Peer, but not peerless

In the course of one’s life there are bound to be choices made that are not seen as decisive at the time, but prove to be all too significant later. lbsen’s classic examines these


Tramway, Glasgow, 17-19 June, then touring

In recent years. a sorely needed lOCUS on actors with disabilities has emerged the UK. Why indeed. had the issue been so scantily addressed until a decade or so ago? Scotland's response. funding wise. centred mainly on Robert Rae‘s company at Theatre Workshop. Rae has taken a robust stance with the lSSUO. pleading. quite reasonably. that this form of theatre should be seen as not some kind of specialised ghetto. but part of the contemporary theatre. to be judged no differently than we might judge work at the Lyceum or the Tron. Not all the FGSUIIS of this company's work over the last couple of years have been entirely successful, but perhaps this is to be expected in a still quite new. ongoing project.

This June. the company is embarking on what looks like its biggest project yet. with a major tOur of Brecht and Weill's classic political musical. one of the great achievements of both musical theatre and representation of proletarian life. without boorgeois patronage. The rogues and survivors of Brecht's (and originally John Gay's) cityscape are here also rendered into Celtic life. with Hugh McDairmid's great translation. This looks like it‘s worth a watch. but not for patronising reasons. (Steve Cramer)

68 THE LIST 10» 94 Jun 2004

No patronising required for Robert Rae

defining moments, and we’re left wondering, in his early verse drama, whether it is our neglect of those who love us, be they parents or lovers, that provide our greatest sense of error. Or maybe our simple capacity for egoistic self delusion is at the heart of the sense of regret that blights us. In Peter Clerke’s production for Benchtours, we’re offered multiple possibilities in a long and complex life.

In this version, adapted by John Harvey, Peer (Peter Grimes) takes the usual picaresque journey, running through his early life in an orgy of laddish excess that wears down his harassed mother (Catherine Gillard) and moving on to a self-deluding neglect of his lover Solveig (Claire Lamont). He proceeds to tryst with the world of the trolls, who seek him out vengefully later in life, and he becomes a speculator in other people’s money, making and losing a fortune in a manner that might put a contemporary multinational to shame. His final days are spent in lonely fear and isolation, yet Peer’s capacity for self deception accompanies him even in his final days of bartering with the supernatural button seller (Tim

TRAGICOMEDY IZ Tron Theatre, Glasgow, Fri 18—Sat 19 Jun

to expire.

(Meg Watson)

Licata) representing both fate and the bringing-to-account of a wasted life.

There are some splendid visual moments in this production, with Peer’s final minutes with a mother on her deathbed a highlight. Grimes is strong in the lead, while both Licata and Lamont give some good support. Karen Tennent’s semi- surreal rural design, too, is used to good purpose. Yet at over three hours, this version is massively overlong. As Peer’s journey to its end extended to an arduous length, I began to wonder which of us would expire first. And while the existential and psychological thematics of this condemnation of unfettered individualism might always have something to say to bourgeois culture, it’s hard to see why this play is exactly relevant just now. Benchtours is to be admired for managing to put on stage a very large cast of community actors along with six professionals and two live musicians, but whether the staging did much more than show us that this many people could be put on a stage is a moot point. This piece might improve on the road, but changes need to be made. (Steve Cramer)

In a culture of telly mediums and pSychics. we have developed a pretty weird relationship with the ‘other side'. almost being made to feel guilty about our attempts to 'move on' and let people go. Here Silver Tongue Theatre explores how the past comes back to haunt us in far less manufactured situations. concentrating on the emotional effect on three men when the memory of a woman refuses

When lzabelle dies suddenly. those who loved her are left to grieve and come to terms with their relationships to each other. Easier said than done when her metaphorical presence is still felt by them all. Not a sentimental ‘loved and lost' piece, lz promises to be simple yet effective. writer Oliver Emanuel's language having been descnbed as a blend of two highly regarded writers. ‘l‘ve acted in several of Olly‘s plays for Silver Tongue before,‘ l2 director Dan Bye has said. ‘l've always been impressed by his unique voice; it is simultaneOusly a challenge and a gift to actors. He has a beautiful poetic diction that falls somewhere between Chekhov and the later Sarah Kane.‘ A hit at the Edinburgh Fringe last year, this show. involving grief. umbrellas and a touch of humour. travels west to make its presence known.


Maybe we're all political prisoners. At least we are in the sense of being trapped within a version of truth dictated by agencies. be they media or government. which limit our access to the grim and rapacious realities of the realpolitiks of global capitol. We need Amnesty International for those other political prisoners. the real ones. This benefit, directed by

7:84 's Lorenzo Mele. comes under the admirable banner of ; Amnesty. and is themed toward the cause of

arms control.

Andy Gray

On the theatre side. this evening promises something well worth the E20 admission, and then some. Donald Margulles' Last Tuesday is one of the theatrical treats in store. This piece. a one act play from the US. tells a story about how world politics affect everyday life in a very direct way. The evening will be compared by Andy Gray. a trouper who never fails to entertain. and also features a monologue about how arms control isn't as distant an issue as you think. This piece by Martin McCardie speaks of the ease with which one can attain a gun in Glasgow. and is delivered by none other than the splendid Neil McKinven, whose distinctive voice was heard in print form in the last issue of The List.

And it doesn't stop there, with music from Arab Strap, ballboy and African guitar band Zuba. What more do you want? blood? You'll get more of that unless you wise up and show more support for folk like Amnesty International. (Steve Cramer)