53A? Lfti

THE DANNY CROWE SHOW Dundee Rep, until Sat 22 Nov 0000

In a secular world with few coherent belief structures, bereft of spirituality, it’s not surprising that the psychiatrist’s couch has become a confessional, with shrinks empowered as priests, affording absolution for our guilty consciences and personal peccadilloes. The highest of holy men though are the Jerry Springer-like celebrities, who facilitate the baring of witness among troubled lumpenproletarian wanabees. One such schemey with dreams of greatness is Peter (Kevin Lennon), a young man prepared to go to desperate lengths to earn the status of celebrity by feigning a JM Synge-like conflict with a violent and abusive father. He presents his story to Magda (Emily Winter) a roving producer for the confessional TV show of the title. She, however, has gone AWOL from the show, and ex boyfriend Miles (Keith Fleming), a senior producer on the brink of the sack who’s tracked her down in the grim new town of the play’s location takes on the job of spinning Peter’s tale. The story, though, is more than a little bogus, as his drab undertaker father (Robert Paterson) is in danger of attesting, and with teen girlfriend Tiffany (Leslie Hart), Peter begins an elaborate cover up. Meanwhile Lynette, a desperate escort

with only one breast implant (Emily Pollet) attempts to foist her own anguish on the


The grim farce of Graeme Maley’s production works with deft precision, and the ghastly council house and drafty church hall interiors created by Angela Simpson are admirably depressing. In a world where celebrity no longer requires talent, David Farr’s play seems to posit a


Citizens' Theatre, Glasgow, Tue 25 Nov-Sat 20 Dec

Stewart Porter plays Hilter. Or George W. Or Blair.

“They did tell me about Leonard Rt ssiter.‘ says Phillip Breen. the director of The Resistib/e Rise of Arturo Ur. ‘But on'y after I'd taken the (OI). To put it ruldiy. it's a little bit ‘l‘t‘l“'fl£lilllg.' Transferring to London's; M’s/est End and propelling its; lead to stardom. Michael Blaken‘ore's 1067 production of Brecht's; parable about totalitarianisi" stil ranks; as; one of the Cit/s; golden l‘.‘()l‘.‘.€}l‘iif3.

Playing Ui. the Capone-ster gangster ‘.'.ihose atte'i‘pt to corner Chicago's; negetable market mirrors the rise of the Third Reich, clearly represented soii‘ething special for Rs s;s;i'.er. As; he told the interviewer Russel!

dark reality about human drives for greatness, and our willingness to exploit even our own pain delivery. A final tableau creates a vivid moment in order to achieve the goal of stardom. In the midst of this atomised culture we find no redemption through love, only ambition. Maley has brought strong performances from this talented Dundee Rep cast, with Pollet and Winter (Steve Cramer)

Harty years; later: ‘Veij. rarc-ly. on about two occasions; I suppose l.'l 28 years. have I th()ug"i. “An. this gives me a” the {hunt do "eally unreli." One of their was; Rising Damp. the other a play about Hitter.

Tnis; version pron‘ises; to be a rather sn‘aller affair. Just s' actors; will take more than .10 roles. wtn Stewart Porter piaung Ul. But If ;s a timely re‘nsal. argues; Breen. who believes; the demand for pottical theatre 's; greater than it has; been to" a longtime.

Arturo Ui has; always been as; much about the n‘echan cs; of capitalism as; about the rise of fascism. ‘The play has; a zerj.’ interestang take on the .vay capital and conquest go hand in hand. One thinks; of Irag. Or Dubya's; trillion dollars; of AIDS relief to Africa. given with the silent condition: 't's yours; so long as you don't becon‘e one of those ghastly Islaii‘ic republics;.' The ir‘es;s;age tnat if you're not

is; can

with as; you're against us v and you o'tzy nave yourself to plane» is one that still has; a lot o‘ currencyf

He ll‘(3£t"f3 it :lcn‘esticalty' as; wet; as; interiiatzonally. hecce one of the ri‘."o‘.ations since tiltii'. the hoodlur“s; surfing a twee part narn‘on', version of 'llWItlf; Can O". (Set Better" as; they (,xtort money from the people. And. let's; face rt: you'd nexe" have got Rigsby to do that. IAdrian Turpin,

Leslie Hart, Keith Fleming 3 d Kevin Lennon: Confession in a secular society


particularly smart with both movement and

where we are implicated as complicit in the appalling jiggery pokery that we see on stage. So bleak in outlook is this piece that it’s surprising that we laugh at all. But laugh, you will.


Tron Theatre, Glasgow, Thu 13 Nov, then touring

No writer. aside perhaps; from Shakespeare. has; entered into British public consciousness more completely than Dickens. Yet we know surprisineg lttle about him given the level of public doCumentation available. With very lrttle reliable information abOut Shakespeare. we've created lengthy books; and even feature fims; about h's life. There's been no Dickens in Love. though. in spite of a love life that was; more complex than most. Perhaps the lack of a movie is; about the sing; a" Englishness of Dickens' voice. Shakespeare's characters were often. for po itica' reasons. not British. and even if they were. they addressed dilemn‘as and andscapes; ‘ar beyond these isles.

Yet John Clifford's play demonstrates the broader hun‘an elements of Dickens characters. though their Engl:shness; is; still to the forefront. .Jiii‘ir‘y Chishol'i‘ plays a vast array of the y'rriters' characters. from such well known faces; as Uriah Heap. Scrooge and Bill Sykes. to figures that will be obscure to all but those most familiar with his work. But most of all, he plays Dickens hzn‘self. ensconced in his study and preparing for one of his famous; public readings. His intention. on this occasion. is not to simply flatter the public with a bland and reassuring version of his greatest h;ts;. but to make them aware of the fierce anger and social consciousiiess; of his; work. s< often overlooked in favour of the tearierking and humour. Such a project is; en‘otionarm and i)sycliologically taXing fora man who lives; close to his characters.

lan Grieves production of Clifford's clever script narrates its complex and episodic structure with intelligence and rigor. creating real life an its muttitudes; of persona with surprising smoothness. Jimn‘y Cnrsholms performance is; stunning. Full of subtle nuance and expansive n‘ovement. it's an exhausting but continually watchable effort that's well worth the admission alone. But there are other delights. from the Victorian bric a brac of Monika Nisbet's; design to Mark Pritchard's astute lighting. which sets off both narration and charactm nicely. If it takes; a little tin‘e to accuston‘ oneself to the rapid alteration of place and character. once you're on board. you'll be hooked. rSteve Craineri

Jimmy Chisholm: So solid Scrooge

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