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THEATRE

PLATFORM 18

POLITICAL theatre used to be called agitprop, and while that’s a word that has lost some of its currency since the 1970s, it could be applied to the brace of politically charged shows which come to the Traverse next week under the Platform 18 banner.

Funded by the Platform 18: New Directions Award, which offers the UK’s most talented emergent stage directors the opportunity to stage a fully funded theatre production, the first of the double-bill is Kieran Hurley’s Beats.

In 1994 the Criminal Justice Act effectively outlawed raves, banning public gatherings around amplified music characterised by “the emission of a succession of repetitive beats.”

Beats, a new monologue piece written and performed by Hurley with Glasgow’s Arches resident DJ Johnny Whoop, is a coming-of-age story exploring rebellion, apathy and the irresistible power of gathered youth. It promises techno... lots of techno.

The second piece is Gary Gardiner’s Thatcher’s Children: “You are hereby invited to the House of Commons to celebrate the life and times of the right honourable Baroness Thatcher. What a woman! What a leader! And what a role model for our young men!”

Thatcher’s Children is a high-energy physical performance exploring the notion of society and questioning the ability of someone to lead one, if it does not exist. What is Thatcher’s legacy? And what, as her children, have we inherited?

Platform 18, Traverse 2, Cambridge Street, next Wednesday- Saturday, 7pm, £15, 0131-228 1404

SOUL

BILLY OCEAN

HE’S the biggest black recording star Britain has ever produced and has sold more than 30 million records in his lifetime, so when Billy Ocean steps up to the mic at The Jam House tomorrow, prepare for something a bit special.

Born in Trinidad, Billy settled in London’s East End when just seven years old. A calypso crazy kid, he soon discovered soul legends such as Otis Redding and Sam Cooke, as well as pop groups like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones - a musical career of his own was sparked.

Ocean’s first break came when he was signed to GTO records - his second single with the label was the Motown-inspired Love Really Hurts Without You, which reached No 2 in the UK charts. Further Top 20 singles followed, Love On Delivery, Stop Me, Red Light Spells Danger and Caribbean Queen, for which he won a Grammy for best R&B vocal.

Expect to hear many of these and more tomorrow. You know what they say, ‘When the going gets tough... the tough head down to the Ocean, or in this case The Jam House.

A Night With Billy Ocean, The Jam House, Queen Street, tomorrow, 7pm, £19, 0131-226 4380