f9!“V.l 1am-3pm theatre comedy dance music books

about their past lives, punctuated

THEATRE Stand.up- A play About throughout by outbursts from the comedy &* disembodied insomniac Sermon Head,

and various musical numbers. You may not know quite what’s going on, but the enthusiasm of the cast is infectious, and there are laughs to be had amidst the frequent poignant moments and constant surrealism. (Kirsty Knaggs)

I Bed (Fringe) Edinburgh Graduate Theatre Group, Club Pleasance O Potterrow (Venue 23) 556 6550, until 27 Aug, 2.40pm, £6l£ 7 (£5/£6).

Tragic comedy drama

A play about comedy doesn't necessarily need to be funny. But it should at least provide some insight into an industry which we all see up close but not behind. Directed by Roy Adam Dalgleish Marsden, the piece is set in a dodgy club where a gang of stand-ups prepare for another night on the comedic tiles.

Except they are not a happy bunch at all, with lives crashing around their ears. Cue rather hackneyed stuff around the whole ’tears of the clown’ thing and exchanges along the lines of: ’I was only joking’, ’I think I’ve had enough laughs tonight.‘ (Brian Donaldson)

I Stand-Up: A Play About Comedy (Fringe) Stand-Up, Club Pleasance @ Potterrow (Venue 23) 556 6550, until 28 Aug, 72.30pm, £8.50/£9

(£7. 50/£8).


Breathing Water Ht Childhood trauma leads to emotional impotence

Jonah has a friend called Comic who likes comics (boys, ehl). Carrie loves Jonah and Jonah loves Carrie, but having been half drowned in a font by a wicked priest, thus developing a fear of water, he is unable to ’open up’ to her (strange but true). Despite the fat themes of love, friendship and commitment, this is a bit of a thin tale; the reasons for Jonah's reluctance to emotionally commit are unclear and the female characters are undeveloped. However, the fragmented language is lyrical and there is energy to some of the performances. (Viv Franzmann)

I Breathing Water (Fringe) C Venue (Venue 34) 225 5 705, until 27 Aug, 2.45pm, £5.50 (£4.50).


Dr Palfi In The Really Dangerous Safety S ow *****

Great laugh for adults and kids

The theatrical adage 'never work with children’ is anachronistic to Dr Palfi. He appears exasperated but his sad clown act relies entirely on children’s foibles. He brings out the best in them on stage: their trusting innocence, their naughty cheekiness.

In a 95% ad lib show, this cross between Jack Dee, Stan Laurel and Patch Adams has a laconic, laid-back approach that’s 100% style over substance. He only does three or four 'tricks’ -

THEATRE A Slight Ache *1” No love lost in Pinter black comedy Set in middle England, Harold Pinter‘s A Slight Ache tells the tale of well-to- , .. . do couple Edward and Flora, who evidently despise each other. Tommy Cooper-ish flops - When Edward becomes obsessed but, boy, how he does . ' with the old matchseller who them! He brought the lurks around their back house down by simply " " gate, events take a drinking a glass of sinister turn. It’s an water. Get in quick - acerbic, witty guaranteed to sell script, heavily out. (Gabe Stewart) laced with black I Dr Pa/fi in The humour, which

I ,_:

Really Dangerous merrily rolls Safety Show along to its (Fringe) Scottish h_ dark International at -.. conclusion. Dynamic Earth ~ 4.

(Venue 78)

530 3557,

until 27


2.45pm, £5


THEATRE ''''' " Unfortunately, the Bed *** impact of the sharp

dialogue is lost amid garbled speech and missed lines. This is a cracking play which deserves a better performance. (Kirsty Knaggs) I A Slight Ache (Fringe) OTK Theatre Company, Randolph Studio (Venue 55) 225 5366, until 28 Aug, 2. 70pm, £5 (£4).

Surreal goings-on in a giant bed

Jim Little Voice Cartwright’s surreal script has been given a design overhaul by this amateur company. Centre stage, seven elderly people lie in an enormous sunken bed, surrounded on all sides by grass. From this strange start, things get distinctly weirder. One by one they crawl out from under the duvet to reveal more

Open and shut case. Mark Pencak takes you on a journey


Journey To The Centre Of The Earth **** Magical storyteller goes underground

After wooing audiences with last year’s TumTumTlnker, Blue Boat Theatre are back with yet another winner. Adapted from Jules Verne's sci-fl classic, sole performer Mark Pencak takes us on a journey to the earth’s core with four intrepid explorers: young Alex, his eccentric uncle Professor leenbrock, the guide Hans and his pet duck.

Looking at the pile of old suitcases which make up the set, you'd be forgiven for thinking that Pencak has an impossible task ahead of him. But as we discover, these are no ordinary cases. Open one up and stalactites and stalagrnites appear before your eyes; open another and two sea monsters surface and engage In battle; open a third and a volcano spectacularly explodes. Together with a host of magical umbrellas and puppet representations of the characters, we voyage deeper and deeper Into the earth's centre.

But it’s Pencak who steals the show. No amount of props or sound effects could detract from his spellbinding performance. Making our imaginations work overtime, his magnetic personality is captivating as he effortlessly changes from one character to another. I-Ils facial expressions delight. his ad-llbbing is first class, and he makes full use of the venue's restrictive space, putting the thrill Into this thriller. (Helen Monaghan)

I Journey To The Centre Of The Earth (Fringe) Blue Boat Theatre, The Stand Comedy Club (Venue 5) 558 7272, until 28 Aug, 7pm, £4 (£3).


Out To Lunch the

Food for thou ht from Pennsylvania entre Stage Everyone’s a fruit and nut case in Keith Hitchcock’s one-man diner drama. Neuroses rise up like steam from the clam chowder, fear mingles with alienation among the Reuben sandwiches and cups of coffee. The script is witty and literate and Hitchcock is undeniably a talented, versatile actor. His characterisations - ranging from an anal-retentive factory worker to a wannabe street poet - are vividly realised. But there’s a lot of repetition as the action flashes between the little clutch of players and ultimately all this neurosis becomes a bit wearing. Though fairly enjoyable, Hitchcock’s diner is too underpopuiated to sustain a 50 minute show.

(Allan Radcliffe)

I Out To Lunch (Fringe) Pennsylvania Centre Stage, Gilded Balloon (Venue 36) 226 2757, 25, 27 Aug, 7pm, £7.50 (£6.50).

PHYSICAL THEATRE _ Weyheyl It's Wrestling *** Slapstick and silliness in the big top

Long before the razzIe-dazzle of American wrestling, there was good, old-fashioned British grappling on Saturday afternoon telly. Weyheyl lt’s Wrestling is a tongue-in-cheek take on this golden era. Starting with a stirring rendition of 'Eye Of The Tiger' from Barry (our tracksuit-clad host sporting shades and a stunning selection of gold jewellery) what ensues is 90 minutes of tomfoolery and choreographed violence. Although it claims to be suitable for grannies and kiddies, the banter between the comperes is pretty rude. Pubic wigs are mentioned and Barry’s comments about a female wrestler include ’if she was my daughter I’d still be bathing her.’ Vulgar, shambolic but fun.

(Dawn Kofie)

I Weyheyl lt’s Wrestling (Fringe) Edinburgh’s Garden Party East Princes Street Gardens, 226 275 7, 25 Aug, 2.30pm, £70 (£8).


Or Palfi: a cross between Jack Dee and Stan Laurel