COMEDY Stand Up Scotland ***

Value for money new Scottish stand—up package

Five comedians for four quid equals bargain. Only if they're funny, mind, but thankfully this lot provide enough laughs to keep you going and show a great deal of promise for the future. Chris 0209, a sixteen-year-old from Dunfermline, races through his well-observed material at lightning speed and has a good way with one liners, but seems perhaps understandably nervous. Next up is the faux-posh Miles Jupp. whose dry delivery and wry sense of the ridiculous were highly entertaining, and his piss take of ’bloke humour’ was inspired.

Basing her routine around her housewife and mum roles. Marie McArthur might be pitching above the heads of the mostly young student audience. but she holds her own without being spectacular. John Sinclair, on the other hand. is pure mental. Subjecting the audience to a non- stop rant about getting the sack from numerous jobs is an

New kids on the comedy block

interesting approach to stand-up, but although he seems likeable, not giving the audience any breaks to laugh is perhaps a bit self-defeating. Last to perform is local lad Nick Findlay, whose idiosyncratic style takes a bit of getting used to, but once you’re in there you're treated to some very funny misanthropic material covering just about anything from being at

school with Irvine Welsh to why sub post offices are rubbish. All in all then, Stand Up Scotland is great value for money and there’s a fair few laughs to be had to boot.

(Doug .lohnstone)

% Stand Up Scot/and (Fringe) The Stand Comedy Club (Venue 5) 558 7272, until 27 Aug, 5.50pm, £4 (£3).


A Man Of Substance In A World Of Filth **** Nudity and ranting from Andrew

Clover Maurice Clark, Andrew Clover's comic

creation, is eccentric and monumentally rude. The geeky, wild- eyed Clark hasn't left the house for six years and believes he is the 18th century scholar, Jonathan Swift. As he explains why, he digresses and leaps about the stage ranting at the top of his voice about shoddy TV programmes, foxes and his hatred of modern times.

Often cruel and shocking in an ’I can’t believe he said that' kind of way, this show is very, very funny. Clover's character comedy and improvised stand-up is inspired; he's utterly convincing as the self-righteous oddball. Not for those with a morbid fear of audience participation (or full frontal nudity). You have been warned. (Dawn Kofie)

% A Man Of Substance In A World Of Filth (Fringe) Andrew Clover, Gilded Balloon (Venue 36) 226 2151, until 28 Aug, 5pm, £7 (£6).


If I Were Me . . . iii

A bit ofje ne sais quoi

Gay Marshall is an American from Paris who’s in Edinburgh at the mo(Jo). In

half an hour before 'curtain up’ and as she psyches herself, she explains why she's in Paris (luuurrrve), how much she likes the French (not much) and the reason her thighs are fat (they aren't). In between, she belts out old faves (Irving Berlin, Noel Coward, Cole Porter) with affectionate gusto. Despite the tendency to labour the point (yes, the French are arrogant, we geddit), lf/ Were Me. . . is a cheery bit of froth with a perky performance from Marshall. (Viv Franzmann) If / Were Me. . . (Fringe) Assembly Rooms (Venue 3) 226 2428, until 28 Aug, 4pm, £9/f 70 (f 8/1? 9).


The White Crane *** Japanese folktale with puppets

An ancient Japanese folktale is re- enacted using exquisite hand-held puppets in this delightful production. Full of magic and morals, as all good folktales should be, the story of Kotaro and his beautiful yet mysterious wife is simple and charming, and kept the adults, as well as the little ones, enthralled. At the end of the show there is an opportunity to talk to the puppeteers and discover more about their craft, which is a lovely touch. The only thing which spoilt the production was the broad Scottish accents of some of the characters, which lessened

, the Oriental atmosphere of the piece. this autobiographical piece, she arrives I (Kirsty Knaggs)

The White Crane (Fringe) Theatre Du Risorius, The Garage Chapiteau (Venue 85) 227 9009, until 27 Aug, 3pm, 26—27 Aug, 17am, £6 (£4).

THEATRE The Potato Play *** Beckett and Pinter a go go in tales of ordinary madness

Shock, horror, more misinformation at the Fringe don’t believe the ridiculous advertising campaign for this show, it has nothing to do with Smash Martians taking over the planet. Instead, this is a superb play by Louise Ramsden equal parts Beckett and Pinter, smeared with the surrealism of early lonesco. It tells the tale of four people, a zealot lunatic, and how tragedy comes to pass on a potato farm. There are problems here with the production though, a couple of the performances leave a lot to be desired and the direction and set design are formulaic when they should be prosaic. But as a showcase for a powerful and promising playwriting talent this is a must. (Paul Dale)

g2 The Potato Play (Fringe) Greyfriars Kirk House (Venue 28) 225 6575,

until 28 Aug,

3pm, [6 (f4).

30 THE LIST FESTIVAL GUIDE 24 Aug—2 Sep 2000

CIRCUS Swamp Circus Theatre present Moto ****

Chainsaws and rock ’n’ roll meet under the big top

Swamp Circus Theatre begin quietly, lulling you into a false sense of security about the magical and mysterious nature of the big top, then before you can get comfortable the band strike a pose and blaze into some good old rock ’n' roll. From this point onwards it's a riot of fire, music, acrobatics and clowning. The manic ringmaster brandishes a chainsaw and any shortcomings in his juggling abilities are made up for by his facial expressions alone. Accomplished acrobatics and rope work draw gasps while the kids enjoy hissing at the bad guys. A modern take on the circus that’“ leave you all shook up.

(Louisa Pearson)

g’g Moto (Fringe) Swamp Circus Theatre, Edinburgh ’5 Garden Party (Venue 50) 226 2428, until 28 Aug, 4.30pm, £8.50 (£6.50).


The Weird Sisters *er

Big city blues

Despite the title, there is nothing particularly weird or even funny about this duo, for this is the rather unhappy tale of twelve individuals trying to exist and be happy in contemporary London. Pitched somewhere between Victoria Wood and Mike Leigh’s Abigail's Party, this is sad, if slightly patronising, but brilliantly performed by Alison Goldie and Kate Burlinson. Their play