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A daring assault on the senses and emotionsa



Le Cirque Fantastique

Audiences to Les Treteaux Du Coeur Volant's Zinzin should observe their Brownie Guide Law and come equipped for maximum enjoyment. You will require: one large overcoat, one hat, one pair of gloves (warm), one flask of beverage (piping hot) and one cushion (soft, for prevention of

loss of feeling to the buttocks).

Ostensibly the tale of a saint and his magical experiences, this hugely enjoyable circus spectacle is brought to you by those nice Archaos chappies, but without any of the chainsaws, blood and gory mayhem. For obvious safety reasons, spectators are distanced from the action onboard Zinzin’s trapezium truck and the resulting effect is akin to watching a little row of musical-box figurines pirouetting on acid.

Exploding onto the stage from within a glowing network of ropes, high wires and metallic appendages, the five cartoonish characters romp through a breathless display of innovative acrobatics, thrilling trapeze and tightrope walking, juggling, fireworks and fire-eating, moved along by healthy dollops of frantic slapstick and occasional moments of melancholy. These shifting moods are complemented by an eclectic, eccentric soundtrack and the creation of a performing landscape that is

genuinely extra-terrestrial.

If there is a narrative behind Zinzin, then it's almost superfluous to the skill and daring on display, the assault on the senses and the emotions. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you’ll applaud nervously as the tightrope walker approaches the end of a very long high wire without the comfort of a safety net. But at least you won't be cold. (Allan Radcliffe)

Zinzin (Fringe) Les Treteaux Du Coeur Vo/ant, Scottish International At Dynamic Earth (Venue 78) 530 3557, until 28 Aug, 9.30pm, £77 (£9).

MUSICAL Kiss Of The Spiderwoman *tt

Song and dance prison romp

What with young men awrithing, bare chests ashowing, and a boy-on-boy snog, Kiss Of The Spiderwoman is a dark, sexy tale about life for men in the slammer. To escape the brutality of the regime, Valentino the Marxist and Molina the gay immerse themselves in

memories of a 1920s screen sex bomb,

and an unlikely relationship develops.

This is a great play packed with caustic one-liners, but at two full hours, it is too long. The tunes are fantastic and there are some gorgeous voices amongst the cast but, at times, the ambitious choreography proves a little too much for this youthful

ensemble. (Viv Franzmann)

% Kiss Of The Spiderwoman (Fringe) Royal Holloway Music Theatre, C (Venue 34) 225 5 705, until 27 Aug, 8. 75pm, £8.50 (£6.50).

COMEDY Bywater And Kane ****

Ludicrous spoof stress masterclass

Jeffrey Cobb is the latest addition to the club of Middle English repressed anti-heroes which counts Basil Fawlty and Reggie

Perrin in its ranks. Although not quite

in their league, the

arm-109m “VCI

endearineg ridiculous stress management expert Cobb and his sex- mad assistant Moose are certainly very funny in that old-fashioned, dressed silly, acting idiotic kind of way.

With clever use of video footage, an array of other props and some brilliantly executed audience participation, this ’roadshow’ descends into nonsensical chaos. If you’re willing to leave your brain at the door, it makes for an hour that's packed with belly laughs. (Doug Johnstone)

. Jeffrey Cobb ’5 Stress Management Roadshow (Fringe) Bywater And Kane, Komedia @ Southside (Venue 82) 667 2272, unti/27 Aug, 8pm, £7 (£5).


Craig Hill *~k**

Chirpy camp comedy

The wee man from East Kilbride is nothing if not fair. As some idiot of a reviewer (ie. me) emerged stage right only a few seconds into Craig Hill’s set, he was fortunate to receive only as much chirpy mockery as every other member of this full house.

After battering us all in equal measure with two full bags of energy, Hill slips in a few affectionate homages to Dame Julie et al mixed in with only a few subtle observations. Although they occasionally seem almost too wry and gentle for a stand-up, they are the highlights of this hour of camp comedy. (Tim Abrahams)

a Craig Hill’s Alive With The Sound Of Music (Fringe) Craig Hill, Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 226 2 75 7, until 28 Aug, 8.45pm, £7.50 (£6.50).

COMEDY Barbara Nice Ht Games and gynaecology from millennial Merton Barbara Nice

is a lesser Mrs Merton forthe next

generation, making her a fiftysomething housewife. Unsurprisingly then, there’s something very tired about this premise; although this could well be the effect of her pelvic floor exercise routine.

Alarmingly, given the occasional gynaecological musings, it's a very interactive show although thankfully the only bodily contact required from the audience is propping her up for a stage dive. Add to that a plethora of kids’ party games and some uninspired audience banter and, thanks to her mollycoddling, you’ve got a thrifty alternative to other, more clinical, methods of rejuvenation. (Judith Ho) 3 That’s Nice! (Fringe) Barbara Nice, The Stand (Venue 5) 558 7272, until 27 Aug, 8.30pm, £6 (£5).


The War Of The War Of The Worlds ***

Infamous radio broadcast visited On Halloween 1938, Orson Welles broadcast a radio play based on HG. Wells’ The War Of The Worlds; his enactment of the Martian invasion caused widespread panic throughout America.

Adam Pepper’s play focuses on four individuals attempting to cope with what they believe to be their imminent demise via Martian death ray. The cast, which includes Pepper, contribute good, solid performances as a farm boy, his nerdy comic book-reading brother and two college girls stranded after their car breaks down.

Though there are plenty of laughs and nice period touches the actual Welles broadcast is used the full potential of the fascinating scenario isn’t realised. (Miles Fielder)

a The War Of The War Of The Worlds (Fringe) Pepper Productions, Augustine’s Studio (Venue 752) 225 6575, until 28 Aug, 8.30pm, £6 (£5).

Bywater And Kane

24 Aug—2 ep 2000 rue qsm um: 43