NE. Al )Ai TAl lOi


Citizens' Theatre. Glasgow, until Sat 15 Nov 0....

What did they get up to? Next to me, my best mate from the Sunday Herald sat reading proofs, thoughtful. What did he do with his fiancée in private? On the other side of the aisle, my mate from the Sunday Times smiled. What about him and his missus? There was no reason to suggest either of them was into necro, copra, or any other kind of philia, but you never can tell. I looked uneasily around the carriage, crowded with disappointed, drunk Rangers supporters. A blond girl, about 20, sat on my armrest as the train rounded a bend, got up, and apologised with a drunken grin. What was she suggesting?

All this came, I suppose, from an evening that was as creepy as a date with Robin Cook. For Louise Welsh’s novel, beautifully adapted here by Kenny Miller and Tam Dean Burn, would give any sane man a case of the paranoid willies, no doubt a condition that many of its characters had picked up at some point in their sordid lives. In it, the auction house executive, Rilke (Tam Dean Burn), an eerie, cadaverous man with a penchant for rent boys and dodgy transvestite clubs, is called to a particularly lucrative deceased estate. The old man in question, Mr McKindless, is survived by a decrepit, ailing sister, and she sets him to work on the disposal of her brother’s estate. In an attic Rilke locates a succession of pornographic photographs, whose contents suggest a ‘snuff’ session, and he goes on a quest through Glasgow’s seamy sex industry to locate the truth about a possible murder committed in the 405. He and his boss Rose (Anne Marie Timoney) encounter rent boys, pornographers, pimps and their victims in

REViVAl. BLOOD AND ICE Royal Lyceum theatre, Edinburgh, until Sat 15 Nov 000

The Etlg-lS" Romantics have a lot to answer for. It's their idea of the art st as a special. visionary figure. w-t" a particular

septa tivity' ar‘d insight that

:; agties .is to this day. It's often ..sed as an a it): for poor work :h the sshl c word and had hehaviorir l" personal matters.

If Li/ Lochhead's story. encapsuiating several years of Mary Shelley's life from the


sister. whose infatuation with the vaultineg egotistical Byron iAlex Hasselll costs her dear. The idealistic Shelley iPhil Matthewsl is as ignorant of working people. symholised here by their maid Elise iMichelle Rodleyi. Meanwhile. personal tragedies childhirth and poetic creation are

Graham McLaren's production and design :an austere Georgian IlliOTlOl'i. creates some strong atmosphere. with clever alternation of gothic melodrama ar‘d aesthetic dehate. At other

their quest, and McKindless’ shade seems to haunt the bleak, soggy back lanes of their search.

Kenny Miller’s design catches the grim world of decrepit houses and secret vices with craft and ingenuity, with all the bric-a-brac of the decayed house giving away smoothly to the decadent world of fetish club land. Atmospheric lighting by Fleur Woolford occasionally throws its full force onto the viewer, so that one can mark the intrigue and occasional horror on the faces of the folk on the other side of the Stalls Studio’s transverse stage. It forces one to ask who the voyeurs are.


Rohertson family.

The prohlem with the morality displayed here is that much of rt. as'de from that already mentioned. belongs to a past era. The jtl(it)(}llt(}llif3 ahout gender made by the male characters would he swept away hy the restiye social currents that would follox'x oyer the next two decades. so too the sexual pr'udei‘y. We're left instead with

Tam Dean Burn gets weird

When the going gets weird, Tam Dean Burn gets the part, and his performance here is superb. His Rilke measures out a strain of moral outrage he plainly didn’t realise he possessed. This is a Chandleresque world without the redeeming morality of Marlow, and more than a touch of Poe to boot. In it, both Burn and Timoney observe a multitude of characters with alternate precision and broad strokes, showing a bravura grasp of their craft. Not, by any means a first date night, but this is a compelling and deftly narrated evening of theatre. (Steve Cramer)

King’s, Edinburgh, Tue 4—Sat 8 Nov .00

Playing sink the sausage with your dad's hest mate's wife :s no douht stii a hit of a taboo area in society. And surely the matters that remain unspoken hetween middle—class suhurhan families are not so different now than they '.'.'ere 7.": the early (30s when Charles \.‘\/ehh wrote his novel. and ; to: of the acclaimed film. There is stili discrete alcoholism among cored suhtirhar‘. housewives. and desperate. :iuietly executed affairs. In tiirs sense. leri'j. Johnson's theatre adaptation creates interest. But there‘s also a "atl‘er consehxatiye nostalgia that hangs oye" lan‘ara t-lar'x'e‘, s production.

The story will probably he know/rt to yogi. hut Just in case. we meet [33er‘rarnm iAndre Williaiiisi. a young nigh flying colege graduate. whose adolescence is not quite over. Judging by his lahelling of his hourgeos family and their frzer‘ds as 'grotesgue'. His attempts to escape his stuffy (Iaisfornian hackgroui‘d amount to little. and he falls into a rather sexually clznical affair '.'.'ith the older Mrs Rehertsor‘ iGlynis Bar'l>er',. M(}£tl‘i‘.'.’illl(}. aft 2r a poor start "with the girl. he develops a i)tll‘l".'tt} love for her daughter Filaine ‘JOSSKIEI Brooksi. l‘iis all adds to the coined'c tensions hetx'xeen his parents iMartyi: Stanhr'idge. Barhar'a Di'ei‘inani and the

.' years later at the release

composition of Franke/istern until some time after the death of PB Shelley and three of her children. doesn't directly condemn its characters. it certainly leaves scope for us to ohserve their hypocrisies. Mary ll ucianne McEvoyl is seen early on ’.'/()ll(i(}flll() from which sutx;oriscious place the creature of her gothic novel came. Then we meet Claire iSusan (Joy/lei. Mary's half

68 THE LIST :-.', Oct 1:: Nu.

times. though. the piece feels a lrttle hloodless. more ahout ideas thar‘ passion. McEvoy is splendid as the muchtormented Mary. while Coyle's space cadet Byron groupie is also stroi‘g. Not all the performances .however. are of this guality. and there are Times when, for all the r flaws. one f 3 zls that we might empathise a little more wit'i the alternative lifestylists z t the play. Steve Crameri

a pretty hit of social history in front of an equally pretty retro louvre door hased design hy Rot) Ho‘s/ell, If the acting occasionally slips a little among the supports. Bai'her is strong. catching the cynicism horn of lost opportunity in the character nicely. whileWilliams. if he seems at tunes to horrow a little too freely from Dustin Hoffman. is also engaging. It all winds up to a strong climax. hut it's a moot point as to \.'.'hethev the rest of the Journey is x'xoithu'xliile. -Ste\.e (Jian‘e'

And here’s to you Glynis Barber