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The Courier

Star of“Red Dwarf” and “Robot: Wars”


with Steve Best

Thu 2 8. Fri 3 Dec

praise the Lord with the...

C. R Mackintosh inspired dance and Glasgow scenes...

load of Tosh

from Studio Dance Group

Glasgow Nautical College panto...

Babes in

The Alarm’s frontman unplugged...

Tickets from Ticketlink - 0l4l 287 55! l Cottier Theatre - 0l4l 357 3868 (4.5 - 8pm)

80 THE "ST 2—16 Dec 1999

Sun 4 Dec

Glasgow Gospel Choir

Sun 5 Dec

l5~ l8 Dec

Sun I 9 Dec

Mike Peters

in concert


Glasgow: Citizens' Theatre until Sat 18 Dec 1i: i i *

lock the ripper: Owen Gorman and Andrea Hart in Blood On The Thistle

With a prologue alluding to Madeleine Smith's not proven verdict for the poisoning of her lover, there’s a sense of ongoing historical grimness to contextualise this take on three post- war Scottish murderers. Kenny Miller's

many-voiced production centres on accounts of their deeds by the murderers themselves, but shifts occasionally to bring in the words of their victims, who reflect upon their brutal ends from beyond the grave.

As if this weren't enough to give us the willies, interludes between the tales of the punished murderers tell the audience about Bible John, a man for whom the authorities are still digging around. Altogether, it makes for an uneasy walk through darkened Glasgow after the show.

Much of the effectiveness of Miller‘s adaptation of Douglas Skelton's true crime book comes from the great glass cell - reminiscent of the one that held Hannibal Lecter - which takes up most of the stage. Within and around this, Owen Gorman’s portrayal of Peter Manuel, the Lanarkshire mass- murderer, seems terrifyingly close to the bound-in studio theatre audience. So too the acts of furious violence which erupt, particularly Manuel's assault on a female victim (Andrea Hart). The more calculating murderers - Archibald Hall (Stephen Scott) and Brian Newcombe (Stuart Bowman) seem less threatening after the earlier psychopathy, but there remains an air of dreadful seediness throughout.

It’s fortunate that the performance time (just over an hour) is so short you wouldn't want to miss your bus and have to hitch with a stranger . . . (Steve Cramer)

Giles Havergal plays an artist affl


Death In Venice

Glasgow: Citizens' Theatre, until Sat

18 Dec *** Should art be concerned with the

pursuit of excess rather than the pursuit of excellence? Does a concentration on beauty lead to a prioritisation of artistic form? Some of the questions raised in Thomas Mann’s Death In Venice may not have definitive answers, but the Citizens' Theatre is undoubtedly the ideal venue for continuing the discussion.

In this one-man show, actor/director Giles Havergal plays an ageing writer on a trip to Venice who is suddenly mesmerised by the beauty of a young man. But this is more than a simple case of the unattainable being the most desirable; his scopophilia is utilised to provide a metaphorical meditation on the nature of artistic endeavour. Mann is not only

icted by lov

e and pestilence in Death In Venice concerned with the beautiful things in life, however. By introducing a cholera epidemic to this northern Italian city, his initial preoccupation with beauty is skilfully juxtaposed with the real meat of art, the ephemerality of life - or put more bluntly, death.

Mann's original novella and Visconti's 1971 film both achieved high critical acclaim. But Robert David MacDonald’s adaptation struggles to break free from the strictures of its literary antecedent. Thus the 80-minute running time lacks sufficient dramatic impulse and the production requires more than the usual degree of concentration. The weaknesses are partially overcome by Havergal's fine performance, and both Philip Witcomb's set and Zerlina Hughes's lighting design are excellent, if not excessive. An interesting evening, but it's difficult to escape the feeling that you might be better off reading the book. (Davie Archibald)