Citizen’s Theatre, Glasgow, Thu 27 Nov-Sat 20 Dec
As titles go, Nothing - dictionary definition: 1. not anything 2. something of no importance - hardly inspires confidence. Add to this the certitude that Henry Green, dialogue virtuoso and author of the original novel, has a touch of the enigma about him, and the future of the Citz’ new production looks slightly precarious.
Then again, it’s never wise to judge a book by its cover. And Robert David MacDonald, the director of the latest adaptation (by actress Andrea Hart) of Greene’s work, certainly looks set to present Nothing as something more than the sum of its parts, resolutely dragging Greene’s work into the 21st century. ‘I remember reading him when l was at college. He was rather big then, quite famous really. When I was approached to do this, I re-read his work and liked it as much as ever. He may have been dead for 20 years but he’s still as vital to the scene as he ever was.’
Set amidst the upper middle
classes of post WWII, Greene’s novel examines the trials and tribulations that ensue as parents attempt to relate to their offspring. Humour, says MacDonald, is key to the audience’s enjoyment. ‘The work seems solemn and worthy but it’s not at all. Greene writes very little and that is very appealing to a director. His dialogue is wonderful and filled with comedy moments.’ So no worries about Greene’s dialogue getting lost in
LES BALLETS TROCKADERO DE MONTE CARLO
Theatre Royal, Glasgow, until Sat 15 Nov; Edinburgh Festival Theatre, Mon 17 & Tue 18 Nov.
Keep on Trockin'. It's a slogan that has driven Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo on for almost three decades. Back in Scotland for their 30th anniversary tour, the Trocks are one of the dance world's big success stories. Not only has the all-male ballet company stayed financially viable since its early off-off-Broadway days. But it has also stuck by its original mission statement: to bring the pleaswe of dance to the widest possible audience. And. it would seem. to have a good time doing it.
Anyone who has witnessed the Trocks' unique form of parody will testify that the guys on stage have as much fun as those in the auditorium. Each of the 15 dancers takes on two alter egos — one. male. one female — upon joining the company. So on any given night. Cedric Bonner from Baltimore can pull on his tutu and pointe shoes and become Ludmila Beaulemova (say it slowly) or take on the romantic male lead as Jaccwes d'Ambrosia.
Paying their first visit to Glasgow. but fifth to Edinburgh. this fortnight. the Trocks have assembled a special anniversary package for us, featuring some of their most successful works. Go for Borocco is an affectionate take
66 THE LIST 11$ 7/ Nov 7003
Robert David MacDonald: ls adaptation is the new rock’n’roll?
on George Balanchine's neo-classical style. Eco/e de Ballet pays homage to
ballet academies around the world. complete with tetigh ballet mistress
and end-of—term recital. They will also
do their now legendary Dying Swan routine. And as always. every piece
the transition to the stage then? ‘Not at all. Everything should be an adaptation these days because an adaptation gives the adapter more of a free hand. You take another creative mind on board and ask an opinion as it were. Most of the time you’re adapting from your own life so why not someone else’s Iife?‘ Little you can say to that really. Simply nothing, I suppose.
Keep on trockin’
has our best interests at heart. as artistic director, Tori Dobrin says: 'I think somewhere along the line. dance became something that was artistic and not something that had to please an audience. But we believe in both.‘ (Kelly Apter)
Re: Treading The Boards
FAILED BY LOVE? MONEY situation grim? Does the future of the house look uncertain? We’ve all been there, and some of us seem only to weekend elsewhere. At least you’re not alone. And there’s the consolation of comforting friends, some good memories and the occasional cloudburst of optimism. But the only real comfort, of course, is to trudge down to the pub and get absolutely Schindler’s.
Or so it would seem to the narrator of Connor McPherson’s Rum and Vodka, a man with a dead end job, the fag butt of a broken marriage and worries about the mortgage. He goes on a three-day bender to ﬁnd some solace, and comes across all kinds of oddities on the way. Directed by Dominic Hill, and performed by the widely- respected Dundee Rep ensemble member Keith Fleming, this production, running for only a couple of nights at the Rep looks like a promising night out.
Those who doubt McPherson’s work after his rather tepid film directorial debut with The Actors clearly haven’t seen enough of his theatre work. His legendary West End hit The Weir might never become a great motion picture, yet it contained qualities that make for perfect theatre. Getting a bunch of people together in a darkened room and simply using a good, well structured bit of storytelling to create atmosphere, with each voice created by the physical proximity of the actor, is a technique with almost primal power in the theatre. McPherson exploits this simple human propensity to the max in Rum And Vodka just as effectively in as in The Weir. Those who also saw the production of This Lime Tree Bower from the new home of former Dundee Rep artistic director Hamish Glen, the Belgrade, Coventry, will also attest to the power of McPherson’s writing. You can catch it at the Rep on Saturday the 15th or Monday 17th November.