unusual step of casting two actors whose work he hasn‘t seen. Besides

directing them. he plans to

have them direct him in the monologue. ‘lt‘s the part ofa con-man.‘ he says; then a little grin returns. ‘or he might not be a eon-man.‘ (Andrew Burnet)

I A Grand Scam Lyceum Studio (Fringe) Lyceum Studio (Venue 7). 14—26 Aug. lpm; 28 Aug—2 Sept. 12.30pm. £3 (£2.50).


‘He‘s always been provocative always on a knife-edgc.‘ says director Michael Batz about award-winning playwright George Tabori. ‘Nobody else could write those kind of plays. It's not only that he‘s Jewish. but also that he was forced to emigrate to escape the Nazis and some of his family died at Auschwitz. Nobody else in Germany has ever dared to tackle those subjects.‘

The two-year old play. which is about to receive its British premiere. takes a look at the early life of AdoIintler. ‘Wc know very little about Hitler‘s early life.‘ says Batz. ‘We know that he knewJews and that he was sometimes friendly with them and also that he would sometimes spout forth this anti-semitic rubbish. The Jews and the Germans have a shared history even though they were enemies. The play isn‘t trying to resolve those contradictory elements. it‘s asking you to look at them. It‘s also asking what makes people Nazis.‘

‘Tabori has awacky. extraordinary sense of humour.‘ continues Batz. whose company is perhaps the only British-based group to be European in both outlook and personnel. ‘lt‘s a black comedy with very serious undertones. It‘s the sort of

Aug-2 Sept (not 14. 21. 24, 29Aug).

ofthc finest dramatic

humour that British audiences understand because of people like Joe Orton. He has a mad logic I that goes off on its own tangents. But it is also very complex. there are many different layers and [think the audience will come out arguing wildly.‘ (Mark Fisher).

I Mein Kampl. Farce (Fringe) See Hitlist.


Raptus Theatre Co. are a motley collection of some

talents to emerge from Edinburgh University. All ofthc ensemble have experienced the knee- trembling excitement ofa sell-out Fringe success before. in a variety of ' other ventures. though

' thisisthefirsttimethey . havecombinedtheir ' resources. Last year the

3 witchcraft. evil and the

young lrish iconoclast I Connall Morrison‘s l Faustus Kelly inspired the i Irish Times to write ‘If i nothing else the Fringe should be remembered for Richard Demarco and ' Connall Morrison.‘ Their assault on this year‘s Fringe is spearheaded by two new plays from Eleanor ‘Two Fringe Firsts‘ Zeal. and Donald ‘Talented Young Playwright‘ Main. both tackling the themes of

human condition. According to James Wallace. the Wickedest Man in the World. which he describes as an ‘Evil sex comedy‘ shows that ‘Witchcraft is in fact done by very ordinary people. Whilst The White Witches of Balham is an equally funny though more oblique work.‘ Knowing full well that the Fringe only lasts for a spell. the ' Co. who are determined I

to cast their shadow over

it. are also producing a

third show to be

performed outdoors at the Wireworks playground entitled The Man Who I Lived to Die. a must for hypochondriacs with a

new plays.

sense of humour.

I The White Witches ol Balham (Fringe) Raptus Theatre Company. Bedlam Theatre (venue 49) 225 9893. ll Aug-2 Sept. 9. 15pm. £3 (£2.50). I The Wickedest Man in the World (Fringe) Raptus Theatre Company. Bedlam Theatre (Venue 49) 225 9893. ll Aug-2 Sept. 10.35pm.£3 (£2.50). I The Man Who Lived to Die (Fringe) Raptus Theatre Company. The Wireworks Playground. behind the Fringe Office (Venue l)225 5257, 14 Aug—2 Sept. 3pm. Free.


The Wilde Players don‘t make things easy for themselves or their audiences. Last Fringe. their harrowing drama. Srallerhof. unpeeled the dumb brutality ofthc inarticulate. This year. they present the British premiere oqundi Ellert‘s first play (she is an actress who has worked with Fassbinder and Kroetz); set in the inauspicious surroundings of a home for the elderly.

Fast and furious where SIal/erhof was subdued and intricate. Elena and Robert continues The Wilde Players‘ interest in the failure of communication. ‘lt‘s a difficult play to watch.‘ says company member. Andrew Williams. ‘but I think it‘s helpful to see characters whose lives are tragic because they can‘t

Clyde Unity Theatre. The Crown Theatre

hold out a hand to each

other. I think it‘s good for an audience to become part of the process.‘

The Wilde Players work as a team. each actor also playing a part in the overall direction of the play: ‘lt‘s hellisth difficult.‘ says Williams. ‘lt‘s taken us weeks and weeks to come onto a level footing together.‘ Having invested months of research and rehearsal in the play. The Wilde Players expect some effort from their audience: ‘I should hope that 80 or 90 per cent of audiences in Edinburgh will want to think,‘ says Williams. ‘or they‘ll go and see What‘s Up Me Doc?‘ (Julie Morrice)

I Elena and Robert (Fringe) The Wilde Players. Theatre Workshop (Venue 20) 226 5425, 14 Aug--2 Sep (not Suns). 12.30pm.£3.50 (£2.50).


Despite Ron Butlin's Scots translation and the

9.45pm. £5 (£4).

I TOP STOREY Inspired. funny and

universality of Blending ln‘s office setting, there remains something irreplacebly French about Michel Vinaver‘s new play.

Vinaver‘s attention to the minutiae of ordinary, daily life and his wry, impartial understanding of the characters. no doubt sets a French audience in stitches. but it

L leaves its British counterpart rather ' bemused. Like muchof

J aques Tati’s work , you‘re glad it exists, but you‘re not sure if you can make much sense of it yourself. Even the energetic and sensitively observed work of the five-strong cast (notably the women: Una McLean. Alison Peebles and Hilary MacLean) cannot prevent Blending In from seeming like an improvisation for a Mike Leigh play before the plot has been introduced. Fair enough ifit is neithera comedy nor a tragedy, but ifat the same time it doesn‘t engage your emotions or imagination. you are left wondering as to its purpose. You end up feeling like an eavesdropper listening in to some half-understood conversation it remains as interesting as overbearing someone on a bus, but it is not convincing dramatically. See it because it is unlike anything else on the Fringe, but don‘t expect to be moved by it. (Mark Fisher). I Blending In (Fringe) Traverse Theatre (Venue 15) 226 2633. 10 Aug—2 Sept, Various Times and


I THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY The Front Lawn from New Zealand return after popular and critical success last year, bringing with them a three-handed musical comedy about sex. seismology and fishing set in the South Pacific.

Canongate ‘89 (Fringe Venue 5) 556 1388, 15—26 Aug. 6.15pm, £5 (£3.50). I RED KING RISING Back by popular demand, Edinburgh's lunch-time theatre returns after their normal bed-time to present 2000AD writer Grant Morrison‘s provocative fantasy about Lewis Carroll‘s relationship with Alice which draws heavy parallels with contemporary society. Well worth seeing. Oxygen House, Netherbow Arts Centre. (Fringe Venue 30) 556 9579,14—19 Aug. 10.30pm, £3 (£2).

I SELF HELP: FUN WITH MOYNIHAN AND GREEN Two members of the cast of Merchant lvory‘s new film Slaves Of New York in comedy double-act dating back to Harvard University 1979.

Cafe Royal Bistro Theatre (Fringe Venue 78) 557 4792, 14-19 Aug, 2.30pm. £2.25 (£1.75).

I THE STORY OF MARIE LLOYD Elizabeth Mansfield as the lewd but talented Music Hall star who was imprisoned under the obscenity laws. Richard Demarco Gallery (Fringe Venue 22) 557 0707,14-19 Aug. 2.30pm. £3.75 (£2.75).

I THE WATERMELON Lecoq-inspircd company have a go at the xenophobic attitudes of holiday-makers in Yugoslavia.

Fly on the Wall. Richard Demarco Gallery (Fringe Venue 22) 557 0707. 14—19 Aug, 5pm. £3.50 (£2.50).

by John Binnie. Clyde Unity Theatre , The Crown Theatre


A random list of plays seen earlier in the year and during last year’s Festival.

I GLASVEGAS Veteran of Glasgow‘s Mayfest. this a pacy and convincing performance of a superficial. over-long musical comedy crammed with forgettable songs.

Borderline Theatre. Moray House Theatre (Fringe Venue 61) llAug—2 Sept. 7.30pm. £5 (£4).

I SHANG-A-LANG Witty 70s nostalgia from one of Scotland‘s foremost producers of

(Fringe Venue 53). 667 7588. 10 Aug-2 Sept. 5pm. £3.75 (£2.50).

I BOUNCERS Only the prices have changed to protect people with a memory going back longer than last year. orthe year before. or the year before that . .. Hull Truck Theatre Company. George Square Theatre (Fringe Venue 37).667 3701.14 Aug—2 Sept. Midnight.£6(£5). I THE COMPLETE WORKS OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE Swift. inventive and none-too-reverent reduction of thirty-eight plays into one 60-minute farce.

Reduced Shakespeare Company. Pleasance (Fringe Venue 33). 556 6550. ll

moving evocation of sibling rivalry and buried memories, using just three performers. a number of masks and gallons ofingenuity.

Trestle Theatre Company. Pleasance (Fringe Venue 33). 556 6550. 12 Aug-2 Sept (not 13. 21.29 Aug). 2pm.£5 (£4). I INES DE CASTRO Bold and absorbing version of a Portuguese legend by John Clifford. who can‘t decide if it‘s a tale of true love or warped obsession.

Traverse Theatre (Fringe Venue 15). 226 2633. Various dates, times and prices.

I KILLING ME SOFTLY Touching and funny look at gay boy/straight girl relationship

(Fringe Venue 53). 667 7588. 20 Aug-2 Sept.12.05am.£3.75(£2.50).

I WHODIDIT? Comic distortion of the Murder Mystery in a polished knockabout farce that hits home despite variable standard of acting.

Invisible Inc. Diverse Attractions (Fringe Venue 11). 225 8961. 21—24 Aug. 8. 15pm. £2 (£1).

I TANG OF THE SEA Atmospheric and highly theatrical production. if a little slow. by inventive company for people with handicaps.

Kaleidoscope Theatre Company (Fringe Venue 39). 337 9714. l9h26 Aug. 8pm. £2.50 (£2).

The List 17 August I989 27