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This is a very minimal adaptation indeed. Rob Inglis guides us through Roald Dahl's modern classic in the guise of Chocolate Factory owner Willy Wonka. Inglis is an old pro. with one man credits like ‘Dr Jekyll and Mr llyde‘. ‘The Canterbury Tales'. and even ‘The Lord of The Rings‘. Consequently. he turns in a near faultless performance.

However. children expecting a visual extravaganza will be bitterly disappointed. This show is as stark as the story is colourful. Some pleasant songs break up the dialogue. and Inglis establishes a friendly relationship with his young audience. conducting introductions. and handing round sweets in the interval. But an hour is a long time to watch one actor. however many funny voices he puts on. Sound arJ light do nothing to help him.

This production owes more to Jackanory than children's theatre. Within these confines. it excels. But if you‘re bringing kids. make sure they know what to expect. (William Cook)

I Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Fringe) Rob Inglis. Tic Toe at Marco‘s (Venue 98). 229 7898. Until 2 Sept. 1 lam. £3 (£2).

ClNOERELLA I‘m sure Prince Charming didn‘t dance the Hokey

Cokey with an Ugly Sister at The Ball in the original story but he shakes it all about in this new production by the i International Purves ! Puppets. There are several additions to the . simple well-known tale. iCinderella's friend ' Timothy the mouse (much better than a Buttons) : gives children plenty of opportunity to shriek and yell as he dodges his enemy. Cornelius the cat. Cabaret time at the The I Ball - an Indian snake charmer. Can-Can dancers in multi-coloured frills and a daring . performance by two daft Emu-type birds on a . tight-rope goes down well with the audience. Purves Puppets give a skilled performance. Their use of ultra violet lighting against the black backdrop is very effective. producing bold. colourful. eye-catching sets. The transformation scene and the journey to the palace. . withthe magnificent pumpkin coach and twinklinglights ofthe castle. are charming. just like a fairytale. After-the-show is

almost as good as the show

i itself. as the puppets are brought out to meet their audience. the Ugly Sisters i will dance with anyone for a kiss on the nose!

I Cinderella International Purves Puppets. St James‘ Church Hall (Venue 81). 0899 20631. Until Aug 26 (not Suns). 2.30pm. £3 (£2).


Workshop for 7-12 year-olds. Explore the myth of the super hero.

create costumes, work with professional actors and give a performance to family and friends. Workshop 10.30am—1pm followed by performance lasting approx. 1 hour. Snacks on sale. or children can bring their own packed lunches. Kids £2; Adults £1 for performance. Places limited to 40 so booking essential.

I Lyceum Studio Heriot Watt Theatres (Venue 7). Grindlay Street. Tickets 229 9697. Sat 26 Aug.


‘Scream out if anyone tries to open the casket.‘ sea sprite Marina tells us. There‘s evil inside and she‘s been searching for 365 years to find a key to keep it there. But even the loudest audience cannot stop the curious children, who stumble across the casket while playing hide and seek. from opening the lid. A jumble of garments transforms them into motley characters; king. lover. brain-box. But at the bottom are pirate togs. which bring to life Marina's enemy. dastardly Captain Scurvy. scourge of the high seas and intent on getting his hands on the casket. Does Marina find a key? Can she and the children save us from Scurvy? What will happen to the casket? Will everything go back in? Will you still have fingernails at the end? Don‘t ask me: go see for yourselves. Fly on the Wall give a sea-worthy performance in this imaginative production which breezes by at a laugh a minute. (Anna Miller)

I Captain Scurvy and the Sea Sprite (Fringe) Fly on the Wall. The Gilded Balloon (Venue 38). 226 2151. ll Aug—2 Sept. 10am, £2.

MAGIC BOB MEETS MR BOOM ! !! This talented pair enchant an enthusiastic young audience with a supremely entertaining cocktail of music and conjuring. Theirs is a carefully constructed set. full of variety and suprises. Andy Munro‘s singalong songs are easily

accessible. and his one man band is a constant delight. Bob Ouilietti is a magician and compere of genuine talent. I‘ve rarely seen a children's performer establish such a warm atmosphere. Audience participation is pitched to perfection. Kids get to join in. not only in the songs. but in the magic tricks too. Imagine all the best elements of ‘Playaway‘ in a live show. Magic Bob and Mr Boom made lots of new friends today. and many junior regulars had come back for more. They‘re doing a solo slot each. too. On this showing. I'd see all three— twice. (William Cook) I Magic Bob meets Mr Boom!!! (Fringe) Gilded Balloon (Venue 38). 226 2151. UntilZ Sept. 11am. £2.50.


I thought it was brilliant. It's about a boy called Tom who fools around and his Aunt Fidget sends for Captain Najork and his hired sportsmen to teach him not to be naughty. They play mean fighty games and Tom has to play too. People in the audience join in on Tom‘s side to help him win when they played Knees Ball which was really funny and we cheered them on. It was just like a big party. The best game was Womble it's like Ilide and Seek but you shout ‘You've been wombled‘ instead of ‘You‘re out'. The sportsan had to hide but Tom wombled all of them and played a horrible trick on each one. The most awful was ajug of caterpillar droppings (yuk) poured down the front of the sportsman's boxer shorts and we saw his tummy!

At the end of the game Tom had the most points and all the sportsmen were lying in a big pile. Tom gave Captain Najork his Aunt Fidget and he married her and they were very happy. Tom found a new auntie who was much nicer and said she like fooling around and she threw lots of sweets into the audience. ()ther boys and girls will like this show because it‘s so funny. even my big brother laughed. (Jennifer Taylor aged 6)

I Captain Najork and His

l l i

Hired Sportsmen Overseas llouse (Venue 19) 225 5105.11-28Aug(not Suns). 11am. £3 (£1.50).


Look out Earthlings. it's that man from the moon. Mr Boom. Bristo Square is the landing pad for Mr Boom's spaceship when he zooms in to entertain with his supersonic one-man—band. Join in the singing and dancing. help with the band. but grannies beware. opportunity knocks. not only for the kids. ltsa moon-day bank holiday so the show is free. Show inside the Fringe Club if wet. Drinks and ice-cream served after the show.

I Sing and Dance Along with Mr Boom A Mr Boom/Festival Fringe Production. Bristo Square Piazza (Venue 12). Sat 19 Aug. 2.30pm.


Fringe First winners of ‘83

l and ‘85. the Red Rose

1 Theatre Company present

a play within a play. or to be exact. a radio play within a stage play surely double trouble for director Pete Brooks. The spirits of Camelot seem to be alive and well in a BBC studio when a cast of second-rate actors record their play [zircalibur for at schools radio broadcast. But things go hilariously

wrong. The legend ofthe quest for the Holy Grail is told in this new work which is very physical with simple props and a cast of five. playing multi roles. Bags of audience participation. Music is by loss Pook (ex-Communards). Suitable for 8 years upwards.

I Excalibur! Red Rose Theatre Company. St Columba's by the Castle. (Venue 4) 220 1410. 12. 15. 17. 21. 23. 25. 27.29. 31 Aug. 2 Sept. 4.50pm. £2(£1.50).


Lasting as long as the show at the Book Festival itself. when we finally reached the front ofthe queue we could see why; Rolfchatted with everyone. while signing and sketching in each book offered up from hot little hands. As the tail end ofthe queue shuffled in and the noise had settled down. Rolfyelled. ‘Who knows a song'." So we sang ‘Three Craws Sat Upon a Wa'. ‘Flowerof Scotland' (‘Shout out ‘Whose army'. he yelled and we did) and ‘K—K—K-—K—Katie' and others. while Rolf in his inimitable manner. sang. slapped the table and stamped his feet. As we left clutchingour books someone said ‘That was good value. A second helping. all for free.‘ (Susan Barnes)

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The List 18 24 August 1989 39