machines are becoming more human-like andthe humans more machine-like. But it‘sa comment on today really. The planet is being destroyed by humans and the machines are quietly waking up to the tact-but the machines don‘t need the planet. They're all living out in space and leavingthe humansto get on with it.‘

Downie‘s ecological politics have inlormed most at his work to date. This is hislirst play torthe Cornish-based Kneehigh Theatre Company,

renowned tortheirbold. exciting productions. who lastyear broughtthe highly acclaimed ‘Tregeagle‘ to Edinburgh. Downie's own connections with the city go back many years. however- he was at the Traverse Theatre in the days when Max Stafford-Clarke was there. and in the late sixties his play 'Dracula‘ wasthe first one to be pertormed in the theatre‘s present building. ‘I think we were still painting the walls white when Jenny Lees came to open it. . .‘ (Sarah Hemming)

o Cyborg. Kneehigh Theatre Co. Theatre Workshop. Hamilton Place (venue 20) 226 5425. 17-31 Aug. 4.20pm. £3 (£2). [Fr].


With only two shows on this year's Fringe. the National Student Theatre Company has lost ground since last year owing to tinancial difficulties. However. both GUYS AND DOLLS and the group-devised satire AMERICAN EAGLE promise to sustain the HSTC‘s excellent record of success in Edinburgh.

A more positive developmentthis yearis BP's sponsorship ot a new ‘graduate' company. Springboard. which. as founder Clive Wolte explains, is designed to 'speed up the process of recognition of outstanding NSTC pertormers.‘

Springboard‘s debut six months ago was the British premiere ol lonesco’s ‘Journeys Among the Dead'. The Festival repertoire comprises NOW YOU SEE ME. Polly Teale's witty and perceptive examination at the traumas of growing up; and LIKE DOLLS OB ANGELS by Stephen Jetlreys. Described as a ‘lunny and absorbing ott-beattwo-hander, it examines the relationship between a stuntcircus owner and his stunt-injured girltriend.

Catch these pertormances now and see stars in the making! (Andrew Bumet) 0 American Eagle. National Student Theatre Co. Heriot

) (

Watt Theatre (venue 7) 10-15Aug.8.30pm;17—22 Aug. 3pm. St Bernard’s Hall (venue 70) 24—29 Aug. 5.15pm. 0 Guys and Dolls. NST Co. StBemard's Hall (venue 70). 229 3574. 12—29 Aug. 7.30pm; 15. 22. 29 Aug also 2pm. [Fr] 0 Like Dolls orAngels. 8P Springboard TC. Assembly Rooms (venue 3) 17—19

. Aug.4pm.oNowYouSee I

Me. BPSTC. Assembly Rooms (venue 3) 16—29 Aug 2pm. £3.50 (£3) [Fr]


'Plastered‘ two years ago. i 'A Slight Hitch‘ in production last year— Trestle Theatre Company have made their mark atthe Festival with their distinctive masked mime shows perceptively retlecting real lite. This year. however. they add a new dimension totheir style. as Toby Wilsher. tounder member olthe company. explains:

‘In the past ourshows have very much been observation of everyday situations and characters— very much in the tradition of British humour. like Steptoe ! and Son. that sort otlhing. In this one I suppose we wanted to makethe audience work a bit harder.‘

Instead oljustottering recognisable situations to laugh at. then. thisyear they otter a story with TOP STOREY which gradually untolds the secret past at two elderly brothers. The audience hasto putthe story togethertor themselves as the secret is revealed in tlashbacks ‘but notchronologically. because one doesn't rememberthings chronologically.‘

Another innovation in the show is that it mixes masked and unmasked characters. the two sometimes used surprisingly in opposition to what you mightexpect. Againthis is a development torthe company. who have spent the last six years I butldingalargetollowing ( torwhat islrequentlya minority audience art. with their accessible shows—six years in whichthey have learned a lot about masked mime.

‘There is only a certain amountyou can do with masks.‘ says Wilsher. ‘You have to set perimeters. but it's what you can do within those perimeters that's the challenge. There are limits. butwe've spent six years exploring withinthose limits.‘

Six years otbeing lacelass might notbe everybody'sldea ot rewarding theatre. but Wilsher's enthusiasm seems undampened. Ityou go into the baratterwards


' nobody recognises you.'he

says. ‘lt also does dreadtul thingsto yourskin! And we otten share masks—garlic is banned ontour. . .' (Sarah Hemming)

' 0 Top Storey. Trestle

Theatre Co. Assembly Rooms (venue 3) 11-29 Aug. 1.45pm. £4 (£3.50) [Fr].


‘Everytime we tryto do something completely ditterent.‘ says Michael Fry otFloorboards Theatre Company. Last yearthe company did a highly

; successtul adaptation dt

Hardy‘s novel ‘Tess otthe D‘Urbevilles'; this year. true to their word. they are doing a vaudeville musical comedy. It‘s one with a

- difference though written

by nineteenth century Danish writerJ.L. Heiberg. whose work has scarcely been seen in this country. The comedy wastranslated by Michael Meyer. renowned for his translations ot Ibsen and Strindberg. and the idea of performing it came to Michael Fry when he met Meyerat a party.

‘He said Heiberg was one olthe little-known European writers he was most fond ot. Heiberg leltthat his vaudeville dittered trom the musical comedies olthe day. in that in his vaudeville dialogue was the main teature. not just the music. So it was the precursorot the modern musical in many ways.’

N0! the comedy in question. concerns a couple at young lovers who tryto thwart plans to marry herott to an aged suitor. Directing the piece. Michael Fryis following in famous footsteps-amazingly. Henrik Ibsen once directed N0! Ibsen and vaudeville comedy don't usuallyoccur in the same sentence. but. as Fry points out ‘lbsen said that Heiberg wasthe greatest intluence on his own plays. He actually wrote an Elegy torHeiberg‘s tuneral.‘

lbsen‘s writing may have

been inlluences by

Heiberg‘s ‘apocalyptic comedies“, but NO! isa light. trothy piece thatthe company have set inthe decadent 1920s: ‘We wanted to otterthe audience a way at getting into it and really understanding it.” explains Fry. (Sarah Hemming) Not. Floorboards Theatre Co. Heriot Watt Theatre (Tic Toc 2 & 3. venue 7). 30 Grindlay Street. 229 3574.

= 10-22Aug.1pm.£3.50

(£3). [Fr].

Bulmershe Revival Theatre Co.

{10an Aligllff I 0 1% we!“ to 2 9m .1

Show: and companies from.


0X Off/CE 667-7365


K5513 page

by William Shakespeare

'As poignant as I have Seen' - Guardian 'A brilliant group' Radio Forth

Theatre ACT, 32 Broughton Str., Edinburgh, (Venue 101) 9th - 30th August (x 17th & 24th) 1.50 - 3.49 pm

Advanced booking on 557 1785 & The Fringe Office




a new play on an old Japanese tale

by Patty Christiena Willis music for shakuhachi and koto by Mary Lou Prince

) . Aug 1 0—1 5, 1987: 8.1 5—9.43pm Tickets: £2.50 (£2) from Theatre West End Box Office and Festival Fringe Box Office, 170 High Street (031 226 5257)

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The List 7 20 August 23