been born encompasses mathematical theory architecture a.“ 2 rncs c. and the product is haunting and poetic, if just one member of the cast weren't up to scratch. this

Inherit the weeg consummater ir‘teliig,;er‘t niece

of drama ‘.‘/Ot.‘l(} faii frat. bit a.

llt"(:f‘itltl(1(3!:;()f‘(?lll"l{l that 's are on top form. espec a'l, tree." guaranteed tc tear a tarnrry McAlpine. a risiitg star :;‘ apart Once arose ‘igrtt Scottish theatre. as a.'.a.s a rea one” the 'iice «itcnen tailboy. or :::()as;ire to ‘.'.ratc.". Scott's the priceiess set of stairriess genealogical is ‘ra~ ctr: steel grapefr..rt spoons But with a resziient core. (l(3'l‘(i"’lr":fl linda McLean's latest pia~,. Cigarettes and biethering away produced by Magnetic North. from her chair. while MCLa..§;"i " ai‘ examinatiei‘ of the family is beautifuily dowdy as the ' heirlooms we inherit without hetweener. uncomfortabl, exei‘, knowing unsure of "er o'w‘. lu'tctio‘ " '3»..-

AnnMartha iL.nda Kerr Scotti chain of inheritance. is 102‘ years old. Oona (Linda By turr‘s witty and enwotne. Duncan McLaughlini is 37. and with real Characters and a stow; Maria iHeien McAlpine) is nearly story this is almost Ofa'i‘iiilgi 18. They are family. but not of perfection. Deep as a gene poo .

The changeoxer trorn Hamish Glen to new artistic director DOllllfllt‘, llil. bodes we.i for Dundee rep. if this productioi‘ is anything to go by. T'ieie‘s certaini, a sense of playing to the galleries from the start, since Brian Friei‘s play of nostalgia. personal mythology and histow has become. since its rlebrit at the Abbey Theatre in 1990. a repertory standard.

In it. the latemiddle aged Michael iAlexander West, reflects. iipo.H lll‘, momentous seventh year in the summer at ‘936. It is a time of strife. Mussohrn's invasion of Abyssinia. the Spanish civil war and Me shatiie' ’l‘wl :'l{;‘, of De Valera lurking in the background. But the chiid remembers the lyrical personal fragments of history that the summer threw up.

His mother Christine iClaire Dargoi brings him up with the help of her spinster sisters. The eldest. Kate iAnn Loriis R ssl acts the stern Catholic patriarch in lieu of a father. wnile the (ocular Maggie ilrene MacDougaili lollies Michaer through life. repressing inerrior'ies of lost love. Agnes il-inily Winter) longs for escape. while the mild mental disability of youngest sister Rose (Janine Mellon. who :s discovering her sexuality. is the cause for concern for all.

The play's irresistible structure centred on a succession of whimsical but mowng monologues by the women and several dances make it bittersweet without sentimentality. Choreographer Rita Henderson deserves great credit for this. as does Trevor Coe. for the pretty and detailed recreation of a 80s Donegal cottage. Hill directs ‘.'V|llt sensitivity. and there are some trernenrloris performances. Fleming is excellent as the unreliable but somehow like-able absentee dad. while MacDougalI shows a tremendous sense of subtle nuance as the faded beauty who has channelled her loss into stoical humour.

This play escapes pure nostalgia through its demonstration of the alarming under'cuirents of repressed passion in the characters lives. and the sense that the pagan festival of the title beats its drums

direct ascendance. as their line this is a play that grips you ‘rorn

is afflicted with a condition resulting in certain women dying as soon as their first Child is

the start and leaves yoti

wondering where it's all goit‘g to

end. One of the first truly

gently under their skins. There is an understated sense of tragedy in the subtext.

bom. Maria is the last of the me. beautiful productions you're see unless she has a child. She this year. See it. and pass it 0". doesn't yet know that if she iGaretn Davies,

and a sad beauty to this production. :Steve Crameri

The jig issue

2" Mar- AV 2/1: THE LIST 59