The Merry Mac Fun Co are as un-couthy as they look. Thetrio, Duncan MacLean, John MacKay and Jez Benstock, whose ‘Merry Mac Fun Show‘ was nominated for the Perrier Award during this year‘s Edinburgh Festival, describe their show as ‘a reaction to the moribund state of comedy and theatre generally in Scotland.“

Theirs is a unique, manic, ‘promenade’-style political cabaret, whose main focus is on aspects of life in Scotland. Though occasionally critical, their comedy is basically affirmative about the Scots and Scotland, and their humour is firmly rooted in a knowledge of Scotland - a fact that proved something of a slight barrier during the group's recent tour to the Donmar Warehouse in London, as part of the Perrier Pick of the Fringe. For Duncan MacLean, one ofthe group, whatwas more surprising, however, was that London audiences were quite unprepared for the speed of their performancez‘lt's a very energetic show. I think forthe trendy show-goers in London it‘s quite uncool tojump about! We were horrified at how slow other shows were we go at about four orfive times the pace.‘

The first show in 1984, which preceded the forming of the Fun Co by a year, took a great deal of inspiration from street theatre— Ieadingto the ‘promenade’ style, which switches from place to place around the audience, constantly shifting focus and often involving the spectators: ‘Street

their way to Scotland in 1195 written by Simon Abbott with music by George Christie.

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

Hogg -The Shepherd Justified Until Sun 1 Dec. 8pm. £4.50. Members £3/£3.50. Guests £4. Student standby £2.50. Members £2. A delightful. but also informative. one-man show written by Frederic Mohr and performed by Donald Douglas. Outlining the life ofJames Hogg the writer and ‘Ettrick Shepherd‘ (through reminiscences). the play builds up a warm picture of Hogg‘s personality, which emerges as convivial. imaginative and with a well developed sense of humour.

The Puddok an' the Princess 'I‘uc 3—Sun 22 Dec. 7.30pm. Mat 2.30pm on Fri 6, Sat 7. Fri 13. Fri 20 and Sat 21 Dec. Gala Perf. Fri 20 Dec 6.30pm. Charity Perf. Sun 22 Dec 7.30pm. Workshops on 6, 13, 20 Dec at 12noon. £4. Full members. OAPs. Students. UB40£3. Economy members £3.50. children £2, student standby £2. Theatre Alba have established a strong reputation for presenting plays with their roots

in Scottish folklore. The Puddok,

first seen at this year‘s Edinburgh

Festival Fringe. where it gained a

Fringe First. is no exception. It tells the tale of a princess whose

unselfishness wins her the reward of


theatre has a lot of spontaneity amd energy and is very unpretentious. 0n the street you have to grab a person's attention in two minutes or else they walk by. We like doing promenade -we think it’s good for the audience and for the performers. You’re not up on a pedestal, you’ve got the audience all around you, so you have to always keep your eyes open, be aware of what the audience are doing. If someone‘s in the way and you’re doing a scene in a butcher’s shop, you get them to sell

a prince. formerly masquerading as a puddok. which might be a clue as to the sort of species to which such an unlikely sounding creation belongs.

. . The production, written by David Purves. directed by Charles Nowosielski and with music by Richard Cherns, is in Scots and suitable for seven year olds and

mince! But the audience know what to

do ifyou do itwell.’

Audience participation during the Festival this year led to one unsuspecting London theatre critic taking on the role of Loch Ness Monster. . . . .ditficult to say who was the more surprised.

All three performers write the material torthe Fun Show, but the company does now have a broader aim, hoping to bring together a pool of actors on which they can draw to put on

upwards. There will be a special Gala Performance on 20 Dec. with a banquet. some proceeds going to the Scottish Cot Death Society (tickets £12.50). There are also workshop performances for young people £2 (not inc lunch from 80p). Contact the Traverse if you want to go. Playreading: Portraits Sun 1 Nov.


Catalyst Theatre Company are not easy to define which seems appropriate enough, since their show itself is aimed at overcoming any definitive interpretation. Not quite dance, not quite drama, their show ‘Chromo Zone‘ (Bedlam Theatre, Edinburgh) uses a combination of movement, fantastical costume, fluorescent paint and ultra-violet light to create images that they hope will get across emotions that can't be expressed in words. Lindsay John, who founded the company earlier this year explains that each spectator should come away with a different interpretation: ‘While there is a basic visual logic to the show that is there all the time, things happen on stage to trigger off all possible different interpretations - people have very different ways of relating to visual lmages.‘

The group, who appeared at the Edinburgh Gateway Exchange during


the Edinburgh Festival will be part of a triple bill together with a showing by the Naked Light Film Foundation and a

performance by the dancer Julia 3 Clarke, drawing on Japanese ‘Buto' movement. (Sarah Hemming).

l _

more straightforward plays Duncan MacLean‘s ‘The Randan' being a case in point: a tale recounting the hazards involved in trying to have a night on the town in Aberdeen. And if this all sounds suspiciously autobiographical—that‘s because it is. . .. (The Merry Mac Fun Show and The Randan can be seen at the Third Eye Centre, Glasgow on 29 and 30 Nov. Also at the Pleasance Theatre, Edinburgh on 17 December). (Sarah Hemming)

5.30pm. £2 (50p). Reading by Edinburgh Playwright Workshop of a new play by Ian 'I'ullis.

O BRUNTON THEATRE Musselburgh. 665 2240. Box office Mon—Sat 10am—8pm. Bar. [1)] [E]

Equus Until Sat 7 Dec. 7.30pm. £1.50—£3.75 depending on night and cones. Brunton Theatre (‘ompany in Peter Shaffer's play exploring the boundaries between the normal and the abnormal through the developing relationship between an adolescent and his psychiatrist.

Jack and the Beanstalk'l‘hurs 12 Dec—Sat 18 Jan. 7.30pm (excl. 25—31 Dec& 1. 16& 17Jan); 2.30pm on 12—14. l6& 17.21.23. 24.26—28.30 Dec and 2—4. 6—9. 11. 13 6’; 181an. £3. £3.80. Mat £2.50. Ron (‘oburn Productions bring their panto to Brunton with Anne Jamieson playing the giant-confronter. Jack.


0 It’s a Free Country Wildcat finish the tour oftheir highly successful musical cabaret comedy about life in Mrs T‘s Britain. Glasgow Muir Ila/l Until Fri 29 Nov.()41552 5961. Bellshill Cardinal Newman Theatre Sat 30 Nov, 4 844952.

The Twelfth Day of July TAG give the only public performance of an adaptation ofJoan Lingard‘s book, that has been touring secondary schools around Glasgow. Glasgow Third Eye Centre Sat 30 Nov, 1 1am. 041 332 7521. (See review). _J

The List 29 Nov— 12 Dec17