EAU WHATA LOVELY AWARD
This year‘s Perrier Award presented itselfto Simon Fanshawc in the form ofa newspaper thrown onstage as he took his curtain call on Saturday night. After a sell-out and very enjoyable show. the man himselfwas struck dumb for a moment. before revellers clutching champagne. flowers. and the familiar bottle moulded in silver invaded the pitch and announced his victory.
Later. at the official celebration in the 369 Gallery. he appeared in dinner jacket and tartan trousers (purchased. he confided later. in Switzerland). but claimed he was planning to dress for the occasion anyway.
Runners-upJohn llegley. Arthur Smith & Caroline Quentin. Will Durst . Tony Haase & Robin Driscoll were all in attendance. though i nominees Al And George had to cancel owing to a prior engagement to appear in their show. The bash attracted many ofthe alumni ofthe Fringe. including previous winners Arnold Brown and Jeremy l lardy. but Fanshawe found a few minutes' peace from congratulators to express
his response to winning. ‘I feel like I‘ve made all my mistakes in public.‘ he said. ‘and I feel like people have watched me and stuck with it and said. “oh. I can see something there— it's a bit jagged. it’s not funny enough. it's too aggressive. if he was happier he‘d be funnier.“ l‘ve gradually gone through recognising all those things and I haven‘t got halfway there yet. but I feel I‘ve got the basis. ‘l've got to accept that what the award means is that I'm talented. [didn‘t win this bydefault because no-one else was good enough: the other shows are all excellent. I‘ve spent a lot of my life feeling the whole British thing of “you‘ve got to be modest My therapy now is to look at the Perrier award and actually try to accept inside me that l
I Simon Fanshawe's Special Edition (Fringe) Assembly Rooms (Venue 3). 226 2428. until ZSept. 1f).15pm.£5.5()(£4.5()).
There‘s a bit ofgrowing still to be done down on the Funny Farm. Their prime asset. Bruce Morton may soon be seeking pastures new and. on the strength oftheir
Fringe showings. their stock will be poorly depleted without him. On two visits to the Farm it was his off-beat humour that upheld the show. the rest of the Farmers failing to establish the same presence. Stuart MacDonald the man of letters. though very few words. came close even if his act has changed remarkably little. However these two apart there‘s a distinct lack of polish to the Farm‘s comedians. The wit is often there — it just lacks verve and a bit more imagination. For a group that banded together to provide a new force in Scottish comedy it is a pity that they often fail to shed anew more illuminating light on contemporary life. instead they often address well worn themes in a well worn manner. I‘m not making a case for weeding; merely the adoption ofsome new methods. (Ross Parsons) I The Funny Farm (Fringe) Lyceum Studios. Grindlay Street (Venue 7). 229 9697. until 2 Sept. 8pm. £5 (£3).
They‘re all doing it this year. Last Festival. Hattie Hayridge delivered 30 minutes of her delightful meanderings as one-third ofa really enjoyable package. Now she's headlining a show which. like others in the stand-up-plus-experiment genre. is less than the sum ofits parts.
Things begin well. with an introduction by Henry Normal (a stand-up poet with an impossible hairstyle) and a short set of Hattie‘s vague imaginings presented from the safe confines ofa stripy frock. The rest of the show is a mix of engagingjazz written.
played and sung by Frances Knight. more poems from Normal (who is sometimes very funny and sporadically rather moving). and two character monologues by Ms Hayridge.
The first of these is amusing enough. but the second is a real surprise, a perfectly serious and remarkably intense rendition of a passage from David Hare's Plenty.
None ofthese elements is inherently unsuccessful, and we now know that Ms Hayridge can act. But the blend is too incongruous to flow smoothly. which makes it a difficult show to enjoy late at night. (Andrew Burnet)
I A Daydream In The Life of Hattie Heyrldge (Fringe) Assembly Rooms (Fringe Venue 3) 226 2428. until 2 Sept, midnight. £5 (£4).
Large. bony and resplendent in red dress. Judy Pascoe sauntered into the Backstage Theatre. She took a while to warm up a cool audience. being very funny about ﬂying. party people, meeting the boyfriend at the airport and sex. not to mention all things Catholic and glimpses ofAustralian life.
Pascoe is best. however. when ad libbing and making cross cultural comparisons. Women seem to laugh more than men. perhaps relishing this larger-than-life woman who swears like a trooper and looks at sex from the other side ofthe bed. Her conversations with Mother and inner body dialogues could become great comic pieces with a bit more work. In fact. she would do well to polish her timing and be more confident in her delivery. Nevertheless. she has
much presence. intelligence and raw talent and, hopefully. will be back to the Fringe again and again. (Kerry Napuk) I Judy Pascoe (Fringe) Gilded Balloon Theatre (Venue 38), 226 2151.8 pm, until 2 Sept,£4 (£3.50).
nit RUBBER BiSHOPS-IN CONFESSION
After four years on the Fringe as pcripatetic giggers. the Rubber Bishops have settled at Calton Studios — this time with a full length show. In their red cassocks adorned with Gothic rock paraphenalia. Bill Bailey and Martin Stubbs look uniquely silly and are likewise uniquely funny with their quickfire repartee and wacky patter. They romp through a series ofclever and daft sketches— ‘The Heckling Masterclass‘ being memorable - with some blasphemous musical parodies thrown in — ‘The Lord‘s My Shepherd‘ as a heavy metal thrash. and that old Led Zeppelin classic ‘Stairway To Kevin (sic)‘. They also do a routine with a rabbit and a racoon which would make Sooty and Sweep squirm with horror. Effortlessly funny. these boys are racily irrereverent. delightfully inconsequential. and quite unmissable. (Lily MacGillivray)
I The HubberBishops-ln Confession (Fringe). Calton Studios (Venue 71). 556 7066. until 2 Sept, 9.30pm. £3.50 (£2.50)
SO YOU THINK YOU’RE FUNNY
On Monday night. an unusually coherent Arthur Smith presided over the ﬁnals ofthe Fringe‘s answer to Bob Says I‘m Sycophantic— So You Think You‘re Funny. Arthur did a nice line in alternative warm up to the assembled mass of hackdom (I don‘t think that there were more than ten people there without complimentay tickets). As one might expect. the compere raised a good deal more laughter than the contestants.
The witty funsters who inhabited the stage for the evening ranged from the quiverineg nervous to a cocky contestant by the name of Adam who mercifully did not figure in the frame. We were given standard second rate stand-up material for most of the evening — condoms. TV parodies (yes you've guessed it — Star Trek), sex. politics and er... condoms.
Then. just when l was wondering what the hell those who had been eliminated in the heats were like. up popped Mat Love. He read his utterly awful poetry like a Scottish John Sparkes and managed to get an increasingly despondant audience laughing. l'm sure that without Mr Love many would have been asking for their money back (ifthey'd paid any).
He seemed the obvious winner but then. at the last gasp. Phil Kay (a nice middle class lad from Edinburgh) appeared. raised more laughs and subsequently won. On the night this was probably deserved. but I think. stargazers. that it will be Mr Love who‘ll be at the Assembly Rooms in a few years time. (Philip Parr)
IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII NIGHT FOR NICARAGUA
Under normal circumstances, a performance given the day after the world's biggest arts festival ends would tend to be poorly attended. But Edinburgh—as we all know— is different. Though domestic politics are more subdued here than in the West, international groups like the Edinburgh Latin America Solidarity Campaign are very strong, and what better opportunity to raise money and consciousness than when the city is full of right-on, left-wing performers?
So the Night For Nicaragua has become a regular, annual fixture. The fifth such event, on Sunday 3, offers a very strong programme of comedy and music. including genuine Latin
American music from Bolivar, cuddly ex-accountant Arnold Brown, mad musicians Miles And Millner, the Comedy Boom’s Mark Miwurdz, Edinburgh's own That Swing Thang, 1989 Perrier award-winner Simon Fanshawe (once Edinburgh‘s own), 1988 PerrierwinnerJeremy Hardy, and his Mrs, Kit Hollerbach.
Late additions to the programme include Perrier runners-up John Hegley, Will Durst and Al & George, Frank Chickens and more ethnic sounds from Awatinas.
Comperes forlhe evening include Malcolm Hardee and the two from ‘To' Sue Johnston and John McArdle.
Former Bronski-Communard Jimmy Somervllle has been forced to withdraw, but has promised a Nicaragua benefit on his next four. His
absence has in any case made way for a special appearance by highly regarded jazz/soul singer Hope
dubious. Don’t worry boys- notoriety sells tickets (ask Gerry Sadowitz). The Nicaragua concerts have traditionally been great fun, very politically sound and profitably well attended. This year marks the tenth anniversary of the occupation of Managua by the Sandlnlstas, and preparations for the elections in February are underway, so you can celebrate, support and enjoy yourself all at the same time. (Andrew Burnet) I Night For Nicaragua Part Five. Playhouse Theatre (Fringe Venue 59) 557 2590. Sun 3 Sept only. 7.30pm.
The withdrawal has also been announced of God And Jesus (expelled for assaulting Jeremy Hardy in accordance with their advance publicity) and the rather llkeable Hob Newman, whose politics are feltto be
Tickets are available at £6.50 (£5) from the Playhouse, the Assembly Rooms and the Fringe Office. Further information from Toby Hoidsworth, Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign, 01 253 0246.
The List 1— 14 September 198913