KING OF LIVERPOOL
This recreation of the life of Merseybeat rocker Rory Storm takes the form ofa dramatic monologue. interspersed with renditions of60s standards. and suffers from the contrast. Carl Wharton as Rory is left to carry the drama almost single-handedly. and copes admirably. while the remaining band members shufﬂe in embarrassment until it is time to play another song. The music is slick. but lacking in energy. Wharton seems ill at ease as a vocalist and his voice a little gruff. Imagine Tom Waits singing Chuck Berry.
Rory fails to live up to the ‘charm. wit and extravagance‘ recalled by the real Rory‘s brother in the programme notes. And. in an effort to approximate authenticity. the script leans too heavily on inconsequential trivia.
In trying to be a drama and a rock gig.‘ King of Liverpool‘ falls squarely between two stools. (Mark Willis)
I King at Liverpool (Fringe) Celtic Lodge (Venue 6) 225 7097. until 18 Aug. 6.30pm. £4 (£3).
Masturbation is the word that comes most immediately to mind watching the Oxford College Players‘ performance of Disgusting.
There seems to be a lot of it about. Not only does it ruin Ivor Will‘s projector at the beginning of the show. causing chaos among his created characters for the rest. but there is always something a bit sticky about acting about acting about acting.
Nevertheless. it is expertly done. Audience participation. method and devised acting. sentimental singing and every other theatrical device is unﬂinchingly parodied by a cast that seems totally relaxed by it all. Good acting and excellent use of the band makes for an indulgent evening.
Recommended for all thesps and particularly for members of().C.P. (Harriet Swain)
I Disgusting (Fringe) Festival Club (Venue 36) 2200518.104.22.168.24. 26, 29.31 Aug. 11.30pm. £3.50 (£3)
Britain lags way behind most at the rest at the world in its attitude to puppetry lor adults. The form lares reasonably well in this year's International Festival programme with contributions lrom Philippe Genty and the Music-Theatre Group of New York, but tor an event as big as the Fringe there is all too little tor the puppet alicionado.
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Attempting to redress the balance is
Guignol Et Cie, a London-based company which claims to present ‘the black sheep at Punch and Judy’s lamily'. Theirversion ol Lorca's The Love of Don Perlimplin and Belisa in
the Garden uses Spanish lolksong, original music and grotesque caricatures in a show that is certainly not for children. ‘Puppets can do things that are taboo tor most llesh and blood actors,’ says designer Woo Childs.
- ‘People love to watch them because it’s a way oi living out their tantasies.’
- (Mark Fisher)
The Love at Don Perlimplin and Belisa in the Garden/Snow White and the Seven Deadly Sins (Fringe) Guignol Et Cie, Buster Brown's (Venue 60) 226 4224, 9Aug—1 Sept, 8.15pm, £4 (£3).
THE BOY WHO WANTEO PEACE
In one hour Lezlie Davidson. Mairi Gillespie and John Ileraghty. the director. strike varying poses on a bare stage. creating sound effects. reading extracts and role-playing from The Boy Who Wanted Peace by (ieorge Friel.
Ileraghty loved the rich melodic text too much to adapt it into a play. A shame; there is potential for developing the story of Percy Phinn who wants to be a renowned poet like
his namesake Percy
Shelley. and you find yourself waiting for them to put the book down and act.
But then you also leave wanting to read the Glasgow novel which was Ileraghty‘s purpose in
creatingthisamusing collection ofedited highlightsfrom a colourful
book. (Melissa Nathan) IThe Boy Who Wanted Peace (Fringe) Fair Friday. Acoustic Music Centre (Venue 25) 220 2462. until 1 Sept (not 26 Aug) 2.30pm. £3.50 (£2.50).
Stigmata seems a little pushed for space. Sex. religion and holocaust are all very interesting but it is perhaps a bit ambitious to examine them all on atiny stage in an hour and a quarter and still have room for domestic arguments. cocaine injecting. murder. and a gratuitous semi-strip. And then everyone seems. well. rather young to be dealing with such problems.
Brilliant composer husband copes by shouting and saying ‘fuck‘ a lot. while religious painter wife dissolves into metaphors. Thankfully the visitor with the stigmata. Marc (geddit). doesn‘t speak much. He just bleeds.
Remind me never to get into a nuclear shelter with artistic types. (Harriet Swain)
I Stigmata (Fringe). Celtic Lodge (Venue 6) 225 7097. until 18 Aug. 4. 15pm. £4 (£3).
HANSEL AND GRETEL
David Rudkin (The Saxon Shore) is a well respected writer whose work is under produced. A good reason then to go and see this humorous farce. depicting normal
everyday characters trapped in the make believe world ofa traditional. but familiar. fairy-tale.
All the performers show an understanding for the multi-layered meanings of the text, but often fall short of full glory due toa lack of concentrated energy. There are several nice comic moments. unfortunately the pace desperately needs cranking up to the absolutely manic proportions that the writing demands. Without this. the grotesque truth of the play remains untapped. (Michael Balfour)
I Hansel and Gretel (Fringe) Cracking Inserts Theatre Company. The Roxy. Roxburgh Reading Rooms (Venue 27). 556 6869. until 18 Aug. 12.40pm. £3 (£2.50).
An intriguing performance from an extremely talented Glaswegian actor/ raconteur. Oscar McLennan mesmerises his audience with two tragi-comic monologues: Waiting on the Kiss of the Chicken King and Notes on Time.
With the minimum of props and clutter. he draws us into the world of the lonely and alienated. skipping from black humour to bleak
observations with a surreal stream of consciousness holding together the thread of his meditations on the nature of love and loneliness. His tragic vision is laced with marvellous comical apergus - the whole delivered with great panache and confidence. A riveting hour — poignant and disturbing at once. Oscar McLennan is certainly worth checking out (if you can ﬁnd your way to the Back Stage Theatre). (Lily MacGillivray)
I McLennan Alone (Fringe) Oscar McLennan, Gilded Balloon Back Stage Theatre (Venue 38) 226 2151 , until 1 Sept (not Mons). 2pm, £4 (£3).
Two young actors become fascinated with the revived 40$ play in which they have bit parts;
tracking down a faded star '
from the original
production, they force her :
to relive her memories in an attempt to understand the forgotten, shadowy figure of the playwright, who wrote honestly about his sexuality in an age which refused to accept it and persecuted him. Clyde Unity Theatre's latest production. by John Binnie. is partly a reconstruction of the young company‘s own experiences in reviving Benedict Scott’s The Lambs OfGod and partly a brave and sensitive meditation on the ethics of investigating personal tragedies ofthe past. Knowledge of CYT‘s earlier work, though this is by no means essential. and the obvious warm intimacy between the east help to build up a comfortable. friendly atmosphere which offsets the unfortunate venue (get there early ifyou want to see any ofthe actors). We may have been here before with them. but they still have new things to say. (Andrea Baxter) I Walking Shadow (Fringe) Clyde Unity Theatre. Across The Mersey Theatre. (Venue 101) 557 1785. until 24
NOCTURNE i FROM NOWHERE 3
Raymond Chandler was I an interesting man and j
wrote fine books—that’s about the limit ofinsight into character or dramatic tension you‘ll ﬁnd in Gordon De Marco‘s reconstruction of this opinionated, bitter, self-pitying but somehow rather pathetic man. De Marco does not provide even a thinly-sketched plot to hang Chandler's wearisome monologue on and the play becomes merely an excuse to get his. or perhaps De Marco‘s. thoughts on Hollywood. thriller writing and America off his chest.
Without a plot. we are left only with Chandler‘s personality on stage and it is not so unique or interesting as to hold one‘s attention. The production is very undramatic: David Sikking. who givesa decent performance and deserves better material, is not helped by unsubtle lighting and unimaginative direction.
Using extracts from Chandler‘s own writing is a bad mistake too. The beautiful power ofhis prose serves only to show up the shallow ﬂatness of De Marco's. (Andrea Baxter)
I Nocturne From Nowhere (Fringe) Abbie Productions. Hill Street Theatre. (Venue 41)225 7294, until 25 Aug. 4.15pm.£3.50(£3).
There is always something truly outstanding at the Fringe and this isit. Brilliantly directed by Adam Bridges (son of film director Alan Bridges) its cast of three deliver consistently excellent perfomances throughout.
Set In Berlin in 1941 . it is the story ofan imaginary encounter between Hitler‘s and Mussolini's whores. As their meeting unfolds. the two take on the identities of their lovers. creating an extremelydynamicand realistic tension that is at the same time very sexual and which has definite Suﬁ; M overtones.
Picked for its relevance in the light of the recent upsurge of anti-semitism in France and Britain. the script. which testifies to its author's iii-depth historical know ledge of the period. zilltm s for some amusineg sarcastic quips. while remaining extremely poignant.
Featuring a particular ly excellent pertormanee from Antoma \\'liitiiek as [is a Braun. Summit
The List 17 — 23 August 199023