Netherbow, Edinburgh. The pleasure of hearing good yarn well spun forms the backbone of The Bothy, Donald Alexander’s brief but enjoyable compilation of tales and ballads from Scottish folklore and literature that all share a healthy interest in the supernatural. Narrated by Anne Lacey, the evening falls into three sections, loreach of which she adopts a different character, moving from mother, to maiden, to old woman in keeping with the stories shetells.

The supernatural takes many forms, from the canny powerful witches who pursue the infamous tipplerTam O’Shanter, to the malevolent faery queen laced bythe maiden in the ancient ballad of Tim Lin, to the mischevious wee folk, who feature in the oldest of fairy tales .

Embarking on each one with a combination of relish and humour and a delightful incongruous no-nonsense acceptance of the reality offairies, she becomes an absorbed and absorbing storyteller. And the stories themselves are well worth hearing, with comic touches speaking volumes about far

more thanjust fairies. (Sarah Hemming)i




O KING'S 2 Leven Street. 229 1201. Box office Mon—Sat 10am—8pm. Bar. Rest. [D] [E] 0 Capital Showtime Until Sat 2 Aug. 7 & 9pm. £3. An hour and a halfof variety entertainment including Highland Dancing. Traditional songs. music and comedy. presented by The Kings Theatre and Drew Taylor Promotions. 0 NETHERBOW 43 High Street. 556 9579 Box office Mon—Sat 10am—4pm. 7—9pm perfevgs Cafe El '[l’he Bothy: Tales, Songs, Traditions of Scotland Until Sat 26 July. 8pm. £3 (£2). Cheese and oatcake supper from 7pm. £1.50. An evening looking at different manifestations throughout Scottish literature and legend of fascinations with the supernatural from Robert Burns to Thomas the Rhymer. A Commonwealth Arts Festival

Associated Event. See Review.

' BLS 86-The Canary Bird and King Lear Mon 28—Thurs 31 July. 12.20pm. £2 (£1); Mon & Thurs also 7.30pm.

: £2.50 (£1 .50). Part ofthe RLS 86

celebrations and a Commonwealth

3 Arts Festival Associated Event (See

' also Commonwealth Arts Fetsival

Diary). Alan McIntosh Brown‘s play

about an imaginary return by Robert Louis Stevenson to Scotland in 1893. Stevenson. played by McIntosh

, Brown. asks his audience ‘What do


' you know of me'?‘ and then fills in the

answers. Anna Price plays the women in Stevenson‘s life.

RLS BB-Yo-Ho-Ho an’ the Mune was Shinin’ Clearly Tues 29 July Sat 2 Aug. 7.30pm. £2.50 (£1 .50). Fri & Sat also 12.30pm. £2 (£1). Again part of the RLS 86 celebrations and a Commonwealth Arts Festival Associated Event. Written by W. Gordon Smith and performed by the

weel kent Russell Hunter— in the

10 The List 25 July 7 August

i A Midsummer Night’s Dream Until Sat 9 August. 7.45pm. (28. 29July;1—9

first part of the programme. Russell Hunter takes on the characters of

LongJohnSilverandJekyll/Hyde. ; while the second part is given over to l

the range and variety ofStevenson‘s verse (a compilation by W. Gordon Smith).

0 ROYAL LYCEUM Grindlay Street. 229 9697. Box office Mon—Sat I 10am—6pm. 10am—8pm on perfevgs. Bar. Rest. [D][E] ; Pygmalion Until Thurs 31 July. 7.45pm. (25. 26. 30. 31 July. plus Sat mat on 26 July at 3. 15pm. ) £2—£5. TheatreSaver holders£1 off. Further cones avail— £1 offeach ticket if you book for both shows. The Lyceum company's summer season comprises two shows in repertoire: Midsummer Night '5 Dream (see below) and this. one of Shaw‘s best known. best loved comedies in which the pompous. misogynous elocution professor. Henry Higgins. elects to transform Eliza Doolittle from a flower girl to a lady. An extremely enjoyable. lucid and good looking production. with good rounded performances.

August: plus Sat mat on 2 August at 3.15pm). £2—£5. TheatreSaver holders £1 off. Further cones available £1 off each ticket if you book for both shows. The second in the Lyceum‘s summer season double bill Shakespeare‘s magical comedy in which the course of true love runs anything but smooth. The production doesn‘t run too smoothly either: though it contains some good ideas. this is really a stilted and flat production that sadly doesn’t match the other halfof the double-bill.

O THEATRE WORKSHOP 34 Hamilton Place. 226 5425. Box Office Mon—Sat 9.30am—5.30pm. Bar. Cafe’. [D]

The Phantom ofthe Opera Volunteers

are welcome to get involved in preparing a production of The Phantom ofthe Opera to be performed during the Edinburgh Festival in the Festival‘s new venue. the Dome Circus Tent in Pilrig Park. Performers. musicians. set builders all welcome. Meetings started on 21 July so hurry and get in touch ifyou are interested contact Theatre Workshop for details.

O TRAVERSE l 12 West Bow. 226 2633. Box office Tues—Sun 10am—8pm. Bar. Rest. Tickets also available The Ticket Centre. 22 Market Street.

Lucy's Play Until Sun 27 July. 7.30pm. (Theatre Upstairs). Temp. members £4.50; Econ. members £4; Full members £3.50; Students. OAPs. UB-llls £2.50 (members £2). Student tickets now bookable in advance. Epic fun. John Clifford‘s

latest play is set in Syracuse. AD 386.

and somehow manages to involve upwardly-mobile emperors. sheep. saints. saintly or otherwise. in the decline ofthe Roman Empire and the rising star ofChristianity. ()r is it‘.’ See Review.

Kathie and the Hippopotamus The British premiere of a play by the outstanding South American novelist Mario Vargas Llosa. As Kathie tries to write an autobiographical travel book fantasy takes over from realism as a way of telling the truth not unlike his novels. Vargas Llosa’s play explores the nature of fiction itself.

0 LYCEUM STUDIO THEATRE Cambridge Street. Tickets in advance from Royal Lyceum Theatre Box Office. 2296967. and at

venue one hour before performance. '

Blood, Sweat and Tears Until Sat 2 Aug. 3.30 and 7.30pm. £4 (£3). A Commonwealth Arts Festival Associated Event (See also Commonwealth Arts Festival Diary). The highly successful Hull Truck company in John (iodber‘s play about a young girl who becomes a judo champion inspired by the story of Karen Briggs (who will herself be at the Commonwealth (iames this year). See Review.

Traverse, Edinburgh. ln Lucy's Play John Clifford addresses his combination of epic subjectmatterand mischevious invention to the rise of christianity and the decline of the Roman Empire as it manifests itself in the stultifying backwater of Syracuse, 300 AD.

Here, in a dream-like never-never land of make-believe, Clifford playfully pursues the story of Lucy. whose various saintly qualities mark her out as a commercially viable property. Bobbing along in Clifford’s frothy tale andJenny Killick's tight, high-energy production, are serious questions about religion, the Church and the


: ’c \ replacement of one hierarchy with another, accompanied by a nicely jaundiced view of the noble art of politics. ‘Whatwe need is a God or a war‘ proclaimsthe cartoon~like would-be Emperor Max (Chris Barnes) his scheming eventually out-manoeuvred by some upwardly~mobile sheep butchers and his own frazzled side-kick (Alan Barker). With one eye on the act of fictionalising experience itself, it’s an ebullient, exuberant play, spilling over into whimsy on occasion, but underscored by a sober side that Kate Duchene's Lucy cutting through the

midst ofthe mayhem, holds firm. I