No. this is not my cup of tea. Hold on. be objective. maybe it would appeal to my parents'.’ Scheel is undoubtedly an accomplished pianist and able to indulge (but who now. isn‘t?) in improvisation. He plays the Gay Gordons in the style of different classical composers and expands four random notes into a tune. His ()zone composition declares his green conscience. whilst ironically the audience sip their complimentary teas from polystyrene cups. Unfortunately. I found myselfchuckling at his comic material largely because in such a small crowd it was more embarrassing not to. My parents agreed. (Konrad Manning) I David Scheel (Fringe) The Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550. until 1 Sept (not 28). 3pm. £4.5(l(£3.5()).
RUSSIAN AND RED-Y FOR BREAKFAST
A mild-mannered satire presenting the world of television. and more specifically America. as a smug and condescending world. where triviality governs the airwaves and banality poses as news. Presented ‘live‘ in the breakfast show studios. the programme is ‘bcamed' via satellite to
characters like the mad Russian knife thrower.
Any basic shortcomings of the script are balanced
with a good natured
production. To appease the audience further there
is free fresh coffee and bagels with jam. Now
that‘s good PR. (Michael
Balfour) I Russian and Red-ytor Breakfast (Fringe) See
Red. St Columbia's by the
Castle (Venue ‘1).220
0541 . until I Sept. 10am. £2.8()(including free
Q '- SCREAMS FROM THEROAD
'l'hese "Tales of a Modern Vaudevillian' detail the life of a comedian --truc tales all. chucklers and scary ones. (iivcn the interest in American comics this year. his show
- part cabaret. part
comedy. part autobiography -- should be packed. From
improvisational beat poetry to strip-joint
stand-up. redneck recollections and lounge lizardese. Hanna's act is clean. funny. and more 'British' in style than other Americans at the Festival
this year. Some slick keyboard playing
completcsa solid set. (Wes Shrum)
I Screams From the Road (Fringe) Ray l lanna. I’leasance (Venue 33) 556 6550. l l Aug-l Sep. 7pm. £4.5ll(l.3.5tl).
A BRUSOUE AFFAIR
Shaun Duggan‘s play is a schizophrenic mixture of social realism and farce— Shelagh Delaney meets
Susan and Bernie. one pregnant. the other gay.
are best friends reduced to
sharing a bed in a
gruesome bedsit. Susan's parents have kicked her out. the landlord is creepy
and Bernie's frightful
The point this production amiany makes is that they might as well be beaming themselves into a packet of cornflakes for all the concessions the USA makes to a foreign culture. In a rather insubstantial and undemanding way. the production strings together three sketches in the style of a revue. spiced with hit-or-miss jokes. and sprinkles ofodd
Mum keeps coming round and screaming at them. So far it‘s all good Grim Up North stuff. well observed and ably acted by Joanne Black and James Stewart.
Then. suddenly all the creaking machinery ofa comedy of errors is wheeled in. complete with mixed identities and long lost relatives. Each new revelation illicits groans from the audience as disbelief is suspended as far as it will go.
Mixing genres in this case does not really succeed but thanks to the strength of the social realism in the first half. which is Duggan's forte. the play just about comes off. (Frances Cornford) I A Brusque Aﬂalr(Fringe) Rattle Bag Theatre. Across the Mersey Theatre. Riﬂe Lodge (Venue lOl ) run ended.
The University of Southern California perform ten different shows at the Southside Community Centre. The same actors are involved in most of these shows. In Oklahoma it is obvious that a certain amount of tiredness has set in.
This Rodgers and Hammerstein Oscar winning musical needs Wild West atmosphere and a lot of special effects for the fantasy sequences. None of these are present to any signiﬁcant degree. For most ofthe first act. the story unfolds against a large white backdmp leaving it entirely to the cast to grab the audience‘s imagination. Just before the interval. Judd Fry grabs himselfsome attention by firing a very loud shot and scaring the assembled public halfto death. Maybe more shots could be fired earlier on.
The dancing should have us clapping our hands and ‘Yee-I Iawing‘ like mad. but the excitement so necessary for a show of this calibre is somehow missing. On the plus side. Mona aI Hadad is a very likeable and endearing Aunt Eller. Tamara Parkhurst‘s singing as Laurey istop class. Suzanne Cohen as Ado Annie Carnes gets some well deserved laughs. but Scott Atkinson steals the honours as a very nasty and evil but rogueish Judd Fry. (Sean Kavanagh)
I Oklahoma (Fringe) Festival Theatre USC— USA. Southside Community Centre.(Venue 82) until 1 Sept. I()pm.£4 (£3).
BURLESOUE TO BROADWAY
Deja see the show at the Sheraton? I did and believe me. it's great. With only three performances to go. Deja Revue are knocking them out with this one-hour spectacular.
The show opens in such a novel way that the audience is won over from the very start. Mind you.
that complimentary drink.
generously handed to everybody on arrival goes a long way towards relaxation as you recline in those plush armchairs. The first number tells you what to do and what not to do during the show. For example. expelling body gases is frowned on.
Then begins a trip along 80 years. from Burlesque to Broadway taking in tunes like Carolina in the Morning and Adam and Eve and ending brilliantly with an ingenius rip offof Les Miserables.
Deja Revue are four highly talented young people. Paul Knight on piano launches Anne Smith. Pauline Bennion and Bruce Morrison into beautiful action and a thoroughly polished performance. This multi-coloured cocktail has been well shaken and is highly intoxicating. Cheers! (Sean Kavanagh) I Dela Revue(Fringc) Cocktail Theatre at the Sheraton (Venue 9) Sheraton Hotel. until 1 Sept. midnight. £5.
18'I‘he List 3l August- l3 September 1990
Sally Bradshaw ‘s Maria Malibran at the Playhouse Studio teeters on the line between drama and musical interlude. Unashamedly romantic. it
for epic tragedy . Maria Malibran. the Marilyn Monroe of 19th
century opera. was abused
by her father as a child. worshipped across
Europe. for her singing
and died young after a riding accident when
These events provide
little more than a
; backdrop for some fine
arias by Bradshaw sung to
r lively accompaniment.
3 With heavyish acting and
dialogue which y erges on recitative the evening has a definite operatic feel and is a worthwhile experience. although not quite the Bolshoi. (Harriet Swain)
I Maria Malibran—Bright Star in a Dark Sky ( Fringe) Edinburgh Playhouse and Studio ( Venue 59) 557 3807. until 1 Sept. 6.45pm. £4.5(l(£3.5ll).
THE GIRLS (AND THE GREAT XAR)
What is the attraction of Emma Freud and friends? Is it their studied amateurism. rey ealing natural talent and confidence? Is it that they are ‘posh and intelligent'. as a friend recently
described them'.’ Or is it
j just the combination of wit and great music that has the audience roaring for more?
Whatever it is. the girls who began by ‘messing around‘ four years ago. now have a superbly entertainingand polished act. complimented by the (ireat Xar's pomposity and magical dexterity.
But although some may find their nostalgic journey through early Fills rock and 'l V themes a little self-conscious and indulgent. 'I'he ( iirls still ooze originality and charm that will win over the worst sceptic. (Adrian Searle)
I The Girls (And the Great Xar) (Fringe). Assembly Rooms (Venue 3 ) 236 2428. 1‘) Aug—l Sept. midnight. £6 (£5 ).
ANOTHER EVENING WITH BRUTE FARCE
Dressed in black tie. this three man act is fast and very tidy. Yet to anextcnt Brute Farce are victims of one of the very thingsthcy vigorously satirise. modern ady . rtising and marketing ‘ they score highly for presentation but not for content. Although thisisthe slickest revue act I've seen
on the Fringe yet. the black humour is not that amusing or original. Their sketches about (iod and religion. the royal family. old and much abuse. TV comedies (like Are You Being Served) draw too mueh on alternative TY satire like that ofSpillmg Image. Where their material lacks freshness they compensate in their polished and intelligent delivery. but not enough. (Robert Alstcadl IAnother Night With Brute Farce (Fringe) Festival Club (Venue 36) 3200539. until 1 Sept (not Mons). 10.30pm. £3,5ll(£3),
: _ WENDY HARMER
Jetting around the world and doing a cabaret show immediately afterwards do not usually mix 'l‘ypically. the mind is dulled. the audience unfamiliar and the material untested. Wendy I larmer is not a typical comediennc. Ninety percent ofher
' audience seems to be Melbourne born and bred (not to mention the fellow members of that town's