Th eat re

The total guide to total theatre

FHnge round—up

We round up some of the hits of a memorable Fringe. Words: Steve Cramer

hrough a haze of tiredness. I‘ve taken off my

shoes and atn examining a callused pair of

feet. I'm trying to remember my last meal tnade at home. I think it was in late July. But once again. it was all worthwhile. The Fringe will foster treasured memories for years to come.

More of these will come from the Traverse than any other venue this year. Always committed to new work. the Traverse this year produced its strongest programme for some time. with a high strike rate among its premieres. For me. most memorable was Tiny Dynamite. a play whose title speaks volumes for its content. Abi Morgan‘s play has divided its audience. for though generally praised. I‘ve had many a foyer conversation about the play having little to say. Perhaps. but what it says about human relationships and the impact of buried emotion. it says magnificently.

By contrast. there‘s the Traverse company‘s own flagship. (iugurin Way. a play with almost too much to say: an understandable trait in a first-time author. Flawed. but hilariously funny. this social commentary on our selfish. nihilistic culture (it suggests. at times. that it‘s not selfish and nihilistic enough) gives you great hope for its gifted young author. Gregory Burke. I look forward to his next piece. In fact. I‘m (iagarin for it. Iain lleggie‘s Wiping M_v Mother's Arse. by contrast. examines our need to feel greater responsibility to the people around us. with a story about our need to care for those close to us. told through an ailing mother. an uncaring son and his ex- boyfriend who looks after her.

The Trav. very like an old—style Italian waiter. chose (again) to part its Fringe in the middle. and its

Tiny Dynamite says what it says magnificently

second half highlight was the hilarious monologue on a dischuffed. landed Irish Protestant. Foley. a piece which fascinatineg combines rancour and whimsy. Along with Iinda Walsh‘s Bed/mund and Morna Regan’s Midden this play led a strong Irish showing this Fringe.

Elsewhere. the Assembly Rooms showed a strong. but slightly conservative programme. with a number of bankable hits from previous years on the slate. All the same. you can‘t argue with Lil. Lochhead’s Medea as a piece of moving contemporary adaptation. It. along with other notable repeat showings. like King (IfSeut/und and Lyrebird: 'Iitles ()fHel/nnunn are well worth seeing. In addition. first time Fringe appearances like Ristm‘unte lmnmrude and Quentin ('risp: Resident Alien. the latter boasting a superb performance by Bette Bourne as the aphoristic old queen. make it worth the visit to George Street.

The Brunton is much further afield than this. but it‘s well worth the journey to Moving ()bjeets. reviewed in this issue. And if you‘re willing to risk the weather in this particularly rainy Fringe. you could do much worse than the powerful. physically quite scary (minimum in Old College Quad. (liven the expectations heaped upon it. Hedwig has made the least successful transatlantic crossing since the Titanic. but elsewhere. the Pleasance has come tip with the goods with another musical. I'il/A‘t’IIU/(llid. This. along with an engaging modern language version of Chaucer‘s Wife ()f But/1's 'Iii/e. Love And Other I-uiijvtu/es. and a first Fringe appearance for Irvine Welsh‘s l-‘ilt/i will make your post-show beer in the courtyard well worthwhile.

The adventurous theatre programme at the (lilded Balloon is also to be praised. with the richly- acclaimed Jesus ('uug/it The A Train its tnost notable success. but a cockney geeza version of Muebet/i. and David Williamson‘s Aussie Rules saga. The Club also well worth a watch. along with Phillip Michael Iidwards one—tnan show on fathers. sons and alienation. Runt.

Now. I'm going back to nursing my feet. so don’t call tne till you‘ve got through that lot.

I Foley The Corn Exchange, from Dublin. presents this comical. often sarcastic monologue in which a disaffected. wealthy Irish Protestant reflects upon his life and loves. A memorable evening of storytelling. See review. Traverse Theatre, until 26 Aug, times vary.

I Kaos Volpone Intense physical theatre from this acclaimed company. This time Ben Jonson’s acrid and misanthropic Jacobean City comedy gets the distinctive Kaos treatment. See review. Theatre Workshop, until 25 Aug, 6.30pm.

I Moving Objects David Mark Thomson writes and directs this powerful drama, which draws upon both social realism and a kind of fairy tale narrative. Powerful performances from the three-person cast make this an immensely watchable experience. See review. Brunton Theatre, until 25 Aug, 7.30pm.

I The Notebook & The Proof Two International Festival highlights from De Onderneming, Anterp, written by Agata Kristof. which deal firstly with the effect of war on a family, then. in the second piece. a shattered post— war world. See review. Royal Lyceum Theatre, until 25 Aug. times vary.

I Filth Tam Dean Burn is tremendous as a bent copper investigating a racist murder in Edinburgh, in this Harry Gibson version of Irvine Welsh’s story. This is a first festival appearance for a show that has toured with distinction. Pleasance, until 2.7 Aug, 4.50pm.

I 39 - Clinch Mountain LookoutThe ideal family goes wrong in this strong drama about the decline of nuclear family aspirations. See review. C Underground, until 26 Aug, noon. I Casanova Suspect Cultures acclaimed production which creates a modern version of the semi-mythic great lover intrigues, fascinates and provokes. See review. George Square Theatre, until 26 Aug, 3. 75pm.

2.5 Aug; (3 Sep 2001 THE LIST FESTIVAL GUIDE 37