“luv” OPM'IOPM theatre comedy dance music books


Weekly experimental eclecticism

The Bongo Club is a venue where exotic musical cocktails are par for the course. But even by their standards, None Of The Above offers some surprising, even apparently incompatible combinations. That, of course, is precisely the point; it is not simply rampant eclecticism gone mad, but rather an exercise in opening ears and expanding horizons.

There are four None Of The Above events in all, kicking off with an encounter between Edinburgh’s iconoclastic Mr McFalI's Chamber and African musician Bajaly Suso, with jazz saxophonist Martin Kershaw’s Quartet and folkies Shine thrown in.

That programming logic applies on the subsequent dates as well, with jazz, folk, Latin, classical, ambient and downright experimental music jostling on the same bill, followed by a DJ until Sam. Expect the unexpected at a venue where ’the management reserve the right to whip like horses those found on the premises looking glum’. You have been warned.

(Kenny Mathieson)

I None Of The Above (Fringe) Bongo Club (Venue 743) 556 5204, 6, 13, 20, 27 Aug, 8.30pm, £7 (£5).


Scottish International At Dynamic Earth

Acoustic, folk, traditional round-up Scottish International’s success in building up the Grouse House as the Festival focus for acoustic/folk/ traditional music continues in a new partnership with one of the Fringe‘s classiest venues. Dynamic Earth, opposite the site of the New Scottish Parliament, hosts many a top act throughout August.

The concerts take place in the 420- seat theatre or the smaller Dome space, while the airy, top-floor Stratosphere Cafe Bar stays open till 3am. There will be live music and sessions from around 10pm with The Marwicks supplying the late night ceilidh grooves each weekend.

Gigs over the first week that reflect

the many facets of Scottish

music include the celtic grunge of Burach (4 Aug).

the quieter tones of Ken Campbell Handpict with Calluna (4—5 Aug), the fire and fun of Deaf Shepherd (5 Aug) plus the passion and politics of Dick Gaughan and Brian McNeilI (10 Aug). (Norman Chalmers) I Scottish International At Dynamic Earth (Fringe) Dynamic Earth (Venue 18) 530 3557, 4-28 Aug, various times and prices.


CiRcus PREVIEW Cardoso Flea Circus

Fleas aren’t exactly renowned for their high entertainment value. One woman who may disagree is Maria Fernanda Cardoso who is reviving a lost 19th century art form. Before entering the world of performing parasites, this Colombian conceptual artist created installations from nature- based materials ranging from dried flowers to preserved piranhas. Then she developed an obsession with fleas.

After five years of studying flea history, science and psychology, she is now ringmaster, flea-trainer, prop builder, set designer and mentor to her very own miniature menagerie. Her microscopic charges perform in an oval- shaped, Plexiglas arena that is concealed from onlookers. A live video camera coupled with

projection and video screens enables audiences to follow each and every move made by the cast of 300 female cat and kangaroo fleas exhibiting their circus skills with the backing of an original soundtrack.

This bizarre spectacle consists of Cardoso’s subjects dancing on a revolving music box, sword fighting, high diving, tightrope walking, weightlifting and shaking their diminutive booty to Latin beats (all in full costume of course). Harry Fleadini is the escape artist,

. I“. "‘ . . . ‘1. “M

' m-‘w M - "a It‘n‘mr-‘Vw “5 "‘

r‘ _ .‘Mi, ~ I V ‘f',

Brutus is the strongest flea on earth (he pulls a



Camp musical humour

What have Julie Andrews, Cher and Ronan Keating got in common? In addition to a host of other well- known warblers, they’re all being given special treatment in Craig Hill’s Alive With The Sound Of Music. While some people may beg to differ, Hill insists that his act is not simply about poking fun; Dame Julie sings The Sex Pistols and La Bassey belts out football chants: ‘I ridicule singers by highlighting the eccentric aspects of their style,’ he insists. Hill’s frequent performances at The Stand have centred on his cheeky brand of musical mickey-taking, but his first solo Fringe show heralds a new departure. As well as crooning, he’ll also

The mickey-taking Craig Hill

be dealing in anecdotal humour. ’l’ll be talking about a few of my favourite things and also revealing the kind of painfully embarrassing episodes which people should keep to themselves, but have decided to share.’ The naive fools. (Dawn Kofie) I Craig Hill’s Alive With The Sound Of Music (Fringe) Craig Hill, Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 226 2757, 4—28 Aug (not 14, 21) 8.45pm, £8 (£7).

COMEDY PREVIEW Torch Song Sassy The UK ’s tallest drag queen Edinburgh-born Allan G. Rogers can lay claim to the grand title of being the UK’s tallest drag queen. Performing under the stage name of Sassy Stryker, the disco diva stands at just under eight foot tall in her boots, but it’s not just her height that will be turning heads. Sassy has made a full- time occupation of touring the world with her flamboyant stage show. Over the past eight years, the now London- based diva has cultivated a show that combines live stand-up with lavish costumes and high camp singing. She made her debut in Edinburgh back in 1992 and sees this Fringe appearance as the ’first step towards performing on the straight comedy circuit’. Describing her show as ‘definitely

.a-«...p V5,... .

The revival of a lost 19th century art

locomotive 160,000 times his own weight), Samson's the weightlifter and Lulu's the ballerina.

Their routine is helped along by Cardoso, armed with a whip and a deadpan monologue peppered with double entendres. Needless to say, this is‘one of the Fringe's quirkier offerings. (Dawn Kofie)

I Cardoso Flea Circus (Fringe) Edinburgh’s Garden Party (Venue 50) 226 2428/2757, 6-28 Aug (not 15, 22) 8.45pm, 10pm; 7, 74, 27 Aug, 5.75pm, £9/£ 7 0 (£5/£6).

adult, very blue but not offensive and very, very funny', Sassy is currently taking Asia by storm as the first white drag queen ever to perform in Bangkok.

(Catherine Bromley)

I Torch Song Sassy (Fringe) C. C. Blooms (Venue 786) 556 9337, 6—20 Aug, 9pm, £5 (£3.50).


The Local Stigmatic

19605 stalker play revisited Heathcote Williams’ brutal play was first performed at the Traverse Theatre in the early 19605. It now returns to Edinburgh in a production themed around that era, courtesy of the acclaimed Mandrake Theatre.

’lt’s about two Cockney ne’er-do- wells whose main obsessions are greyhound racing and finding out about celebrities,’ explains co- producer and performer Stephen O’Shea. 'They find a famous actor in their pub and move in on him. Even though it was written in the early 605, that whole celebrity stalking thing is a contemporary issue now with Jill Dando.’

Al Pacino is allegedly obsessed with The Local Stigmatic and has held its rights for the last few years and has even made a film of it that no one has yet seen. As for Williams, he is a recluse in Wales. ’We did invite him to come and see it but we've had no reply.’ (Paul Dale)

I The Local Stigmatic (Fringe) Mandrake Theatre, Assembly Rooms (Venue 3) 226 2428, 3—28 Aug, 8.15pm, £9/£ 7 0 (£8/£9).