I THE CRUCIBLEA stimulating production at Arthur Miller's classic by the Moscow Art School. directed by Brian Cox. Moscow Arts Theatre School. Assembly (Fringe venue 3) 226 2428. Until 2 Sept. Noon. £4.50 (£4).

Nicola Robertson picks the best of the latest classics to wow

festive audiences.

I on FAUSTUS All female ! I THE CHAIRS The

cast perform Marlowe's audience are mesmerised masterpiece with a by the absurd fantasy and straight-forwardness and power of Tottering Blpeds economy that keeps the I reworking of Ionesco's audience marvelling at how : blzarre tale about

they manage to sustain the Semlramis and her 96 power of the piece. year-old husband. Highly Park Bench Theatre recommended. Company, Chaplaincy Tottering Bipeds, Carlton Centre (Fringe venue 23) Studies (Fringe venue 71) Until28ept. 2.15pm. £3.75 5567066. Untll28ept. (£3). 3.45pm. £4 (£3).


Following the popularity ofhis one act farce. Hallowe'en . James Scotland expanded the piece into a full evening's comedy. Undoubtedly he had in mind Leitheatre‘s production at St Serf‘s Hall.

Set in the alchemist‘s kitchen ofa fifteenth centure abbey duringa visit of the Inspector General. the monks wreak some wonderful havoc with chants and crucible. They begin materializing shades whose names I may not reveal. save to hint that one is already the subiect oftwo Festival productions. The staging is light and tight with surprising special effects (don't sit with your pacemaker in the first row). The Scots harmonies are delightful. but Brothers Barnabus (John Jess) and Donatus (John McColl) steal the show. (Wes Shrum)

I The Sorcerer'sTale (Fringe) Leitheatre. St. Serf‘s Church Hall (Venue 83). until ZSep. 7.30pm. £3.

THE TEM PEST This play is a powerful assault on the senses. Director Alan Lyddiard grapples with Shakespeare and conjures a world which is at once ancient and contemporary . stormy and soothing. as evidenced by the screamingcommandos

chanting Full Metal

Jacketesque marching

songs wlto follow

lace-draped swooning

sprites around the stage.

l.yddiard has taken

shears to The 'I'mn/wstaml

pruned it back. replacing

much ofthe dialogue with

mute yet eloquent dance

routines. The action

culminates in a


pageant. Masked and

wondroust attired figures

-drift slowly together as

Roberta Flack croons

I fittineg in the

background: a mesmerising and intensely

j sensual tableaux.

i Sadly. the performance

often pales when the actors have to execute exacting dance steps: for some the strain shows through the clenched smiles. However. lidward Brittain‘s compelling

performance as the

monstrous servant (‘aliban crosses such

boundaries. llobbling along in flimsy garb

(belying the grace and

; lithenessof his dance

movements) and

grimacing awfully. he isa

personified gargoyle in a

production otherwise

distinguished by its

seductiv e beauty. (Sara


I The TempeSUl‘ringe)

TAU Theatre ('ompany.

Lyceum Studio ( \"enuc 7)

2299697. l'ntil 2 Sept.

4.30pm. £4.50(£3).


Themes of time and aging link Post Mortem Theatre ('ompany’s two productions alternating late nights at Marco‘s.

()Il(‘(’ (pa/1.4 Time by

Patrick McGoohan isthc

penultimate episode of

j the popular TV series The

, ‘i Prisoner and is a must for

fans of the programme. Simon (ioodman and Jeremy (ilover give strong performances in an enjoyable production with a clever twist. Samuel Beckett‘s Iindgmnc. meanwhile. is heavier going for the late night slot. as Clov. llamm. Nell

Sept. 10.45pm.£3.50

and Nagg suffer mutual dislike despite their physical dependence on each other. The simple. multi-coloured set and bright. reversable. patchwork costumes are used to great effect in both shows. while Bill Drake's score helps create their strange. surreal world. The use of video is less successful. but noteable

servants and peasants. The exhalations and absurdities are used to advantage in a 19205' staging. eliciting excellent performances by the cast. particularly Michael

C harlesworth‘s discourses on Love as Lelio and Paul Killick‘s Pythonesque Baron. Now come on. shouldn't you round out your festival? (Wes

for the inclusion ofJoolz Shrum) ‘I . ' . 1 Holland. (Johanna Hall). I Surprised by Love :dlkway Hidden rap - . Tl oors open up to become . once Upon A T'me (Fringe) c TmUPc’ St the entrance of a house or (Fringe) Post Mortem Columba‘s by the Castle

the means of a speedy

exit. Strong use of lighting and candelight. stylish, quality costumes and imaginative direction which effortlessly links the

Theatre Company. Marco's Leisure Centre (Venue 98). 32‘) 2898.1 Sept. 1045an £3.50 (£2.50).

I Endgame (Fringe) Post

(Venue 4). 220 1410. until 25ep.12.15pm.£3.50 (£2.50).

' .‘ylortem Theatre LA Cons‘aP‘ly Changing . Company. Marco‘s Written by Fernado de :cfifrgrséécsit m d Leisure (‘entre (Venue Rojas in the 15th century. 18 y '

unpretentious rendition of a dialogue more often referred to as a novel. (Jo Roe)

I La Celestine (Festival) Compania Nacional Teatro Clasico. Royal Lyceum. run ended.

98). 33‘) 2898. 31 Aug 8.: 2 this Spanish classic has all the bawdiness and sexual licence found in Chaucer in a more modern. analytical form. Composed with humour and an earthy philosophy, Rojas exposes man's darker desires and foibles avoiding a black and white notion of morality. Compania Nacional Teatro Classico bring to the play the right balance of slapstick and naturalism. setting alive the language. perceptible



‘That's a line of reasoning you could pull your hair out over.‘ says the maid. summing it up for the entire play. But for me it's impossible to resist Marivaux‘s comedies— they are the 18th century at its most frivolous. Lelio and the Countess have


. Madrid's classicalthcatre

' company Teatro (‘lasico bring Calderon‘s greatest play to the Lyceum Stage with refreshing economy

even to those who rely on the aid of simultaneous translation. (the narration ofwhich is listless and

and pace. This production is stylish and elegant. with . little fuss or pretension.

f and concentrateson

retired to the country to indulge in philosophic ruminations on the

baseness of women and disjointed). l _d . h I

men. respectively. This The set ,5 superb‘ 3 L Us) dtlngth L centrah makes them idea] designed with j concern 0 I L plCLL .l L

rights of moral justice versus the construct ofa hierarchical code of honour.

Using a simple but effective set. and beautifully taylored costumes. the cast enact the tale of Pedro Crispo's fight to preserve his honour against the mores of a rigidly structured society. His daughter. Isabel. is raped by a Captain in the King‘s . army. and Crispo, being elected Mayor of Zalamca. ignores the (‘aptain's arrogant plea for an army trial and has him hanged under the jurisdiction of civil law.

The production

abstracted lines based on a circular space surrounded by an undulating

companions and antagonists for the parallel plottings of

awakens the audience to both the brutality and sophistication of 16th Spain. particularly the role of the woman in the family. who is reified into a sexual object to be closeted away from amorous soldiers in an attic and dismissed to a nunnery when rape disgraces and besmirches the family name. The interpretation of the play reveals much about modern Spain as well. An honest and engaging piece oftheatre. (Nicola Robertson)

I The Mayor otZalamea (Festival) Compania Nacional De Teatro Claslco. Lyceum Theatre, run ended.


Sam Shepard‘s play is based on the personal experience of the after effects of being seduced to Hollywood in the 1970s to ‘fix‘ a horror filmscript. Angel City is, ofcourse. Los Angelcs with Hollywood the Babylon of creation where money is made from disaster films and illusion is everything. at its centre there isa steady parade of real and celluoid denizens a cowboy. aspiring starlet. boxer. hustler. short order cook. jazz musicians. soldiers and even a man turning into agreen reptile. But. the problem here is the play itself. It‘s disjointed. fragmented and lacks belief. Ultimately. Shepard deals with self realisation and transformation. but it takes a long time to get there des4ite good strong performances from the recently formed Ensemble Arts Theatre of San Diego. California. The reccuring theme is Hollywood's disease. consuming everything in its path like rampaging giant army ants. Alas. the audience falls victim too. (Kerry Napuk) IAngel City (Fringe) Ensemble Arts Theatre. Calton Studios (Venue 71). 5567066. 18. 21.23. 25. 27. 28. 30 Aug and 1 Sept. l.45pm.£3.50(£3).

The List 1— 14 September 198921