Changeling Rooms ****

Delectable theatrical three course menu changes daily

Dressed in matching T-shirts and tartan kilts, an eight-strong cast of talented young performers asks the audience to choose six shOit plays from an a la carte menu of 30.

Providing a varied diet of thought- provoking and saucy dishes, the ’Lunch' is a particularly recommended taste of female eccentricity, ’Beach', a risque look at forced homophobia and ’Snoop' a disquieting study of mistrust in a relationship. This highly novel format illustrates both the versatility and strength of the actors' performances and ensures every performance is different, so that you may well be tempted to go for seconds. (Catherine Bromley)

a Changeling Rooms (Fringe) Changeling, C Venue (Venue 34) 225 5705, unti/27 Aug (not 73) noon, £5.50 (£4.50).


Till Darth Do Us Part *** Silly sci-fi send-up

Setting the tone with the shocking pun of the title, this sitcom version of Star Wars confidently continues in the same vein with a veritable galaxy of cheap gags.

The evil doings of Darth Vader have been brought right up to date, so that we find him having just bought a nightclub, called - you guessed it The Deathstar. He’s also head of a property empire and Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess Leia are his hard-done-by tenants fighting for justice.

While it's by no means your destiny to see this show, fans Will delight in this silly spoof that urges the farce to be with you. (Catherine Bromley)

{35 Till Darth Do Us Part (Fringe) Brainstopping, C Venue (Venue 34) 225 5705, until 29 Aug (not 73) 70.30am, £5.50 (£4.50).


Say Nothing ****

Poi nant peer behind plastic smi es of peace process

Ignorance is bliss for theatre audiences in this Northern Irish farce of foibles.

Kevin (David Woods) returns home with an English PhD in Peace and Conflict Studies. He’s been away from Ulster so long, he's lost his accent. Jon Hough plays a succession of characters, from a softly spoken, yet oddly sinister, landlady to a broadly spoken Lodge laird, while surreal paramilitary action occurs spasmodically behind them unnoticed.

Pretty physical within its limitations, the two writer- performers stand in claustrophobically close proximity in a turf-filled suitcase, and morph seamlessly through these Beckettian characters. The piece includes some graphic images rendered blackly comic in their juxtapositioning.

Inconsequential chit-chat takes the place of real talk, with Kevin either struggling to understand his Northern Irish companion or patently failing to be understood himself. At one stage the script even repeats itself, emphasising how the process appears to be going over old ground. Kevin can't break through the incessant facade of hospitality - refusing politely


Pres de Lune met Only for budding dance enthusiasts

For all its strengths, this visually exciting show has a pretty limited audience: dance-struck girls aged 8-12 years; parents of said girls; or Red Shoes afficionados will really enjoy it.

The village of Pres de Lune has an annual dance festival celebrating their girls journey into maidenhood. Each year one of them is chosen as Lunessa

Tempting talent in Changeling Rooms i

ffiffiv-l- OdM-IPM theatre comedy dance music books

Ridiculusmus' punk approach to the peace process

doesn’t work, neither does accepting, leading Kevin

just talk?’

(a sort of Head Girl) but this year's Lunessa really lets her sense of self- importance go to her head.

The script’s succession of aphorisms become repeitive, but it’s an interesting treatment nonetheless, well performed by a confident teenage cast, supported by some fantastical costumes, acrobatic stilt-walking and a very able threesome prowding live music. (Gabe Stewart)

3:. Pres de Lune (Fringe) Theatre Whats/t, Scottish International At Dynamic Earth (Venue 78) 530 3557, until 72 Aug, 77.45am, £5 (£4)


Schumann Concerts Romantic genius’ gripping beauty 'I long to express my feelings and find an outlet for them in my music’ said the tragic German composer Robert Schumann. Four morning concerts in the popular Queen's Hall series give a magical Festival chance to hear just

' how he did it in his songs and

chamber music, A suicide attempt at age 44 was followed by death two years later in an

' insane asylum. Yet Schumann's music,

particularly the songs, have a gripping beauty that can only belong to this romantic genius. To hear tenor Peter Schreier, one of the best lieder singers to be found, join forces with Hungarian pianist Andras Schiff for the song cycle Dichterliebe (A Poet’s Love), will be memorable.

For the first concert, they are joined on the platform by Heinz Holliger, arguably the world’s leading oboist,

eventually to break down in desperation: 'Can't we

But if all this sounds heavy going, it isn't. A satirical light touch makes this a humorous, poignant portrayal of the frustration of the peace process. (Gabe Stewart) [5 Say Nothing (Fringe) Ridicu/usmus, Traverse (Venue 75) 228 7404, until 26 Aug (not Mon) various times, £9 (£6).

violinist Yuuko Shiokawa and cellist Miklos Perenyi for some of the gems of the chamber music repertoire. Both concerts will be broadcast live on Radio 3. (Carol Main)

Schumann Concerts (Festival) Queen’s Hall, 473 2000, 76 Aug, 78 Aug, 77am, £20—£5.


Children's Book Round-up The best of the bunch for bambinos

Terry Jones must be fed up with being called an ex-Python, especially as he's also an authority on medieval history. On Monday he reads from The Lady and The Squire which combines his passion for days of yore with his penchant for humorous adventures. Jones has courted controversy ever since his book on Chaucer's Knight back in 1980 caused feathers to fly amongst Canterbury Tales scholars. On Sunday he continues to challenge established views of the 14th century for a 9+ years and adult audience, in a pretty lively way.

Other highlights for wee ones this week include a session with Aileen Paterson, creator of Maisie, on Monday; a feast for the imagination with Ruthie’s Big Old Coat on Tuesday; and on Wednesday, ’A New Room For William’ is one of many sessions that deal with issues affecting children, such as moving home or having a new baby. (Gabe Stewart)

I Children ’5 Programme (Book) Charlotte Square Gardens, 228 5444, 72—28 Aug, a/lat 70am, all £3.50.