dream woman (OK. so she‘s really a moth. but nobody knows that but him!). But when another woman of solid flesh and blood interferes. perfection begins to crumble into darkness.

In poetic. lyrical Scots. the play combines Theatre Alba‘s versatile Fringe First winning talents. with original live music and dance. And by the way. if you‘re from out oftown. you don‘t need a dictionary!

Directed by Brunton Theatre's Charles Nowosielski. Paul Samson (Jimmy Boyle in the award winning film The Silent Scream) is the croftcr. (Gillian K. Ferguson)

I The Carlin Moth (Fringe) Theatre Alba. Theatre Workshop (Venue 20) 226 5425. 10 Aug—l Sept. 5.30pm. £4 (£2.50).


Renowned for a cast of many played by one and even the odd puppet doubling up. Theatre Caddis. in the shape of Eleanor Zeal. offers ‘sharp but lighthearted criticism‘ of the Church in a comedy about one woman‘s dream of becoming a vicar. A naive character. Veronica applies for college in the normal way despite her sicko mother‘s assertions that Veronica is a ‘tart‘. Also applying is Veronica‘s inspired boyfriend. the proud possessor of a ‘pop-up' Bible. who believes he bears more than a passing resemblance to Christ. Rejected by theological college Veronica debunks to America where she tangles with American Evangelical types. Deciding that this is not the life for her she has the brilliant idea of returning to England sporting a formidable beard. All goes to plan and she gets the job but finds herself lonely for ‘company‘. The said boyfriend obliges by donning women’s clothes and the eccentric pair are married. Do they live

happilyever after . . .‘.’

: (Gillian K. Ferguson)

I I Want To Be AVicar/Back

I Stage Tours OiThe National

(Fringe) Theatre Caddis. (ireyfriars Kirk Ilouse (Venue 28) 225 3626.12 Aug—1 Sept. 7.05pm. £4 (£3).



Herringbone is a play for one actor whocan sing. dance and play eleven characters. Kerry Shale is meeting this challenge. ‘It reads like it's got a cast of eleven.‘ he says. ‘but one of the things that make it so interesting is seeingall these people come out of the same person. They‘re all part of his personality and there‘s a story as to how they got there. It‘s not a play that could be performed by eleven actors.'

Shale has wanted to do the show since seeing its original. non-musical version in his native Canada fifteen years ago. Playwright Tom (‘one has

since moved to New York.

where the play was re-worked as a musical. Director Ben Twist who. like Shale. professes no great love of musical theatre expresses admiration for the songs.

‘They‘re good tunes which -

are whistleable and memorable. but they also move the plot on. and add to character.‘

The story of a young boy

- who goes West to become : a showbiz personality. but

is instead possessed by the spirit of an adult midget.

. Herringbone promisesto ' be both fun and distinctly

weird. ‘It is what it is.‘ says

3 Shale. ‘Nothing is ever

overt. The New York Times listed six different

thingsthatitcould have been and didn‘t come up

with any definite conclusions.‘ (Andrew Burnet)

I Herringbone (Fringe) Kerry Shale. Traverse Theatre (Venue 15) 226 2633. 10 Aug—l Sept (not Mons). various times and prices.


‘The aim is to create something new from the

poetry. ratherthan simply

act it out.‘ explains Wilde Players‘ member Andy Williams. describing the company‘s new show. an adaptation of l Ioward Barker‘s prose poems Gary the Thief and (fury Upright. ‘lt‘s a very


__ theatre/new PLAYS

physical production. which adds another dimension to the language. setting upa tension between the two.‘ Tracing the career ofa petty thicfand murderer. the play explores issues of inarticulacy. identity. language and the reduction of human experience to glib ‘explanations‘. ‘Gary‘s crime elevates him into a semi-mythical. Myra llindley/Krays-type anti-hero.‘ explains company member Andy Williams. ‘Ile‘s then seized upon by revolutionary intellectuals as a ‘product‘ ofsociety‘s problems. used to support their various theories. Although he becomes very clever at using other people‘s language against them. he eventually realises the persona he has created is just a shell. he‘s hollow inside.~ I Gary the Thief/Gary Upright (Fringe) Wilde Players. Richard Dcmareo Gallery (Venue 22) 557 0707. 13-25 Aug. 3.30pm daily (not Sundays).

OBSESSION [ix-Edinburgh University student. Caroline Richards. returns to Edinburgh with a multi-national company of eight and a show entitled Obsession. A year at Lecoq‘s theatre school in Paris has had a strong influence on this production.

‘We try to rely as little as possible upon words.‘ she says. ‘In a written play. the text carries the rhythm. ln devising this show. we. the performers. have attempted to create visual form through movement. The important dialogue is that ofphysical interaction. Though words are involved . . .‘

In fact. it is a poem. Baudelairc‘s I. ‘Harmonie du Soir. which is the catalyst for the play‘s action. A teacher. Alberto Santini. delivers it at what he anticipatesto be a regular conference. but finds his present

reality overwhelmed by a surge of memories and imaginings. Scenes from his past give way to projections of future events culminating in live burial though there isa chance that he will be dug up.

And is the performance comic? Or moving? ‘Both. I hope. but really it is absurd.‘ And the significance of the rabbit. which is described in the press release as throwing the world of Santini into confusion? ‘lt‘s a dog.‘ (Catherine Fellows)

I Obsession (Fringe) La Compagnie du Parti-Pris. The Canongate Theatre (Venue 5) 556 3147.13—18 Aug. 12.15pmz20-25 Aug. 2. 15pm. £3.50 (2.50).


The last time Claire Dowie played at the Traverse was with her harrowing Adult Child Dead Child . an uncompromising look at isolation and mental illness which was revived in last year‘s Fringe by Jacqueline Macdonald. This year the ex-stand up comedian returns with a considerably less painful. but equally thoughtful comic monologue about the trials of a young woman who falls in love with the idea of beinga

‘It‘s about a girl who doesn‘t want to be a girl.‘ explains Dowie. who was inspired to write the play after hearing a true story ofa black woman who believed she was white. even to the extentof changing all the photographs in her house to images of white people. Beneath the comedy. Dowie takes a serious look at social conditioning and cultural domination.

Dowie‘s background as a comic established her preference for a direct. confrontional style and consequently the mood of a performance depends on

the mood of the audience. This is clearly more than soft-centreed entertainment. ‘l'm not interested in tap dancing.‘ says Dowie in flat Brummie tones. ‘you can see that on telly any time.‘ (Mark Fisher)

I Why Is John Lennon Wearing A Skirt? (Fringe) Traverse Theatre (Venue 15) 226 2633.14 Aug—l Sept (not Mons).

10. 15pm. £5.50 (£3.50).


In the psychiatrist‘s chair is not only the patient. but also the doctor. And. thanks to the mirror doors of Kathy Strachan‘s clinical strip-light set . the examining eye reflects back on the audience. Certainly by the end of Per Olav Enquist‘s play you‘re left feeling vulnerable and not a little insecure.

On trial is a boy - played with great range and impenetrable subtlety by Simon Donald - who. having bumped offa couple of people and made further attempts on his own life for no clear reason. destroys the pet cat entrusted to him as part of a psychological experiment. It isthe apparent gratuitousness of his violence that shocks his inquisitors. but his long. meticulous explanation ruthlessly true to its own illogic— tests and challenges our own standards of ‘normal‘ behaviour.

Carol Ann Crawford plays the boy‘s psychiatrist with passion but too much earnestness to match the sparks of Donald‘s delivery. but Ann Scott Jones as the Pastor brings both maturity and a fascinating religious debate to the proceedings. Attention does drift from time to time. but for the most part Kim Dambaek‘s direction animates a complex and multi-layered discussion. keeping the play

compelling in its exposure of raw humanity. (Mark Fisher)

I The Hour of The Lynx (Fringe) Traverse Theatre (Venue 15) 226 2633. various dates. times and prices.


In The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe. Douglas Adams invented an animal which. through a process ofcruel evolution. had been bred to recommend sections of its own body to hungry customers. Both the conceit and underlying critique of Raymond Cousse‘s Pig Play is the same. Actor Robert McIntosh plays no sci-fl creature. but his contemporary pig is similarly addicted to the process of factory farming.

But where Adams used the idea to make a pointed joke about modern farming techniques. Cousse uses it as a basis to comment on all economic exploitaion. Pig Play is less a vegetarian‘s rally call than a subtle analysis of how capitalism gives us our identity and sense of purpose on condition that we never leave our respective pig styes.

McIntosh darts and

i sprints where he should be

building up a slow. steady pace on this long distance run ofa monologue. It‘s easy for our attention to waver as McIntosh runs

on ahead.particularlyin

the stuffy heat ofthe Traverse studio. Much of the play needs the sharp timingofa stand-up comedian the pe antic attention to detailcries out for Rik Mayall but at quieter moments in

a particular. McIntosh is

touching. believable and able to engage us in the

play‘s genuine dilemmas.

(Mark Fisher)

I Pig Play: A Strategy for Two Hams (Fringe) Traverse Theatre (Venue 15) 2262633. until 1 Sept. various times. £5.50 (£3.50).

The List 10. 16 August 190021