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1AYE: AN AF­FIR­MA­TION OF MAR­TYN BEN­NETT MACPHAIL CEN­TRE, UL­LAPOOL, TONIGHT; EAST­GATE, PEEBLES, WED­NES­DAY;EAST­WOOD PARK THEATRE, GIFFNOCK, THURS­DAY; AN TO­BAR, MULL, FRI­DAY. ALL 7.30PM The Scot­tish Arts Coun­cil’s Tune Up tours are all fine things, but this is an es­pe­cially fine one. Cham­ber mu­sic reinventors Mr McFall’s Cham­ber are joined by per­cus­sion­ists Tom Ban­croft and James Mack­in­tosh, and sax’n’piper Fraser Fi­field to play the mu­sic of Ben­nett, who died three years ago, along­side re­sponses to his ex­tra­or­di­nary tal­ent from the pens of Fi­field and Ed­ward McGuire. With mu­si­cians such as vi­o­lin­ist Greg Law­son ideally equipped to bring their world-mu­sic vir­tu­os­ity to Ben­nett’s com­po­si­tions, this is an­other ex­am­ple of the care­ful cu­ra­to­rial at­ti­tude most who knew him have to his legacy. In other words, the best thing to do is to get our there and play the stuff. And Tune Up tours have a suit­ably ex­pan­sive at­ti­tude to the con­cept of “out there”.

2IN YOUR ROOMS/UP­RIS­ING TRA­VERSE, ED­IN­BURGH, TO­DAY, 8PM This one-night-only show­ing by Hofesh Shechter’s own dance com­pany is def­i­nitely akin to night-time star gaz­ing. Per­haps that should be comet watch­ing, for Shechter is cur­rently blaz­ing a bril­liant trail across the na­tional and in­ter­na­tional dance scene. Janet Smith, artis­tic di­rec­tor of the Scot­tish Dance Theatre (SDT), in­stantly recog­nised Shechter’s flair. Not only does he cre­ate dance with a play­ful, provoca­tive edge, he also mixes his own sound­scores (with a taste for driv­ing per­cus­sion that could well hark back to his days as a drum­mer with the band Hu­man Be­ings). How­ever, it took Smith a good two years to se­cure enough free time on Shechter’s crowded sched­ule for him to make Dog, one of the works on SDT’s new tour­ing pro­gramme – it played in Ed­in­burgh just last week.

Tra­verse reg­u­lars may, as it hap­pens, re­mem­ber Shechter’s own pre­vi­ous stopover there in Oc­to­ber 2006. If so, they’ll al­ready know that the all-male Up­ris­ing is one of those swag­ger­ing, ath­let­i­cally com­bat­ive pieces that take the lid off sim­mer­ing so­cial sit­u­a­tions and per­sonal con­flicts, and that it’s both clev­erly hu­mor­ous and se­ri­ous at the same time. In Your Rooms, his most re­cent com­pany project, goes even fur­ther in ex­plor­ing the ten­sions be­tween sur­face be­hav­iour and in­ner­most fears and feel­ings, gen­er­at­ing dance that is amaz­ing to watch, but also truly mov­ing in the lone­li­ness and lack of con­trol it por­trays. One to catch if you can.

3THE MOTH­ER­SHIP TRA­VERSE, FROM TUES­DAY, 7.30PM With D C Jack­son’s Border­line show The Wall still out on the road, here’s an­other writer with a sure touch when it comes to por­tray­ing the tri­als and de­lights of youth. Douglas Maxwell first came to the world’s at­ten­tion as a fresh-faced youth who claimed to have writ­ten hun­dreds of plays be­fore Decky Does a Bronco toured swing parks to ac­claim for both com­pany and au­thor. Now a fa­ther, Maxwell still has the skill of con­nect­ing with a young au­di­ence – a pub­lic which, he ac­knowl­edges, is not slow to an­nounce the fact if it is bored.

This play has been staged by Birm­ing­ham Rep and is visit­ing Scot­land on tour, al­though it was re­ally de­signed to play schools. Its 18-year-old pro­tag­o­nist has a preg­nant step-mum, no girl­friend and has told his dis­abled brother Gerry that he is an alien and that one day The Mother Ship will come and take him home. Then Gerry dis­ap­pears. The po­lice­man in­volved in the en­su­ing chase is, nat­u­rally, no less cred­u­lous when it comes to be­liev­ing in science fiction phe­nom­ena. And the name of our hero in the tale of ex­tra-ter­res­trial in­flu­ence on or­di­nary lives? Why El­liot, of course.

4SUGABABES CLYDE AU­DI­TO­RIUM, SECC, GLAS­GOW,WED­NES­DAY,7PM Al­though mu­si­cally Girls Aloud are streets ahead th­ese days, the sassi­ness of the Babes still gives Ch­eryl and Co a real run for their money. Keisha Buchanan never misses an op­por­tu­nity to add to the spu­ri­ous war of words be­tween the two groups, re­cently us­ing a news­pa­per’s make-up col­umn to draw at­ten­tion to the more spar­ing use of the stuff you are likely to no­tice on a Babe as dis­tinct from a Girl. Al­though Girls Aloud hardly go around pon­tif­i­cat­ing like they are Ra­dio­head, Su­gababes can some­times man­age to make them look a tad po-faced. New re­cruit Amelle has the best voice of the trio and she was a stranger to most of the fans when they last played the SECC. Hence the amus­ing I Want to Be the Next Su­gababe T-shirts avail­able at the mer­chan­dise stall. New sin­gle De­nial will surely be get­ting big licks, but make sure to shout for their cover of Pri­mal Scream’s Get Your Rocks Off.

Sup­port is 16-year-old Gabriella Cilmi, Aus­tralia’s en­try in the Amy Wine­house re­place­ment hand­i­cap chase, who has

Clock­wise­from­main:The Mother­ship­lands at the Tra­verse; Su­gababes play SECC; Jenna Reid mixes it up at The Blend; In Your Rooms/Up­ris­ing; Mr McFall’s Cham­ber

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