I 0006 ANTHONY ALLSTAltS Three sex-crazed Australians dressed in hlaelr with one guitar and a wielred line in harmonies.
ileriot Nail (Fringe Venue :' ‘- (not Suns)9.30pm. rem). ; . I GOO AND JESUS
a ' Terrilying pair of
‘ psychopaths currently converting everyone in London by violent means. Pleasance (Fringe Venue
33) 556 6550.10Aug-2 Sept (not 14. 24 Aug) midnight. £4 (£3).
I TNE RECOLLEOT IONS OF A FURTIVE NUOIST Tall tales from Ken Campbell. Traverse Theatre (Fringe Venue 15) 226 2633, 15 Aug-2 Sept. 9.30pm. £5 (£3).
I EMO PNILIPS Strange but apparently human stateside stand-up. Thin. weird and enormoust tunny. Assembly Rooms (Fringe Venue 3) 226 2423. 11-19 Aug 9.30pm. £6.
Andrew Burnet goes out on a limb with his top six cabaret shows. Below and overleaf— previews of a collection of jokers.
I JOHN SPARKES Beery
Franlr Nevis. mad Gwyn and
at course the magnliicent
Sisdwel. What more do you
Gilded Balloon (Fringe
Venue 36) 226 2151. 11 :
Aug-2 Sept 10pm. £4.50
) a.) _
I PlETElt-OIRK OYS in AOAPT Oil DYE Side-splitting satire on apartheid by lilieahle Airilraner. Assemth Rooms (Fringe Venue 3) 226 2426. 11 Aug—2 Sept (not Mons)
10pm. £5.50 (£4.50).
Andrew Burnet surveys the comedy and cabaret programme, and investigates some dramatic developments.
Comedy and cabaret, sometimes Calvinistically regarded as black sheep in the folds of the Fringe Programme, are still on the increase this year, though the word is that their growth is slowing. Like it or not, for three weeks Edinburgh becomes an extension to the London Circuit, and probably offers the most concentrated hotchpotch of comedy performance anywhere in the world at any time.
A Perrier Award is to be vied for, and those who have won it in previous years are not slow to tell you so in their Programme entries. And there’s money to be made ifyou’re John Sparkes or Jeremy Hardy or Arnold Brown. Even Karen Koren, who works her fingers to the bone keeping comedy on at the Gilded Balloon for eleven months a year, may make a few bob.
But Fringe comedy doesn’t end with top and aspiring London-based acts. There will be student revues, some wonderfully inspired, others relentlessly dreadful. The Cambridge Footlights — which in the past have both soared and plumbed - will pack houses every night, regardless of quality. And there will be the medics, with their smutty titles and their infantile obsession with elementary biology.
International names like Emo Philips and Doug Anthony Allstars will sell out rapidly, but there will also be unheard-ofs from far-off lands, for whom word of mouth will supply overnight a surplus of buttocks for the venue’s seats.
And then there will be the cabaret/drama crossovers, from comedy performers who want to move into a more theatrical medium. Two-woman act Lip Service present a radical re-working of Bronte in Withering Looks, while Dave Cohen’s debut play is entitled Smouldering Globules of Love. Also prominent in this area are former Merry Mac John McKay, who has just finished his third play for the Traverse Theatre, and enjoyed great success with Dead Dad Dog last year. and ex-Joey Robert Llewellyn, who collaborated with Deb’bora John Wilson on the popular Mammon in 1988. They have co-written
and appear together in Onan, the unlikely story of a right-on porn mag.
‘We’re trying to use the populist strength of cabaret performance style to open up a very serious issue for discussion,’ says Llewellyn, ‘but we’re not trying to pillory people or point the finger.’
The plot concerns an unscrupulous entrepreneur and a disillusioned left-wing designer who set out to fill a gap in the market. ‘The statistics show,’ says McKay, ‘that supposedly left-wing men must be buying
pornography. We want to show that pornography
is essentially right-wing, and not a thing you can ever make positive.‘
Although the the main plot ends ‘very blackly‘, McKay — who met Llewellyn through friends and
initially baulked at the project - says that the subplot, in which truckers Reg and J ocko reconsider their position, offers some hope.
Despite its seriousness, though, Onan promises
to contain the ingredients we demand of all good cabaret — originality, energy and of course good jokes.
I Onan Robert Llewellyn and John McKay (Fringe) Assembly Rooms (Venue 3) 226 2428. 11 Aug-2 Sept (not 24), 2pm. £4.50 (£4).
MOOSEHEAD NOCTURNAL EMISSIONS
So you're male. and you want to know how to ask a girl out on a date? You can‘t dccicdc whether to treat her to Wagon Trail (the platonic western). or to the Community Scavenger Sale (American for Church Hall Jumble Sale). Should you don that C&A shirt or something just a little more informal? lfthese questions bother you. you have a ‘dating problem‘. And this 19505‘ American training ﬁlm (with all the surrealism of a MOD. ﬁlm) is what you need. You can watch Mick (clean. awkward and healthy) agonise on how
to phone up Kay (clean. awkward and healthy) to form the ideal Amreican Fifties binary unit. The film is a precusor tothe anti-heroin/AIDS adverts - it‘s agovernmental disinterpretation of the facts.
The unintentional humour of the film lies in
the way apparently useful pieces of information — ie a long list of what to do on a date varying form barbecues to miniature golf— are dropped blithely into the context of supposedly natural conversation. The result sounds totally insane. Rather like usinga
tablecloth for protection
in the event of a nuclear war.
This film may give you some tips on how to date . but it says a whole lot more about social control. You’ve got to laugh. (Alice Thompson)
I Moosehead Nocturnal Emissions (Fringe) Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550. ll Aug—ZSept (not Aug 14 and 24). 12.50am. £4 (£3).
- EMO PHILIPS
When Emo tells me he‘s excited about his forthcoming Scottish debut. he says it like he means it. His gleeful. throaty whine has the tone of an overwrought child. despite his 33 years. 13 of them spent on the American cabaret circuit.
‘I just finished my 4000th show.’ he says. ‘but I‘m gonna save my celebrating for Scotland. I‘m looking
tall. skinny. ugly creature
with a big beak, so there‘s
no similarity whatsoever.’ His show is entitled
forward to running Comedian And Mammal - through the lowlands with is this strictly accurate? ‘I my Robert Burns shouldn‘t say the mammal
translation under my arm and seeing all the bony lassics.‘
Doesn't he mean bonny? ‘The anorexic women,‘ he explains. ‘that‘s what I‘m talking about.‘
Emo‘s high-pitched delivery and bizarre sense of humour are unforgettable to anyone
thing I guess.‘ he concedes. ‘l‘m actually lucky to be a vertebrate. But you can’t blame me for trying to be a social climber when I go overseas.‘ (Andrew Burnet)
I Emo Philips- Comedian And Mammal (Fringe) Assembly Rooms (Venue 3) 226 2428. 11—19 Aug.
who‘s seen him on 9.30pm.£6.
television or in London. — but his appearance is
something else. A
member of The Lisr‘s staff had passed on a phone message about someone called Emu. ‘No see there‘s a big difference.‘ Emo insists. 'An emu isa
‘We had a naked woman run across stage on our last show in Melbourne.‘ says Richard the guitarist Fidler of the seminal
The List 11-17 August l98917