MlDNIGHT’S CHILDREN King‘s Theatre. Glasgow. Tue 10-Sat 14 Jun

How do you see yourself? How do you see yourself in relation to the great events of your time? Do they matter? 00 you see yourself reflected through others' eyes? If you‘re 3 Scot. do you see yourself told as a story related to your colonisation? I’m Australian, and inevitably, part of me has always been told through the story of conquest and empire. I don’t like to admit it, but part of my perception of myself is refracted through a British sensibility, so I see myself as instructed and partially constructed by empire and colonial perception. I'm Anglo-Australian, in fact, so it‘s

Of course. everyone is constructed from multiple identities, based upon gender, nationality, religion and simply how you relate to your mum and dad. But Saleem, the narrator of Salman Rushdie's Booker Prize-winning novel, Midnight’s Children seems so keenly aware of this fact that he’s almost entirely effaced as a public entity, retreating to a world of pure subjectivity; looked after, finally, in a pickle factory which he shares with his beloved Padma. Whether this wild, magic-realist narrative incorporating the history of India from early last century to the 19705 through the slanted historical recollections of the peculiarly gifted Saleem, who was born at midnight on the day of India's independence in 1947 - is the greatest of all Booker Prize winners is still much debated. For my money, it is.

But how does such a sprawling, picaresque tale, the best part of 500 pages, translate to the stage? Director Tim Supple, who enjoyed a long period of success with the Young Vic before taking up this RSC production, speaks of a meticulous process, conducted by himself, Rushdie and Simon Reade, where the three used the author's screenplay for an intended film as a starting point for a theatrical make-over. ‘Obviously, you can't

Can you identify with this?

put the whole novel on the stage, you have to be selective, so we‘ve narrowed it down. But the novel itself is tremendously theatrical. The attempts at turning it into a film didn’t work out, but the theatrical element of the story, the magic, is all there for the theatre.‘

This first appearance for this large-scale tour incorporates the talents of 20 British Asian actors, which, I speculate, would have been difficult to cast. ‘Not really,‘ says Supple. ‘It would have been 20 years ago, but today a whole generation of actors have come through.’ Whether your history is made up by you, or someone else, this looks like an intriguing rendering of a great novel. (Steve Cramer)

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Stage Whispers

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MEANTIME, A SUCCESSION of interesting looking productions are on the cards. Jean Rhys fans will be delighted to find Jon Pope's adaptation of Wide Sargasso Sea running in the Circle studio from mid- September, when the Main house will be more classically elegant. with Otway‘s Venice Preserved, directed and designed by Philip Prowse. Lovers of contemporary fiction will be excited to find that Louise Welsh's acclaimed The Cutting Room, adapted and performed by the great Tam Dean Burn, will appear in October. From late November, Philip Breen will be directing a personal favourite of Whispers, Brecht's The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui in the tight space of the Stalls studio. These, and a Christmas Snow White, are a taster for what looks an exciting

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