IO’uVCI 3pm-69m theatre comedy dance music books

THEATRE Pimp Dreams **** Who’s the man?

’Ma bitch better have ma money come rain, come shine. . . .’ Stop! No, this isn’t the Antonio Fargas retrospective as the adverts would have us believe, but a rather fine monologue investigating male machismo and ethnic judgements. Shaka Taylor plays a young man kicked out of his girlfriend’s house for lewd behaviour in the bedroom. That night, he goes on a bender and passes out dreaming of being the pimp daddy on some far off planet. This is refreshing stuff, Taylor is in superb form as he weaves a web of egotism and immaturity around his

COMEDY Rodney Bewes Diary Of A Nobody tit

Like/y Lad with Victorian values

In scrutinising the mundanities of daily life in the name of social value (but betraying only self-obsession) the diary was clearly a Victorian equivalent of Big Brother. Thus we have the premise of this play, the trivial observations of Charles Pooter, a snobbish, impoverished social climber; a Hyacinth Bucket in a frock coat. Unfortunately Bewes characterises him too lazily, pitching him as a dear old rogue, only superficially exploring his conflicting pathetic, loathsome and endearing qualities. There are a couple of funny

spellbound audience. (Paul Dale) 3 Pimp Dreams (Fringe) Shaka Taylor, Hill

Street Theatre

moments, and Bewes is an engaging player, but the show minces

along on the same flip level throughout.

(Venue 41) 226 (Judith Ho) 6522, until 28 Rodney Bewes Aug, 4pm, £6 _' ,., Diary Of A Nobody (£4.50). * . (Fringe) Assembly ' Rooms (Venue 3)

226 2428, until 28 Aug, 4.30pm, £9/£ 70 (£8/£ 9).

THEATRE Black An el, The Dou le Life Of Arshile Gorky *** Biographer takes 1 to the stage Having spent twenty years writing a book on his life, it's possibly surprising that Nouritza Matossian has chosen to spend an entire Festival portraying the tragic life of artist Arshile Gorky. She's given herself a bit more variety this time, telling his story through the eyes of four of his women: his mother, sister, lover and wife. Unfortunately, insufficient characterisation renders the differences between the women none too distinguishable. However, played over a backdrop of Armenian music, and images of Gorky's art, the overall effect is haunting and absorbing and Matossian’s passion for his work is strongly conveyed. (Judith Ho) a Black Angel (Fringe) Nouritza Matossian, Hill Street Theatre (Venue 47) until 28 Aug, 5.20pm, £7.50 (£6).


Arthur Smith Sings Leonard Cohen ***

Songs get in the way of some

4, great gags

Yes, he actually sings half a dozen Leonard Cohen songs, in between telling some superb gags on related subjects like boredom. Cohen got away with singing morose songs off-

Sha a Taylor gets all dres 1 up for Pi ;_,3’f Dreams

I My];

MUSIC Antonio Forcione *‘k‘k‘k‘k

Look no hands!

Finger pickin’ good stuff from an Italian master

Antonio Forcione is a peculiar one; a virtuoso musician who you don't instantly hate for being so bloody good at his instrument. His nimble finger-picking style envelopes classical, flamenco and rock, and he strums through a varied set evoking the sounds of several continents, with occasional percussive accompaniment. But Forcione needs no accompaniment, he treats his guitars with suitable disrespect, knocking seven shades of shit out of them, producing lead, rhythm and even drum parts; rattling the body of his guitars with his palms and knuckles and

strumming ferociously.

By tackling a variety of musical styles Forcione sidesteps any unneccessary pigeon-holing as a rock muso or classical bore. In these financially driven Fringe Festival times, it's best to be all things to all people whenever possible. Miraculously, he manages to pull it off. Tracks by Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye are given radical reworkings while his original compositions are no less compelling. This is all augmented by a dry sense of wit which he employs throughout; his hanging around with stand-up comedians (he appears as part of the Boothby Graffoe Show also at the Fringe) seems to have done him no harm. Antonio Forcione could captivate a Playhouse-sized audience as easily as he knocks out this packed-out Peppermint Lounge. And he deserves to. A revelation. (Mark


a Antonio Forcione (Fringe) Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 226 2 75 7, until 28 Aug,

5.30pm, £8 (£7).

key because he had sexual chemistry. Smith’s just off-key.

Not that he hasn't got a great body.

It slouches beneath a face with the mouth of Nick Parks' Wallace; jowls heading for Walter Matthau proportions; and eyebrows so tired they seem to be sliding down at a 45 degree angle over his out-of—focus eyes.

’I did this show ‘cos I liked the title,’ Smith concludes. ’lt promises the grimmest evening’s entertainment.’ It's not that bad, but it's not consistently brilliant either. (Gabe Stewart)

Arthur Smith Sings Leonard Cohen (Fringe) Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550, until 27 Aug, 3.25pm, £8/£9 (£7/£8).

' 9—2 Sep 2000