Those who have mourned the passing of Communicado over the past five years need mourn no more. This inventive and energetic company, which disappeared from our stages riven with internal dispute and funding issues late last century is back. And with its old artistic director Gerry Mulgrew at the helm, Communicado looks set to flood the Scottish theatre world with fresh light and creativity, just as it did in the 805 and 905. The distinctive style which Mulgrew and his company brought to our stages, characterised by smart scripting and breathtaking visual spectacle, was something unique in UK theatre, with European influences that left London theatre looking pretty staid. It’s a treat to have them back.

Mulgrew, munching a bacon roll in a greasy spoon near Easter Road stadium in Edinburgh, is looking comfortable and happy, as does Gerda Stevenson, one of Scotland’s leading actresses, sat opposite him. The latter has kept something of a low profile over the last couple of years, so it’ll be good to see her returning to the familiar environs of this company. Mulgrew’s new project is his adaptation of Zlata Filipovic’s best-selling teenage


Traverse theatre, Edinburgh, Sun 6 Jun, then touring

\'.’l‘en Michelle Pfeiffer read Bot) [)ylan to her literature— phohic students in Dangerous I/i/nds. it was far from £t\.'£tl‘rl gar'de. The fine line hetween poetry and songwriting is one much smiidged and often redrax'rn. The two are inextricath linked like a yin and yang of the arts world. There are exceptions ithe Venga Boysi. The work of Li/ l ochhead and Mcl‘ael Marra is not one > the lyricism of Lochhead's poems are countered hy the stories that ramhle through

Maria's music.

diary, an account of the siege of

Sarajevo from a child’s point of view.

‘What’s so moving is the fact that this is an ordinary child, who could be anywhere in the world, even here,’ says Mulgrew. ‘She likes Michael Jackson and MTV and

sleeping over at her friends’ houses.

Gradually, as the war takes hold, all of the ordinary things we’d take for granted are removed from her and her family.’ There’s much to say, by implication, about wars everywhere in this piece, as Stevenson’s comment makes clear. ‘l’ve talked

l olloxzing a successful run at the Fringe. In Flagrant {)e/iclit

returns to the stage. reuniting these two stalwarts of the Scottish scene for {ll‘ evening of good. honest

entertair‘ment. l ochhead's ax'rartt—winning reworking of f/redea. and more recently [he Hie/)aris. for theatre hahei

has ensured that her work has never been far from a Scott'sh stage. This show. however. lets her step out from


The hardest times

Zlata fest

to people who were involved in all this, and the thing that emerges is that there wasn’t all the differences between people in the Balkans you’d think. People were friends across cultures and religions; it really wasn’t much of an issue. It was a small bunch of politicians after power that created all the violence.’

Cynical power hungry politicians sending people to war for spurious, cooked up reasons? Now why does that seem so familiar?

(Steve Cramer)

Bottoms up for Gershwin

CRAZY FOR YOU Festival theatre, Edinburgh, Tue 1—Sat 5 Jun

‘.'.'e".'e experienced over the last cer‘tury have produced some of the hest. and paradoxcally. 'riost optimistic music. And a lo‘. of that music used to come from

hehrnd the scenes and flaunt her skill as an entertainer. And Maria has so far proved a fitting partner in crime. Songs such as ‘Scri'i;hled Down Drunk iBut Posted Soheiw' attest to his ‘.'.’!l and his musical talent. This latest l(}\.’l‘.’£t| hoasts plenty of new material. so it's well worth catching them while they're still lll the act lCOlllO Millsr.

Piano cruise

66 THE LIST/'lfa. .1

Broadway shows. The great depression is a case in point. As fStli(Zl(i(} increased. poyerty hecarne (E'l(i()ll‘.l(l. and malnutrition hecame ‘.'.’l(f(}8l)'(}£t(i. you only had to turn or‘ the ‘.'.’lr(}'(2853 to hea" such hits as "Painting The Clouds With Sunshine and Vexery time it rains. it rains; Pennies 'roni Heaven'

lt' Dennis Potter's seminal television ser es. taken from the atter' title. explored this paradox of the collective conscience. or piece of hegemonic control. depending on how you look at at. :t's well ‘.'.’()l'lfl looking at Elt‘. original. all the same. You iriay not recognise (Ira/y For You as a title from among George and Ira Gerslwrn's more fairiiliar musicals, hut this :s only t)(}(2{l;l53(} its rex'rorkrng in MS)? saw its titled changed from the vpresumap‘yw l :~ss PC Girl (Ira/y. The original opened in 19130. and played out the char;icteristically upheat narrative of a New York city slicker sent out to oversee the closure of a provinc a! theatre in the hard times of the period. He falls. almost Inewtahly. :n love with the theatre owner's daughter. and guess u'rhat happens next?

There's pienty of famiiar and extremely pleasing Gershwin riiusic in th:s one. which. with its revival in 1992. saw a hat full of Tony awari s sent its way. as well as a nomination for hest directcr for an old face from the Traverse. Mike Ockrent. So you don't have to approach it e s sociology. it'll also he good. f rather schmalt/y. fun. iSteve Cramen


THE BIG SHOP Starting from The Duke's Head, Duke Street, Leith, Wed 9- Sat 12 Jun

Theatre has traditionally been associated with religion. In Europe. what we generally recognise as theatre emerged from a ritualised form of service performed in Christian churches in the Middle Ages. So why not bring theatre hack to the centre of our life of worship in modern times. the shops?

Quite yt/hether that's the idea hehind The Low} Big Shop isn't clear, but what l can tell you is that this project. a site specific piece taking place in six derelict shop spaces around Leith's central shopping

A Leith in the theatre

precinct and at the water's edge. looks set to intrigue. Incorporating six ten-minute short plays by respected Scottish writer John Harvey. ranging in suhiect from the life of a (£00 year old hooker through farcical grave rohheries. on to an £l(I(Z()lllli ()f s;()iir(2 ()f Ill(? creepier things lurking ‘neath the waters of Leith. this piece looks set to examine much of the history and culture of the Dockside community. With other stories about modern thirsts for posh coffee. as well as last orders there's also the possihility for satire that reaches far beyond Leith.

With directing skills contributed by Simon Maclntyre and noted world music face Conrad lvitsky adding music. there seems to he a real potential fer a night of adventure in the heart of a hucaneering local comiriunity.

(Steye Cramer)