badly acted amateur dramatics.
Warren Monteiro displays a sure-footed knowledge of his material which you’ll be pushed to find in many of this year‘s more dramatic offerings. If not exactly transporting you from a grubby backstreet in Edinburgh to a grubby alley in Calcutta. he does at least bring a degree ofvitality to Kipling‘s dated imperial ramblings.
All ofthis leads to a pleasant evening. Therefore. I dare say. none of you will go and see it; and I don't blame you. (Philip Parr)
I Bloody Ruddy (Fringe) Stageworks Ltd. lnstitut Francais D‘Ecosse (Venue 55), 225 5366. until 2 Sept. 8pm.£3.50 (£2.50).
The hypnotic beat of the tabla. the all-pervading incense and the offstage jingling of bells herald the entrance of Devayani. In vibrant turquoise trimmed with gold, heavily jewelled and painted. she introduces the first piece in her varied repertoire. a prayer to the God Shiva. the Lord of Dance. Devayani performs Bharata-Natyam. a devotional dance practised in the temples of Southern India where it originated.
Combining Nritta (pure dance) and Nritya (expressive dance) she pays homage to and depicts the lives oinndu deities. through eloquent hand gestures. intricate footwork and the stylised use of face and body that characterise Indian classical dance.
The pre-recorded music dulls any potential spontaneity that might develop from interaction between dancer and musician. Under the close scrutiny of an expert. the technique might fall short. but overall this is agood introduction to Indian classical dance for the newcomer. (Tanya Webster)
ITempie (Fringe) Devayani. Tic Toc At Marco's (Venue 98). 229 7898. until 2 Sept. noon. £5 (£4).
This is a delightful comedy written by Cliffhanger’s Pete McCarthy which features dizzy debutante Mandy Medlicott and dashing Dave Danzig. Administrator and Stage Manager respectively. they pass round wine and fondants and drill us in emergency routines in the event ofdisaster. A minor disaster is the absence of director and cast (drunk and jailed for something to do with donkeys). but Dave then gets his chance to perform his baby ‘Hooked on Danger'. There follows some wildly daring stunts - hammering a 4m nail up his nose and setting himself on fire — while Mandy blossoms as mind-reader and magician. This last leads to one of the funniest moments I‘ve seen so far. involving a totally bemused punter who is coerced charmingly into the Russian Roulette on explodingtoiiets. A show that will literally lift the shirt off your back! It’s hilarious. (Lily MacGilllvray) I Dsredeviis (Fringe) Grand Theatre Of Lemmings. Tic Toc at Marco’s. Marco's Leisure Centre (Venue 98). 229 7898. until 2 Sept. 8pm.£4 (£3).
MUCH ADO ABOUT WILLY
Six students go through the whole gamut of up to the minute dating and relating. From a disco to a chat-up in a bar to an intense and pretentious conversation about literary form. there is always room for Shakespeare. someone he gets into the conversation. or is the butt forthe punchline. Attitudes to the Bard today emerge from a wide range of situations. One fine shorty about a philistine girl and her rather superior boss ends with her come uppance when it becomes clear he had slept through the whole performance and didn't even know which play he was at. For the rest. there are large gobbets of Love‘s Labour's Lost. performed with ease of delivery and
plenty of verve interspersed with ‘Interesting Interludes‘. Andrew Lukas. a laidback American actor tells all about his friend Will. a pure piece of fantasy. (Tinch Minter)
I Much Ado About Willy (Fringe) Happy Dispatch Theatre Company. Festival Club (Venue 36) 225 8283. 20-26 Aug 10.15am and 27 Aug-2 Sept 12.15am. £3 (£2.50)
THE REVOLUTIONARY MRS ADAMS
This lengthy monologue presents itselfas an autobiographical account ofthe life ofAbigail Adams. wife ofthe American Revolutionary. John Adams. Through a series of reminiscences. the audience is invited to share in the twin themes of this woman‘s life; the course ofevents which lead to the creation ofan independant United States of America. and the frustrations and loneliness that come as a resultof being ‘The wife’. Rebecca Bloomfield's depiction of Mrs Adams presents her as a sensitive. intelligent but ultimately downtrodden heroine: perceptive enough to understand what her husband‘s success has done to her own life. but too weak to do anything about it. the nervousness and pathos with which the character came across.
while undoubtedly a tribute to Ms Bloomfield‘s considerable acting ability. eventually made me want to leave the room. (Philip Kingsley)
I The Revolutionary Mrs Adams (Fringe). Rebecca Bloomfield. lnstitut Francais D'Eccosse. (Venue 55). 225 5366. until 2 Sept. noon. £2.50.
- HOW TO KILL
Standing tall. like Gulliver in Lilliput. in a sandy landscape of miniature tanks and aeroplanes. Angus Reid's performance is as vigorous and dynamic as this status confers. Adapted from the life and
work of Keith Douglas. Second World War poet. the script concentrates on Douglas’ experience fighting in the North African desert. on a single tank attack. charting his progress from naivety to bitter experience. In doing so the tortured metaphysical imagery of Douglas' poetry of war and death is skilfully blended with sharply comic satire of British Army informality. Artistically speaking. the Second World War stands defined by the woeful paucity of the Anglo-American blockbuster— this play effects the beginning ofits destruction. In the highly physical textures of Bruce Reid's installation of oil drums. Angus Reid buries the romance of the War in the deafening battering of steel. (Andrew Pulver) I how To Kill (Fringe)
Gallery (Venue 22), 557 0707. until 2 Sept. 1pm, £3.50 (£2.50)
Sue Johnston and John McArdIc are better known as Sheila Grant and Billy Corkhill in the Channel 4 soap. Brookside. Their characters command a considerable amount of affection and naturally enough this was projected by an enthusiastic audience throughout their performance of Jim Cartwright's double-hander. Whether or not the indulgence of the audience presented its own set ofdifficulties for the actors. no such indication was apparent in a production which was totally professional in its execution.
With more than a passing reference to other soap operas. the play uses a pub as the vehicle to illustrate the largely desperate lives of a variety ofcharacters. At the centre. the landlord and his wife put on a show of being convivial hosts and yet fail to disguise their anxiety; some ofthe customers are intimidated by their partners; others exhibit enthusiasm which is patently misplaced.
In truth. most ofthe cameos tend to be somewhat stereotypical (give the old. lonely man a zipped-up anorak. a cloth cap. and a shuffling gait; let the girlfriend chew gum and look dumb) and occasionally there was an uneasy mixture offarce and pathos. However. in the hands ofJohnston and MeArdle. these misgivings were largely
irrelevant. For the most part. we were treated to good. solid theatre;
perhaps aided and abetted i
by a love for Brookside. but no less satisfying for all that. (Mike Wilson) I To (Fringe) Octagon Theatre, Bolton,
6550. 25 Aug—2 Sept. 8pm. £5.50 (£4.50)
NAKED . REVELATION
A review of nudity on the Fringe? Gadzooks?!?! you say. in Batman's summer. Is it aplum assignment? Or just recompense for someone who sat through every student revue? No. merely an after-the-fact observation that some 20% of the 50 odd shows I‘ve seen involved performers— mostly women - in various stages ofundress. This ranges from complete nudity. as in Malcolm Hardee's final set (‘Not a pretty sight', according to Fringe press officer Brenda Carson) or Mein Kampf. featuring Storytelling for Virgins in the raw. to slips. knickers. nightees and negligees. Shakespeare in a black jockstrap'.’ ‘The most ludicrous thing We ever
seen in the theatre' (Independent critic Georgina Brown). Although llitler's rectal thermometer comes a close second. Ophelie’s Song advertises a climactic dance ‘naked. in a pool of light‘. Holy llamlet. Robin. An American group warns off the audience at the interval that their next dance may be offensive. Well. they‘re covered in flour. aren‘t they? Archaos’ female body-twirler can‘t get her top back up after a— whoops. golly — mischance. Which happens every night.
Some shows — Next To You I Lie which explicitly deal with pornographic modelling and Playing Away which involves topless sunbathing - have no nudity at all. The audience seems to get along just fine.
Sometimes we‘re not so lucky. This began as a review of Dead Theatre. In the final scene. the voluptuous lead doffs her dress to appear in a tight black teddy. causing your humble reviewer to miss the punchline. in good conscience I cannot say i minded. But in good conscience lam unable to review the play. Except to say. it has poor timing. (Wes Shrum)
1989 marks the 14th Fringe season for Festival
: TheatreUSC-USA.a - companyofCalifornian
3 students gaining practical Pleasance (Venue 33). 556 ;
theatre experience. Their ‘Story Theatre‘. aimed at
2 all the family. isa
collection of over halfa dozen fables by Aesop and the brothers Grimm. A stark. black stage and backdrop is the setting with a few black boxes for props. From these drab surroundings Festival Theatre skilfully lead into an imaginative world of hoodwinking rabbits. wish-fulfilling fish. talking trees. robbers and travelling players. This is a spirited performance of these fantasy tales to be enjoyed by adults and children (perhaps better suited for over-5s). Thoughtful chuckles rather than belly-laughs. (Rene Taylor)
I Story Theatre (Fringe) Festival Theatre USC-USA. SSMH (Venue 102). until 2 Sept. 2pm. £2 (£1.50.£1).
OMEGA AND THE GOLDEN WATER
This modern fantasy cum fairy story is an intriguing yet ultimately unsuccessful piece of theatre. Peter Billingham‘s script is richly imaginative. and Carren Waterfield is an adept actress. However expertise does not ensure entertainment: the story is entirely inaccesseable. and the performance unremmittingly intense. The play asks a great deal ofthe performer. and even more ofthe audience.
James Lantsbery's music is upbeat and atmospheric. and Gareth Knowles' design would make an interesting gallery piece. However one swallow doesn't make a summer. let alone a whole hour. There's not a single laugh to be found in the whole of this show. (William Cook)
I Omens Anti The Golden Will! (Fringe) Triangle Projects. Tic Toc at Marco's (Venue 98) 229 7898. until 2 Sept. 1 lam. £2.50 (£1 .75)
The List 1-14 September 198919