From left: The Privately Personal Lives of Dorian Gray, Kantor’s Dead Class and Kantor’s Teatro Necessito


Portrait of the artist

One of the great figures of the international avant garde, Zofia Kalinska, will be visiting Cumbernauld this fortnight. Steve Cramer asks her how this came about.

ou\ e got to hand it to lid Robson. .'\s the ne\\

artistie direetor ol' (‘umbernauld 'l'heatre. he

might ha\e ehosen to rest eoml'ortabl) on the laurels ol' the theatres established reputation. ereated b} predeeessor Simon Sharke}. l‘or intelligent and engaging popular theatre. 'l‘here‘ll no doubt be some of that. but Robson \\ill be introdueing himsell' to his neu audienee \\ ith a genuine theatrieal eoup. bringing a theatre legend ol‘ tru|_\ international repute in to his neu projeet. lior. earlier this _\ear. the eral‘t} (ieordie iourne} ed to Krakow and persuaded /.olia Kalimka. a theatre legend. to eo~direet his debut proieet. a promising-looking adaptation ol‘ Wilde's Hie I’m-trait (iii/)urirm (frat.

Killlll\l\il \sas. l‘or t\\ ent) —li\ e _\ears. the lead aetress in the eompan} ol' 'l‘adeus/ Kantor. that ieonie experimentalist. arguabl} the titan ol~ the international a\ante garde lrom the oils until his death in the earl} Ulls. ls’antor‘s \‘isual stsle. and eapaeit} to ereate a stage imager} “hieh. onee seen. eould nex er be forgotten has arguabl} inspired more imitators. and inl’lueneed the work ol' more _\oung eompanies titan e\ en |.el’age and Brook. Kalinska herself partieipated in sueh legendar} produetions as Ih'm/ ('lrm and The ll'rm'r Hm. \xhieh alone might make her inspiring eompan}; Yet. in the _\ears alter her Kantol‘ period. .she l'orged her o\\n direetorial eareer. “inning a sueeession ol' l'iringe l'irsts and similar a\\ards in a hall‘ do/en odd \ isits to the l-ringe. eulminating in her memorable Requiem for Kurtlui' a lie“ _\ears baels.

.-\s she sits before me in the 'l‘ra\erse bar. | ean’t help but notice a southl'ul minkle in her pale blue eyes. belying her 7(l-plus _\ear.s. .-\ll the rigour and elarity of thought \shieh brought her sueh aeelaim is still \er} mueh to the lore. .-\.s .she e\plains. the ideas behind this 11C“ projeet. \s'hieh treats \Vilde‘s

hedonist. \\lttl\L‘ portrait aged in his attie while he eontinued to |i\e the lush life. as a metaphor l‘or our times. '.\'o\\ these da_\s. he don't want to see old people.‘ she sa_\s in surprisingls adept langlish. the phrase belied b} her eompan}. '\\'e \\anl to be _\oung all the lime. illltl \\L‘ l'L‘L‘l the sight Hl' Hltl people reminds us \\ e \\ ill die.' she adds.

Yet. \sithout sullering. and \xilhout eonl'rontmg the truth ol~ our bodies. \xhieh should quite naturalls deeline \\ ith age. \\ e den} our humanity. ‘You ean see from the image \\ e used to start out \xilh lalun e. leltr that he‘s almost erueilied b} the portrait. ll' _\ou don‘t sul‘ler. then _\ou ean‘t be a real human being. lle‘s nerer learned espeeiall}. he's ne\ er learned lo\ e for UlllL‘l' people. illltl. lliL‘l‘L‘lttl‘L‘. he ean't l-llltl lth' in! himself. .-\1 the eentre ol' all this is a sort ol' inoralit_\_' Kaliitska stl_\s.

l il\l\ her about her _\ears \sith Kantor. \sondermg \xhether the Polish authorities of the former lzastern liloe nation e\er interl'ered \sith his ereation ol art. and gi\en \that \te‘re told about the nation in lls earlier )L'zir‘s. reeei\e a surprising ansu er. 'Kaltlol' alna} s. men during Marshal law has gi\en total

llL'L‘LlUlll. lle \\;ts \Ultl tts the greatest pl'tttltlel Ul-

l’olish arts. \Ve \\ ere nex er reall_\ aeelaimed in Poland until u e \\ ere latitotrs elseuhere. but then \s e \\ ere honoured in man} \\a_\s. 'l‘he} sa_\ _\otl ean ne\ er reall_\ be a prophet in sour oun eountr}. Hut _\ou ean onee )ou‘re tlL‘ClztllttL‘tl elseuhere.‘ l don't suppose ('umbernauld \\ as the lirst ‘elsetxhere' ls'alinska thought ol' \\ hen she first set out on her international od} sse_\. but \\ e might be \er_\ thankful that she's lltL‘l‘L‘ mm.

The Privately Personal Lives of Dorian Gray, Cumbernauld Theatre, Thu 12-Sat 14 Oct




* Spend a Penny It might be difficult to get a ticket as the audience is restricted. but if you get a chance to see Andy Arnold's production of eight short monologues. delivered in the cubicles of a public toilet at The Arches. which vary from the bawdin comical to the elegiac. jump on it. A powerfully performed night of theatre.

The Arches, Glasgow, until Sat 7 Oct.

* Tutti Frut'tl Tony Cownie's production of John Byrne's famous cult television serial. here transposed to theatre. amounts to a humorous and ultimately very moving exploration of a group of flawed characters involved with an on— the-skids rock band. The songs alone make it worthwhile.

King '3 Theatre, Edinburgh, until Sat 7 Oct.

* The Privately Personal Lives of Dorian Gray Ed Robson's debut outing for Cumbernauld Theatre brings an internationally acclaimed practitioner in the shape of Zofia Kalinska to the building as co-director in this adaptation of Wilde's celebrated novel. Expect visual splendours from Kalinska. one of the great collaborators with Tadeusz Kantor. Cumbemau/d Theatre, Thu 12-Sat 74 Oct.

# Yellow Moon Guy Hollands brings style and panache to David Greig's script about two teenagers from contemporary backwater Scotland who get involved in violence and ultimately murder. Citizens’ Theatre, Glasgow, until Sat 14 Oct, then touring.