Smouidering. rapid-lire comedy from apres-aiternative veteran of the stand-up circuit. i The Comedy Boom (Fringe Venue 67) 556 0499. Until 2 . Sept, 11.15pm. £4 (£3).

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Andrew Burnet selects his top cabaret shows. Reviews below and overleaf.

I BBUTE FABCE Clever. accurate and topical stretches from young. all-male team.

Red Rose Theatre Company. St Columha's By The Castle (Fringe Venue 4) 2201410. Until 2 Sept. 10.30pm. 23 (£2.50).

I COMEDY ABATTDIR Ravi and uncompromising young comics on the up-and-up. Aggressive and extremely iunny.

llill Street Theatre (Fringe Venue 41) 225 7294. Until 26 Aug. midnight. £3.50 (£2.50).

B 1‘ as“;

I SEAN CDBCDRAN AND PHYLLIS NDLT PRESENT Three oi the best comics currently on the clruit with some excellent stand-up. and some less successtul sketches.

Gilded Balloon Theatre (Fringe Venue 36) 226 2151. Until 2 Sept (not 28). 9pm, £4.50 (£3.50).

I MARK MIWUNDZ Sharp. intelligent and suretire vvorii lrom one of the more lilieahle regulars ot the London comedy venues. The Comedy Boom (Fringe Venue 67) 556 0499. Until 2 Sept. 9.30pm. £4 (£3).

I SEVEBED HEADS Novvitt and Broadhent in a send~up of La Revolution. Winners oi19B9 Street Entertainers otThe Year avvard.

Dalton Studios (Fringe Venue 11) 556 7066. Until 2 Sept. 12.05am. £4 (£3).


Historically there was only one Bronte brother and he died. This year at the Royal Mile Primary School there are four and they die frequently. Painfully bad sketches give one the impression that an evening watching videos of dentists at work would be more funny and would at least have the plus factor that you could switch them off. Having said that I must admit I laughed . . . once. and one of the brothers does have some talent. though it is not enough to uphold the show. For fans of bad late-night comedy this show is the equivalent of Olivier's Othello, for anyone else it‘s the cabaret equivalent of watching paint dry. (Ross Parsons)

I The Bronte Brothers I(Fringe) Royal Mile Primary School. (Venue 58). 556 3347. until 26 Aug. 10pm. 3.50 (2.50).


Devotees of recent television series Absolutely and Naked Video will undoubtedly recognise a great deal of John Sparkes‘ material in his one-man show at the Gilded Balloon Theatre. Sparkes is. however. a very professional performer making the transition from the small screen to the stage smoothly and with a great deal of warmth. His rapport with the audience is instant and his performance characterised by a high

level of immediacy.

He treats the audience to a comic variety-show of characters. moving effortlessly between one and the other. However, by far the strongest of

these is ‘Siadwel‘. the endearingly pathetic poet. and the Welsh Les Patterson ‘Frank Hovis‘. who tends to dominate the performance in his role as compere. One would therefore need to be an appreciative fan of the by now classic British lavaton'al humour to thoroughly enjoy the evening. (lngc Hansen) IJohn ‘Siadvlel' Sparttes (Fringe). Gilded Balloon (Venue 38). 2262151. Until 2 Sept. 10pm.£4.5() (£3.50).

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Seven Australians for the price of one. What more could a body ask for? As it turns out not a great deal.

Rachel Berger begins this mayhem-a-trois with an acerbic routine honed on the cabaret circuit of Melbourne. She seemed a little disconcerted by the lack of heckling. though. and I got the impression that with a more vociferous audience. Berger would have shone more brightly.

Following the cleverly crafted Ms Berger‘s routine comes an act with all the subtlety of a seal clubber‘s cudgel. The Natural Normans are

three hard lovin‘ guys who have NO doubts about their sexuality. Lounge Lizardry truly (or maybe that should be falsely) lives.

Found Objects are a strange phenomenon. They are unique yet somehow could not come from anywhere but Australia. A routine high on visual content and abject silliness aims for belly laughs rather than discreet chuckles and hits the target every time. Hyperactive . low level and very very funny -- you‘ll lose your street cred ifyou laugh but I bet you won‘t be able to stop yourself. (Philip Parr)

I Dog's Breakfast (Fringe). Gilded Balloon Theatre (Venue 38). 226 2151 . until 2 Sept (not 27 Aug). 10pm. £4 (£3.50)


Brenda Gilhooly has the bubbly charm of a maiden primary school teacher. She scolds her hecklers with affection. and gives a performance as friendly as a chat over the garden fence. Modern feminine issues are given the traditional stand up treatment an effective mix.

Alison Golding‘s material is closer to the bone. and much more hit and miss. It‘s both fascinating and unnerving to witness such a glamorous performer tackle pregnancy. pornography and erotic underwear. When she‘s good. she‘s very very good. but when she's bad she’s awful.

Goldie and Gilhooly work well on the same bill.

but on this showing. they should never work together. Their double act finale felt under-rehearsed and overacted. This is a mixed bag ofa show. Overall. it breaks even just. (William Cook)

I Goldie and Gilhoon (Fringe) Pleasance (Venue 33). 5566550. until 2 Sept. 8pm.£3.50 (£2.50)


lt‘s party time on New Year‘s Eve within decibelic distance of Big Ben. A motley assortment of strange people come together under various circumstances and misunderstandings. The characters are a timid soul grieving for a recently departed mother. a burnt-out rock roadie recalling great moments on the road. a right wing South African woman alienating everyone. a despicable London landlord. an off-duty nurse with a crush on the host and a mysterious Russian who wanders into this nest. ls this six characters in search ofa story? No. really. this is a traditional British farce with some very untraditional characters. Actually. it might be the

first Alternative Farce. While the pace is variable. there are fine performances and quite a few nice touches. It‘s certainly a party you will be relieved not to have been invited to. (Kerry Napuk)

I Twiglet Anyone? (Fringe) Bloomsbury Theatre Company. Assembly Rooms (Venue 3). 226 2428. until 2 Sept. 7.45pm. £6 (£4.50).


Seventy-five minutes of solo stand-up comedy is a longtime. lt‘sa lotlonger when the comedian in question has neither the energy nor the material to carry it off. Whilst entirely new routines might be too much to ask for. the merest hint that he had opened a newspaper since mid-Feburary would have helped the word ‘topical‘ spring to his defence. Having cleverly tailored his act to suit the London audience he doubtless expected to find up here. Revell regaled us. or rather didn‘t. with tales of southern middle-class angst. He is a witty

observer but one without

any point of view. Thus his stories tend to be ofthe kind you might hear at a dinner party when the raconteur suddenly

realises the punchline isn't that strong but keeps going regardless. A bad example of London parochialism at Edinburgh‘s Fringe. (Ross Parsons)

I Nick Revell (Fringe) Assembly Rooms (Venue 3). 226 2428. until 2 Sept. 8pm. £5 (£4).


‘1 can see I‘m not the only ugly one here tonight‘. remarks Roger Monkhouse. surveying his audience. Undergraduates in the audience are subjected to some superbly sour anti-student humour. A cruel comic talent in the making.

1f Monkhouse is menacing. then Adam Caveleri is positively psychotic. ‘This isn‘t comedy this is therapy‘. he sneers. His is the strongest set of the show.

Phil D. Roger‘s humour centres on schoolboy homosexuality to the exclusion of all else. His explicit set is honest. but inflexible. Such one-sided subject matter leaves a lot to chance.

Oliver Double rounds offthe evening with a hysterical array of comic oddities. The pick ofthe bunch must be his hilarious one man episode of Scoobidoo. Despite some rough edges. this is a varied and stimulating show from some raw but promising young comedians. Catch them on the way up. (William Cook)

I See Hitlist for venue details.

The List 25— 31 August 198913