_ theatre/NEW PLAY
CHAIM AND SONYA WERE LOVERS
Chaim and Sonya were also brother and sister. but that is about all you can gather from this two-hander. The action is set in Russia. some time afterthe Revolution and there are many references ' to Uncle Joe. Unfortunately. there are also many references to Comrade Joe who seems to be another. distinct person. Bang goes your original idea that the uncle is Mr Stalin. for. now, the comrade appears to be Mr Stalin. Does all ofthis sound confused and repetitive? Well. it is.
The one redeeming factor is that Nie Scott‘s charisma overcomes many of the limitations ofthe material. She radiates to such an extent that you cannot help thinking that she will be a star. (Philip Parr)
I Chaim and Sonya Were Lovers (Fringe) ()xford College Players. The Festival Club (Venue 3e). 2200539. 23. 25. 27. 30 Augand l Sept.8.40pm. £3.50 (£3).
MEET FOR LUNCH
Short. sweet and occasionally very funny. Meet For Lunch is perfect in form. Three old school chums meet on a lunch date and through their interactions we learn about their lives and personalities. The acting is smooth and professional. the casting spot-on. .My favourite is the endearingly seatty waitress.
Personal traumas are shrieked hysterically over the salad. ‘My' husband's had a sex change and is marrying his surgeon.‘ says one to the
sympathetic reply of 'Men are such restless creatures.'
This is a simple farce where the characters nearly all manage to escape stereotyping. have the healthiest hair in lidinburgh and the end comes too soon. (Melissa Nathan)
I Meet lor Lunch(l5ringe) Angel Enterprises. Moray llouse l'nion Theatre (Venue 108) 55(1518-1.‘ until Sept I (not Aug19. 30) 10pm. £3.50(£2.50).
Incorporating the first sign-language rap I‘ve come across. this story ofa deafteenager‘s struggle for independence and identity combines music. dance and a punchy script with a challenge to our perceptions of people with special needs.
Rejecting the well-meaning btit patronising ‘help' of teachers. social workers and speech therapists. (iary rebels. opting for glue-sniffing and shoplifting instead of the deaf people's social club. He angrily refuses the identity people try to foist on him - grateful. well-behay ed. preferably iny isible —- demanding to be treated as an individual instead of a problem. llis efforts are self-defeating; court appearances and care orders simply mean more professionals attempting to ‘solve' him. There is no rose-tinted happy ending.
Although the pace sometimes drags. and the acting quality is somewhat erratic. its energy and commitment make this
show well worth seeing. (Sue \VtIson)
I Gary ( Fringe) Basic Theatre Company. \'iewtorth (‘entre (Venue
Aug. 10. 15pm. £3.50 (£2.50).
When a large group of American teenagers run on stage. and start a song and dance routine reminiscent of Jimmy Tarbuck‘s seaside show, your heart can only sink. It got better. my heart rose again. Once under way. the temptations for schmaltz are firmly resisted in this happily cynical look at murder, media and making it big. Why. even good musical numbers are not preceded
Not just a new play, but several. One every night in lact, as Jonathan Kay goes on a tree-form exploration of whatever is on his- or his audience’s— mind. Not as direct or as showy as the improvisors on the cabaret circuit, Kay’s act has a theatrical leaning which can take him into the tragic as well as the comic. After 18 years creating
physical theatre with Attic Theatre Company, Kay is well equipped to make something out of nothing every night. Everything from the surreal to the inane. (Mark Fisher)
Jonathan Kay (Fringe) The Canongate Theatre (venue 5) 556 3147, 27 Aug—1 Sept, 6.15pm, £4.50 (£3.50).
by obvious ‘sounds like a cue for asong.‘
Hilarious cameos of game show hosts. terrorist comedians and beauty queens win over a difficult audience of case-hardened Scottish kids. lfonly it hadn‘t started with that godawful song. (Fly Freeman)
I Coming Attractions (Fringe) LA Youth Ensemble Theatre. The Royal Scots Club (Venue 57) 557 5091 . until 25 Aug (not 19 Aug) 4pm. £3.50 (£2).
All John Mitchell's characteristic Oxygen House tricks are here. The moody lighting full of black and white contrast. the ﬂickering candles. the subtle electronic musical pulse. the cool restraint of the acting and an echo effect that transforms the intimate Netherbow into a cavernous hall.
But peel away these wholly apropriate and justified effects and Grant Morrison's study of Aleister Crowley and his disciple Victor Neuberg is left looking a good deal less substantial. Unlike his Red King Rising hit oflast year. there is no surprise twist to undercut the biographical detail and all too little real drama.
It looks. sounds. even smells great, but we don't learn much more than that Crowley was not very nice and Neuberg was rather pathetic. (Mark Fisher)
I Depravity (Fringe) Oxygen House.
Netherbow (Venue 30) 556 9579. until 1 Sept (not Suns). 11.30pm.£4.50 (£3).
LIZZIE VINYL: A RECON- STRUCTION
Like many experimental plays. 1.1::ie l'my/is difficult to pin down.
l’ow crfully acted and with striking images it isalso inconsistent and inconclusive.
The play is based around Buchner‘s ll'oyn’t'k but the crime pussimte/ that forms the core of the latter takes place as a stylised play-ysithin-a-play II] a southern ( ‘alilornian dreamscapc arising from the fantasies of a prostitute and her trick in a motel off the I‘rcew ay. Through all this wander a couple of society ladies. playing golf. who encapsulate the fossilized attitudes and neuroses of the rich American. As the different elements converge. a strong sense of a disintegrating civilisation and the forces that lurk beneath is conjured tip. The actors. especially Lizzie Vinyl. all move very well and the play succeeds in producing a brooding atmosphere but in the end seems unsure of purpose. leaving one puzzled as well as disturbed arid impressed. (Frances (‘ornfordl I Lizzie Vinyle Reconstruction ( Fringe) ('orpus Theatre (iroup. Edinburgh (‘ollege of Art
(\‘enuc 73). until 25 Aug. 3.45pm. £3 (£3.50).
SLEEP WITH ME
If you have seen arty ofthe publicity for Sleep With .lIe. you may well be under the illusion. that it would be tnore at home in an Amsterdam theatre than one in lidinburgh. This is hype. as the play may be about sex. but it is hardly‘erotic. It is in fact. very experimental. using the disco lighting at Buster Brown‘s togoodeifcct.
Amusing and interesting in places. the play is not sufficiently well directed and lends itselfto occasional over-acting. becoming predictable in partsbccaUse oftheover ttse ofits devices.
While it is worth seeing as an exercise in experimental theatre. if you are considering going on the basis of its press. forget it. (Paul Maverick) I Sleep With Me ( I‘ringe) (ione I-‘ishin' Theatre (‘ompanyu Buster Brow n's ( Venue 60) 226 433-). until 1 Sep.(ipm. £3.50(£3).
Youthful energy and enthusiasm are not enough to rescue this show. despite promising subject matter. Tighter
direction and some radical cutting to the script might have helped. but as it is. this account ofa 16th century farmers' uprising sprawls and shambles along. lacking any clear structure or purpose. It also seems chronically unsure of its idiom-— ‘period' or modern. verse or prose? — resulting in an untidy mishmash of conflicting styles. Although there are convincing moments. in general the performances are one-dimensional and too uniform in tone. The central figure ofCrazy Jane lacks any real stature or presence. her supposedly defiant independence appearing as mere petulant perversity. And much of the singing is just plain bad. No doubt Cambridge Youth Theatre do some very good work. but they should polish up their act
' before charging people
money to see it. (Sue Wilson)
I Crazy Jane (Fringe) The Roxy Theatre (Venue 27) 556 6869. until 25 Aug. 12.45pm. £4 (£3.50).
Working nights as a taxi-driver in London‘s King‘s Cross, David Hines has met and talked to more prostitutes than most of us. This first-hand knowledge is reﬂected in the gritty authenticity of his depiction of a night in the life of a London prostitute. which debunks media stereotypes and forces us to confront a subject we would normally prefer to avoid.
With the audience in the role of confidante. Lesley Vickerage gives a convincing, subtly detailed performance, hard-bitten cynicism belied by lip-chewing and nail-biting, weary despair alternated with moments of streetwise humour. We are made aware ofour voyeuristic complacency by direct, disconcerting questions: ‘You think you know the man you‘re with?‘
Bondage offers a fascinating, if uncomfortable, insight into a usually hidden world, presenting it as it is, not as we‘d like tothink of it. ‘The oldest profession? It's not a profession, it‘s hard. unskilled. physical labour.‘ (Sue Wilson)
I Bondage (Fringe) Park Bench Theatre Company. Chaplaincy Centre Upstairs (Venue 23) until 1 Sept. 10pm.£4 (£3.50).
The List 2-) — 30 August 199017