Festival film see page 71 0 Festival art see page 79
BOOK PREVIEW Esther Freud
Peerless novelist goes wild at Book Festival
Esther Who? The author of Hideous Kinky, Peerless Flats, and Gag/ow, Esther Freud is one of the UK's most highly-acclaimed young novelists. Nothing to do with penis envy then? No, that was her great-grandfather Sigmund. Esther Freud’s novels are notable for their delicate prose and innocent, child's-eye view of the warped adult world, which draw on her colourful childhood experiences growing up in Marrakech and England. So what brings her to the grandfather of all arts festivals? Sharing billing with fellow scribe Freya North, Freud will be discussing her work and reading from her latest novel The Wild, the quietly disturbing tale of a young girl and her new step-family. As a former actress, Freud is perhaps more qualified than most authors for the process of public readings and personal appearances. ’lt's an interesting exercise, performing from your own work,’ she says, ’but sometimes, if the rhythm’s not right or the writing sounds bad, it can make you wince mid-sentence.’
£3 Esther Freud (Book) Charlotte Square Gardens, 555 6966, Wed 76 Aug, 7pm, £6.50 (£4.50).
Top tips from the Feng Shui guru The author of Feng Shui Solutions is heading for Edinburgh, but in the meantime here's some advice on how to stay healthy, wealthy and in the mood for lurve . .
0 Keep a pair of red flowers in the west part of your home to increase the energy associated with romance.
0 Keep coins on a red cloth in the west part of your home or office to help you focus on financial income.
0 Put a pendulum clock in the north- west part of your home if you want to feel more organised.
OWear natural materials, avoiding synthetics, to feel clear headed and vibrant.
THEATRE Further Than The Furthest Thing *****
Secrets and lies on a not so fantasy island
Zinne Harris won a major award for this play before it even made it to the stage, and small wonder. Based on the true story of a community forced from its island home by a volcano and re-located to England, the play then sets off on its own fictional journey where secrets are unearthed and wounds re-opened. A stunning set brings to life a barren, yet peaceful world, which is shattered in two when the islanders swap potato patches for production lines in Southampton. The gentle tinkling of a waterfall is replaced by the thundering of factory pipes and suddenly, a way of life which once seemed harsh to us outsiders starts to make more sense.
Fish out of water - Arlene Cockburn and Paola Dionisotti
Former Tron Artistic Director Irina Brown treats Harris' words with the sensitivity they deserve, as these strangers in a strange land battle to return to their home with some dignity intact. The plight of the community is told through just one family, but the small cast bear the load with ease; in particular Paola Dionisotti whose performance carries the play like a tireless packhorse. Blurring the lines between fact and fiction can be problematic, but Harris has managed to borrow the flavour of the island — its lyrical language, peculiar traditions and quirky superstitions -— and place her own captivating story there. (Kelly Apter)
:2 Further Than The Furthest Thing (Fringe) Traverse (Venue 75) 228 7404, until 26 Aug (not Mon) various times, £72 (£7.50).
0 Wear or surround yourself with strong bright colours when you want to feel more alert and active. Use pale _ pastel colours to feel more calm. ‘ 0 Light a pair of candles in the south part of your home to increase feelings of passion. (Simon Brown) :3 Simon Brown on Feng Shui (Book) Charlotte Square Gardens, 624 5050, Mon 74 Aug, 7pm, £5. 50 (£3. 50).
Dream Date the
Love works in mysterious ways . . . Improvisation can be a risky business. Take too long over a line and you've lost the audience; give too little thought to the future and you've lost yourself. Fortunately for the audience of Dream Date, The Old Spontaneity Shop have their craft well honed. Having plucked
two willing participants from the streets earlier that day, the company create a one-hour ’romantic drama’ depicting how a date between them might conceivably pan out. Slick direction from the 'host’, superb comic timing and the odd well-placed tune keep the laughs plentiful. Some scenes work better than others, but the excitement of knowing that nobody, not even the actors, has a clue what's coming next carries the show along. (Kelly Apter)
5;: Dream Date (Fringe) Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 226 275 7, until 28 Aug,
1. 75pm, £7.50 (£6.50).
A Woman In Waiting ****
Joy and pain in the South African townships
Thembi Mtshali has plundered the depths of her memory and come up
drenched in tears but wearing a smile. The South African actress’s autobiographical one-woman show takes us back to her early childhood, as she waits patiently for her parents’ annual visit. History repeats itself years later when she is forced to leave her own child to look for work, and counts the seconds until they're reunited each weekend. Mtshali’s talent on the stage finally frees her of her torment, allowing her to act out, rather than live, her former life.
Good theatre is often cathartic, but usually for the audience, not the person on stage. Mtshali is willing to share her pain with us, and we’re all the richer for it. (Kelly Apter)
m A Woman In Waiting (Fringe) Assembly Rooms (Venue 3) 226 2428, until 28 Aug (not Tue) 2.30pm, £9/f 70 (EB/£9).
10-17 Aug 2000 THE LIST FESTIVAL GUIDE 33