The lnsinuendos may win no converts. but they will give victims of the anti-gay backlash a great deal of pleasure. Sun readers should stay away. (Nick Dudley)
I The lnslnuendos: Backs Against the Wall Pleasance (venue 33) 556 6550. Until 27 Aug. 10.20pm. £4(£3)
The worst thing about being very good at something is that it looks effortless: the audience doesn't witness the endless hours of practice. Circus ()2 overcome this problem in several ways. First. they perform acts which really stretch them: you can see them sweat and they sometimes make mistakes. Second. they don‘t dish up the usual circus routines: you haven't seen this material anywhere else. Most important. they offer variety: subversive (if occasionally predictable) humour. inventive choreography and constantly changing costttmes and moods. It's a seductive mixture. (Andrew Burnet)
I Circus 02 Assembly Rooms (Venue 3). 54 (ieorge Street. 226
2427 18.104.22.168.26Aug. 3.45pm. £5.5()(£4). 16. 18.20. 21. 23. 25.27.28. 3 l Aug-3 Sept. 6.30pm.
£ .50 (£5).
THE STEVEN WEED SHOW
I remembered who Steven Weed was just before the show started. Do you remember the 7(ls'.’ ‘The era sandwiched between hippies and yuppies'." A very attractive troupe of American actors presents a revue style look at the decade that gave us hot pants. platform soles. strident feminists. Jimmy Carter. John Travolta. therapy. Particularly to the point is "The (iame of Jeopardy". a game show with life threatening prizes like 441 days asan American hostage in Iran.
Sometimes. the show made tne feel like I was playing ‘Triy ial l’ursuits' with an Atnerican box as it took an inevitably superficial skate across the surface of the decade. However. the company are skilful at creatinga mood which is a far more efficient way of provoking memory. The laughs peter out towards the end as the ME! generation look so hard at their navels they let Reagan head for the White House. (Norma Bordwell)
I The Steven Weed Show The Pleasance (venue 33) 5566550. Until 3 Sept. times vary. £3.50 (£2.50).
VICTOR AND BARRY
Those blazered blades from Kelvinside have popped through to Scotland‘s ‘second‘ city to say Goodbye (to whom I shan't reveal). pausing just long enough to sing some super songs and reveal a few facts and fables about Partick and their past. Their chance meeting over a pair of defective slip-ons and their indelicate dealings with Viv Lumsden areas nothing. however. beside their description — worthy of this latterday Keats and Shelley — ofculinary delights recently enjoyed for a princely £1 .95. Despite their
Icss-than-discreet departures from the world of amateur dramatics (not to mention the script). the boys‘ alter egos Messrs (‘umming and Masson have found time to take the charm. the cheer and the cheek to new levelsof boundless bourgeoiserie. (Andrew Burnet)
I Victor and Barry Say Goodbye Assembly Rooms (Venue 3). George Street. 226 2427 '8. Until 3 Sept. 5.45pm. £5(£4).
WHAT’S UP WITH MEDICAL STUDENTS?
The ‘l.adies‘ and ‘(ients' came on singing a song about Flash toilet cleaner. and I knew I'd come to the right place. A long evening of constipation and sexually transmitted diseases was underway. .lean de Toilette was perhaps the worst piece of 'theatre' I've ever seen —- the jokes were completely tasteless and predictable. the pianist couldn't play. and the lighting crew had obviously never seen a light bulb before that evening. What's [Sp Me. Doc! had art even more appalling title. but w as a much better show. The musicians could play. the lighting crew had rehearsed. and the cast itselfcould sing. dance. and even on occasion act.
; But underneath the glitz
and despite the smattering of political satire. this was essentially more of the same. It is not only sad. but frightening. to think that the only subject that medical students seem to learn is elementary gynacology. and that year after year audiences queue up to laugh at the
Acts at Gross lndecency
same old tired innuendoes. ‘We have to fit the stereotype our audience expects' claims the NI lT('. who expect a turnover of£5()(l(l—£6()()(l this year. Maybe a change would be less lucrative. but if they really are to challenge "Thatcher's Brave New Ward‘. it is desperately needed. (Kasia Boddy)
I Jean de Toilette London Hospital Medical (‘ollege. Jordanburn Theatre. (venue 29). L'ntil 27 Aug. 7.30pm. £2.50. I What's Up Me. DOCI. National Health Theatre. Marco‘s. (venue 98). lintil 2(lAug. 10.15pm. £2.5()(£2)
If you can imagine five Marx Brothers playing classical music on brass instruments and wearing Sgt. Pepper uniforms with an array of zany hats. hairpicccs‘ and footwear. then you have an opening picture of the Brass Band from San Francisco. They are a colourful. noisy and irreverent troupe who enjoy involving the audience in their madcap humour. BB fans will notice that the tall funny man is missing. having defected to sell stereo equipment in Mill Valley. llis replacement. Waldo (irade. has a hound dog face and wears outsizc Iiverlast boxing trunks last seen on (ioliath. The audience loved it. demanding four encores. (Kerry Napuk)
I The Brass Band ( L'SA) Assembly Rooms. 54 George Street (Venue 3) 226 2427. L'ntil .3 Sept. 7.45 pm (9.3(lpmin
Sept. ). £6 (£4.50).
It seems that down in Sheffield they‘ve just discovered agitprop and The (‘huffinelles are in town to tell us all about it.
Three middle-aged ex-manual workers. The (‘huffs take us through a song and dance cabaret whose targets read like the agenda to a Labour Party branch meeting: poverty. homelessness. militarism. health . . . you can fillin the rest yourself. This is fine at your local branch meeting. but hardly the stuffoflaugh-a-minute comedy. The problem is that unless you tackle these subjects with a great deal of sophistication. they are really too sad to be made light of. Mentioning the name of lidw ina (‘urrie is not in itself funny and the way to challenge the Junior Health Minister's stereotypes is not to repeat them. but to contradict them with new images and fresh perceptionsoflife. Beyond the fact that they are three non-glamorous women doing their own thing. The (‘huffinelles open no new windows onto the world. (Mark Fisher).
I The Chuitinelles'l‘hc Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550. until 20 Aug then 28 Aug 3 Sept. 10.30pm £4.5ll(£3.5(l). The \‘iewforth ('entre (Venue 44) 229 7659. 22-27 Aug. lll.45pm. £4 (£3).
IIIIIIIIIIIII HArnE HAYRIDGE, PATRICK MARBER, MARTIN SOAN
One might think. after their widely appreciated TV appearances. that these three stand tip acts would enjoy a largish audience. l-‘ewer than thirty people turn up. a fact on which Patrick Marbe r. introducing his colleagues. is not slow to comment. and on which Martin Soan. first up. attempts to trade. Hisact. largely basedongimmicky props. is yery funny. but becomes disjointed in the
absence ofa sustained response. so it is left to Hattie llayridge to foster the audience‘s sympathy. Her apologetic deadpan caresses the correct diaphragmatic nerves. however. and we retire for interval drinks with sore cheeks.
But Paul Marber justifies his position last on the bill. wrenching painful belly laughs from us with his one-second impersonations. and establishing a relationship which is both amiable and amicable: his own acknowledged horror of audience participation is sufficient to spare the front row severe embarassment.
Don‘t miss these three: next year they'll probably be a the Assembly Rooms at £5 each. (Andrew Burnet ).
Hattie l layridge. Patrick Marber. Martin Soan. ('afe Royal Bistro'l‘heatre (Venue 78). ()836 7()479l. until 3 Sept. 8. 15pm. £4 (£3).
JEREMY HARDY Since his well deserved Perrier Award nomination last year. Jeremy l lardy has been seen on a number ofTV shows and his astute insight into British middh class mores are at once sharp. honest and very funny.
I lowever. his talent does not end there. From hospital tests to Biblical epics. and a marvellous look at the father son relationships therein. to the recounting of a truly unique event — the reporting of a true incident in The Sun— Jeremy l lardy kept his audience in fits ofshocked laughter.
His manner is deceptively charming. his humour disarmingly frank. This is not a show to take your grandmother to or. come to think ofit . any friend of a (“rod fearing disposition. ()therwisc. it is a show you will find hilarious. Take an open mind — and don't wear cordurost (Ron Aitken) I Jeremy Hardy Assembly Rooms. (Venue 3). 326 24278. Until 3 Sept. 1(lpm. £4.5()(£3.5()).
AT HOME WITH THE HARDYS
Is the Fringe getting too flash. too professional'.’ This is the kind ofshow all the arguments are about — four popular and experienced comic actors in an adaptation ofa programme from their
radioseries. It is very. g
very good. paced at the level where if you laugh too long. you miss the next joke. Kit llollerbach asa whacky wife and Jeremy llardy. a terribly English stuffed shirt are beautifully complemented by Caroline Leddy playing an 8(ls' version of a jolly girl and Paul B. Davies the kind of guy you should never lend any money. When this unlikely foursome go off to spend a weekend together. they immediately get involved in an excitingadventure involving a dangerous lunatic. a nuclear power station. and government lies even though they have to stay in a cottage with outside plumbing. And until this kind of confident. innovative show is available at other times of the year. enjoy it when it is. (Norma Bordwell) I At Home With the Hardys Unnatural Acts. lleriot Watt Theatre (venue 7). 229 3574. L'ntil 3 Sept. 4.30pm. £4.5ll(£4)
FAKING IT 3 Having seen Wendy Harmer previously rip to shreds the myth ofthe Barbie Doll whilst devouring a hecklcr. l was eager to see the latest Harmer show. Faking It 3. In this she teams up with comic songstress (iina Riley and cornedienne Magda Szubanski. Despite strong