forgettable, reading of TS. Eliot‘s Old Possums Book of Practical Cars. Dating from 1981. it marked the revival of the British musical as a viable economic proposition for the 1980s. And I don‘t expect Mr Lloyd Webber will disagree with that. I ROYAL LYOEUM Grindlay Street. 229 9697. Box Office Mon—Sat 10am-6pm. 10am-8pm on perf. evgs. Bar. Rest/Cafe. [Access: P. L. Facilitcs: WC. W5. AS. E. G, B. R. T. Help: A. AA]. Ticketsfor Lyceum productions are also available at the Ticket Centre. Waverley Bridge; branches of AT May‘s Travel and the Queen’s Hall. Clerk Street. Juno and the Paycock Fri 9 Feb—Sat 3 March. 7.45pm. Sat Mats 17 & 24 Feb 3.15pm. £3.50—£6.50. Free Preview Thurs 8 Feb. Sean O'Casey’s Dublin tenement domestic tragedy is fused with earthy humour and convincing characterisation. Ian Wooldridge‘s production will be playing Stirling and Aberdeen after its Ednburgh run. See Preview. I THEATRE ON THE HILL Queen Margaret College. Clerwood Terrace. 339 811 1 ext 299. When We Are Married Until Sat 10 Feb. 7.30pm. £2 (£1). The college Drama Department presents J .B. Pricstley‘s Yorkshire farcical comedy. I THEATRE WORKSHOP 34 Hamilton Place. 226 5425. Box Office Mon-Sat 9.30am—5.30pm. Bar. Cafe. [Access: PPA. R. Facilities: WC. W5. AS. E.G. Help: AA] The Last Dance Fri l6—Sat 17 Feb. £3.50 (£2.50). 8pm. Exploration of Polish history and culture by highly-rated mime company. Theatre Blik. Worth checking out. See Preview. Scarebird Sat 17 Feb. 2pm. £2 (£1). Theatre Blik present their children's show which includes lots of audience participation and a healthy quota of clowning and mime. See Preview. Theatre Blik Workshop Wed l4—Sat 16 Feb. £20 (£10). Places are limited to 20 for this rare chance to work with Theatre Blik for two and half days. exploring mime and Polish theatre. See Preview.

I TRAVERSE THEATRE 1 12 West Bow. Grassmarket. 226 2633. Box Office Tue-Sat 10am-8pm. Sun 6-10pm. Bar. Rest. Tickets also available from the Ticket Centre. Market Street. [Access: St. Facilities: E. Help: AA]

Tally’s Blood Until Sun 11 Feb (also Tue 27 March-Sat 7 April). 7.30pm. £5 (£3). Set amidst Scotland‘s Italian community. Anr Marie Di Mambro‘s play is a love story and family drama. Di Mambro‘s speciality is the touchineg comic. as demonstrated in excellent plays like Joe and Sheila. Directed by Ian Brown. Recommended. See Review.

Reflections Thurs 8 Feb. 7pm. £1 (50p). Edinburgh Playwrights Workshop gives a first reading to Bernard Marley‘s play about art and perception. A discussion follows.

Love Story oi the Century Tue I3—Sun 18 Feb. 7.30pm. £5 (£3). Monstrous Regiment begin a British tour of Clare Venable‘s adaptation of a collection of Finnish poetry by Marta Tikancn. The company that performed Beatrice at the Traverse last year, now explore one woman‘s relationship with her alcoholic husband.

Beginners' Workshop Wed 14. Wed 21 & Wed 28 Feb. 7-10pm.£11 (£6). Directors Ben Twist and Andy Farrell lead this series of writers‘ workshops based initially on the current production of Tally ’3 Blood. Limited places only.

Sweeney’s Women Thurs 15 Feb. 7pm. Bill Dunlop takes a look at the wars of Montrosc from the underside. with the help of Edinburgh Playwrights Workshop An audience discussion follows. Suspended Sentences Tue 20—Sun 25 Feb. 7.30pm. £5 (£3). Multi-media performance involving cult sculptor, Malcolm Poyntcr. and director/choreOgrapher Julie Wilson. Stunning and hard-hitting. See preview.

- Changes in The Home Thurs 22 Feb. 7pm.

Vic Robertson explores the domestic pressures caused by three sisters living together. in a play given its first reading by Edinburgh Playwrights Workshop. A discussion follows.


I Boothies Annexe Theatre Company revive their production of Peter Murray’s nostalgic look at the corrupt backstage world of the travelling boxing tents in the 1940s. Directed by SYT‘s Robin Peebles. it is a warm-hearted characterdrama. More details on 041 2214526.

Tron Theatre, Glasgow Tue l3—Sun 18 Feb. 7.30pm. 041 552 4267. AidrieArts Centre Tue 20—Wed 21 Feb. 7.30pm. 0236 55436. Arts Guild Theatre. Greenock Thurs 22 Feb. 7.30pm. 0475 23038.

I Killing Me Softly Clyde Unity Theatre are milking John Binnie‘s 1987 play about sexual identity for all it‘s worth. with yet another extensive community tour. Call 041 339 8655 for details.

Drumchapel U WC , Hecla Place Fri 9 Feb. 7.30pm. 041 944 9400. Barlanack ' Community Education Centre, 33

I Burnmouth Road Mon 12 Feb. 7.30pm.

041 773 1812. Jeely Peace Club. 39 Arnprior. Castlemilk Tue 13 Feb. 7pm. 041 634 7801. Stan 's Den, Muirshield Crescent, Priest/rill Thurs 15 Feb. 7pm. Easterhouse Community Education Centre, I Shadwick Street Fri 16 Feb. 041 771 9056. Royston/ Wardieburn A rts Centre, Pilton Drive North. Edinburgh Mon 19 Feb. 2.30pm. 031 552 5700. Calton Centre, 121 Montgomery Street. Abbey Hill, Edinburgh Mon 19 Feb. 7.30pm. 031 661 9121. TriangleArts Centre, West Pilton Bank, Pilton, Edinburgh Tue 20 Feb. 7.30pm. 031 3320877. Muir/rouse Festival Activities Centre, M air/rouse, Edinburgh Wed 21 Feb. 2pm. 031 315 2151 . Clo venstone CC. 54 Clo vestone Park, Westerhailes, Edinburgh Thurs 22 Feb. 7pm. ()31 453 4561 .

I Mistero Builo Director Morag Fullerton and adaptor Joe Farrell consulted with Dario Fo himself before embarking on this Glaswegian version of his medieval comic mysteries. Robbie Coltrane stars in the one-man play. Recommended. More details on 0292 281010. See Feature.

Eden Court Theatre, In verness Thurs 8—Sat 10 Feb. 7.45pm. 0463 221718.

King's Theatre. Glasgow Tue I3—Sat 18 Feb. 7.30pm. 041 227 5511. His Majesty's Theatre. Aberdeen Tue 20—Sat 24 Feb. 7.45pm. 0224 641122.

I Sallmaker TAG‘s first production of 1990 is a revival of Alan Spencc‘s autobiographical play about growing up in Govan. Highly rated at the time of its first production at The Traverse Theatre in 1982. this version is directed by Alan Lyddiard. In addition to its public dates. the show is also touring Strathclyde schools. More details on ()41 429 2877. See . Review. : Tron Theatre. Glasgow Until Sun 11 Feb. 7.30pm. 041 552 4267. Tour continues.

I Spit It Out Sensible Footwear treat Scottish audiences to their blend of music and comedy. Details on 01482 2633.

Civic Theatre. A yr Mon 12 Feb. 8pm. 264639. TriangleArts Centre, West Pilton Bank. Edinburgh Tue 13 Feb. 8pm. 031 332 0877. Muir/rouse Festival Centre, Muirhouse Place West, Edinburgh Wed 14 Feb. 8pm. 031 315 2151. Peace Festival, Assembly Rooms, George Street. Edinburgh Thurs 15 Feb. 8pm. 2281155. Clovenstone Community Centre, 54

Clo venstone Park. Edinburgh Fri 16 Feb. 8pm. ()31 453 4561. CraigmillarArts Centre, 58 Newcraighall Road, Edinburgh Sat 17 Feb. 8pm. ()31 669 8432. St Brides Centre. [0 Orwell Terrace, Edinburgh Sun 18Fcb.8pm.0313461405.

I Tally’s Blood Ann Marie Di Mambro‘s play draws on her own Scottish Italian family background and studies the periods either side ofthe last war. It comes asa result of her year as Writer In Residence at the Traverse Theatre. Edinburgh. Touching and humorous. More details on 031 226 2633. See Review.

Adam Smith Theatre, K ircaldy Tue 13 Feb. 7.30pm. 0592 260498. Ettrick & Lauderdale District Wed 14 Feb. Palace Theatre, Kilmarnock Thurs 15 Feb. 7.30pm. 0563 23590. HarbourArts Centre, Irvine Fri 16 Feb. 7.45pm. 0294 74059. Paisley A rts Centre Sat 17 Feb. 8pm. 041 887 1010. Tron Theatre, GlasgowTue 20—Sun 25 Feb. 7.30pm. ()41 5524267. Tour continues.

r ‘\

Gordon beson


Seen at Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh. Run Ended.

For the sake oi those poor souls queueing out into the street, hoping in vain to get a ticket, I’m inclined to pretend that this show was a disaster and that to miss it was a blessing. Alas, lcan’t. It's been a while since I've seen such a consistently enjoyable evening oi cabaret and, clocking in at three hours, that takes some doing.

Much credit tor this must go to compere Bob Downe -the man who would be Sinatra, but settles ior Monkhouse -who activates the audience into a state at receptive delight. He’s a one-joke comedian, but it's a pretty good joke and he tells it so well that I enjoyed it just as much as when I saw him last on the Edinburgh Fringe. it's not just his penchant tor lawn-or is it beige? - and his uncanny resemblance to a shop dummy, it's the

iurlous etiort he puts into his tacky routines and his unnerving attempts to make seductive eye contact with every single member oi the audience. And he has got a lovely voice.

The last time i saw Funny Farmer, Gordon Robertson, the atmosphere was less congenial, and what then seemed like embarrassing pauses, now come across as well-timed devices tor milking his material. He's got a knack oi spotting the absurd in the very ordinary and can lind jokes in some very unexpected places. It takes a sharp eye to notice the dramatic ilaw in Humpty Dumpty, ior example. Like Bruce Morton, he trades in one-line gags which limit his ability to build up the pace of the act, but he's an endearing periormer who can almost make it on charm alone.

Donna MacPhail scores instant credibility points by noticing the dltierence between England and Scotland, and then slips back into her routine about tile in London. Fast talking and ultra-conlident, she takes standard stand-up themes - vegetarians, right-on men, sex and the single girl - and injects them with enough quick-wilted vigour and tightly «delivered rhythm to make them seem genuinely lresh and lunny.

One oi the more perplexing things about the 19803. was that on the lelt it was not the politicians, but the

comedians who tested out the political agenda. Elton, Hardy, Sadowitz, Sayle and Eniield have all had more radical, Inspiring and polemical things to say than your average MP. Mark Steele lalls into the same camp. ills long set covers many areas, lrom losing his virginity to a wicked and poignant send-up oi Ben Elton, but he is most at home in the political arena. An accurate mimic ol accents and a master of tongue-twisting set pieces,

he puts the class struggle into perspective without ever becoming worthy or losing his comic bite. (Mark Fisher)

_..-. I Simon Fenshswe


The Tron Theatre, Glasgow. Run Ended.

The jolly jester bounded on stage and proceeded to regale us (without the aid

at any amusingly deiormed carrots) lot the next hour and a hall. Fanshawe is undoubtedly a witty, llkeable chap- the sort who was bullied in his schooldays and then couldn’t believe his luck when he went to university and lound that he was invited to all the trendlest parties.

Aptly, his humour is oi the undergrad, bedsit variety with routines about Thatcher, tabloids and subjects tackled on early Lloyd Cole albums. The , problem is that although he manages to extract a few chuckles, by the end oi the evening the mainstay ol the show was still an attack on the watching Guardian readers ior theirtorpor. Surely the role at the comedian is to enliven a soporilic audience rather than merely comment on them?

Uniortunately, Fanshawe comes across like a less socialist, less ideologically sound and much less iunny Jeremy Hardy. He is at his best when banterlng with the audience but this all takes place in the lirst ten minutes. Therealter his scripted material takes precedence which Is a shame lor it is somewhat stiited and, tor a topical comedian, remarkably dated. As a presenter with Esther, he is certainly ol a higher class than Doc Cox, but in a lield where there is a wealth ol talent he is struggling in the relegation battle at the bottom at the

ilrst division. (Philip Parr)

52 The List 9 22 February 1990