Fringe finds (clockwise from this page): The Race; imogen; Beautiful Child; dancers and fighters in A Thousand Natural Shocks

ome years ago. mid-l-ringe. I was

introduced to a Very young company. all in

their 20s. doing a new show. They sat with me for an hour or so. speaking with w elling enthusiasm for their ideas ahout the theatre. They were zestl'ul. enthusiastic and articulate. With minimal resources and a great deal ol~ courage. they had come to compete. amhitiously. with the giant commercialised star y'ehicles and the sophisticated and well resourced trendy companies away lrom the usual yenue triumy'irate of the Pleasance. x\.\\L‘lith_\ Rooms and 'l‘ray‘erse. I walked into a dusty. ohscttre Venue. atid saw a

tiny. primitiy'e lighting rig hel‘ore an audience of

about ten. and the show went up. .-\nd you know what'.’ They were really awful.

I wrote an utterly damning rey'iew'. But then I pulled it from my pages. :\s each week progressed the company called me. crestlallen. when the rey'iew didn‘t appear. and | tnade the exctise (so often true. htit in this case. not) that advertising had stolen sey'et'al ol my pages. and there wasn‘t space. .-\I the end of the l‘estiyal. I cost myself a fortune hy going out and huying them all drinks to compensate for the non— appearance of the no douht splendid reyiew. I hope they prospered. ()r at least got a hit hetter.

l'm sometimes weary of recommending young companies. They really are the truth ol' the cliche about the romance ol‘ the l‘ringe. hut. like the rest



of it. they 're Iiahle to he a mixed hag. So let me alert you to a few companies. all pretty new. that I feel far more coml‘ortahle recommending. 'l'hese haye either already receiy'ed rey iews in the maga/ine. or come with hearty recommendations from my peers in other countries.

One such group is the 'I'li.-\.\l. who haye come here on the hack of some pretty strong recommendations from the .\'ew York press. This company. aged hetw'een 33 and 3|. are hringing two shows to the l‘ringc. The first. (five ('p.’ Slur! Ut't'l‘.’ [II [he /)(I/'/\t'.\l (If Ill/Hm / [JIM/V Ir) It’it '/1un/ .VIimirfiu' [In/w. speaks of the influence oi Baudrillard. a thinker who has emerged under a numher of texts this l‘estiyal. 'l'wenty —li\‘e—year— old performer and co-artistic director .lessica .-\lmasy acknowledges the influence.

'.»\ woman swallows her teleyision. and consumes the world as it's generated through teley'ision.‘ she tells me oi (iit‘t' I'll' Slit/“I (he/1’ ‘lt‘s the simulacrum/simulation idea ol Batidrillard. She‘s in isolation. htit you can tune in to a show and he connected to other Americans in this atmosphere ol' lalsil'ied intimacy. She has to go into a kind of isolation hood] [0 get hack It) what is the real. Richard Nixon’s ohsession with sttryeillancc kind ol~ littetot's in. He recorded himsell' endlessly. then would giye Us the tapes. and hlotted most ol‘ them out. It's ahout searching l'or heroes. and

Streve Cramer examines some of the younger companies who are

BREAKING THROUGH on the Fringe, and who promise a big future for theatre.