PLAYS FOR TODAY
Gareth K Vile reports on a selection of shows in the coming months that cover Scotland’s wide range of theatre
A longside the Lyceum’s anniversary year, the autumn seasons in both Glasgow and Edinburgh – not to mention Dundee – reveal the wide range of theatre that exists beyond the Fringe. From lavish musical adaptations to experimental live art – via the revival of a seminal Scottish script – September and October have something for most tastes. tastes.
For the spectacular, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels comes to the Edinburgh Playhouse (15–19 Sep). Based on the i lm with Michael Caine, it stars Michael Praed, best remembered for Robin of Sherwood, and adds a swinging soundtrack to the story of two conmen at large on the French Riviera. Despite memories of his role as ITV’s mystical medieval outlaw, Praed sh Praed shows tremendous comic skills and the songs evoke th evoke the 1950s before rock’n’roll changed the world and Sina and Sinatra and Sammy Davis were still idols.
With With the Whitney Houston i lm The Bodyguard (picture (pictured) arriving at the Playhouse (29 Sep–10 Oct) in musical musical-theatre form and Shrek touring, i lm adaptations seem se seem set to take over from the jukebox musical. Glasgow has a r has a revival of Britain’s Got Bhangra, i rst produced in 2011 in 2011 and now given a new version by Sell a Door Theatre Theatre, a company which is restless in its enthusiasm for all for all sorts of scripts, and who recently ran an entire venue venue during the Edinburgh Fringe. Davi David Hutchinson, Sell a Door Theatre’s artistic directo director, is keen that the show will ‘reach out to new and r and returning audiences’. Unlike many musicals, Britain Britain’s Got Bhangra rel ects the UK’s cultural divers diversity. ‘The writers have created a fantastic celebr celebration of dance and culture within the modern narrat narrative of a talented artist aspiring to fuli l their dream dreams,’ notes Hutchinson. ‘In the reality TV age, this story story taps into the aspirations of so many, against the colou colourful backdrop of the British-Asian community.’ On On a smaller scale, Peter Arnott is presenting his new new script, Ensemble, in a series of readings across Scot Scotland from late September. Looking at the effects on t on theatre-making in East Germany during the com communist era, it asks pertinent questions about the relat relationships between creativity and control, and how how a community can develop in adversity. Given the the arts’ obsession with ‘community orientation’ – whi which can often be an attempt to impress funders rath rather than develop a group of people who have a m a meaningful connection – Ensemble might be a cha challenge to simplistic thinking about theatre and pol politics. It It’s a bold move by Dundee Rep to revive The Ch Cheviot, The Stag and The Black, Black Oil (9–26 Se Sep) as 7:84’s production is an iconic script and i lm i lm that inspired a generation of writers. Harshly co condemning the Scottish co countryside, and its communities, The Cheviot w was the i rst ‘ceilidh play’ that went out into rural co communities and a new production will have to co confront its massive inl uence. the destruction of
Aby Watson’s There’s no point crying over spilt m milk at Glasgow’s Tron Theatre (14–17 Oct) has g graduated from earlier incarnations at the Arches, a and is perhaps as far away from the grandeur o of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels as you can get. A m meditation on childhood, with live music and a s subtle glance at how memories shift with time, t this piece is a duet for performer and musician that leaves a melancholic feeling and a sense of how childhood delight and fear are tamed by maturity. 3 Sep–5 Nov 2015 THE LIST 33
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