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THEATRE . Techno-FrantIc-Love ****

Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf with yuppie technocrats

In a piece which seems to be inspired by the Albee play, an articulate, disillusioned couple use computer games to relate to one another in place of any sort of real communication. Before long, the line between reality and virtual reality begins to blur, testing an already withered relationship.

This smart two-hander crackles with hormonal wit and blank-eyed generation apathy (as opposed to terrorism). Always engaging despite its minimal set, Theatre Duplicity has pulled off quite a coup. With Eliza Wyatt's tight script, solid direction from Decima Francis and superb performances from Lisa Barry and Richard Beaufort, this is certainly worth a venture. (Paul Dale)

:1 Techno-Frantic-Love (Fringe) Theatre Duplicity, Hill Street Theatre (Venue 41) 226 6522, until 75 Aug, 4.45pm, £7 (£5).


The Bootlegs it

Quartet fall short of the mark

Why The Bootlegs were so highly rated last year poses something of a mystery. Perhaps the material was stronger, for this is little short of inept. These four obviously talented young comics (the



The Bogus Woman *tidr Asylum-seekers come under the spotlight

For a while, politics seemed to be about big smiles, liking football and Oasis. Even the politicians seemed to try and depoliticise politics. Today there is change afoot, because the Government has got a girlfriend. Her name is The Daily Mail. Juxtaposed to the politics of the moment, the message of Kay Adshead's latest play about an asylum seeker seems even more urgent. The Bogus Woman revolves around a poet/journalist's experience as she attempts to gain refugee status in England, having fled her troubled African country. Whatever your thoughts on political theatre, it cannot be denied that words are a powerful tool; words force the bogus woman from her mother country and throughout the play Adshead’s words are fragile and beautiful, angry and raw. Norma

Dumezeni is shocking as the brutal warder, irritating as the cause crazy Agnes, and magnificent as the frightened but raging bogus woman. She instantly grabs our attention and won’t let go, pounding the stage full of disbelief and grief, demanding we reassess our views on the ever-growing mythology

Wrongfooted? The Bootlegs

few instances where the material measures up to their excellent sense of timing are great) lurch from half-baked scenario to blunt punchline, sketches stagnate when they should be fizzing and the one sketch which had some bite to it (The Comedy Workshop) is allowed to evaporate into a weak parody of Bernard Manning. Sorry lads, about as funny as a punch in the mouth. (Paul Dale)

:1 The Bootlegs (Fringe) The Gilded Balloon Tailor's Hall (Venue 38) 226 2751, until 28 Aug, 2pm, £6/f5.

Noma Dumezeni demands your attention


Caryl Phillips

Cultural explorer brings his experiences to Edinburgh

This West Indian-born author has, through his books, challenged many preconceptions about race and identity. Part travel writer, part political historian, Phillips is a passionate, modern day explorer, and his works of both fiction and non-fiction have won him critical acclaim. He unearths much that the history books have chosen to sweep under the carpet.

His latest, The Atlantic Sound, looks at slavery and is a passionate exploration of the concepts of our roots and belonging. He travels by sea to Liverpool to what was once the European hub of slave trading; then to Elmina in Ghana where the continent's biggest slave fort once was, and finally to Charleston in America'sDeep South, the former epicentre of black slave trading in the US.

He comes to the Book Festival as part of 'The Bigger Picture’ series where

surrounding asylum seekers. If anything can confront the idea of refugees reclining in state run hostels with pashmina carpets and gold leaf wallpaper, The Bogus Woman can. (Viv Franzmann)

The Bogus Woman (Fringe) The Red Room. Traverse (Venue 75) until 73 Aug, various times, £9 (£6).

speakers are given an opportunity to explore their specialist subject and share their experiences. (Mark Robertson) Caryl Phi/lips (Book) Studio Theatre, 228 4333, Tue 15 Aug, 3.30pm, £6.50 (£4.50).

THEATRE Fourplay ***

Communication, obsession and love explored

In what is at first a slightly disconcerting dramatic device, Fourp/ay uses physical detachment to represent emotional distance. However, as the plot unfolds, you realise it’s the perfect way to portray the relationships between the characters. Alice and Tom are in a faltering relationship, and don’t appear to see each other when they talk. Tom's lover Natasha is equally invisible to him, and vice versa. Only Jack, Alice’s sensitive stalker, has the ability to see her, both physically and otherwise, and she him. This exploration of love, communication and obsession from all angles is often funny, occasionally dark, and ultimately moving. (Kirsty Knaggs)

I Fourp/ay (Fringe) The Other Tongue, Assembly Rooms (Venue 3) 226 2428, until 28 Aug (not Mon) 4.25pm, £9/£10 (£8/f9).

STAR RATINGS xi 1 A a. a. Unmissable x a. i it Very ood * * p Wort seeing x A Below average it: You've been warned