I MOTHER OF ALL THE BEHANS. Rosaleen Linehan gives a tull-blooded. lull-throated pertormance as the marvellous matriarch.

Abbey Theatre (Eire), Assembly Rooms (Fringe Venue 3) 226 2428. Until 2 Sept (not Mons) 8pm. £6 (£5).

Julie Morrice singles out the best dramatised biographies, and details them below.

I l

I FHIDA AND DIEGO-A LOVE STORY. Stunning. compact drama complete

with deaths-heads. cicadas

and a passionate. punchy

! delivery. Unmissable.

lied Shilt Theatre Company.

l Assembly Rooms (Fringe . Venue 3) 226 2428. Until 2 : Sept (not 21 & 28) 4pm. £5


I KRAY VS KRAY: N0 GUTS. N0 GLORY. Funny. physical. feminist battering ot the Kray twins myth and

male machismo.

Red Rose Theatre Company, St Columba's by the Castle (Fringe Venue 4) 2201410. 18. 20.22.24. 26.28.30 Aug. 1 Sept 3.45pm. £22 (£1.75).

_ 10 SEA m A suave

‘How pleasant to know Mr Lear.’ This is a charming. intelligent show written by Brian Sibley who also plays a very convincing Edward Lear. He is ably assisted in this little fantastic voyage through Lear‘s life by Polly March and pianist Stephen Daltry. March neatly carves out her role as Lear‘s frustrated lady companion while undergoing occasional metamorphoses into characters ranging from Queen Victoria to a gaudy talking parrot.

I am an admirer of Lear‘s work and this production does it justice while emphasising the underlying melancholy or ‘morbids‘ that inspired it. I was happily washed up on the coast of Coramandel for an afternoon with this show. (Jon Webster).

I To See In A Sieve (Fringe) ACG Productions. ACG Studio (Venue 114) 557 8100. until 2 Sept (not Suns). 3.30pm. £3.50 (£2).

Jaroslav Hasek did not resemble the bore

2 presented here. He

squirms from one side to the next. just managingto preserve his useless life in the process. He is in no way sympathetic. despite writer Paul Cahill‘s intentions.

Some of Hasek‘s real-life exploits. such as

selling werewolves by

mail-order. suggest that he was by no means dull. But nothing of interest is

delivered in this one-man


‘I know nothing. I remember nothing.‘ So sastarosIav Hasek. ‘joker. anarchist and great novelist'. I hope the real


THE PLEASANCE l2Aug-25ept 2.00pm (not I3.2|.29)


ASSEMBLY ROOMS l4 Aug - 2 Sept 1 l.45am (not 2|,28)

‘An individual and winning style’

The Scotsman

‘You should and must catch them’

The Independent

see Fringe programme for details

show. The performance is fragile and only just makes it to the end a bit like Hasek really.

The chiefcrime isthat an interesting life story is rendered in such a tedious and unimaginative way. Less worrying about words that suggest outrageous goings-on. and more care with the sharp end of the business would be a good idea forthis group. (Jon Webster)

I The Bad Bohemian (Fringe) Practical Cats Theatre Co. Theatre West End (Venue 126) until 19 Aug. ll.4()pm.£3(£2.5()).


Against the odds Frida Kahlo fought and scratched and bit to become a key figure in

Mexican culture. Against

the odds. Red Shift forge a glowing nugget ofgold from the heavy ore of


twice too much material. in a hot. restrictive pit within the Assembly Rooms.

To put it simply. this is the story of two Mexican artists. of their unique. volcanic personalities. their love and their art. Then. it is a portraitof Mexico. its trampled innocence. its hot rush of political art and artful politics. its refreshing. contradictory perception oflife. Then again. it isa stern warning against pushing art to the margins of society. And it isa celebration of itself. ofthe creative act.

All this is almost too much for the tiny stage to bear. At times it becomes a forest ofelbows struggling through on-stage costume-changes as the short scenes slice across each other. keen as knives. It is an irrepressible cast which hammers the piece to fit. then hoists up the audience to love. horror. laughter and the brink of tears in a sharp. stimulating show. (Julie Morrice)

I Pride and Diego -A Love Story (Fringe) Red Shift Theatre Company. Assembly Rooms (Venue 3). 226 2428. Until ZSept (not 21 & 28). 4pm.£5 (£4).


The remarkable work and character of Father Damien. the Belgian

~’.'1 :

missionary priest who dedicated his life to bettering the plight of lepers. is dramatised by Aldyth Morris and performed by Dan Cawthorn in a captivating two hours of theatre. We left the venue in twos and threes, somehow incapable of the usual post-performance small-talk. so powerful was Cawthorn’s treatment of this uncompromising play.

Although the work is described as ‘a centennial celebration of Father Damien‘sdeath'. the substance of the drama is about life. Life. hope. frustration. anger and humour. The play is given a stark, contemporary significance by the obvious correlation between lepers in the last century and our contemporary attitude towards AIDS sufferers.

Widely-staged and highly-rated on the other side ofthe Atlantic. this is a very special production that will not disappoint. (Hugh Allen).

I Damien (Fringe) Dan Cawthorn Productions. Institute Francais d'Ecosse (Venue 55) 225 5366. until 26 Aug. 8pm. £3.95 (£2.95).


‘Back by popular demand after 159 years—the Siamese Twins— Chang and Eng‘. There is more than a hint of irony in this

introduction to director and playwright Lyall Watson‘s latest offering. for this is no macabre resurrection of the 19th century's favourite freakshow. but a sensitive and intelligent biographical account of the original Siamese twins. The play attempts to focus. not so much on popular reaction to the twins. but rather on the tension between their inescapeable closeness and their efforts to develop as individuals. However. despite some

strong performances from members of the cast. Together fails to strike the emotional chord that it seems to have been searching for. and I left the theatre feeling little more than polite sympathy. The story of Chang and Eng is extraordinary. and needs something equally strong in order to bring it to life. Whatever that might be. it isn’t present in this production. which might be best described as a near miss. (Philip Kingsley)

I Together (Fringe) Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550. Until 2()Aug. 7.35pm. £4.50 (£3.50).


This must be one ofthe more lively one-man productions on the Fringe. even if you are not into art or self-mutilation. I‘m not very keen on either but still enjoyed Michael McEvoy‘s stage version of the life and death of Vincent Van Gogh. An intelligent and well-researched script saved the show from overdramatizing the more unfortunate elements of the painter‘s life: his melancholia. bouts of madness and eventual suicide. McEvoy put in a sensitive and versatile performance as the man everybody knows because he cut part ofhis car off. Van Gogh‘s tempestuous relationship with Gaugin is put across with great insight and dramatic intensity as McEvoy charges round a limited set with the energy ofa lunatic on speed. Thisis an agreeable afternoon‘s worth ofdrama that should appeal to more than a sado-masochistic minority. who. I suppose. are all busily getting ready to watch Gerry Sadowitz . instead. (Luke Harding) I A Portrait olVincent (Fringe) Camellia Productions. Festival Club (Venue 36). 225 8283. 12 Aug—2 Sep. 2.15pm.£.i.75 (£3.25).

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The List 18 24 August 1989 29