EXPKRIMtNTAt Tl ll AI’RE TOGU
Tramway, Glasgow Thu 27—Sat 29 May
Treatment of women in countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan might be frowned upon by the 'civrlised' West. but isn‘t there a hint of the double standard about this? Gender inequality. in various guises. is apparent in all cultures. In this bi/arre fusion between Japanese Butoh dance company Ariadone and French rock group Spina. cultural and gender boundaries are challenged and broken down in an attempt to free the body. mind and soul from those things that inextricably govern us. Butoh and industrial rock have more in common than you might imagine. The dance form. associated with radical artistic expression. is taken a step further by Japanese choreographer and dancer Carlotta lkeda. whose Butoh company are the first to be composed solely of women. allowing her the freedom to work outside a gender—goveriierl world. ‘lnside Ariadone I forget all about the man-woman relationship. I forget the issue of sex.’ she once said. All-male group Spina might represent the masculine heaViness of techno- rock. but both collectives take
eard the one about the
two actors who meet
for the first time since drama school? One tells the other he’s just back from LA where he has been nominated for an Oscar. ‘Oh, I never heard about that,’ says the other. ‘How did you get cast in that?’ He explains the director had seen him in a play on Broadway where he won a Tony. ‘Oh, I never heard about that. How did you get cast in that?’ the other inquires again. ‘Oh, the director saw me playing Hamlet at the National.’ ‘Oh, I never heard of that, how did you get cast in it?’ Getting very exasperated, the other replies: ‘Oh, the director saw me in a play in the Fringe. Really lucky as it was an absolute disaster.’ ‘Oh yeah, I heard about that.’
It’d be nice to live in a
country where bemusement rather than resignation was
their art to an extreme that doesn't quite comply with their countries' music and dance traditions. ‘What Spina plays really convinced me.‘ lkeda has said. “Butoh and this type of rock are connected to the same strength through distinct channels.‘
Their unconventional strength appears to make for an innovative performance. While Spina play live on a two metre high metal sculpture. the performers dance half naked.
A Butch Japanse and the strum France kids
their bodies covered in the white powder characteristic of traditional Butoh artists. But shaking Butoh's reputation as the 'dance of darkness'. humour and guirkiness are promised. including a scene in which the five dancers wearing short skirts jump like frogs and have a primitive scrap. Ending with the musicians closing in on their female counterparts. Togue sounds like the type of battle of the sexes worth witnessing. (Meg Watson)
0 Neil McKinven, one of Scotland’s leading actors, calls for a more inclusive theatre community.
the response to such a gag. Perhaps this only exists in the utopia section of my mind, but if you don’t strive you don’t achieve. Sometimes when I talk to colleagues about the excellent show I have just seen, the most favourable reaction I can hope for is disinterest, but often those ugly bedfellows, cynicism and bitterness, are stock responses.
Recently I saw four shows in a week: the Traverse’s excellent The People Next Door, Paines Plough’s The Straits, Uncle Varick at the Lyceum, and the brilliant Scenes from an Execution at Dundee Rep. You’d be hard pushed to have seen a higher standard of performance, writing and direction anywhere in these isles. But in a medium that is so reliant on teamwork, the phrase ‘theatre community’ feels as redundant
as Brasso in the lbrox trophy room. If we don’t have a collective pride in what we do, how can we expect our audience to?
While I am on the subject of teamwork and the collective nature of theatre, I’d like to make a plea that the term, ‘the Creative Team’, be removed from the language of theatre. It describes the director, writer, designer and lighting designer full stop. Aye, right! No actor by that reckoning has ever had a creative input, no stage manager, costume maker or scenic artist has ever improved on an idea put to them by ‘the creatives’, and technicians are mere button pressers. So can all agree on one thing? The next time you hear this galling phrase uttered let’s have the user soundly horse whipped and hosed out of town. No jury would convict!
SCOTTISH PREMIltHI: PROOF Touring .0.
What did we lose when we replaced religion with science as a new theology? It started wrth the enlightennK-ént. accelerated with 19th century utilitarianism. and became the pervasive religion over the last century. The problem with this. I suppose. is that we no longer have room for a truly pre-rational experience. Nothing happens on trust any more: everything is about empirical provability.
That's not the only problem for Chicago girl Catherine (Lorna McDevitt) a young drop out mathematician whose late father (Michael MacKen/ie) has been one of the big wheels in the game. before a long term psychological collapse. She might be showing the early signs of the same mental
Babe-cham from Lorna McDevitt
condition — can prospective boyfriend and fellow mathematician Hal (Andy Clark) provide redemption? Or will her patronising and opr.)r(')ssively caring s'ster (Lyn McAndrew) take away her libery’? And is the “evolutionary mathematical formula found in her father's desk draw his last great work. or her first?
Michael Eman's production for Rapture is well crafted. but is there really enough meat in this sandwich to fill a theatre big eater? Though much trumpeted in its l--lol|ywood incarnation. there's something a bit insubstantial in Davrd Auburn's play. Do we really care enough about these nerdy maths geeks? All the same. in front of McAndrew's leafy summer house design. there's a strong performance from McDevitt as the neurotic. ultimately emotionally needy lassie. and some good support from Clark. who brings in some much needed light humour. Undemanding. but worth a watch. (Steve Cramer)
.’.' Ma; 11’ .i.."i .‘Cxi-i THE LIST 65