Summerhall TV have just uploaded this interview with Muriel Romanes and Maureen Beattie talking about The List.
Lyn Gardner’s review of The List in The Guardian gives the show a smashing four stars!
Everything about Muriel Romanes’s production is just so, including John Byrne and Roland Fraser’s design – a curved, beaten-copper panel whose greenish tinge hints at the countryside. Projected on to it are images of trees, their witchy, finger-like branches encroaching on the tiny model house perched precariously on a chair. But the really magnificent thing is Maureen Beattie’s mesmerising and thrillingly unforgiving performance as a woman who cannot forgive herself.
Catch the full review.
What do you do in theatre?
I am a playwright and an actor.
How long have you been doing it?
Since I gave up my PhD on Women in the Theatre to become a woman in the theatre.
What was your first ever job?
I lasted one night working behind a bar in Highgate. I can’t count and guessed the change. My improvisatory skills were not appreciated. Being sacked was a relief and the next month I moved to Edinburgh to continue my doomed postgraduate studies.
What was the contact or opportunity that you feel has made the most difference to your career?
Robert Nye was Writer in Residence at Edinburgh University when I was doing the post-grad thing but actually acting and writing. He said “do you really want to be an academic? Because I think you are a poet and a writer. Wouldn’t you like to apply for a Scottish Arts Council Writer’s Bursary with my back-up?” Without him I could now be teaching Gender and Performative Studies at Wolverhampton University. No offence to . . . (I’m too old to fake any interest in finishing that sentence.)
What’s the biggest opportunity that you missed or wished you had taken up but didn’t?
I think regretting nothing is only convincing if you sing the non-regretting, sparrow-like and in French. I firmly believe that my unending practice of pointlessly re-editing the story of my life (inventing unanswerable lines I never uttered, spiritedly leaving men I never left in my head etc) has been the perfect conservatoire for my job of making things up. Musicians practice scales and I take my retrospective yearnings for a rigorous daily workout. So now my regrets are very toned.
What’s your most memorable moment in the theatre?
David Tennant playing Hamlet is the most recent memorable. Along with watching Into the Woods at the Open Air Theatre in Regents Park and seeing Francie and Josie onstage at the Alhambra Theatre when I was a kid – Scottish vaudeville, Sondheim, Shakespeare what a line-up.
What’s your favourite play?
Hamlet. “I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams.”
What advice would you give to new and emerging women in Scottish theatre?
Hire the hall, design the poster and then having painted yourself into a corner, go for it!
Don’t have a sangria and rice salad fundraising party (I didn’t know anyone rich and I just got bloated) or busk for funding on the Grassmarket if like me you can’t sing and you get neuralgia. (I deeply regretted that. See Piaf reference above.)
Trust the tiny little pilot light of your idea. The giants just started out with a glimmer and a deadline. (For self-imposed deadlines, see painted corner reference above.)
Bear witness to people’s experience as well as their opinions. The truth is more radical than ideology.
Leave the critics to work out what relevance your work has to gender, or nationality or whatever. Stick with your sacred curiosity and the integrity of your wonderful antics because your job is the thing that keeps the whole shebang going. Let their definitions have to run like hell to catch you up.
What do like best about working in theatre?
That your secret nutshell world becomes a realised populated universe. That the little pilot light has turned into a hush of expectation, carpenters have carpented and words have been learned off by heart, and a story is beginning.
How does working with an actress like Maureen Beattie help playwrights develop their work?
Maureen and I plotted our future lives in theatre at convent school together. I wrote my first full length play, Hard to Get, with her and Peter Kelly in mind. That was a brilliant adventure. Also, I think she knows that tragedy and comedy are really one mask. And we are so glad to be out of uniform and properly dressing up now.
Who would be your Stellar Quine of the month be and why?
Sarah Collier who starred in my play Wedding Belles and Green Grasses and broke my heart nightly. She is the real deal. Subtle, smart and powerful. I love that she combines the classy with the mischievous too. It’s an irresistible combination. Also she looks good in hats. I’m not sure she ever wore a hat in any of my plays actually, but maybe that’s another opening of another play.
Neil Cooper at the Glasgow Herald has written a super article on The List. According to him Stellar Quines are full of surprises. Read the full article here.
Stellar Quines is delighted to have won both a Fringe First and Herald Angel for The List. Here’s what they look like!
The Scotsman have credited The List as one of the top theatre shows at the Fringe so far!
Four stars from The List who claim that:
Maureen Beattie delivers this bleakly poignant dramatic monologue…
Read the full review.
While The Stage says:
But this play, rich with images and abstraction, is also a leap into one woman’s subconscious and a sophisticated piece of emotional expressionism.
Read the full review.
The Scotsman claim that:
The strength of the production comes from the way it illuminates the small details of domesticity and motherhood, which nevertheless link in to primal emotions. It’s about small things, and how sometimes a small thing can turn out to be the biggest thing of all.
Catch the whole review here.
The Herald claims of the The List
Stellar Quines have produced a thought-provoking study of action, consequence and the foibles of human behaviour.
Read the full review here.
We are absolutely delighted that The List has had a string of five star reviews.
Here’s what they have to say:
Broadway Baby - Maureen Beattie gives an inspired performance which embraces both the sensitive and dramatic contents of the play and at times the comic mundanity of everyday life.
The Public Reviews- this stellar piece of theatre is outstanding and entirely captivating, and should be right at the top of everybody’s list.