The great advantage of mime is that it can liberate a performer from the ' conﬁnes ofnatuf‘alism — no props to get in the way. no long scene changes. But there is a concurrent danger that mime will merely copy the cluttered detail of naturalism — tin opener for tin opener. telephone for telephone. This is a tendency — and only a tendency-that Talking Pictures have. Greedy People would have been a better title for their tale of the upwardly mobile making it rich in a media world. In true Lecoq tradition there are plenty of laughs and finely observed details from the
Rolls Royce complete with statuette to the Stockbrokers with turned up noses.
But the play's mannered, slow pace betrays its devised origins and there are just a tew too many unnecessary mimed details. The talented company would benefit from a sharper script and an extension of its cartoon-like elements. but it‘s an enjoyable show with a pertinent contemporary message. (Mark Fisher)
- I Lucky People (Fringe)
Talking Pictures. Hill Street Theatre (Venue 41) 225 7294. until 26 Aug. 10.30am; 28 Aug-2 Sept. 7pm. £3.50 (£3).
A GRAND SCAM
Perhaps I‘ll be forgiven for preferring. above all shows seen on the Fringe this year. Andrew Dallmeyer‘s study of the effects ofcriticism on audiences. Art King. American critic provocateur. ﬁlls an empty house after seeing a ‘Noh Play. with the H’. colluding with an Actor whose primary talent is Shakespearean diction. The audience, with something more than a passive role. is compelled to speculate on the possibly fraudulent nature of modern. Beckett-style theatre. Doubly ironic
shades are added when the delinquent stagehand. whose comments pepper the final performance of the play. turns tragedy to comedy. (Wes Shrum)
I A Grand Scam (Fringe) Thesbian Desperadoes. Lyceum Studio (Venue 7). 229 9697. until 26 Aug. 1pm. £3 (£2.50).
IIIIIIIIIIIIII SELF- EXPRESSION
The Attraction‘s advertising blurb claims that ‘SeIf Expression is comic. tragic. and unlike anything you‘ve seen before'.
In one sense this istrue. It is comic. because it is embarrassingly bad. It is tragic. because it is embarrassingly bad. And it is unlike anything you‘ve seen before. because it is embarrassingly bad.
In any other sense. the claim is false. (Mark Fisher)
I Sell~Expresslon (Fringe) The Attraction. Chaplaincy Centre (Venue 23) until 26 Aug (not Sun) 4.30pm. £3.50 (£2.75).
‘ BEYOND THE RAINBOW
John Binnie‘s latest play for Clyde Unity Theatre ; can onlyenhancetheir i growing reputation. i Taking his cue from the ' Judy Garland song, l Binnie takes us back to the Glasgow of 1951 for an i exploration of dreams and their validity.
Charlie is amazed to
learn from his mother that i
his long disappeared
father shared his own
fascination with Judy
Garland and actually met
her when she came to the
Glasgow Empire. Binnie
effortlessly weaves past i and present together : (aided by his own splendid l direction)using humour l and pathos to evoke memories and establish relationships.
His father‘s image of Garland is shattered by her cynicism and desperate unhappiness— she even hates his favourite song Over The Rainbow. His inability to cope with this leads to the breakdown of his relationship leaving behind Charlie and his mother.
Binnie is a talented story-teller. He avoids overt sentimentalism and slowly draws his audience towards him. When we i enter his brilliantly
evoked dreamworld of 1951 . the audience were spellbound. Aided by a talented cast he creates a gentle yet incisive insight into the human need to dream. (Paul Pinson)
I Beyond the Rainbow (Fringe) Clyde Unity Theatre. Crown Theatre (Venue 53) 667 7588. until 2 Sept. 6.45pm. £3.75 (£2.50).
This is the life story of Ellen Terry who achieved huge national fame as stage partner of Henry Irving and became the
; most celebrated actress of late Victorian Theatre. Written by Richard Osborne. the show isa (our deforce by Tina Gray who portrays Terry using her stage manager. cellist and technician to play off during her vivid two hour monologue.
Terry‘s life was rich and full and Our Ellen reveals both its private and public side. Set in what seems to be a deserted theatre,
2 Terry goes through her life from child actor to grande-dame and theatrical icon. She is ﬂamboyant. impulsive.
funny and thoughtful. with enough buoyancy to get through the sad hard times. (Jon Webster)
I Our Ellen (Fringe) Ailsa Craig Productions. Lyceum Studio (Venue 7) 229 9697. until 26 Aug (not Suns). 2.30pm; 28 Aug—2 Sept. 2pm, £4 (£3).
It is difficult to know what to make of Mutants. You are ushered in with a pack of overwrought sci-fi fans. faced with a set of corrugated tin and rubbish bins dominated by the colossal reminder that ‘Aids Still Kills: Get Your Jab‘. scared by space music, smoke. and flashing police lights. The challenge taken by director Ivor Benjamin is to bring science fiction to theatre. explicitly for a ‘young audience‘. He effectively captures the dread atmospheres and themes ofthe Gibsonesque. ‘cyberpunk‘ genre: a ravaged futuristic London patrolled by a UN security force. powerful bio-drugs. and cynical mercenaries whose idea of a good time is linking up with the data grid. You never know who (or what) your friends are. which doctorsare medical. or if your next drug will be your last.
An action-packed narrative overpowers an intemperate vein ofideas about Mind and Selfwhich is genuinely hard to follow. Still. lstayed, befuddled. to enjoy the ﬂavour: the sci-fiers found the early exit. (Wes Shrum)
I Mutants (Fringe) Mutant Productions. Southside International (Venue 82). 6677365. until 2 Sept. 7.45pm. £5 (£3.50).
IIIIIIIIIIIIIIII saoonNG STARS
Seven professional basketball players wile away the hours in the locker room until the start oftheir next Harlem Globetrotters-style exhibition match. It could be the stereotypical setting for yet another American buddy drama.
i l l ! Each character is l
The twist is that this
trick-shot team is white
‘ and female in this
constantly amusing play.
beautifully observed. from the dumb rookie to
r the ageing star.
2 Aug. 22 Sept. 10pm, £3.75
‘ Mein Kampf was inspired
As befits the show's sporting subject matter. it is a drama of two halves. It works best for the first part which neatly captures the feeling of locker room camaraderie. The plot. which all happens in the second half. is rather weak and contrived.
Any play with seven major female parts isin danger of amateur dramatics. And in the wrong hands this show could be an embarrassing disaster.
But. this production is a
triumph of cast over
content. Perhaps we should just be grateful for a show which develops such powerful female roles. even if they do not have anything profound to say. (Nick Clayton)
I Shooting Stars (Fringe)
Theatre. The Royal Scots Club (Venue 57) 557 5091. 220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168l .
by a brief memoir written by Reinhold Hanisch who lived with Hitler in an Austrian doss-house
around 1910. Set in such a doss-house. George Tabori’s play portrays the most sinister figure in history as a ridiculous and concenedjuvenﬂe. This is comedy with an extraordinary edge. 'Tabori makes uslaugh where it would normally be inappropriate and gets away with it by being shockingly funny. Whether bawdy slapstic is your cup of tea or not. Mein Kampfhas enough intellectual and absurd humour in it to stopit from degenerating into a monotonous farce. Nothing new is said about the man nor does it explain other than in superficial terms what might have turned him into the monster he became. This may leave
you wondering what the point was. but the play gains its strength by treating the subject in an irreverent manner.
It could have been a lot shorter; some ofthe stories lost my attention through no fault ofthe acting. They could also have avoided the inevitably clumsy. realistic set. Apart from these discomforts. it‘s a cracker. (lo Roe)
I Mein KampHFringe) Yorick Theatre Company. Traverse Theatre (Venue 15) 226 2633. until 2 Sept (closed Mons). various times. £6 (£3).
THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY
Imagine three actors with no props save three musical instruments. Imagine that they have a story to tell. a dream-like story of strange. intangible humour. of fear and desperation. of love and liberation. Whatever you imagine. you won't come anywhere near. What is so appealing about New Zealand‘s Front Lawn is the wa ' they create so much intrigue from such mundane elements. The story of Neil. his mental sickness. his girlfriend Brenda. his psychiatrist Dr Evans. his dreams. his fishing trips and his escape twitches constantly like a minnow‘s tail from the surreal to the naturalistic to the silly with the. subtlest of nuance from the cast. whose members have an extraordinary. almost symbiotic discipline. Wonderfully mellow harmonies. body language transformed into ritual. ensemble speech. worrying humour and always the unexpected: these are the elementsof The One That (Jot/l way. a truly unique performance. If this show doesn't win a Fringe First. don‘t ever buy The Scotsman again. (Andrew Burnet) I The One That Got Away (Fringe) The Front Lawn. (‘anongate 89(Venue 5) 556 1388. Until 26 Aug 6. 15pm. £5 (£3.50)
The List 25 — 31 AJgusr I989 23