FESTIVAL THEATRE FESTIVAL BOOK. _
treads this iamillarterritory with consummate ease. The songs are enthusiastically rendered, and the programme notes are just as agreeable: the authorJ.L. Neiberg-as camp a little oddity as his musical comedy—was apparently the recipient oi an extraordinary tuneral eulogy, delivered by none otherthan Henrik Ibsen: ‘lie lit a torch in the land. You used to burn his brow. He taught you to wield a sword. You pressed it against his heart. Boldly he lought the trolls at his day. You crushed him with your shields.’ (Robin Muir) o No! Floorboards, lieriot VIattTheatre, 3B Grindlay Street (Venue 3) 229 3574. Until 29 Aug, 1pm. £3.50 (£3).
LORD OF THE FLIES
Golding's masterpiece - about the savagery unleashed by a group oi schoolboys crashlanded on a desert island, hunting the beast that is all the time within themselves - has been adapted tor stage by Graham Dixon at Exeter University. Dixon also directs and takes a leading role in this new student production which has recently won a playwrighting award and which boasts a very talented cast, notably Adi Staite as Piggy, Paul Cahill as Ralph, and Richard Nichols as Jack. On a simple set, with plain black backdrop and sand-covered tloor, they vividly re-enact the boys' vicious degeneration into blood-lust which ends in tragedy.
0 Lord at the Flies, Exeter University Student Theatre. Theatre West End, StJohn’s Church, West End. Princes Street (venue 126) Until 22 Aug. 1pm. £2(£1.50).
Jack Klaii has almost become an institution on the Fringe, writing and periorming his own one man shows on everything irom a relationship in ‘Cuddles', to South African politics in ‘Nagging Doubt‘.
STAND UP, enjoying its world premiere, is ambitious, drawing us into a complex tale otthe Iile (irom babyhood) at a Venezuelan physics teacher who finds himseli in conilicl with the State.
Clay makes Magnus Pyke look like an introvert as he veers into periormance art to explain the importance oi the sub-atomic particle. Meanwhile his brother, a stand-up comic. attempts to wow audiences in New York by sending up Clay's new found interest in Buddhism.
Making a stand, and simply standing up to lile. are both explored in depth.
. and Klati is as ever
excellent in his many characterisations. ltthe play lails to move quite as much as it mighthowever. it’s probably because there are simply too manythings lorthe audience tolhink about— witness the programme notes thanking everyone irom the producer to Einstein, Shiva, and the Tai ‘Chi Chu'an. (Stephanie Billen)
0 Stand Up!, Assembly Rooms. 54 George Street (Venue 3) 226 7097. Until 28 August (not 17) 6pm, £4.25 (£3.50).
MADAME DE SADE
Mishima's play aboutthe women in de Sade's lile is a very ambitious undertaking lor an amateurgroup, and alter two hours withoutan interval one beginsto understand why it has not been pertormed belore in Enghsh.
Finding in de Sade a iigure to embody his own obsessions with pain and sexuality, Mishima robes his aesthetic and spiritual ideas in an austere play at words without action: thus it is dilticult tor Trevelyan Wright's production to sustain the lite and intensity needed to hold an audience tor so long. The young cast works hard. but is unableto bridge the eighteen years' ageing required by the script, though Katie Brierly gives a spirited performance as the red woman whose death sparked the French Revolution.
This is a bold attempt, but the company is not really up to the play's stringent demands. (Andrew Bumet) o Madame de Sade, Oxtord College Players, Festival Club. 9 Chambers Street, (venue 36), 2201112, until Aug 22, 2.30pm, £2.75 (£2.25).
Plattorm 5, a production by the Zimbabwe Arts Productions, ‘owes a great debt to the people oino lixed abode — the tramps and vagrants ot Harare's back-alleys', according to theirprogramme. Italso owes a great debt to Waiting for Godot, Godot here being reterred to as Blaze: the only other dillerence being that he actually arrives. It's
similarly slow and static, though searineg periormed. (Mark Shenton) 0 Platform 5, Assembly Rooms. 54 George Street, (venue 3), 226 2427/8. Until 28 Aug, 2pm.
_ y'K‘IS-“Ktv- VB ‘-
Novel ways of spending the time.
Alan Taylor ,/. rev1ews
the Book Festival
SHADES 0F READ
In the Spiegeltent a young woman was blowing into a furry pipe as long as a lie, making sounds that could be interpretated as mating calls. An emu joined her on stage and strutted like Groucho Marx. At the bar two residents of the Street ofShame, a literary agent, a pair of publishers, a travel-writer and a Scottish poet drank Beck’s at £1 a bottle. Across the way in another tent a woman from Good Housekeeping tried to cook everything but books in a microwave andsome teddy boys (and girls) listened to stories about a bear called 'I‘. R. It was a normal day in Charlotte Square.
You can see and do just about anything at the Book Festival except read. There's too much going on to make time for that. But you need to be in several places at once to catch halfof it. The programme rumbles along like a juggernaut and sometimes you can be lucky and bump into bits unexpectedly. Walking along the appropriately named duckboards I saw an oriental chef making spaghetti without help from Habitat. It was hypnotic and that‘s about as a good a word as any to describe Maya Angelou‘s two sellout performances. Undoubtedly Maya has been the highlight ofthe Book Festival‘s first ten days. eclipsing even the much-heralded non-appearance of the great gonzo himself. Dr Hunter S. Thompson. At one point it looked as if Ralph Steadman, who I now know to be the ‘Fear‘ 50% of Fear and Loathing, might have given his lecture on the origins of Welsh humuour instead but it was not to be.
Till then everything had gone smoothly. The lunchtime readings, starting at 12.30, featuring Bernard Mac Laverty, Alastair Reid, Margaret Drabble. Graham Swift and others are the best bargain at £1 .75, with a glass ofplonk and a roll included. Four more are scheduled between now and the end of the Book Festival, featuring
'. :. ‘\\‘
Hunter S. Thompson by Ralph Steadman
Douglas Dunn, lain Criclhton Smith and Anna Blair, but get there early or better still buy a ticket in advance to make sure you get a pew.
Starting at eleven daily the ‘Meet the Author‘ sessions offer a sustaining start to the day and allow readers the chance to confront writers about their work. Already Kazuo lshiguro. Ved Mehta, PD. James, Jonathan Raban. Marilyn French, Colin Thubron, John Hillaby and trilogies of Scottish novelists (Ronald Frame. Frederic Lindsay and Iain Banks) and women poets (Liz Lochhead, Grace Nichols and Fleur Adcock) have been and gone but still to come are Sandy Gall and Max Hastings in conversation with Trevor Royle on the role of the war correspondent, Melvyn Bragg and Peter Ackroyd discussing historical fiction. Antonia Fraser and Dorothy Dunnett offer clues to would-be detective writers and Edmund White arrives from Paris to talk to Adam Mars-Jones with whom he recently published a collection of short stories as a response to the AIDS crisis.
What else is there? For kids Robert Crowther shows how to make books pop-up. David Neville will be clowning about and Terrance Dicks. the man behind the Tardus and the author of more than 90 titles, will telling how he does it. David Lodge and Malcolm Bradbury will be talking on Writing and Television as well as giving buyers a chance to spot the difference. There are lectures. Paul Levy on the hazards ofeating (and presumably not eating), a Mad Hatter's tea party (to which the Press as yet have not received their invites), the ubiquitous Roger McGough, Michael Wood and his Levis, Barbara Castle and Magnus ‘I‘m sorry 1’“ start again‘ Magnus Magnusson. It‘s called having the book thrown at you and if you want to escape the ﬂood of print there‘s all that jazz in the Spiegel. Or perhaps you might like to browse round the thousands of books. I did that the other day and came across an impromptu reading by Yevtushenko. Hands ﬂailing and belting out his words. he could have been that newspaper vendor in the tele ad for the bank that likes to say yes. It meant about as much to me too. 0 For inlormation on times, dates and ticket availability, ring the Book Festival on 031 2261259.
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The List 21 Aug— 3 Sept 23