I ENDANGERED SPECIES The Kosh strike again with a marvellous mix ot high comedy and dramatic poingance. disregarding the barriers between artistic disciplines.
The Kosh. Theatre Workshop (Fringe Venue 20) 226 5425. Until Sept 2 (not Sun) 8pm. £4 (£3).
J o Roe lists this week’s dance hits. Below — previews and reviews of some of the best.
I WHALE Exciting mime-theatre from David Glass and Peta Lily lntheir version of Melville’s classic. Moby Dick. Assembly Rooms (Fringe Venue 3) 226 2428. Until 2 Sept (not Mon 28) 1 .45pm. £5 (£4).
I SHAKTI — POWER OF WOMEN The wondertul Indian dancer. Mallika Sarabhai ol Mahabharata tame. periorms sketches lrom Indian mythology, accompanied by three musicians. Shakti-Povier ol Women. Assembly Rooms (Fringe Venue 3) 226 2428. Aug 21 4pm. £5 (£4).
1’ I MACDETH Johann “ " ’ Kresnik’s production is only ‘\ on until Thursday: go out "~ and get a tlcket it you see this in time. King‘s Theatre (Festival) 225 5756. 17 Aug 7.30pm and 2.30pm. 24-21250.
bait with enthusiasm.
Donald Hutera spouts forth about a show that promises to be a whale of
David Glass and Peta Lily have got their nerve. trying to stage Herman Melville's certifiably great American novel Moby Dick. What’s more. their vigorous condensation lasts just over an hour and stars only themselves.
After repeated visits. these two mime-theatre specialists have developed cult followings on the Fringe. Whale. their intimate yet epic adaptation of Melville. marks the first time that the married couple have performed a deux. Neither fans nor punters should be disappointed by the results.
‘We were Iboking for something to do together that didn‘t come from our own resources.‘ Lily. a 1988 Fringe First winner. explains: ‘material we wouldn‘t have quite as much emotional investment in as usual.‘ Triggered by a Greenpeace leaﬂet. it was her suggestion that she and Glass tackle Moby Dick; he swallowed the
The show had a year‘s gestation. during which
they both read the book several times. absorbing its atmosphere and gradually figuring out the best ways to extract and present its theatrical essence. Glass happily applies to Melville’s magnum opus a device favoured by press agents and publicists who try to sell ideas for films in Hollywood: the one-line synopsis. ‘A man is killed by a whale while another man watches.‘ he says. ‘The End. It‘s a pamphlet of a story really. and a rollicking good tale.‘
He and Lily and their team ofcollaborators serve it well. Under Leah Hausman‘s direction. Melville‘s literary whopper is turned into a taut. evocative entertainment full ofsalty sea ﬂavour and physical prowess (movement direction by Beyhan). The book has been cut down to a playable size. using a well-balanced mix of action and spoken text. Lily‘s green. wide-eyed Ishmael takes a supportive backseat to Glass‘ truly scary Captain Ahab. He also makes an engaging Queequeg. and contributes a broad turn as the ship‘s obnoxiously funny cook. You needn't have read the book to appreciate the telling. Melville‘s symbolic titular character. meanwhile. wisely makes only the most minimal. token appearance. ‘lfyou bring on something even remotely like the whale itselfonstage.‘ Lily says. ‘you‘ve killed it.’
The show is buoyed up by Nick Dwyer‘s resonant soundtrack and Edinburgh-based designer Martin Mallorie‘s set. dominated by an impressive and versatile hump-backed walkway. There are also two props. pieces ofcurved wood rather like whale's ribs. that Glass and Lily use
brilliantly as boats to conjure up the pulse-pounding drama of the hunt. As Lily puts it. ‘We think we found a way to make the two of us look like all the sailors who ever went to sea.‘
Whale is hardly all that Glass has up his creative sleeve. In this year‘s Fringe he is also represented by a modern-day version of Ferderico Garcia Lorca’s Blood Wedding. made in tandem with the London youth dance-theatre group Fusion. ‘lt‘s Lorca almost in a West Side Story style.‘ he says. ‘The kids bring to the work a variety of theatrical styles: dancing. singing. acting. It‘s a very popular piece. with a lot of excitement packed into it; there‘s even a car chase. But as it progresses. it goes more and more back to the Lorca original.‘
Farther in the offing is Popeye in Exile. the
inaugural production ofthe David Glass New Mime Ensemble. ofwhich Lily is also a member. The formation and maintenance of this troup is Glass' major project for the next three years. The Popeye piece. due to be unveiled in January. is a boisterous tragicomedy that takes E.C. Segar‘s famous comic strip characters from their relatively safe. constant cartoon environment to a kind of horrific. dictatorial nocturnal realm and back again. It sounds like it‘ll be about the state of being a refugee. the loss of innocence and identity. and the finding ofspiritual reconciliation. Some heavy-duty themes there. alright. Hopefully. according to Glass. the show will also be a great deal of fun.
I See Hitlist for venue details.
SHAKTI — POWER OF WOMEN
After performing in Glasgow from 17—19 Aug in Glasgow. internationally renowned Mallika Sarabhai who played Draupadi in Peter Brook‘s Mahabharata. makes a single appearance at the Festival. Produced in collaboration with Pan Project. a company of actors. dancers and musicians. the piece is based on the theme of women whose power has been negated in a male-dominated society. Risking anything to protect their environment. these heroic figures. lifted from Indian mythology. history and contemporary culture. are Lshown to defy oppression.
The solo performance draws on traditional dance and martial arts and is accompanied by three musicians. (Jo Roe)
I See Hitlist for venue details.
Set in a dance-hall. (the familiar market place for love). nine complctley unsuited characters destined for a long wait. go in search of the perfect partner in a world when: dance is the language of love. Amongst them we find the ubiquitous Wallﬂower (complete with standard issue thick-rimmed specs). Mr Wide-Boy and his competition. Mr Dandy. Reservations? The show is slow and the choreography is limited
— RED WOMEN
Elements ofdircctor Lindsay John and through him. the inﬂuence ofthe Japanese dance form Butoh. characterise the small. exacting movements and slow pace of Red Women. Butoh
, . incorporates ancient and fairly predictable. themes of birth and While being reasonably human vulnerability.
competent dancers. the acting lets them down. Though there are some strong moments. the piece is imaginatativc at times and has potential — more tightening and a lot more Chutzpah needed. (Tanya Webster).
IWaiters (Fringe)Terry Beck Troupe. Theatre Workshop (Venue 20). 226 5425. until Sept 2 (not Sun). 10pm. £5(£3.5()).
hence the frail steps ofa new life form and the strained portrayal of animal suffering. Reminiscent of Lindsay John‘s solo work. the two dancers use the imagery of a cord connecting the stomach. the centre of being in much eastern philosophy. This part of the performance relies too heavily on the precise movements of this
difficult dance form but. as the tempo and humour rises the performance becomes more convincing. Curious anthropomorphic creatures. like the absurd red-legged tree which rather beautifully turns into a bird. are cleverly portrayed with ingenious use ofcostume which transforms the dancers through various animal forms. Red Women is a well enough executed piece with some fine moments. but it doesn‘t make you gasp as Butoh should. (Jo Roe)
I Red Women (Fringe) Rotating Dancers. Gilded Ballon Theatre (Venue 38). 2262151. ll—2()Aug. 11.45am. £4 (£2.50).
The List 18 — 24 August 1989 37