Lovers ofJoc Mangle (aren‘t we all?) shouldn't go along expecting Mark Little to churn out Joe‘s encyclopaedic stock of naff Australian slang, and spend the entire show cracking coldies. On the other hand, they won't be disappointed by what they get.

Mark Little is one of those performers you just can‘t take your eyes off. Not that he really does very much, it‘s just he has the ability to make you crack up just by staring back at you. Actually he doesn‘t say very much either, and none ofit would make much sense out of context. Little has discovered the secret of making great comedy out of very little substance at all.

Admittedly, an audience that seemed two~thirds Australian seemed to help. but there‘s something about Little that would make you laugh if he told you your mother had died. ‘The Assembly Rooms are bastards.‘ he tells us, ‘Just because I‘m in Neighbours they‘ve written Mark Little Sold Out on the blackboard for the last three nights.‘ (Tom


I Mark Little's Atomic Dilemna (Fringe). Assembly Rooms (Venue 3) 226 2428, until 1 Sept, midnight, £5 (£4).


If stand-up comedy‘s your thing, take a break from the tiring ‘alternative’ scene, sit back and watch the refreshingly natural Owen O'Neill as he talks about himself and his thoughts. He makes it all look so easy.

In relaxed and intimate surroundings he recounts with confidence, ease and beautiful comic timing his

life in Ireland and England as a poor Catholic lad with orange hair.

His adolescent love poems and his Dad's ‘death‘ poem show his creative talent behind the laconic and funny humour. For a pre-pub hour to get you in the right mood this is perfect. (Melissa Nathan)

I Stand Up and llide with Owen O'Neill (Fringe), Greyfriars Kirk House (Venue 28) 224 3626, until Sept 1 (not Thurs), 10pm (11pm),£4(£3).


Compere Malcolm Hardee is foul-mouthed, outrageous and bears a striking resemblance to Frank Carson. His ten years on the Fringe have honed his talent-spotting

_ ability though and this is

an inimitable late night show.

Shorty Harris is a dummy with his own vent act and Terri Rogers has the task of controlling him. Chris Luby tortures his lungs and contorts his face to bring you deafening aeroplane and military band impersonations that will astound you with their authenticity.

The guest spot can turn into an excuse for raucous males to voice their disapproval but Bob Dillinger is at hand with sardonic songs and a spiky wit. (Konrad Manning) I Aargh The Tunnel Club Again (Fringe) The Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550, until 1 Sept (not 13, 20), 11.45pm, £5.50 (£4).

_ f:


It is always gratifying when an act performs well in the notoriously bad medium of comedy revue. Unfortunately this is not the case with Newsrevue ‘90.

While the show is slick (to the point of oiliness), occasionally clever and mildly amusing, originality and unpredictability are not strong points. In other words, perfect for television. Yes, it resembles a particularly weak episode of Hale and Pace.

The cast try hard, but considering the show boasts thirteen writers the wit is suprisingly limp. If


They seem to revel in an abbreviation which makes them sound like a Dutch truck manufacturer. They are as polite to their audience as Mr Hussein is to Kuwaitis. They used to be cabaret perlormers. Now they are multi-media stars. Or at least they would be it their book- ‘Book’ and their record - ‘Icon' - had not fallen victim to the bottomless pit which is the censor‘s

{is We

(Fringe) The Doug Anthony Allstars, The Playhouse (Venue 59), 557 2590, 17 Aug,midnight, £5. £6, £7.

3...! I. I. 'A\ waste bin. The Doug Anthony Allstars (D.A.A.S.) live performances are not similarly limited but they are just as outrageous. See them if you dare (and

il you can get a ticket). (Philip Parr) Kids and Animals

presented by agroupof Ridley and all the old half-baked OXbfidge favourites are the re but a SIUdcms this might be lot funnier than many of accep‘ab'c» bl" something their appearances this

so commercial falls well Festival.

short. (Adrian Searle)

I Newsrevue '90 (Fringe) Marco‘s Leisure Centre 1 (Venue 98) 229 8830, until

All he needs is a smokefilled room and the odd lager lout. Maybe you can provide it? (Harriet

1 Sept, 7.45pm and Swain) 9.15pm, £6 (£4). I A Slight liesltetion with Iervyn Slim" (Fringe)

Pleasance, 60The Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550, 11—27 Aug (not Mon 20), 4.30pm, £4 (£3).


Jim Sweeney and Steve Steen do not appear to fit into the category of suicidal Iunatics. Yet they are presenting two unscripted shows, Play by Ear and The Rupert Pumpkin Collective every evening for three weeks. What is more remarkable is that, at this early stage of the festival at least, they appear eminently capable


Poor Old Merv. What is he ofcarrying it off.

domg at 4.30 in the Their great skill is to afternoon in front of a few make the unavoidable parents and kids with moments of any improv.

hardly a Tizer inside them, belting his heart out

act, when the mind momentarily dries up. as

about German genuinely hilarious as the

reunification and asking laser-like one-liners that

who fancies a fuck in the fill the majority ofthc

four minutes left before evening. They

the end of the world? compliment each other He deserves better. perfectly. Sweeney has

With a brave presentation the uncanny ability to

of real satire , which only conjure up an idea from

occasionally approaches the most mundane of

the bar bore , he excels in audience suggestions

the satirical song. Mad

. whilst Steen frequently cows, Iraquis, Nicholas

produces single sentences

so incisive and perfectly delivered that the scene is brought to a premature halt. After 16 years together, he can still cripple his partner, as well as the audience, with one line. (Philip Parr)

I The Rupert Pupkln Collective (Fringe) Sweeney and Steen (plus guests), The Assembly Rooms (Venue 3) 226 2428,10 Aug—1 Sept, 8.30pm, £6 (£5).

I Play By For (Fringe) Sweeney and Steen, The Gilded Balloon Backstage Theatre (Venue 38) 226 2151,10 Aug—1 Sept. 6pm, £5 (£4).


Glitzy. That‘s the word that springs to mind when discussing this night of Melbourne‘s finest. Rachel, a shy, retiring wallflower with a penchant for figure-

outfits and Fort Knox earrings begins proceedings where she left off at the end of last year‘s Fringe. She is a great improviser and that carries her through this performance in which her scripted material is firmly buried at the back ofa mind encased in a large globule ofjet-lag. Nevertheless. what she can remember indicates that the observations are as acerbic as ever.

The Great Big Opera Company are similarly reserved. They indulge in ‘grandstanding' after the first number and continue through the rest ofthc show. lfyou don‘t know what is meant by grandstanding. go along. In fact, go along whatever; this is unique and constantly hilarious musical comedy. (Philip Parr)

I Stand Up at The Opera (Fringe) Rachel Berger and The Great Big Opera Company,The Pleasance (Venue 33). 556 6550. until 1 Sept (not 20. 30), 9.30pm, £5 (£4).


Linda Smith paints caustic portraits of people and rattles through the things in life which irritate and annoy her. Her set is short and fast moving but she deserves a better venue in order to maintain her position amongst the top flight of stand-ups. Normal, the hard of

Crumpsall, relies heavily on his quirky poetry, dipping in and out ofhis published works. His dry humour promises more despite the rather cheap references to Accrington. Heckmondwike and the like. Normal is a modest and unassuming chap with a nice line in tragiclove poems. (Konrad Manning)

I Smith and Normal (Fringe) Marco's Leisure Centre (Venue 98) 229 8830, until 1 Sept (not 19).

hugging, spangling gold

8. 15pm, £4.50 (£4).

mmos m “names:

30 The List 17 23 August 1990