_ sxmr VIDEO
The Left‘s alternative to the Baron Knights are back again. The duo‘s formula remains the same. only the material haschanged. Unfortunately the mix of pop star parodiesand socialist satirical lyrics to familar songs is beginning to feel a bit tired after six years. It is a pity because manyofthe jokes are good and they still pick the right targets.
But. they are still worth a look ifyou have not seen them before. If you have. then you know what to expect. (Nick Clayton)
I Skint Video (Fringe)The Gilded Balloon (Venue 38).2262151.11Aug-2 Sept(Not21).11pm.£-l (£3).
MOOSEHEAD’S NOCTURNAL EMISSIONS
Weren‘t grown-ups earnest in the 1950s? So concerned were they with the amorous angst oftheir offspring that in America they provided little celluloid drama- documentaries (or ‘instructional films') for teenagers on such weighty topics as ‘What To Do ()n A Date' and ‘1 low To Say Goodnight To Your Date.‘
These films are so totally lacking in wisdom or subtlety that no commentary is necessary. Their rip-roaring crassness is funny in itself. But since only two appear in this show. it has been padded out by stand-up comics doubling as commentators.
Rob Newman. who appeared when I saw the show. does a good line in impersonations (including a spot-on Ben Elton and both Proclaimers at once). and is a very adept improvisor. whose merciless demands for audience participation are made tolerable by a likeable nature. But his remarks about the films are superfluous. Perhaps the other two comics. who perform on different
nights. offer more integration.
It's fun. but it‘s a curious mixture. (Andrew Burnet)
I Moosehead's Nocturnal Emissions (Fringe) Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550. Until 2 Sept (not 24 Aug). 12.50am. £4 (£3).
_ LIVE BED saow
If you are old enough to remember sex under a Labour Government. then this is your kindof show. If you associate Thatcherism with puberty then you could be too young to appreciate the joke.
llaughed and squirmed simultaneously throughout. a risky manoeuvre which shows my age. 1 had just too much in common with the character played so well by Arthur Smith that you know he is not really acting. llis portrayal of the non-sexist pursuit of sex will touch a few raw nerves with New Men' in the audience.
(‘aroline Quentin is the perfect quarry. full of feminist subterfuge. ‘No Sex Please. I‘m (‘elibatef But. is she really'.’ I will not spoil it for you.
It is impossible to avoid comparisons with "I‘hirtysomething’ because the Live Bed Show is aimed at the same age group. Mercifully this show is free ofchildren and ad agency angst. It is also a lot funnier. But. it is probably a bit strong for your mum. (Nick Clayton)
I The Live Bed Show ISee Hitlist for venue details.
— PRESTO PACK
I‘ve never understood how they do that damn
‘ stuff: guessing the right
card. making the rope jump back together. sawingthe guy in half. At the Gilded Balloon you can watch this “closeup magic' just as close up as you like. Surrounded by an audience of appreciative GB staffers 1 had a chance on opening night. Not awesome given
‘ its familiarity—but lstill
A trio ofperformers from London alternate to produce a stylish and varied show. Fluke doesn't speak but I wouldn't either if 1 stuffed halfJenners' inventory down my gullet. She is Bulgarian class in ribbon work — her ‘magic‘ is contortionist and shamanistic. Richard McDougall‘s starter was slow. but the second routine. a magic show for kids. was a killer. liay Presto is camp. has a touch with the audience. and can pour a pint into the livening News. OK. so have we all on the odd occasion. But she can pour it back out.
This good natured gang is easy on the audience and can be recommended for the less venturesome. Which I‘d be tempted to do if they‘d show me a couple of those tricks. (Wes Shrum)
I A Little Night Magic (Fringe) Presto Pack. Gilded Balloon (Venue 38). 226 2151. Until
2 Sept. midnight.£5 (£3.50).
‘Every orifice exploding!‘ yells Mervyn Stutter. He sings. he makes fart noises. he plays the piano. and he reads the news. Mervyn Stutter is a politically conscious smart-ass with a taste for bathroom humour and a talent for musical spoofing.
‘Good God.‘ Stutter said. coming on stage. ‘1 think the bartenders nearly outnumber the audience.‘ a situation which doesn't deserve to last long. An up-to-date Tom Lehrer. Stutter sets the ozone layer a-tinkling across the ivories. chants the sad nursery rhyme of Salman Rushdie. and serves up dear old Fido to replace Chernobyled lamb. llis lyrics — acid as rain. pungent as beach sewage — are a vaudeville primer for the End ofthe World. ‘Ahh. to be a Sixties radical. when all you had to worry about was the Bomb.‘ he sighs between songs.
Frustration at a disintegrating world has fermented into humour— it's political comedy well laced with the reek of jobbies and other bodily condiments. A tampon or two. a tirade or two. a tune or two. There‘s a sharp brain behindthe twinkling eyes and the filth. Very funny. (John Thompson)
I Filth (Fringe) Mervyn Stutter. Calton Studios (Venue 71 ). 12-26 Aug. 8.30pm. £3 (£2).
SMOULDERING GLOBULES OF LOVE
The elements of stand-up comic Dave Cohen's debut play are a private detective (plenty ofjokes about dicks). an Australian magazine for teenage girls (plenty of jokes about Kylie Minogue) and a love affair between its hunky model and the photographer (infinite scope for innuendo).
There are feedlines. punchlines. songs and sketches. and most ofmy fellow audience members seemed to enjoy it. but to me it largely appears tired and predictable. with only one genuine surprise. This. it should be said. is extremely well handled. and the enthusiasm ofthe cast — notably Julie Balloo as the photographer— keep it flowing merrily along. But when the Fringe offers so much slickness and originality. show like this does not stand out.
I Smouldering Globules of Love (Fringe) Not On Your Telly Productions. Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 226 2151. Until 2 Sept (not 20. 29 Aug). 6.30pm. £4.50 (£3.50)
From the moment these six people appear on stage in awful wigs and the men in terribly mismatched grey check coats and trousers. the audience knows it‘s facing something different. And different it is. with such distasteful songs as ‘She Tasted Good'. ‘You got My Rocket‘ and ‘Love Hurts‘. Little Donny. lead singer. mounts a full frontal attack on things American: cults. sex. mannerisms. sex. surfing and more sex. Nobody will ever accuse the Kondos of subtlety. Their act is like a 1950s sock hop gone wrong. way wrong. In fact if the Kondos didn‘t have bad taste they
wouldn‘t have any taste at all. Yet they have raw energy and some funny off-the-wall numbers. The young — very young — audience obviously was delighted. (Kerry Napuk) I Kondo Brothers North 01 The Border (Fringe) (‘alton Studios (Venue 71 ) 556 7066. Until 26 Aug. 10.05pm. £3 (£2).
‘ls Gerry Sadowitz really a j
Scottish Bernard Manning." This piquant philosophical poser is proposed by Sadowitz himselfin a not uncommon bout of self-examination conducted by the ugliest man in comedy. Certainly. he is offensive. There is no territory too sacred to be desecrated. ('ertainly. he invites anger. But then he is angry. and one suspects that Manning is just a bit manipulative. Sadowitz‘s anger sustains his manic humour. and though there are occasions when it might desert him (perhaps he even tires of being so profane). his aficionados will not be disappointed with this show. (Mike Wilson)
I Gerry Sadowitz (Fringe) lleriot llall. George
1 1e riot‘s School (Venue 26). 667 3704. 10-23 Aug. 11.15pm. £6(£4); Queen‘s llall (Venue 72). 668 2019. Aug 27. 10.30pm. £7 & £(i(£4).
THE ALEXANDER SISTERS
Alma and Morag are twins. They are extremely Scottish. They are unashamedly kitsch. and they are joyously entertaining. Theirs is a tartan treatise on romance. show business. and sisterhood.
Alma is the straight half of this classic double act. ‘Being a showbiz personality is not a bedof roses' she reveals. Imagine Dame Edna Everage in aTam O‘Shanter. Morag is hideously ugly. with a
penchant for food. mountaineers and poetry -— in that order. Together they demolish all the TV llogmanay cliches in one fell swoop. and a few of the audience besides.
llelt like the ultimate Sassenach. but that's half the attraction. This act is an education. Scots folk have taken the Alexander Sisters to their hearts. For English visitors. it's an essential initiation into the whys and wherefores of Scotland. (William ('ook) I Alma and Morag's Fantasy Island (Fringe) The Alexander Sisters. ('afe Royal Bistro (Venue 78). 557 4792. until 2Sept. 10.30pm. £4 (£3).
- DEATH OFA STAGE IRISHMAN
There are always shows on the Fringe whose main merits are not artistic. and this is one ofthem. Hole In The Wall is a company from Belfast which sets out to satirise British and Irish politics. taking in sectarianism. alternative health workshops and the sunny South East of England along the way.
There‘s a smattering of strong material lurking in there an alternative version of The Red Flag. a send-upofthose anti-sectarian plays modelled on Romeo A ml Juliet. and a sketch which scratches the surface of the cliches in British drama‘s Northern lrishmen. But most ofthe show relies more on our appreciation of the group's goodwill and sincerity than on observation. imagination ororiginality. and the bulk of it is simply not very funny.
They're an amiable bunch of folk. particularly Martin the incorrigible clown-plagiarist. but if you're looking for slick. irresistible humour. look elsewhere. (Andrew Burnct)
I Death 0111 Stage Irishman ( Fringe) Hole In The Wall Theatre Company. Mandela Theatre At The Wee Red Bar (Venue 79) 22‘) 1003. L'ntil 1‘) Aug. 10.30pm.£3 (£2).
16 The List 18 — 24 August 1989