F E S T l V A L — theatre/MUSICALS
I BY POPULAR DEMAND Frivolity. jocularity, eccentricity and ellervescence. . . It‘s no good. Try as I may, Icould never match the vocabulary oi the late great musical hall M.C. Leonard Sachs. The Entire Company, however. bring you all the magic ot the Music Hall and take you on nostalgictrips down memory lane.
The Entire Company (Fringe) The Royal Scots Club (Venue 57) 20—25 Aug, 2pm, £4 (£2.50).
I THE SECRET DIARY OF ADRIAN MOLE AGE133/4 Whatl like mostabout Adrian Mole is thathe thinks that he is the sole inventor at puberty and adolescence. Now he is in Edinburgh complaining about the neutralising ettect Pandora is having on his Clearasil. Always a good giggle.
Edinburgh Youth Theatre (Fringe) St Oswalds (Venue 77) until 25 Aug (not19). 7.30pm, £2 (£1.50)
I DOWNTOWN UPROAR Fasten the old suspender belts and let rip. "you're a jazz tan orjust like the old toot tappin’ tare, then this is tor you. Two hours at lively entertainment and super swingin’ stuli is yours in this Ken Lee extravaganza. Jiving Lindy Hoppers (Fringe) The Gilded Baloon Theatre & Studio (Venue 38) until 1 Sept, 5pm, £5
I OCTOBER'S CHILDREN The story and music ot revolutionary Russia and the late at the Besprizorniki, the wandering, homeless children olthe time. National Youth Music Theatre (International Festival) George Square Theatre (Venue 37)17, 20, 22, 24, 25 Aug 7pm;17-22. 25 Aug 4pm, £6.50 (£3.50). I ALICE THE MUSICAL In recentyears. Lewis Carroll has become as read and looked at as Alice herselt lor various reasons. This show is viewed through the eyes at Carroll the photographer. Tenniel‘s original drawings provide the inspiration Iorthe costumes.
(Fringe) Royal College at Physicians (Venue 64) 18. 21,23,25Aug.11am:17. 20, 22, 24 Aug 4.30pm, £3.50 (£2.50).
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If Frank Sinatra went to see this show I know he would give it the thumbs-up. It‘s a long time since I had goosepimples while listening to great music. but it happened at Pal Joey.
This superb show is in Edinburgh courtesy ofthe National Youth Music Theatre. Set in Chicago in the 1930s the story follows Joey from the gutter to the elevated status of cabaret club manager. Three girls figure in Joey‘s fortunes. Vera. a vamp. superbly played by 16 year-old Rae Baker, manipulates our Joey. He turns for comfort to Linda. portrayed beautifully by Julie-Alanah Brighten, who also has a fantastic voice. Joanne Banks plays Gladys who is also at Joey‘s beck and call. Simon Jermond is a splendid Joey and he shares some great moments with Ludlow the gangster hammed up in brilliant fashion by Duncan Rodgers.
A lot of the action is in the night
club and when the scenes change to the bedroom. the clients in the nightclub are still seated at their tables. It‘s a play within a play sometimes. Whoever cast this show came up smelling of roses. This is a very talented. well balanced bunch ofyoungsters. They deliver old standards like Chicago. Bewitched. Bothered and Bewildered and the beautifully haunting Take Him in masterly fashion. The costumes are excellent and blend so well with the
This is musical entertainment at its best. The acting. singing and dancing is ofthe highest quality. Paul Madden is the choreographer. The Musical Director. who has an excellent orchestra in his guidance. is John Pearson. Mark Patterson directs. (Sean Kavanagh)
I Pal Joey (Fringe) George Square
Theatre (Venue 37) until 18.20.21, Aug. 9.30pm; 18. 21 Aug. 6.45pm;
15. 1(1Aug.4pm.£5 (£3.50)
BEE!- ocroeen’s CHILDREN _
A show with children, about children, but not neccessarily tor children. Once again the National Youth Music Theatre explores the areas 01 tragedy among children. In 1917, Russia had overtwo mllllon ‘Besprlzornlki’ orwanderlng vagabond children. At one point, there were seven million at them. This was a result of the Great War and subsequent Revolution and Civil War. The reality was that these children didn’t lie down and simply give up. They organised themselves and marched tor their rights.
This poignant musical tollows Natasha Bukharin, a 17 year-old daughter at a senior oltlclal In the Tsar’s secret police. After the February revolution and her Iather’s arrest she became a Besprizornlk. In her search tor her parents she displays a combination of Slavic Iatalism and an indomitable will. She joins a group 01
children in a Petrograd cellar. Though at Iirst isolated, she asserts her will on them and in particular on the young attractive leader, Amalryk. This is their story. It Is sad to think at these kids’ shorts to get the land working again and the sorry state of ailairs ol crops rotting In the Iields in the USSR today.
‘Many perished,’ explains the show’s co-writer Frank Whately. ‘Those who survived did so tor many reasons, a basic animal instinct, good tortune and a struggle reintorced by a sense at comradeship. Another element however, perhaps especially Russian, is a survival born of sorrow and suttering, which is both felt and contemplated and which reinforces the intensity at tile and the desire to be alive. It is this quality more than any other that October’s Children attempts to capture’. (Sean Kavanagh) October’s Children, National Youth Music Theatre (International Festival) George Square Theatre (Venue 37) 17, 20, 22, 24, 25 Aug 7pm; 1742, 25 Aug 4pm, £6.50 (£3.50).
[2331130- SLAP AND TICKLE l_l
The title conjures up all sorts ol jolly
misbehaviour. Bronwen Nash and Maurice Horhut are Slap and Tickle and they bring their suitably named musical romp to this year’s Fringe.
Bronwen is one at the world’s leading solo double bassists. She featured on Wogan and survived. Always looking tor new and crazy musical ideas, she has taken to playing the saw. Last year, Edinburgh audiences watched in amazement as she got some great sounds trom the cutting edge. This year it’s an even bigger saw, 100 teeth and all. Bron swears that its potential is endless. I believe her.
Maurice is no slouch or sidekick. He is in great demand in London as a pianist in top jazz clubs and at society events. He recently teatured on Marc Almond’s new album. His arrangements are vital to Bronwen’s overall talent. The pair are always exploring endless avenues in the search tor new material. This is not just a novelty act teaturing a saw. It is a journey in style trom Saint Saens to Van Morrison, stopping oil at Marlene Dietrich and Oracle Fields along the way.
‘This year’s show is much more humorous,’ says Bronwen, ‘and Maurice and I have really developed a comedy act together. Last yearthe emphasis was almost 100 per cent on music. This time round there’s more light reliet.’
Maurice chips in. ‘The Dinosaur Stomp is particularly amusing and is aimed at children irom 8 to 80.’(Sean Kavanagh)
Slap and Tickle 11 (Fringe) Acoustic Music Centre (Venue 25) 114 Sept, 5.05pm, £3.50 (£2.50)
The List 17 — 23 August 1990 45