Carry On Kidding

EDINBURGH: When Councillor Kidd speaks the Scottish press usually listens for he is always controversial copy.

Kidd, the working man’s Longford, has always been proud of his relationship with the police and the press.

The trinity, he assured our reporter, was responsible for cleaning up the Scottish capital’s pubs and clubs of go-go dancers and strippers.

“The situation was desperate,” Kidd states. “Housewives phoned me up seeking help, their husbands were in pubs where these strippers danced, some even dipped their breasts in pints. The housewives were alarmed at the effect these artists were having on their husbands.” With the help of the press, Kidd soon had the situation under control. Pubs and clubs were not his only target, the “Traverse Theatre Club has been behaving itself,” he assured us “in the last 12 months.”

What he didn’t mention was that the club now has a substantial council grant and this may have had a taming effect on that hotbed of liberal depravity.

However Councillor Kidd’s peace of mind didn’t last long, for on St Andrews night, in the capital itself, boobs and beer were once again united. “It’s disgusting,” he said. “I was astounded. What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. It’s unbelievable.”

To make matters worse, Kidd could not rely on the support of his old allies, the press. For the boobs and all the other accessories were being flashed in, of all places the Edinburgh press club at their annual St Andrews Day dinner/dance.

FOOTNOTE: Councillor Kidd is a versatile puritan, for he’s one of the most vociferous anti-gay activists in Scotland. See his amazing answers to GN interview in GN7.

Kemping It Up

(The word CAMP is locally pronounced Kemp in the posh Morningside area of Edinburgh)

19720901-11Lindsay is back! And boy do we know what to expect!

The Lindsay Kemp Theatre Troupe last put on “Our Lady of the Flowers” late in 1970 at the Traverse Theatre Club in Edinburgh to a storm of critical praise. This production, which will be repeated during the Edinburgh Festival, is significantly different, and a whole lot more interesting for gay men.

I say gay men, because this is a mimed play about male homosexuals. The period is 1938 Paris; the visions are those of an old crone in prison who conjures up the most erotic imaginings as a means of self-stimulation and sexual release. The 1972 production does not falter in presenting these images to its audiences.

The scenes are linked by narrative (reader Lindsay Levy, London GWLG) which is the more interesting because it is read in a half drowsy monotone; a casual “nothing-shocks-one” voice. The play opens in a nunnery, where, in the half light we see mysterious figures. They are the nuns: mindless and aimless, desperate for erotic stimulation. Stimulation arrives in the form of Ian Oliver whose extraordinarily beautiful naked body is carried round the crypt. There is more than a passing allusion to a Christ-like figure. “The chosen one” – a lovely young youth — is stripped naked by the nuns and the two proceed to make symbolic love/sacrifice before the cross.

There are various scenes in the dives of pre-war Paris. One remarkable performance shows the two male lovers gazing into one another’s eyes quite oblivious to the vigorous, but appalling, acting of the cafe’s prostitutes. “Bye, Bye, Blackbird” can never be the same after the twists and enhancements given to it by the Kemp Troupe. The play’s ending is heartbreaking, and here we have the traditional outlook on the homosexual: it must all end in tragedy, in gore. But even this is carried off well – and is much appreciated by the older members in the audience.

The cast is 9 men 2 women. Lindsay Kemp and Orlando have shouted the triumph of physical homosexual eroticism, and have picked a cast of very attractive, visually stimulating men. Andrew Wilson of London GLF created the music sequences.