I ARCRAOS Eagerly anticipated circus troupe whose dextrous use at motorbikes and chainsaw: should make tor something ditterent lrom Gerry Cottle. Leith Links. 11 Aug-2 Sept (not Mons), 8.30pm, Matinees Sat 8. Sun 3pm, £8 (£4) 26.

Mike Wilson and Ross Parsons get together on the top circuses and musicals and prevrew some of them below.

I I RA RA 200 Old lavourites

| to the Fringe, with a brand

1 new show which promises

j an excessive amount of

l manic juggling and

E acrobatics.

* Assembly Rooms (Fringe Venue 3) 226 2428. 11-20 Aug (not14), 5.30pm. 22—25,1pm.£5(£4).

I CIRCUS BURLESOUE An adaptation of ‘Alice in Wonderland' provides the vehicle tor truly bizarre

circus capers.

Big Top, The Meadows. 17-20, 26, 27 Aug, 5pm. 19, 20. 26. 27 Aug, 2pm. £4.50 (£2.50).

I LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS A pot-plant bites back in this stage version 01 the film.

Festival Theatre USC-USA. Festival Theatre (Fringe Venue 102) 657 2840. 15-18, 22-25 at 29 Aug—2 Sept. 10pm. £4 (£3).

I MILLER AND ME Apparently the ‘largest cast on the Fringe' who believe that there is a swing revival going on and that the public should be told.

Panacea Productions Ltd, Pleasance Theatre (Fringe Venue 33) 555 6550,12-26 Aug (not Suns) 4pm. £5 (£4).



a Big Top


Mike Wilson undertakes a death-defying feat, rarely performed in the UK, as he juggles with the various circus acts on show

this festival.

Besides the ‘the most exhilarating circus on earth’ City Limits a modest accolade to Archaos (see feature) there are a good half dozen shows which have legitimate claims to be included in the circus section, and in keeping with the Edinburgh District Council ban, none of them will be using animals in their acts. Not that any Festival or Fringe show from the recent past or this year can

practised by their traditional counterparts. Rest assured, as Ra Ra Zoo's promotional leaflet points out, the only wild performing animals that might be cruelly exploited will be humans.

Ra Ra Zoo. the manic jugglers and acrobats, with an Irish taxidermist for a director (Ben Keaton, Channel 4‘s new Jonathan Ross), are old favourites to the Fringe, though Stop Laughing This is Serious is a brand new show, promising even more daring and humorous exploits. And just as every self-respecting circus is obliged to have at least one person who ran away from home at an early age to fulfil a dream under the big top, Ra Ra Zoo can boast Sue Broadway, an Australian who threw away the chance of getting a proper job by joining the Sole Brothers Circus in 1976, going on to help initiate Circus Oz. I’m reminded of a story concerning Scotland’s football manager, Andy Roxburgh, who was able to fulfil both his wishes to join the circus and play football by signing for Partick Thistle FC.

Circus Burlesque‘s own big top, which will be set up in the Meadows from the 17th, will play host to a bizarre adaptation of Lewis Carroll‘s Alice in Wonderland. There, the trapeze, unicycles, other circus skills, costume and music will be woven with narrative to rekindle the original spirit of the great Renaissance circuses, which themselves did not exhibit animals for the

Burlesque- See Hitlist.

Suns), 7pm, £4 (£3).

century concept. ifever there was one.

Slapstick and vaudeville are two of the many ingredients promised by The Right Size. who offer a couple of shows, Que Sera and The Bath. With a pedigree which includes work with Theatre de Complicité, their shows promise to be surreal, ingenious and original.

The music of Satie (halfScots. half French and a bit ofoddball he was rarely without a hammer-head in his coat pocket. wrote music with no bar lines and never invited people to his apartment) will provide the backdrop for Pimba! Circo Minimo‘s contemporary theatre circus.

And while on the subject of music. from the Festival, Jutland Opera will be doing two performances of Per Norgaard‘s Divine Circus. Taking place in the Leith Theatre, the stunningly original use of a circus ring will help confirm our worst fears about the show‘s portentous title.

I For Archaos, Ra Ra Zoo, The Bath and Circus

I Oue Sera (Fringe) The Right Size. Theatre Workshop (Venue 20). 226 5425, 14—16,21—23. 28—30, 5.30pm, £3.50 (£2.50).

I WhatlAm (Fringe) Pimba! Circo Minimo, Hill Street Theatre (Venue 41), 225 7294. 14—26 (not

I The Divine Circus (Festival) Jutland Opera. Leith Theatre. 28 & 29 Aug, 7.30pm, various

be accused of resorting to the tired old recipes purposes of cheap entertainment a nasty 19th prices, { (Greek/English) girls as something DOSitiVC as “‘0 Fringc- (R055 I which gives him together. In the film they skewer society on the Well. Basically it‘s great Parsons) everything he desires. a version they live happily sharpend oftheir wit. coined)! dealing With the .‘mpom "°'(Fl’i"8¢) piece on which John ever after. On stage they According to Martha universal theme of Donna and Kebab. The Mowat (mime artist in all die. However the Donna and Kebabv 35 YOU LCWiS “'5 abOUt PIOblcmS StCTCOtYPlng-‘ Assembly Rooms (Venue residence) has also Director Steve Josephson may surmise from their between the two cultures, This time they return 3) 226 2428. 11 Aug-2 collaborated. The other doesn‘t believe this names, are steeped in the about how difficult it is armed With a band to Sept. midnight. 5 “0- two are written by dampens the humour of flavour of Greece This having to be chapcroncd complement their own Williams himself, the the piece ‘On stage it‘s

year the pair return to the Assembly Rooms with a Musical Revue, Acropolis Now, based on their highly successful cabaret shows. The collection of sketches feature the exploits of two good Gringlish

everywhere by your father or brother, which happened to both of us. Where we have an advantage over other impersonators of Greek characters is that actually being first generation

Greeks we are presenting

instruments and a director Mandy Fletcher, responsible for Blackadder and Only Fools and Horses. Thus equipped they will doubtless be adding their own particularly strong

spice to the rich flavour of

“my '5'.—


Bedfordshire Youth Theatre have virtually monopolized the market for musicals this year with four original ones hot off the production line. Since 1979 when the group first saw the light of day they have blossomed into a forty-strong company aged between sixteen and twenty one.

The director Nigel Williams is keen to involve them in directing and writing as well as performing. Accordingly, two of the shows have been written by current members: Somewhere in Europe. entirely in song, is about the deterioration of a marriage during a year of war and the Giving Tree, a kids show sung in a cappella about a little boy who befriends a tree

most original of which is aimed at teenagers and was a finalist in the National Student Drama Festival this year. That Was Then, This is Now tells the story of five sixteen year olds who leave school in the 19805 with high hopes only to be confronted with the harsh realities of unemployment and YTS.

All the shows are low-budget, fast-moving pieces. Courageous for bringing so many new works, Bedfordshire Youth Theatre deserve a visit just for this. (Caroline Richards)


The story of a plant from outer space with an insatiable appetite for human flesh and of how it

brings two lovers

really funny when it eats pcople.‘

Steve explained he isn‘t trying to put a ncwanglc on the musical, which has been produced countless times. but he is tryingto get back to the original ‘which was a spoof ofa spoofofan early horror movie. It‘s a play about the romantacism ofthe period as well as mourning the loss of this type of film. which has an innocence we no longer seem to have in modern movies.“

Without doubt the key element of the production will be the plant Audrey 2 from which the rest ofthe show stems. Festival Theatre describe their one as ‘a kind ofgiant

' muppet.‘ As they have

come all the way from California to perform the musical. it seems a shame to leaf it off your schedule. ((‘aroline Dunford)

I See llitlist for venue details.

The List ll— 17 August 1989 37