This isthe kind of playthe Fringe does best. A three-handerusing a well-trodden and limited storyline but concentrating on the resources ofthe actors themselves.
Jill is a comedienne who has made too many laps around the clubs circuit. Hertiming‘s gone. her jokes are old. heraudience walk out. During the backstage bickering oi the first half. ittranspiresthat Harry. Jill's lover/manager has accepted a backhander to keep her off stage forher final performance. With her career on the slide. Jill tries to re-establish contact with hertwo children onlytofind in the case of herdaughter Miriam. played by Clea Warburton with a nice line in bitterfrigidity thatshe doesn‘twant to know.
In the second half. we see the act. AwelI-paced was-it-worth-it monologue in which the jokes get gradually obscured by a harangue against her alienated family. whose neuroses she parades as the butt ofhercruel humour. Alison Mayeras Jill manages a convincing performance of a woman who can only live inthe spotlight and is well supported by Jack Plastow as herweak but still caring sidekick. But what distinguishes Catherine Hayes's play is the tightly written snatches of dialogue that convince us we're looking at a roomfull otdesperate people. (Lucinda Bredin)
0 Not Waving. Plastic Banana Theatre Company. Calton Studios. Calton Road (Venue 71)Until 28 Aug.
We are greeted with bottles of stout and ushered intothe twilight of Barney Kiernan‘s pub. the settingfora chapterin JamesJoyce's ‘Ulysses'. an unfathomable odysseythrough the minds of Dublin.
The Balloonatics have a well-deserved reputation
foradapting Joyce. including a Fringe Firstwith
‘Circe‘ and CITIZENS should add to it.
Trying to grasp the narrative is both impossible and unneccesaryasthey maintainJoyce‘s highly subwective ‘stream of consciousness‘ style. The result has a lilmic quality. a sense of shifting perspectives. fading from surreal slow motion sequences orcutting
violentlytoclose up.These ' momentsofintensityusea
vocabularythatexpresses ; morethanthe overlong chunks oftext.Three actors
play a vast range of
characterswithsubtle changesinvoiceand ; gesture.
Witha little less
reverence to the words and
tighter pace. this could be
an excellent show. Essential forJoyce fans.
0 Citizens. Balloonatics. Crown Theatre. Hill Place (venue 53) 667 7588. Until
This biography of Patty Hearst. the millionaire‘s daughterwho was abducted byterrorists and later joined their ranks. examinesthe moral and personal issues olterrorism as a way of life. Based on Dahlian Kirby's play. the script is rathershort of resonance. too often resting at the level of rhetoric without exploring emotional undercurrents. though it touches intriguineg on personal and sexual re!a=‘ions between
. members oithe
The Colombian Cousin
AROUND ,THE FRINGE
Amanda Paintergivesa bright. considered portrayal of Patty. and the rest olthe cast- though inclined to revel in violence-perform with competence and confidence underTony Kingston's direction. (Andrew Burnet)
0 Terrorist. Foundation Touring Company. Edinburgh College of Art. Lauriston Place (venue 73) 229 8508. Until 22 Aug. Noon. 22.50/21.50.
EASTS AND WESTS
Performing Berkoff on the Fringe may be hackneyed. but is easily justified if interpretation matches material. The Snarling Beasties‘ EAST more than satisfies this condition: it has colour. discipline. wit. ensemble commitment. stylised ritual and bursts with aggressive energy. Debbie lsitt (who also plays a wickedly sensual Sylv) directs a superb cast with much invention.
East‘s companion piece WEST is a subtler. more cathartic play. and receives appropriately lower-key treatment from Lost Theatre Company atthe same
5 venue. Equally well
interpreted. it features excellent performances. especiallyirom Graham Machell as Mike and David Hinton as Sid/The Hoxton
MAD‘s production of EAST isthe least stylised and disciplined ofthe three. and despite committed performances and original use ofslides palesin comparison: the inherent dangeroi using such popular material. (Andrew Burnet).
0 East. Snarling Beasties Theatre Company. St Cuthbert‘s Hall. King‘s Stables Road (venue 50) 6671809. Until 29Aug. 1pm. 22.50/2.
0 West. Lost Theatre Company. St Cuthbert‘s Hall. King's Stables Road (venue 50) 667 1809. Until 29 Aug. 6.15pm. 2350/2250.
0 East MAI) 'l‘hczilrc ('ompzin) . T‘t‘xlini' ( ‘Iuh. (‘hzimhcrs Strcct (vcnuc 3(1):]! 1 1 II. l'nlil 15 Aug. I 1.15pm. £2 [.51).
THE HOLY GHOSTLY
Receiving its world premiere in Edinburgh. this brand new play bythe award-winning Sam Shepard was a disappointingly uniocussed and unmemorable affair.
Set in the desert badlands ofArizona. it isa meandering tale oian old man. despised by his son and haunted by a ghost
who's determined to inform him that he is already dead. Unfortunately. the ‘Chindi‘. as this Indian death spirit is called. is in this production an unlrightening cross between a pumpkin-headed trick ortreat figure. and a walking feather-duster.
Ray Trail of The American Theatre of Actors gave a convincing and at times moving performance as Pop. but ultimatelythe credibility oi all three- father. son and ‘holy ghostly' — suffered atthe mercy oi a confused plot and script embarrassingly packed with melodramatic outpourings about the cosmos. (Stephanie Billen) o The Holy Ghostly. American Theatre of Actors. Assembly Rooms. 54 George St. (Venue 3). Run finished.
THE GRAPES 0F WRATH
American Festival Theatre (self-billed as the ‘official United States representative ofthe Edinburgh Festival Fringe') have plucked another Fringe First with this first authorised adaptation of Steinbeck‘s novel. The script. by PeterWhitebrook and Duncan Low. is a worthy affair. diligently following the unhappy progress olthe Joadiamily from dust-bowl Dklahoma to unfriendly California. It'sa dangerously reverential piece. and it does nothing to overcome the sad fact that Steinbeck's story is not in any sense dramatic. Doom impends from the moment the Joads hitthe road. chortling overthe land of grapes. milk and honeythey are going tofind— it's all rather like watching sIow-motionfilm ofa man falling off a cliff. That said. there isthe fairly original Fringe sight of fifteen actors giving a concerted and well-thought-out company performance. even it among them are some of the most stolid Method types everto naturalise theirway across the Atlantic. Design. by Janet Scarfe. is splendid. (Alexander Benton)
0 The Grapes DfWrath. American Festival Theatre. Netherbow Arts Centre. 43 High Street (venue 30) 556 9579 Until 29 Aug (not Suns)3.00. 23.50(22.50).
REBEL IN PARADISE
Howard Zinn's portrait of Emma Goldman is all the more interesting for showing her growth from nervous and gauche Russian emigre to ‘America‘s most dangerous woman.‘
Michele Costa makes an exhilarating Emma. always sympathetic as an
individual. but formidable as the public figure. Turn of the century audiences were clearly both shocked and excited by her views on anarchism. ‘free love'. sexism. and what ‘patriotism' was really all ‘ about. ! Her private life remains '- intriging to the end; she 1
married in Russia iorlittle other reason than that she was lonely. Then in America shefound a more stimulating lover and companion in the over-serious Sacha. alias anarchist. Alexander Berkman. played with the necessary degree offense anger and shyness by Adam Gavzer. Greg Charles has the hardest job tryingto make something lovable out of Ben Reitman. her manager and lifetime love. In this he succeeds admirably. twisting the
Goldman heart. if nother mind. with irresistible charm and sexuality. Without doubt a very accomplished production. Rebel in Paradise. can only be faulted on its pace; something of the tale's momentum seems to have become dissipated bythe time we reach the play's affecting climax. o Rebel in Paradise. Moving Target Theatre Co. Southside International. Southside Centre. 117 Nicolson St (Venue 82) 667 7365. Until 29 Aug. 7.25pm. 24 (23)
THE SEED-TIME AND THE HARVEST
Momus Theatre Company. established in 1986 bya group of young amateurs. makes its debut with a new play by Fiona Mackie. THE SEED-TIME AND THE HARVEST opens on the earthy site of a former school. bombed by one of its ex-pupils. The main . action takes place while the ; school was still standing. Presumably acting as a metaphorforthe whole of society. the school houses children who embrace the worst aspects ofsociety. lusting after money. power. violence. and eventually bringing about the destruction of their environment.
The sight ofyoung adults playing schoolchildren is often irritating. and. in spite of the energy and enthusiasm of this strong cast. this play is no exception. while the script attempts to be poetically resonant but unfortunately remains unoriginal. (Ness Ralson)
0 The Seed-Time and the Harvest. Momus Theatre. Canongate Lodge. (venue 5) 556 1388. until 29th Aug. midnight. 22.50 (21.50)
Borderline Theatre. an excellent professional Scottishtouring company. are strangely devoted come Festival time to reviving London stage successes. After two successive years of Dario Fo‘s ‘Trumpets and Raspberries‘ (translated into Scottish from West End-speak). this yearthey are presenting Brian Thompson's metropolitan media comedy TURNING DVER. originally seen a few years ago at the Bush Theatre. Martin (Peter Aldwyn) is presenting a television documentary about his pursuit of thereal India: butthe real lndian he encounters. Mehta (Marcus Fernando). is in fact yearning for London. The play. which alternates between a cutting room in London where the film is being edited. and India. where it was filmed. is largely concerned with ‘television types‘. and
- especiallytheoverbearing f directorand his conflicts with the presenter. The only
breath oifresh airamong these egos and insecurities
comes from a Scottish
sound recorder: but I hope
that the mere presence ofa Scottishcharacterisn‘tthe
reason Borderline are doing it. Currently at Moray House.
show tours Scotland after the Festival until October.
0 Turning Dver. Borderline Theatre. Moray House Theatre (venue 61 ) Until 29 Aug (not Sun). 7.30pm. some mats also at 2.30pm. 24(2350)
DEATH OF A SALESMAN
Not so much the death of a salesman asthe extinction oithe American dream. ArthurMiller's harrowing play of hopes betrayed. and livesfuelled only bythe imagination receives poignanttreatmentatthe hands of the Oxford Theatre Group.
Directed by Paul Goldin. himselfAmerican. the play backtracksthrough the perplexed mind of salesman Willy Lomanto reveal histamily‘s history oimediocrity. failure and crime. Eddie Max is superb as Loman. loud. blustering. but increasingly vulnerable as the full implications of Uncle Ben's advice. “You can only name whatyou can sell' are brought hometo him. When deprived ofhis job he loses all sense of identity and self-respect. Set on a pathfor self-destruction he perverselybut inevitably woundsthe sons who were his pride and joy. andthe wife he relies upon forlove andsuppon.
Hauntingly written and