F Roy. Finlay Welsh takes great wickedly funny sketches in this fast pleasure in bringing him alive and moving cabaret such as the soap

. l creatingavivid picture ofenmity opera spoof, ‘Phallas', or the think

among the artists and the restrictions tank session between Saatchi &

Traverse, Edinburgh One hundred and titty years alter his death James liogg is probably still best

known as the ‘Ettrick Shepherd', the rustic-poet image paddled by

publishers, and the shadowy writer behind the startlingly innovative Confessions oi a Justitied Sinner. Frederic Mohr’s tribute brings him

t irresistibly to tile in a seamless

monologue oi caretully ordered anecdote and reminiscence.

The vitality ol Mohr’s script, however, is only the starting point at this warrn-hearted one-man show- it is up to Donald Douglas’s pertorrnance to put the llesh on the bones. Ruddy-laced and sell-possessed, when he iirst addresses the audience irom his cosy

stage-within-a-stage the danger seems

to threaten oi an evening at cloyingly

artlticed camaraderie - but he wins you i

over in no time. His appeals to the audience are skilled, but they work spontaneously- by the end oi the

evening he has built up an amiable

relationship with them that is part and parcel oi the personality he portrays

knows how to use good luck when It does arrive, and in a lit oi tenacity produces a magazine single-handed (concluding, incidentally, that ‘journalism is drouthy work’ -and who

of nineteenth century theatre. Playreading: Stalemate Sun 17 Nov. 5.30pm. £2 (50p). Edinburgh Playwrights Workshop present a reading of a new play by Jim Glen. Playreading: A Friend in Need Sun 24 Nov. 5.30pm. Marjorie Harper and Muriel Barnett‘s new play presented by Edinburgh Playwrights Workshop.

0 BRUNTON THEATRE Musselburgh, 665 2240. Box office Mon—Sat lOam—8pm. Bar. [D] [E]

Oliver! Until Sat 23 Nov. 7.30pm.

£1 .50—3.75 depending on night and concessions. Lionel Bart’s highly successful musical adaptation of Dickens’ Oliver Twist, presented by Brunton Theatre Company.

Equus Wed 27 Nov—Sat 7 Dec. 7.30pm. £1 .50—£3.75 depending on night and concessions. Peter Shaffer’s marvellous, intense exploration of the shifting relationship between an adolescent and his psychiatrist questioning the borders between sanity and insanity

fervour. Not suitable for children.

Saatchi executives who drunkenly fantasise about the exploits of Thatcho and owner occupied prison cells. However the six strong cast are

all highly accomplished musicians ' and vocalists and it is mainly the

energetic songs which make for an enjoyable evening out. (Lucy Ash) Glenrothes Glen wood Centre Fri 15 Nov, 0592 752244/756633. Shettleston Wells/tot Halls Sat 16 Nov, 041 771 2401. Glasgow Volunteer Service, Elmbank Street Mon 18 & Tue 19 Nov, 0413344866.

A yr Civic Theatre Wed 20 Nov, 0292 264639. Alloa Town Hall Thurs 21

Nov. Public Library or Public Baths, A Primrose Street. Paisley Gallowhill

Community Centre Sat 23 Nov.

2 Community Centre. Glasgow, Moir

Hall Mon 25—Fri 29 Nov (excl Wed)

; 041 552 5961.]ohnstone Lesser Hall Wed 27 Nov. 50 21578. Bellshill Cardinal Newman Theatre Sat 30

; Nov 4, 844952.

; o The Twellth Day ol July T.A.G.

i Theatre Company are touring and between obsession and religious r

secondary schools at present with

It David Ian Neville's adaptation of l Joan Lingard‘s novel about the

i friendship between two Belfast teenagers, one Catholic, one

; Protestant. There is one public

; performance at Glasgow Third Eye Centre 041 429 2877. Sat 30 Nov.

i 1 lam.

would dispute it?).

Justllied Sinner, though, is suggested as an enigma even to the writer himsell, disturbing him as he creates it, revealing his more serious side, which Douglas brings out as he shllts swlltly through oscillating l

(Morag Fullerton directs).

The James Hogg he presents is : convivial, witty, occasionally arrogant and immensely personable. Hogg ; delines himseli gradually by the experiences he recounts, neatly building up simultaneously a picture oi


0 It’s a Free Country The tone of Wildcat‘s musical indictment of contemporary Britain is set in the opening song about ‘Moaning Minnies‘, sung with throaty panache

his lite and his character. Both are eventful. Discovering at an early age that Burns was a ploughman, as a shepherd (one better) he decides he is

to replace him, and proceeds in that ; laith, driven on by the conviction that

‘many men die poets - but not many are born poets.’ His tile is dogged by bankruptcy- both his own and that at

; others - but never by loss of heart. 1 Resourcetul, and canny with it, he

explores revolution in a clowning class.

The Dltence Fri 15 Nov. 7 .30pm.

£1 .50 (£1). Double bill. Part 1, tickets include second show. Friction Theatre Co‘s first production takes on a complex moral issue, exploring the dilemma of a policeman who has

. allegedly killed a child molester.

Nightmare Fri 15 Nov. 7.30pm.

Double bill Part 2 (tickets see

above). Telford College Community Drama Course in a production devised around their nightmares that uses a combination of effects to recreate the nightmarish feeling— sounds a scream . . .

That'll Teach You Sat 16 Nov. 11am. 75p (50p). Theatre Workshop Junior

g Youth Theatre. See above. God’s Greatest Hits! Vol 1 Sat 16 Nov.

7.30pm. £1.50 (£1). Triple bill part 1, tickets include all three shows. Nick Fearne‘s light-hearted irreverent version of the stories in the Bible and the mystery plays presented by Cumbernauld Youth Theatre. Nightmare Sat 16 Nov. 7.30pm. Tickets see above. Telford College Community Drama Course for description see above.

Work is a Four Letter Word Sat 16 Nov. 7.30pm. Tickets see above). A wry

16 The List 15—28 November

moods, caricaturing Hogg’s adversaries as he goes. We are leit with an impression oi Hogg as a man with a strong sense at sell-perspective who is in love with nature, lite and language (a perhaps slightly synthetic old Borders here) and a remarkably good drinking companion with it; beginning and ending with the conviction that the poet sings - or should. (Sarah Hemmlng)

examination of the contemporary relevance of the ‘work ethic‘ by Telford College Drama Course. Workshop: In Your Own Write Sat 16 Nov. 1.30—5.30pm. Creative writing for 12-20 year olds.

Workshop: Picture This Sat 16 Nov. lOam—Spm. Photography for 11—18 year olds.

Cabaret: The Merry Mac Fun Co Fri 15 and Sat 16 Nov. 10pm. Free. The wild high-energy Perrier nominees compress their promenade-cabaret style into the cafe.

0 TRAVERSE 112 West Bow, 226 2633. Box office Tues—Sat 10am—9pm. Sun 12.30—9pm. Bar. Rest.

Hogg —The Shepherd Justltied Until Sun 1 Dec (Not Mons). 8pm. £4.50. Members £3/£3.50. Guests £4. Student standby £2.50. Members £2. Frederic Mohr’s play celebrating the 150th anniversary of James Hogg (See review).

iloward’s Revenge Until Sun 17 Nov. 10.153m. Check prices. A special late night showing of Donald Campbell’s delightful, Fringe First winning one-man play about J . B. Howard, nineteenth century actor, whose misfortune it was to have to

give immortal performances of Rob

by Terry Neason. There are a few


Netherbow, Edinburgh.

Donald Campbell’s latest play opens with Danny MacTaggert (admirably played by Joe Graig), an ex-tootballer and now a shop owner nearing

retirement, soliloquislng on the central ,

role ol work in lite. The speech sets the central theme ot the play; all tour characters are, in dltterent ways, absorbed in their work.

Danny's son Dobby (Martin Block), his own lootballing career ended by accident, is a miner; his grandson, Gordon (Scott Johnston), is a goal-scoring centre-lorward - thus the pun oi the title (the play is set during the Miners’ Strike: both are strikers). More lmportantly, both are dellned in their own eyes by their work- ‘it’s what lam’, Bobby tells his lather, when the old man tries to convince him to retire irom mining and take overthe shop. Work has also crucially detlned his relationship with his ex-wile, Maggie (Beth Roberts) (given her adversarial position and her virulent anti-strike speech, not a coincidental name). She has leit him to seek out a more independent working lite: upwardly mobile, she is now about to marry an accountant from Dallas and emigrate. Too emblematic to convince, Maggie is an unsympathetic character, largely because she has abandoned the ‘working class' virtues which lie at the heart at the play, virtues which are awkwardly but eitectlvely symbolised in their attitude to tootball. ‘Strlkers’ is a deience oi pride In what a man does,

Joe Grelg

what he makes ol himseli not so much through his gitts as in the lace oi losing them.

To attempt such an examination in a play set entirely in the MacTaggart's sitting room presents problems which are not satlslactorlly solved. There is much talk about work, but little sense at it In the play; confrontations are rather artlticlal, the speeches a little too didactic to work as good theatre. it does not matter that the issues (like those at the Strike itseli) remain unresolved, but the play itselt lacks an essential locus, unexpected in a writer at Campbell’s proven ability. (Kenny Mathleson)