beliefand feeling for the character. (Kerry Napuk) IVincent Kaz/um Performers ('o-operativc. 95 (‘auseway side (Venue 1112). L'ntil .3 Sept. (not Sundays). 7.3tlpm. £3 (£2.50). I Portrait of Vincenteumellia I’rtiductions. I’estival (‘lub.9 13(‘hambers Street (Venue 3b) 221) 2278.1'ntil3 Sept. 2.15pm. {3.5111(3)


'I used to be Snow \Vhlle. but I drifted.‘ croons the dame in the platinum vv ig. l-‘our slick. talented women and two blonde wigs take on the life and legend of Mae West in a fast moving. musical burlesque at the I’Ieasance.

I-'oursight's entertaining production begins with the shimmy ing bombshell being tried by society ’s three wise monkeys. Religion. .Morality and Tradition. and ends with a victory 101‘ free speech and innuendo.

The comic songs and routines are as bold and as brassy as Mae'salter-ego Diamond l.il. However. despite a kaleidoscope of biographical detail. I’oursight never get beneath the courtesan's mask. Mae West the woman remains an enigma to the end. (l’at Miller)

I Mae West'l’he l’lcasance (venue 33). 55b 0531). l'ntil 3 Sept. 4pm. £3( 1.50)

Mayakovsky: The Slanting Rain

The gradual decline of gullible ( iulliv er through his mind-narrow ing trav els is captured to perfection by David Ford. and Alan Leigh is endlessly inventiv e in his myriad roles. Sixteen years of voy‘aging is a lot to pack into an hour and three quarters. and there is an understandable flagging of pace tow ards the end. This is. nev ertheless. a remarkable and hugely enjoyable performance. (.ltilie Morrich I Gulliver‘s Travels The I.ordsol Misrule. Southside International (venue 82). (:07 7365. 1'ntil 3 Sept (not Suns).

(v.35pm. £3.5(l(£3)



Abridged. misunderstood. expurgated. va ift's satire has suffered ov er the centuries. Here it is restored.

With childlike fascination the audience watch as a man walkson and unpacks the mysteries of the theatre. A stage is delineated with chalk. cloaks and daggers are arranged. make-up applied. . . andthe performance commences. This is theatre with swagger: two actors chart Swift's exhaustive travels through the foibles of man with no more supporting cast than some clever lighting and a tape recorder. The evocation oferow'ds ofsix-inch midgets. ofstorms at sea and floating islands is achieved with magical simplicity. The monsters of Swift‘s imagination are animated with humour and an admirable adherence to the spirit of the original.


Set in turn of the century Vienna. Schnit/ler's short nov e1 focuses on the main preoccupationsof his time and town - Freudian analysis and a military code of honour demanding duels or suicide for the slightest offence. Insulted in a theatre. (illsll spends a night working out his suicide. recalling the good thingsof life and his failures.

As a one man show this internal monologue transfers rather uncomfortably to the stage. leaving I Iugh Hayes with a seriesof problems about focus. ls the audience simply eavesdropping as ( iustl considers the dignity ofa member of the officer class. or deeply involved in his crisis. able to identify with his unnatural code of behaviour. but hoping for common sense to creep in. and enormously relieved when the bullying butcher conveniently dicsofa stroke‘.’ The sheer stupidity of a society which wastes itsmembers so casually shines out through Hugh Hay'es's


swings of emotion. as he sits at a performance of the Messiah thinking about the pretty filly in a box. a broken rendezvous with Steffi. His exercise in ego boosting because he's wearing the IimPeror'suniform - throws a searehlight onto the moral deficiencies of the times. (Tinch Minter) I LeutnantGustl Hugh Hayes. Sottthside International. (v enue 82) (vb? 73(15.l.'ntil3 Sept (not Suns) 12.3(lpm 13(2)


‘Your Paris is nothing but a slough.‘ rages Iiugene. the young hero of Balzac's l.e I’ere 0mm. shocked at a city where two beautiful young women bleed their old father of his money . then disappear to pursue their ow n interestsas he lies dying.

Torn ('urtain hav e gleaned a skilftil piece of theatre from a novel remarkable for its lengthy and convoluted prose. The play charts the insidious corruption of the ingenuous liugene. at the same time raising some of the usual questions about vv hat money can and cannot buy. Ironically only (ioriot. the old father. remains untouched by selfishness in the midst of bitterness and greed.

Set against the (ioneril and Regan characters of high Parisian society are the inhabitants of Madame \‘auquer's boarding-house. Lynne Brackley's vvaddling. weedling Madame I’oiret. called in by the police to identify one of their fellow lodgers as a master-criminal casts a ray ofcomic light upon the proceedings.

Torn ('urtain deftly recreate the dangerously attractive Paris of Balzac's day. moving swiftly and surely through the darkness of the plot.

(Helen Davidson.)

I Balzac's Goriot. Torn (‘urtain Theatre (‘ompany . St (‘olumba's by the (‘astle. (venue 4) 22(1141111’ntil3 Sept-1.1).3 p.m. £3 (£2)


Neo-(‘hekhov ian drama at midnight is perhaps not the most enticing prospect on the I-‘ringe. but there's a wee gem here forall loversof Russia's greatest playw right and of iii-jokes. Iixtrapolating the sad lives of the two elder of the Three Sisters. Judith Scott's THY) Sisters is an accurate parody of ('hekhov 'sstyle; a plausible sequel with two tvvistsin the tail. I.ikethe master‘s work. i1 has both w it and pathos. and there is plenty ofopportunity for allusion-spotting.

Ms Scott's serenely embittered Natasha and Jessica lliggs‘ resignedly loner ()lga are both poignant. natural performances. and the piece has one great advantage over its prequel: brevity. (Andrew Burnet)

I Two Sisters (Waiting For Maria) Word I’or \Vord. Theatre \Vot'lsshop (Venue 211) 2263425. l’ntil 3 Sept (not Suns). midnight. £2.3()(£2)


This production of Midsummer Night‘s Dream suffers from poor editing and the doubling of parts. w hich only serves to highlight the problems of bringing Shakespeare to the Fringe. ('ygnet ('ompany‘s performance of the Dream is. despite the interesting idea of designing the set in an Aubrey Beardsley style and basing the costumes on 1’re-Raphelite drawings. frayed around the edges. 1t toooften lacks the coherence necessary in dealing with a play that demands a close interweavingofits disparate parts. The performances. by a young cast of trainee actors. rarely reach any degree of conviction. except for an impressiv e interpretation of I’uck (Mark Tiller)and a nimble-footed portayal of ( )beron ( Frank Laiko). The forest is a fantastic place which rings with peals of faery laughter. but Bottom and his companions are disappointing in their lack of vigour. and the lovers are either wishy-vvashy or shrill. lacking the passion ()beron‘s purple flower should give them. (Nicola

entirely rational and calm.


I Midsummer Night‘s Dream (‘ygnet Company. Netherbow Arts (‘entre (venue 311) 5369579. 12.13pm 1'ntil3 Sept. £3 (£2511).


In the precariously rebuilt interiorof St. Mary's 1 Tall. The ()xford Theatre (iroup struggles with its peculiarly bland interpretation of Shakespeare's Hum/er. The noises offstage detract from Hamlet's long speeches. whilst the lights seem to have been misplaced. shining into our eyes rather than illuminating the actors.

In this()xford London world of blazers. striped shirts and attache-cases. there is little of the passion or dark incestuous madness which saturates the court of Denmark. Hamlet is not mad. but

He is hardly the sort of lad

who would contemplate

suicide. and 1.aertes is better suited to rugby than an attempted coup d'ctat. The poor players. w ho invite a subtle and flexible treatment from the director. are left tostrut and fret on the balcony.

Horatio ( Matthew

Holmes). who shares his friend Hamlet's ghostly hallucinations. and ()phelia (Sony a Reed) stand out for their individual performances in this rather disappointing production. (Nicola Robertson) I Hamlet ()xford Theatre (iroup. St Mary‘s Hall(venue19).1'nti|3rd. 7.3(1pm. £3.3(1(£3). Tel:557 4829.

_ I


‘Breakfast time in Iidinburgh. August 1988. in and around Dunsinane .-\.M. Television Studios'. is the setting for Able Bodies packed breakfast show at the St (‘olumba's by' the (‘astle venue. (‘offce and croissants draw the early-morning. theatre enthusiasts to watch the whacky. wise-cracking cast. perform their populist version of Shakespeare's goriest tragedy. Macbeth. Indeed this is a tale for

the late 811's. Ambition and greed in the corridors of the media world. explodingcroissants and plenty of jam to sweeten the slap-stick. Nigel Macbeth stalks the studios of Dunsinane AM. . and reeks havoc with the National Network. finally prompting Arnie Macduff

to intervene on behalfof ‘BBC Shepherds Bush‘ and a cardboard- cutout looking suspiciously like Terry Wogan. Set your alarms for Ten ()'(‘lock to catch the laughter. in the appropriately dramatic setting for Macbeth beneath the castle. (Nicola Robertson)

I Shakespeare For Breakfast Able Bodies. St. ('oluntba's By The ( ‘astle (Venue4).22(l14111.1'ntil 27Aug111anrf2.

THREE SISTERS ('he khov‘s (II/INT Sisters serves only as the starting point for a series of witty and often perceptive sketches from this ( )xford based company. The opening scene establishes the mood of lethargy. depression and pointlessness which assails the female cast of three throughout.

The girls are at first dismissive of ('hekhov‘s work. but gradually his relevance to their beautiful. empty existence emerges. Distressingly' funny is Kate I-"enwick's attempt to explain her depression ~ ‘Nobody ev er phones me. Nobody comes to see me. The only time | go to a party isw'hen 1gatecrash'~ whilst her well-meaning friend is stuffing her mouth with strawberries.

Tattycoram describe this as ‘work in progress'. and they do need to work on the disjointed nature of the piece. Afterwards they invite the audience to come and discuss their impressions. Be assured that Time .vf.vlerv is in no way as radically experimental as this makes it sound. The piece never succeeds in doing more than skimming the surface of female depression. It is. however. very witty . veryclever. and very entertaining. (Helen Davidson)

I Three Sisters 'I'attycoram. Mandela Theatre. (venue 79)(i52 (1312 11181 L'ntil 3 Sept (not Suns) 7pm. £3.51) (£2.75)


Buechner's drama about the French Revolution pits individuality against the ground swell of a mass movement. Danton falls out with Robespierre and Saint-Justc. but cannot save himself from the inevitability of the guillotine. It is life that is betrayed by the new leaders of the revolution. as they become

The List 26 Aug— 1 Sept 198823