story. his nightmare
Theatre Company. Street (venue 3) 226
2427/8. Until 29 Aug. 11 .30am/ £4 (£3).
barely an hour. this
experience at the great
The lirst thing we learn is that he tended not to go by the name at Bruno ‘because it was unsavoury‘ and as he relives the story olhis conviction and trial. a clear picture oi bigoted 1930s' America emerges. both he and Charles Lindbergh symbols ota polarising
conventionally structured. Logan's play is wittily. tightly written and given crisp pacey staging by Chicago's Stormlield Theatre Company. Atthe centre ol it is a strong and tremendously appealing pertormance by Denis P.
juxtaposed with Layne Beamer's golden eaglelike Lindbergh. America on trial makes as rivetting drama as ever. (Sarah Hemming)
o Hauptmann. Stormlield
Assembly Rooms. George
With no set. no props. no costume changes. a cast ot two and a percussionist. and with a running time oi
minimalist re-working ol the Homeric epic was settor
as tricky a passage as its eponymous hero. . .Far lrom it. This is a beautilulIy-paced and accomplished interpretation. a reminder olwhat brevity and lackoi artitice can achieve. Dramadillo Theatre Co provide raw. energetic theatre. tiring the imaginationthrough resonance at word and athleticism ot movement. They convey the epic spirit at the original througha highly-disciplined plundering otalmost every performance skill available: music. dance. characterization. drama and acrobatics. And while the stutl ot legend—sex. greed. arrogance. calamity -looks pretty muchthe same. whatever the language and whateverthe cultural backdrop it is pertormed in. Dramadillozes highly idiosyncratictreatment at these epic concerns makes splendidly evocative and enthralling theatre. (Robin Muir)
o The Odyssey. Dramadillo Theatre Co. Theatre Workshop. 34 Hamilton Place (venue 20) 226 5425. Until 29 Aug. 6.30pm. £3 (£2.50).
It's hard to be a super-hero. Picture American Eagle. a red-knickered Superman in all but name. in conversation with Watergate's Deep Throat. Who doesthe nation‘s strong-arm. who lought nasty Nazi Scarlet Claw with such conviction inthe
Second World War. side with ? The President orthe Washington Post?
Six Bretton Hall drama students address this and the more general question at the decay ot the US otA's moral rectitude witha supreme sense olstyte. They whip usthroughlorty years ol Marvel Comics' history—sketchingthe Eagle‘s tile both on and oil the page. Durloveable hero ends up jilted bythejunkie loverhe saved trom the streets (she doesn‘t like the way he keeps hitting people). With a change in Marvel's editorial policy (or the 1990s. Eagle will be promoting the murderol Sandinista babies. It isa subtle and witty political allegory; show otgreat good temper. and enormous inventiveness. Kerpow! (AlexanderRenton)
0 American Eagle. National Student Theatre Company: Heriot Watt Theatre. 30 Grindlay St (venue 7) 229 3574 until 22 Aug (linal week cancelled)times vary £3.00 (£2.00).
A hitherto gentle seventeen year-old appears to have gone psychotic overnight. Breaking into the stables where he works part-time. he blindstive horses: thereaiter. no sense can be had trom him. Popular opinion would see him jailed. His lawyerthinks otherwise and approaching a psychiatrist triend persuades him to take on the boy‘s case. What lollows is Peter Shatter‘s EDUUS. a complex and disturbing unravellingthat torces the doctorto analyse not just the boy but himsell. and linallyto question society‘s interpretation ot normality.
Through startling visual impact and controlled but passionate acting. lncompany create a mesmeric—sometimes harrowing—pitch ot tension. Asensitive and deeply moving pertormance. with no hint ol sell-consciousness. this production is. quite simply. superb. (Rosemary Goring) o Equus. lncompany Theatre. Roxburgh Theatre. Roxburgh Place (venue 27) 225 7294. Until 29 Aug. 10pm. £3.50 (£2.50)
This obscurelytitled mixture at mime and madness is a tour delorce onthe Fringe this year.
In essence it is abouta seven-piece orchestra rebelling against its tyrannical conductor. but the themes 01 authority and liberty lend a depth to what is an extremely lunny show
to watch. How much dothe players really hate 'le chel' we wonder. as uneasy discipline gives wayto sexual and emotional anarchy lollowed by an overwhelming desire to atterall. bring backthe tormentor.
Typically. French reviews stressthe Reichian philosophical theory behind the show. while English papers admire the clowning. Both are here in plenty. together with rich psychological insight in the individual characterisations. The musicians are superbly ditterentiated with their innermost neuroses comically laid bare to the audience. Agarrulous madame loses hersenses when she loses her handbag. or. in one olmost gloriously eccentric pertomances. the quiet. pigeon-toed llautist becomes absurdly rampant in underpants with braces. The Don Juan otthe company turns out to have a chairlettish.
ll it sounds incredible. it's not; strangely enough. it is lull olmoments alltoo reminiscentolone's own experience. Altogether one at the most original pieces ottheatre you‘re likelyto see. (Stephanie Billen)
0 Seance Friction. Theatre
delaMiede ain.Assembl p y j lighting eltects to create an
Rooms. 54 George St (Venue 3) 226 2427. Until 26 Aug. 4pm. £3.75 (£3.25).
With a touch ot irreverence and a great deal at respect Richard Crane and Faynia Williams' Pushkin pays tribute to the Russian poet and the spirit at his lite. Against a pristine white background. and all clad in white. the cast otthree pinpoint and act out periods oi his lite, interweaving scenes with extracts trom his writing.
We are whisked from the young rebellious Pushkin to the lover. husband and eventually cuckold. dogged by gossip and censorship. in a seamless and well-cratted stream at episodes pertormed with style and wit. Funny. snappy and intelligent. the production revels in some 01 Pushkin's wickedy bawdy verse and succeeds brilliantly in getting overa sense oi the man's extraordinary character and talent and his melodramatic and ultimately sad lite. (Sarah Hemming)
o Pushkin. initially atRed Rose Theatre. now translerred to the Traverse (venue 20) 226 2633. Until 22 Aug. 11.30am. £5 (£2.50) plus 50p membership tor nonmembers.
Tic Toc’s Fringe First last year tor ‘Hooligans' established the group as one ot the leading lights in a youthlul new theatre at abundant energy. Their current show STARS. like its currently revived predecessor written and directed by Jon Gaunt. promisesto prolongthe wave at excitement. tor it's a truly dynamic piece that gets right to the heart at what it's like to be young. tree and unemployed in Britain today.
The play lollowsthe rising and telling tortunes 01 live dole girls and boys who share a housetogether. luelling their dreams at tame with all the drink and dope a Giro can buy. However. huge debts racked up on credit. an unwanted pregnancy, and a detection trom Benelit otlice to police unitorm threaten to split the group apart completely. In a violent climaxthey
. aimlessly become involved
in chaotic street rioting that has boiled overtrom simmering inner city discontent.
A non-stop cavalcade ol carelully selected rock music combines with pumpineg physical choreography and a relentless onslaught ot
. exhilarating spectacle
sometimes reminiscent at a
youth-marketDennis l Potter.The dialogue might
sometimes lapse into blunt instrument didacticism. but scenes ot brute power. like the tierce linale which has The Clash's “White Riot’ as the soundtrack to the expressionistic menace ol searchlights. truncheons and petrol bombs. remain the lasting impression ota production that simply leaves one reeling. See it. (TrevorJohnston)
0 Stars, Tic Toc Theatre Co. St Cuthbert's Hall (venue 50). 667 1809. Until 29 Aug. 8.15pm. £4 (£3).
HAVE YOU SEEN ZANDILE?
Zandile is a small black girl, living. when we tirst meet her. with her grandmotherln Durban. She is an intelligent lively child and hergrandmother has high hopes other becoming a teacher. But South Africa's pass laws dictate otherwise: the two are torced apart. Zandile sent back to stay with her parents whose main aim is to marry her oil.
This is a warm. gentle little two-handertrom Market Theatre Johannesburg—the political situation torms the premise ratherthan the subject at the play. unlike
scapegoat. put to death on insubtantial evidence. gives him the voiceto delend himsell. We meet him in his death cell. a gentle German immigrant with a poor command at English. who takes us instantly into his conlidence to tell us his version olthe
their usual work—and makes its point through two immensely personable performances by Thembl Mtshali and Gclna Mhlope. Mhlope (also the author) translorrns betore our eyes from an imaginative eight year-old to a gawky and lovable teenager. while Mtshali plays her wise grandmotherand her clued-up triend. Between them they create two particularly tender relationships: that between a small girl and hergrannie and that between two teenage girls.
0 Have You Seen Zandile7. Market Theatre Johannesburg. Traverse Theatre (venue 20) 226 2633. Until 29 Aug. Times vary.
THE DEMON 0F GUANGDONG
There can be something intransigent about pitting Christianity against oppression: what starts out as a plea tor tolerance and a case lorretorm. can often end caught up in overwrought and cloying evangelism. But Theatrescope‘s marvellously understated study avoids all the obvious pitlalls. being neither propagandist nor patronising.
Set in 1956. as Mao consolidates his hold on the hearts and minds olthe Chinese nation. Yan Meiling. the demon otthe title. must renounce her laith lorthe Marxist principles ola less compassionate Messiah. Don'tbe put all bythe over-lamiliarity ol plot or the apparent simplicity ol outline. this is an imaginative piece. sincerely pertormed and with the minimum ol distraction to ear and eye. Perhaps attimes itteelsa little implausible (though it is based on eye-witness accounts and personal experience). and perhaps. in places. the dialogue sounds a little stilted. but there is such genuineness and strength ot conviction underpinningthis production. that these laults seem trivial: and it has wider implications in time and place. way beyondthe limits it sets itselt. Under the direction olPatrick Lambe (co-author with historian Wei Fan-na). the cast ol three turn in line performances. pertectly restrained and breathing dramatic Iile into a storyline so often done to death. Only the unlucky will pass bythis uplittingthree-quarters ol an hour. (Robin Muir)
o The Demon ol Guangdong. Theatrescope. Theatreworks. York Place (venue 114) 226 5257/9. Until 29 Aug. 1pm. 1.75
'I'th.ist21Aug — 3 Sept 5