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IT AIN’T ALL BOLLYWOOD Confused, overwrought look at mental health issues 0

Part of this year's lnvAsian programme of Asian performance. It Am 't All Bo/lywood depicts the trials and tribulations of Kiran. who has descended into an escapist fixation with Bollywood films following the death of her father. As a result. she forgoes human contact outside of the confines of her house. leaving her at the mercy of her pugnacious. domineering mother.

Both roles are energetically played by Rita Fatania. However, any real pathos is hampered by a dubious script that's crammed with tired cliches and laboured metaphors. As the narrative moves to encompass childhood friend Tony. sparse characterisation and the latter's dreadfully hammy turn do much to make the plot seem stilled and confusing.

For a play that purports to address the cultural issues surrounding mental health. It Ain't All Bollywood exhibits a lightness of tone that seems at odds with the subject matter. This is not helped by the venue. The spartan,

faintly corporate ambience of Studio C at clubWEST presents a considerable challenge to artists. whether performing or directing. This is readily apparent in Rifco Arts' production of this confused. overwrought play. (Oliver Farrimond)

I C/i/bWFSI (11> Oii/ncente/ia/‘y Hall, 527 1562. anti/2.") Aug. 4pm. 519.130 (5850).

BY THE WAY On a road to nowhere, for no reason 00

There's obVIously a lot of talent behind this little two hander. which follows a pair of friends on a road trip through a dystopian France. where an unnamed plague is killing off everyone's mothers. The actors are likable and clearly talented. and for the most part the directions great too. although the decision to have the actors create the characters they meet along the road in a variety of comedy regional accents the kind that stopped being funny way before Elliot/ash went off the air -- is increasingly irritating. And they're a young emergent company. and we ought to support them . .

Oh. but it's the script. though. There's just no ignoring it. Due either to Noiélle l-ienaude’s writing. poor translation from the original French or a nippity combination of both. the actors are saddled Wliil strange. clunky. pseudointellectual lines that stick in their throats whenever they attempt lyricism or strive for meaning. The plot appears to have gone missing in action too. the characters meander in and out of their car. and have encounters with an apparently inexorable succession of comedy characters for what feels like much longer than the apparent running time. before piffling out into nothingness. leaving you wondering, bieakly. what the point was. (Kirstin Innes)

I plOi’Ifii'i/lfft’) Coil/'ti’a/‘(l 3356‘ ($550. anti/2:3 fit/g (not 15)). ZOO/mi. .i_.‘.()--i‘l() (5.7.130).

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By The Way


Festival Theatre

Beyonce - Stop Punching Robbie! 0”. Being a nursery teacher in Tower Hamlets is no picnic. especially when you have a divorce and the under—lives numeracy skills development programme to contend with. Cecilia Delatori re-establishes the comic potential of the dramatic monologue with brilliant impersonations of the ultra-politically correct education programme. (Natalie Woolman) (ii/(led Balloon 'Iet'iot, 668 I 633. until 25 Aug. I. I 5pm. [8. 5()-~£9. 50 ( £7.5(}--[8. 50). Bully .0. This gritty one-man show from writer/performer Richard Fry is delivered in rhyming verse and covers a lifetime of violence. loss and homophobia. Fry throws in enough jokes to break up the emotional tone. but this is a serious piece with a strong narrative that. while sad. carefully avoids sentimentality. (.lonny Iinsall) (ii/(led Balloon 'lei‘iot. 668 I 633. until 25 Aug. midnight. £8- [9 ( £718).

Christie in Love 000 Howard Brenton‘s play follows the police interrogation ofiohn Reginald Christie. infamous serial killer and rapist. The actors submerge themselves in the roles of the repugnant Christie. an anxious constable (Marco Violino) and domineering inspector (David Frias- Robles). in a compelling piece. which explores justice and the dangerous side of love. (Greer ()gston) Zoo Sour/Mule. 662 6892. until 25 Aug. 2.45pm. £7 ([6). Confessions and Obsessions of a Thirtysomething Divorcee

O. in this light-hearted rant about being a thirtysomething woman Xara (Melanie Sherwood) poses questions about love. sex and relationships with a wry sense of humour. With cliches such as dildos. shoes and support pants thrown in. this is a warm-hearted btit painfully predictable tale. (Greer Ogston) The Vaults. 5100022. until 25 Aug (not I4). I. I 5pm. £8 ( £6).

Frida Kahlo: Viva La Vida .00

A poised yet gutsy one-woman performance from the talented Gael Le (‘ornec offers a moving insight into the vibrant life of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. Avoiding sentimentality. Le Cornec tenderly portrays a woman struggling with physical pain and a broken marriage. who remains obsessively in love with life. A colourful execution. set and script make for an immediate and engaging re—telling of this oft-told tale. (Rosalie Doubal) Hill Street IIIt’UII‘t’. 226 6522. until 25 Aug (not 20). 6. 55pm. [9“ II (I (f7-~£8).

I Caught Crabs in Walberswick COO. Joel Horwtmd’s hilarious play draws on that ever-amusing tendency of adolescents and parents to regard each other as alien life forms. while portraying one volatile friendship in Walberswick. A funky soundtrack. luminous stage and deadpan narration create a fun atmosphere as the characters try to locate the borderlines between being teenager and adult. adult and oldie.

(Sarah Redhead) l’leasanee Courtyard. 556 6550. until 25 Aug. 5pm. [850-1950 (17—18).

Kiddy-Fiddler on the Root

COO At 'I‘ownsville Comprehensive. teacher Arnold Finkler is falsely accused of molestation and chased by an enraged mob of parents. Included in this pot of madness is a headmaster running away to

Thailand. as well as a troupe of Vicky Pollard-ish girls and 30-year-old virgin teachers. What ensues is a rowdy romp ofenergetic dance numbers. hilarious songs and tongue-in-cheek exchanges. (Theresa Munoz) Rocket @ Demureo Rovart House. 087/ 750 ()077, until 25 Aug, £6~£8 ([5 r f 7. 5 (I ).

Lynn Ferguson - Heart and Sole COO Lynn Ferguson‘s witty play deals with loneliness. relationships and one woman's love for a fish named Dave. The stars effortless talent for characterisation allows her to switch between fish fanatic. brash west coast wifey and timid teacher. mixing wit with a palpable sense of loneliness in a tale that's ultimately about the things that divide people: east coast/west coast. Protestant/Catholic or indeed. huntan/fish. ((ireer ()gston) (Ii/(led Balloon Ii’l'ltfi. 668 I633, until 25 Aug (not 18), 4.I5pm. [III-[ll (19-170). Medusa’s Snakes: The Aftermath OO Posing the question of what happened to Medusa's snakes after her death. this play introduces us to Monstrous and Sinclair who. rooted to the decapitated head. plot how to take vengeance for their ‘lady‘. The inventive costumes and set cannot compensate for dialogue that is an uncertain mix of Beckettian absurdity and stand-up banter. (Natalie Woolman) The Space (at .luijv’s Inn. 556 ()4 76. until 23 Aug (not I 7). [2.05pm. [6 t [5). Miss Sign-On 0 Every negative stereotype of musical theatre is confirmed in this attempt at satire. The titular diva on the dole is a work-shy luvvie. her agent is a money-grabbing vampire and her gay best friend is sex— starved and superficial. More worrying still is the portrayal of all working-class jobseekers as trenchcoated perverts and illiterate chavs. (Matt Boothman) George Square ’I'Iteatre. 662 8740. until 25 Aug

( not [8), 9.25pm, flit“) (57-18).

More Lives than One - Oscar Wilde and the Black Douglas COO Taking inspiration from Micheal Macliammiiir‘s legendary one- man show The IIIIpuI‘Ittttt't’ of Being ()sear. veteran thesp Leslie Clark takes a less sycophantic view of Wildean times. This is illuminating stuff. (,‘lark commandeers the audience. but (among other things) a five-minute rendition of Salome in the original French language text suggests that Clark's favourite audience may be himself. (Patti Dale) Augustine '5‘, 5100022. until I 7 Aug. 7.25pm. £8 ( £6).

The Murder Monologues 00 There are few things more grating in the theatre than a bad American accent. This set of monologues sports not one but two. with both actors mangling the impact of their respective lines. veering from what initially sounds like a Russian twang to Alabama‘s finest in a matter of moments. This is a shame as. if they had avoided that pitfall. some of the play‘s more interesting ideas would have been more easily digested. (Miles Johnson) The Space (0‘ Jquv's Inn. 556 ()4 76. until I 6 Aug. I .05an [6 (£4.50).

1913 or Nude Descending Staircase 0. Through the true story of Maria Tarnowska. Rtissian countess and convicted criminal. this play explores the status and position of women in society. politics and art. in and