_ theatre/womb

- PLANET ssmous

Planet Serious is a comic work which looks at the deadening machine-like regularity which governs our lives. The programme claims it is ‘exploring humour from the outskirts of daily life‘. While that may be so. its manner of staging doesn‘t invite a more searching look on the part of the audience. The sketches which emerge from the chipboard module in the centre of the stage are overlong and repetitive. Only occasionally does an image or a sequence strike the imagination: Deborah Mulholland‘s steady beat as she rubber stamps invisible documents. or later her puppet-like representation ofa bored housewife. (Matthew Barrell)

I Planet Serious (Fringe) Flodkvist. Hill Street Theatre (Venue 41) 225 7294.12—25 Aug. 12.45pm,£5 (£3).


These boys are four mentally disadvantaged souls sharing a flat together as an experiment in community living. Two are retarded - Norman and Lucien. Two others are very disturbed - Arnold is paranoid and Barry is a schizophrenic. Sounds like a downer ofa play‘.’ On the contrary. it‘s a warm-hearted and very funny look at people trying to live their livesby coping the best way they

Arnold is a very nery oils person who always needs a plan which he is utterly incapable of implementing. Lucien is preparing continually for an appearance before a legislative subcommittee looking at moving the mentally handicapped back into the community. His 10 is somewhere between that of a five year-old and an oyster. Barry believes he's a golf pro but keeps losing his students. Norman works in a doughnut shop and keeps eating the product. He speaks for us allwhen he says at an awkward moment. ‘Oh boy. this is kinda tricky. you know.“ Jack is the social worker and interlocutor. whose life seems to be in worse shape than theirs.

American playwright Tom Griffin lets us look into lives we wouldn‘t ordinarily see. He

succeeds in showing that each mentally ‘handicapped' person is an individual and should not be lumped under a dismissiy e label.

The cast is mostly British but you wouldn't know it. Allan (‘orduner as Arnold and Richard ('ordery as Norman are outstandirtg. 'l‘he play's best moment is when Norman litres his retarded girlfriend. Sheila. played by Kathy Burke. to his pad.

Soon to become a feature film directed by Norman Jewison. The Boys Next Door certainly are worth visiting. (Kerry Napuk)

I The Boys Next Door (Fringe) American l‘cstival Theatre.

Assembly Rooms i Venue

3). 3362438. I 1 Aug 1 Sept (not Tue). 3 45pm. UNIS).


This young Russian company produce a mesmerising performance in their own evocation of the street-life ofTverskoi Boulevard (hence the title). Driven by the powerful voice ofAlexei Paperny. who also gets a


credit as Artistic Director.

the succession ofguitar. accordion and drum- based songs provide the perfect. rough-edged accompaniment to the impressionistic series of tableaux that the group have devised.

The emphasis is on a mordant sentimentality, as snapshots. literally. are provided of the comic

pierrot-like figures in their 3

daily activities of buying

chestnuts. looking at women. sweeping the streets. TAM have taken on board Rozovski‘s commitment to sentimentality. and successfully put together their own variations and they fully deserve the accolades they have won. (Andrew Pulver).

I Tverboul (Fringe) TAM. Traverse Theatre (Venue 15) 226 2633, until 1 Sept. various times. £6.50



Don't let it bother you that the dialogue ofthis play is in Polish: its theatrical language transcends such barriers. though its tone is titttttislakcably l’olish.

Scena (i's Sprmglrrlc of Nutrmrs takes the audience through a dynamic succession of exhilarating. poetic images. which embody the folly and tragedy of liuropean history of the past two centuries: a dusty. long-boned onmakcr who whoops with glee as hislittle wooden people are tossed headless from his latest iny ention the ( iuillotine: two lovers drawn together by a w hitc. muslin thread; a young man carcssinga violin. only to be dragged into a fight with white. forked poles.

\Vildly funny. human. tragic. dangerously sane theatre. A l’ringc First surely. ('l'oni .lolinstone) I Springtide ofNations (l‘ringe ) Sccna h. Richard l)cmarco(iallcry (Venue 22) 557 (WP, until 25 Aug (not Sun). (ipm. {5(1‘3).

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in association with


P R E "ii/i I E R (Kym/fl” ,1,



Readers with taste will love our ASSEMBLY 10 celebrations! The Assembly Rooms and their major sponsor - HARP PREMIER EXPORT LAGER - are offering a generous number of tickets for the best shows. This year's anniversary programme Is the strongest yet with a marvellous line-up of comedy, theatre, music, drama and cabaret. Tickets will be issued on a first come, first served basis on the day of the performance only, and no later than two hours prior to the start of the performance. Vouchers should be presented at the Assembly Rooms Information Desk. Only one offer per person per Issue.


A pair of free tickets to see these two popular poets on Tues 28th, Wed 29th Aug (8.30pm). Up to 3 pairs of tickets available for each performance.


A pair of free tickets to see VISITING DISTRICT MILLIGAN on Thurs 23rd Aug (9.15pm). Up to 3 pairs of tickets available.


A pair of free tickets to see ROMEO and JULIET on Tues 28th, Wed 29th Aug (Midday). Up to 3 pairs of tickets

available for each performance.


A pair of free tickets to see these Kenyan Acrobats on Mon 27th, Tues 28th Aug (11.30am). Up to 3 pairs of tickets available for each performance./


A pair of free tickets to see Janusz Wisniewskl's latest masterpiece OLSNIENIE on Wed 29m, Thurs 30th Au (6.30pm). Up to 3 pairs of tickets Qgio available for each performance. ‘s

The List 24 - 30 August 199033