I 65 WITH A BULLET | Dynamic musical. shot through with reggae. soul and soca music it deals with inter-generational tensions.
Black Theatre (Io-operative Ltd. Gilded Balloon Theatre (Fringe Venue 70) 336 5544. Until 2 Sept 5pm. £4 (£3).
I MARCH OF THE FALSETTOS Thought-provoking and often hilarious musical exposing the paranoias and insecurities of wealthy New Yorkers.
Brown International Theatre Group. Calton Studios (Fringe Venue 71) 556 7066. Until 26 Aug 9.25pm. £4
Ross Parsons and Mike Wilson make their pick of the best songsters and jugglers. Reviews
I ARCHAOS Eagerly anticipated circus troupe whose dextrous use of motorbikes and chainsaws makes tor something ditterent from Gerry Cottle. Leith Links. 11 Aug—2 Sept (not Mons). 8.30pm. Matinee: Sat 6 Sun 3pm. £8 (£4) £6.
65 WITH A BULLET
All the members ofthe Black Theatre Co-op have a long pedigree. Previously they have appeared in as diverse productions as Babylon. Breaking Glass and No Problem. The musicians have worked with Sugar Minott. Anita Baker and (‘aron Wheeler.
()n a small stage. to a hall virtually full. 65 with a Bullet began violently. if uncertainly. ()nce the actors had warmed up. though. they proceeded to stage an enjoyable and thoughtful show. if not one likely to send you wild with excitement.
Moving through a variety of different musical styles -— from calypso and rock steady to reggae —- and settings in Jamaica and lingland. the story tellsof a young man's journey to this country with his wife. and of the disillusionment and disappointment he found here. (Matt Barrell)
I 65 with a Bullet ( Fringe) Black 'l'heatrc (‘o-operatiye Ltd. The (iilded Balloon Theatre (Venue 36‘). 2262151. until 2 Sept. 5pm. £-1(£3).
The theatrical style. often associated with Theatre de ("omplicite. which
bizarre. lies at the heart of
involves taking a very simple action and translorming it into
\l llllL tiaiig eoiisiderably
i more complex and
The plot. such as it is. involves a self-styled 'hep cat'. by the name of Johnny Quickly. who has plans to re-open a bar. The Toledo. as a congenial Coca-Cola club for cool customers. However. before too long. thoughts of success and celebrity get carried away on all sorts of tangents leading to frustration. and very quickly a sense ofthc surreal teams up with pathos to threaten total failure.
Admittedly. there are parts of this production which do not quite hang as coherently. nor as
ingeniously. as they might. ()ccasionally. better timing would have produced more effective comedy; a more powerful hallucination. But for all that. this is a clever piece of work. which is very well performed. and likely to be a hit. (Mike Wilson)
I Que Sera (Fringe)The Right Size. Theatre Workshop ( V'enue 20). 226 5-125. 21-23. 28—30 Aug. 5.30pm. £3.50 £2.50).
MARRY ME A LITTLE
Amidst the hushed tones and the ‘splendour‘ ofthc Sheraton Hotel. Bruce Morrison and Annie Wensak lead us through a series of Sondheim‘s studied views on urban American life-loves lost and found. desires fulfilled, dreams dashed.
With razor sharp precision. unfathomed energy and a healthy respect for Sondheim‘s musical masterpieces. Morrison and Wensak could not fail to entertain.
Sondheim‘s heart- wrenching tales ofthc
lonely and the unfulfilled reach out across the middle-class barrier that continues to surround his music. Sadly. such delicate insights into human nature are lost to many who do not frequent Broadway. The West End or multi-national hotels.
Yet this is the man who wrote the music and lyrics to Follies and Weeride Story. This is the man whose humorous tales of American life— ‘Pourle sport‘ and ‘Two fairy tales' — with their innuendo and excellent perception of the macho US male. the love~torn woman and the horribly healthy. gin-sling swilling wealthy ofNew York. has been lifted. by some. to almost cult status.
Marry Me A Little is not a show stopping. big-bucks. Broadway production. There is no chorus line. But if you are looking for a relaxing end to your Fringe viewing and you can afford a drink at the bar — it's showtime folks. (A.C. Davidson) I Marry Me a Little (Fringe) Cocktail Theatre. Sheraton Hotel
, (Venue 9). 2299131. until
2 Sept. midnight. £5.
MILLER AND ME lt's England's darkest hour. But in the midstof the blitz. the big band plays on. This musical charts the rise and fallof the swing sound. finally left behind by the fickle fads of popular music. Excellent choreography distinguishes this production. and the onstage big band is faultless. But the actingis only adequate. and some singalong tunes might suit the average voices ofthc east better than Patrick Dailly's haunting but complex score. Strikinglighting and costume changes galore
make this asuper spectacle. But it'sall surface and no substance. Miller and Me makes a nice change. but it could be much better. (William Cook)
I Millerand Me(Fringe)
production will help you to forget. (Nick Clayton) I Alice in Wonderland (Fringe) Circus Burlesque. Big Top. The Meadows(Venue 116) 0860 826829. 17—20. 26—27 Aug6pm. 19. 20. 26.27
Panacea Productions. Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550. until 26 Aug. 4pm. £5 (£4).
ALICE IN WONDERLAND
The audience of all ages was spellbound throughout this spectacular fusion of circus. pantomime and musical. But. intellectuals searching for a profound interpretation of Lewis Caroll might be disappointed. .
Elvis. the cool white rabbit. is dressed in the latter day style ofhis namesake. without the padding. Alice is more traditional. Other characters appear in a stunning selection of costumes. although one or two outfits verge on the bizarre.
The story. which only loosely follows the original. is held together by Alice played by Lucy Allen. She deserves a special mention ifonly for her ability to continue singing. audibly and in tune. while hanging by one leg. upside down from a rope. This is not to say that there was any weakness amongst the rest of the cast ofjugglers. clowns and acrobats.
After almost two hours. with an interval. the children in the audience under the big top sat wide-eyed. not a fidget amongst them. This is the ultimate accolade for a kid's show. And even if you are an adult. this
Aug 2pm. £4.50 (£2.50).
With the help ofa few everyday objects. mime and the clever use ofa curtain. we are led into the world of three very different characters whose friendship and motivations are tested following a fatal accident involving a zinc bath. Quite different from its publicity blurb. The Bath does. however. successfully explore the theme of time and space through voice and mime. and what appears to be a forest of plastic plants. Gabby. Alistair and Derek conjure a series of situations which require a certain ingenuity for progression — an ingenuity reflected in their use of words. props and performance space. Although thin on story. it is both clever and visually appealing. (Nicki Young) I The Bath (Fringe) The Right Size. Theatre Workshop. 226 5425. 24—26 Aug. 31 Aug—2 Sept. 5.30pm. £3.50 (£2.50).
LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS
USC—USA's production of this massively popular musical may disappoint those who have already seen the original stage. or
screen versions. But it is a wonderful piece. wrth
marvellous characters and musical numbers. charting the horrendous growth of Audrey 11 who feeds on fresh human blood. and it is performed here with considerable verve in spite ofa precarious faux-naif set. reminiscent ofschool plays. U.S.C. have made a joke of this. with cut-out ‘cardboard‘ props which occasioned a few laughs— notably when the Marilyn Monroe lookalike
heroine. Audrey. is being fed to her voracious namesake and catches her nightdress on the monster‘s jaws. An eycful for those backstage!
The rather amateurish nature of this production was offset by some fine performances— especially from Steve Josephson as the hapless Seymour. Jeff Parker as the manic dentist Orin. and Angela Lewis (Ronnette) who has a truly great singing voice. (Lily MacGillivray)
I The Little Shop 01 Honors (Fringe) Festival Theatre USC—USA. (SSMH). 95 Causewaysidc (Venue 102). 25 Aug and 29 Aug—1 Sept. 10pm.£4 (£3).
WHAT I AM
I have always thought that theatre in a masonic hall is a rather odd combination . odder still ifthe theatre is avant garde. and especially odd if it includes sex on a trapeze seven feet off the ground. Coupled with the mischievous music of Erik Satie and the sensual cavortings ofan uninhibited cast. it is enough to send any Grand Master spinning in his apron.
From what I could make out from the multilingual. often garbled dialogue. this economic. energetic circus-play attempted to explore the anger-ridden lives of five individuals. Via sporadically skilful juggling (clubs and chiffon scarves). space-restricted acrobatics. mime and song. the troupe succeeded in bafﬂingthe halfa dozen kids in the audience and not a fewof the adults. (Paul Smart) IWIIIIIAtMFringe) Pimba! Circo Minimo. Hill Street Theatre (Venue4l). 225 7294. 14—26 Aug. 7pm. £4 (£3).
l 28 The List 25 — 31 August 1989