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Never a case of too many Proops


The Proopdog pops in for some chat

The raw, bitchy wit of Greg Proops has become as much a Festival fixture as dodgy street performers and forests of flyers. He freely admits this, saying ‘after Arthur’s Seat cooled and became rock, that's when I did my first show in Edinburgh. It wasn't much, just a couple of grouse, a badger or two and me. The Footlights were there, of course.’

This year, in addition to his stand up, Proops is hosting his very own talk show which will be more in the style of Parkinson than Paxman. ‘l'm not a very aggressive interviewer, I don’t have thumbscrews and I won't grill anyone to death. It’s going to be an hour rife with jocularity,’ he insists. The brave souls who have already agreed to share a couch with Proops include comedians Neil Mullarkey and Scott Capurro. Numbering among the other possible interviewees are Bill Bailey, Sean Locke and Ed Byrne. Proops is also desirous of chinwags with Steven Berkoff and Norman Mailer. ‘lf Mailer can't appear then I'm going to ask if his ego can come in his place.’

The last time Proops ventured into talk show territory was two years ago. He returned to it because, 'it's really fun, it's something different to do, and it’s also really nice for other people to make you look good.’

As in years gone by, his stand up show will be filled with caustic observation. lt finishes at 1am, so one of its themes will be ‘try and catch a fucking cab, I dare you.’ Some things never change. (Dawn Kofie)

Greg Proops Talk Show (Fringe) Greg Proops, Assembly Rooms (Venue 3) 226 2428, 78—20 Aug, 8.25pm, {TO/[ii (£90510);

Greg Proops (Fringe) Greg Proops, Assembly Rooms (Venue 3) 226 2428,

74—76 Aug, midnight, f9/E70.

68 THE LIST FESTIVAL GUIDE 10—1 7 Aug 2000

THEATRE PREVle ' " Have-A-Go-Hero Ethics drama raises questions

Although it was written four years ago, the recent court case in which a farmer shot a teenage burglar dead has meant Tim Massey’s debut piece has become extremely topical. An exploration of the law versus vigilante justice, it centres on the head of a home security firm who catches a thief red-handed, knocks him out and then has to decide whether to hand him over to the police or wreak his own revenge.

’With regard to the Tony Martin case, we can all sympathise with him up to a point, but shooting an intruder is taking it too far and that’s what I explore in the play,’ says Massey, who has been labelled Bristol's answer to Quentin Tarantino.

The idea came from the playwrights musings over what he would do if he actually caught someone breaking into his house. So what would he do if that happened? ’Hide under the duvet probably.’ (Dawn Kofie)

I Have-A-Go-Hero (Fringe) cpa@uwe, Old St Paul’s Church and Hall (Venue 45) 556 0476 73-79 Aug, 70.45pm, £6 (£4).


Sprout **

Sub-standard improv comedy

The trouble with your improvisational comedy is that unless it's in the hands of an experienced team, it can quite easily fall right on its sorry arse. Alas, such is the case with Sprout, which is basically exactly the same as the tiresome Who’s Line Is It Anyway? only considerably worse, which is saying something. Although there was the odd chuckle here and there, the five- strong team seriously ran out of steam towards the end of their alloted hour, and even subjected the audience to three squirm-inducing 'comedy’ songs. Maybe they could use a script next time? (Doug Johnstone)

I Sprout In Edinburgh (Fringe) Sprout, C (Venue 34) 225 5705, until 27 Aug 70.30pm, £6.50 (£5.50).

COMEDY Puppetry Of The Penis ***

Tackle out

3 Prepare to not be shocked. The creators of a new art form, referred to

as ’genital origami’, have come to Edinburgh, and they mean us no harm. Whether it is the soothing tones of Simon and Dave, the two Australian puppeteers, or the simple fact that if you have seen one of their meat-and- two-veg rearrangements then you have seen them all, this show is likely to outrage only those who make a career out of complaining at Fringe shows. It’s intriguing, occasionally amusing, but you have to ask yourself whether it is worth paying nigh on a tenner to see a pair of antipodeans rummage about with their undercarriages.

(Tim Abrahams)

I Puppetry Of The Penis (Fringe) Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550, until 28 Aug (not 27) 7 7. 75pm £6/£8 (£5/f7).


The Gimmick ***

Ghetto blasted in one-woman show

Dael Orlandersmith’s one-woman show develops the story of a young woman whose movement from the Harlem Ghetto to an artistic community in Paris is brought into sharp focus by news of the death of a friend back home. The subsequent succession of recollections bring her from early childhood to young adulthood, a time shared with her dead friend, Jimmy, who comes close to escape through patronage by the white arts establishment.

At times powerful, with compelling pacing and full-blooded performance, there are also elements of purple prose in the monologue, which one suspects sits better with an American audience. (Steve Cramer)

I The Gimmick (Fringe) nva organisation, Traverse (Venue 75) 228 7404, until 13 Aug, 70.30pm, £72 (£7. 50).

Dael Orlandersmith recollects in The Gimmick