’9’“V.l Bern-109m theatre comedy dance music books

COMEDY Terry Alderton bur Essex boy fails to fulfil potential

Stand-ups are like football teams; you know how good they can be, but some days it just doesn't come together. Terry Alderton has the potential to be Man United but, for now, he's only managing to be Man City.

Rocketing from Fringe obscurity to prime time television (albeit Saturday night lottery hell) in the space of a year, Alderton has had little time to re-adjust from the small screen to large stage and he struggles to find his pace. His trademark relentlessly streamlined approach gives way to a stuttering scattergun delivery.

The gags are good, and while the subjects are far from ingenious, the antics which surround them are. His loose-limbed, slack-tongued persona has a camp twist to it, and brings to mind a dozen different comics from Stan Laurel to Les Dawson and all the way through to Eddie lzzard. Yet, the former Southend keeper has truly made this area his own.

There’s enough new material here, and much of the familiar territory gets remixed for 2000, but of his impersonations, only those of the Star Wars characters remain as much fun. Boxers and the likes

of Lee Evans may still be pitch perfect but have become a little sluggish. He improvises with skill and the audience laps up his warm interactions, but ultimately we know he is capable of a lot more. Alderton acknowledges this, stating that tomorrow,


Jackie Clune *** One-woman satire on celebrity Singing comedienne Jackie Clune's one-woman light entertainment takes the mild piss out of both our masturbatory celebrity culture and herself. The satirical gimmick, agreeably enough, is that all of us sitting there watching her are famous ourselves.

Clune’s a jolly hostess with strong pipes, but foreign spectators beware: the show's celeb references are geared to UK audiences. She partially makes up for the parochialism by trotting out her cute ’black bitch’ Lulu (a Scotch terrier), delivering a spot-on parody of a Christmas number one song, and through her general what-the-hell irony and naughty joie de vivre. The results are thin, yet Iikeable, fun. (Donald Hutera)

I An Audience With Jackie Clune (Fringe) Jackie Clune, Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550, until 28 Aug, 8pm, £8/£ 9 7/£ 8).

comrov Four Horsemen UK ****

Thoroughbred performances from the Four Horsemen

Demonstrating their quick wit and imaginative flair, the four horsemen once again ride into town to reveal

themselves as masters of the tightly- scripted comedy sketch show. Appropriating the French Connection slogan to ’fhuk’, the cheeky boys and girls are bolder than ever and boosted by a slight line-up change that presents new horsewoman, Cicely Giddings. Life is less adequate than ever for the Disparaging Brothers played by Jeremy Limb and Dan Hersh, and Alys Torrance excels in her comedy acting with her portrayal of an apologetic housewife. Topical, fast- moving and just a little bit sick, the horsemen are galloping towards yet another Fringe triumph. (Catherine Bromley) a Four Horsemen UK (Fringe) The Four Horsemen, Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 226 2757, until 28 Aug, 8pm, £7 (£6).


The Best Of Scottish Comedy *‘k‘k

Caledonian comic showcase

The Best Of Scottish Comedy is actually a threadbare collection of what is supposed to be the nation’s finest. The comedians are on rotation so you may get lucky, but on this night MC Susan Morrison seemed to think obnoxious feistiness equals comedy, while Vladimir McTavish was happy to peddle every Jocko joke cliche in the book (drunken tramps and swearing,

Tel's scattergun delivery fails to hit

he'll do better. The audience got its money’s worth but knows it could have got much more.

(Mark Robertson)

Terry Alderton (Fringe) Assembly Rooms (Venue 3) 226 2428, 25—26 Aug, 8.25pm, £77 (£70).


Just at the point where reaching for coats seemed advisable, the wonderful Arnold Brown saved the night. Like a quirky hybrid of Jackie Mason and Ken Dodd, he remains hilarious. Best entered two thirds of the way through. (Paul Dale)

a Best Of Scottish Comedy (Fringe) The Stand (Venue 5) 558 7272, until 27 Aug, 9.30pm, £6 (£5).

COMEDY Andy Parsons **** Satire for the people

Rather than that wry and delicate satire purveyed by the likes of Ian Hislop, Andy Parsons instead goes straight for the popular style, and opens the show with the frank observation: ’Michael Portillo: what a cunt.

After meeting and greeting the audience, Parsons works his way through the abundant comic material supplied by the Labour Party and delivers political gags for the masses. Refreshingly up to the minute unlike most stand-ups who penned their material sometime last year Parsons’ comic observations are current, topical and frequently specific to Scotland, thus making for a top-class hour of entertainment.

(Catherine Bromley)

5; Andy Parsons: Idiot Savant (Fringe) Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550, until 28 Aug, 8.75pm, £7.50/£8.50

(£6. 50/£7.50).


Josef *irk

Scottish/Polish émigré remembers bad old days

No blacks, no Indians, no Poles; a common enough sign outside boarding houses in the late 50$. Josef reminds us that the Nazis should not be the only ones to feel guilty for their treatment of these once proud Prussians.

Josef is an elderly Polish gentleman accused of robbing stockings from a Livingstone department store; his treatment by the police sets off a series of vicious flashbacks. This is a fine piece of theatre, aggressively intelligent in its revisionist slant on 20th century history, but marred by technical glitches on the multimedia side and a rather pathetic denouement that is preceded by some obvious plot exposition.

(Paul Dale)

a Josef (Fringe) Theatre Alba, Netherbow Theatre (Venue 30) 556 9579, until 2 Sep (not 27 Aug) 8.75pm, £7.50 (£5).

Andy Parsons exercises the body politic

44 THE U8‘I’ FESTIVAL GUIDE 24 Aug—2 Sep 2000