LEONARDO: ANATOMY OFA SOUL
Adapted from the notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci. Leonardo: A natomy ofa Soul forms a series of dramatic jottings.
Using their own bodies. computerised projections of the artist's work and a digital sotmd track evoking the bells and lutes of Renaissance Italy. the actors pay tribute to Leonardo as a scientist and a man passionately interested in the human form.
The production. devisee at the Massachusetts Institute of'l echnology and involving actors from four countries. shows a sincere understanding both of Leonardo and the 15th century and oftheir relevance for the present day.
A sweaty btit sensitive spectacle of Renaissance. (Harriet Swain)
I Leonardo: Anatomy ota Soul (Fringe) Moray House Theatre. 3" Holyrood Road (Venue 1(18) 55b5184. until 1 Sept. 2.30pm. £3.5()(£3).
THE MARRIAGE OF BETTE AND BOO
A very black cotnedy. 'I‘lie .‘l'larriagr’ ()in’IIt’ and Boo dissects an ‘ordinary‘ Catholic marriage in 1950s America. What we are shown. in vignettes covering thirty years. is a catalogue ofdisasters and misunderstandings as the couple and their respective relatives carry on regardless ofeach other. If Bette and Hoo's marriage is falling apart. it is at least better than those oftheir parents who. trapped in their own misconceptions. pay no attention to each otherat all.
This should be too sad to watch. but it is rendered hilarious by Christopher Durang's brilliant script and by USC‘s fine cast of
24The List 31 Angust —- 13 September IOTA)
character actors. Durang is especially good on the indifference of the (‘atholic church to the problems of its children and the elderly and slightly deranged parents are excellently played by L'SC‘s young actors. (Frances (‘ornford)
I The Marriage of Bette and Boo (Fringe) Festival Theatre USC —- USA. Southside Community Centre (Venue 82). 31 Atig. 7pm. £3 anti £2.50.
comedy. but it‘s a tough act to follow. (Tom Lappin)
I Chris Lynam (Fringe) The Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 2262151. Until 1 Sept. 9pm.£5.5() (£4.50).
(‘oming on stage. one by one. in a catwalk parody. Alex Langdon. Vicki (‘oren and Lewis McLeod are introduced to us.
(‘ompere Vicki. whois just seventeen. succeeds in being funny. inspite of never having done stand-up before and deals with amongst other things. drinking. smoking and swearing.
Alex. the youngest of the three. deals with the problems of being fourteen in a style reminiscent of a young Jeremy Hardy. while Lewis McLeod. who is nineteen. performs some excellent impressions that include Alec (iuiness. Sean Connery and some very Chris Lubyesque noises. Clearly this is where his talents lie.
All three present polished sets that smack of older and more experienced performers and 1 have no doubt that great things lie ahead of them. (Paul Maverick)
I MinorComolications (Fringe) '1 he (‘omedy Room (Venue 67) 550 ()49‘). until 1 Sept. 7.3()pm.£5 (£4).
Rude. offensive and downright outrageous at times. ('hris Lynam's comedy sometimes seems about to go beyond humour into the realinsot embarrassment. before he gets a grip on the show and turns it around. Spontaneous. very visual and fond of the dreaded audience participation. Lynam doesn‘t tell gags so much as create them out of thin air. Performance takes on a more important role than lines. and gestures are more effective than punchlines. Particularly skilful is the hilarious parody ofthose overblown old jazz singers and their ridiculous vocal contortions.
And yes. he did dohis notorious finale. lfyou want to experience a particularly surreal sensation. try sitting in the middle ofthe world‘s greatest arts festival watching a naked man with a Rotnan candle (alight) up his bum. It may not be art. it may not be
Theatricalentrepreneur Jennifer Black. who runs the Harbinger Theatre ('ompany. debut-directs this Scottish premiere of I.er lses'slers' ()rplians. And an excellent job she hasdonc of it
Set in Philadelphia. Treat and Philip are two orphaned brothers surviving via Treats‘ small-time villainy: Harold. is a big-time crook kidnapped by Treat and held for ransom. When no-one pays the ransom. Harold ‘adopts' the ‘1)ead lind kids' and grooms and loves them like a father. And the changing balance ()1 power culminates in an electric confrontation of emotion.
Actors Derek Lord. John Kazek and (iary Mel .eod are a (iod-send to both their director and characters. If this piece exemplifies their standards. then we can
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look forward to many promising future productions. Definitely a company to look out for. (Robert (‘avanah)
I Orphans (Fringe) Harbinger Theatre Co. Bedlam Theatre (Venue 49) 225 9893. until 1 Sept. 8. 15pm. £4 (£3).
Vietnam is not an easy subject. It has messed up all kinds of well-intentioned people. Fortunately Paradox. the company performing Phil Melling‘s new play. Hotel Vietnam. have come through and survived.
The play is set in the late 198(1s in Saigon where an American couple are looking for their war veteran son. It gives the audience three perspectives of the war years ~- that ofthe Vietnamese hotelier. who remained in Saigon throughout the conﬂict and is learning to cope with American tourists. that ofthe Americans. who remained at home and did not understand the transformation in their son on his return. and finally that ofthe son himself.
Avoiding the clichés and sentimentality of much recent treatment ofthe war. Hotel Vietnam manages to be both sensitive and controversial and shows respect for the city of Saigon itself.
Beautifully staged. it is almost worth seeing for the original music by Anne-Marie Williams alone.
To be confronted. (Harriet Swain)
I Hotel Vietnam (Fringe) Paradox at the Wee Red Bar. (‘ollege of Art. Lauriston Place (Venue 73) 229 1003. until 1 Sept 7pm. £4 (£3).
AMERICAN ONE ACTS
In its 15th season on the Fringe. the Festival
Theatre from the University of Southern California is offering. along with nine other productions. three contemporary American one act plays.
1n Doug Wright’s The Stonewater Rapture we are transported back in time to a small Texan town. Two teenagers face life under the pressure of peers. parents and religion. All Whitney wants to do is get on the football team and get laid.) but his only girlfriend, Carlyle. is saving herself for Heaven.
Post Cards is written by Carol Mack and takes place on a beach where two middle age women try to cheer up a young lady. As the young woman reveals more about herself , she spreads depression like suntan oil. Fast, colourful and cracking. Post Cards is what all one acters should be like.
Lanford Wilson‘s Ludlow Fair drops in on two roommates with very
different views oflife. Rachel is beautiful but neurotic. Agnes is fed up
One act plays are like
1 short stories. They are a
definite art form demanding tight dialogue and immediate atmosphere. A trio by different playwrights invites comparisons and these come off unevenly. (Kerry Napuk)
I Three Contemporary American One Acts Festival Theatre USC (Fringe). Southside Community
Church(Venue 82)667 i 7365.until30Aug2pm.£2 ‘ I (£1.50). ;
ANSWERED THE PHONE TO STANISLAVSKI
Don‘t be fooled by the apparent pretentiousness of the name — it is in fact a
. remarkably accurate
summary. The telephone ofthe title is the recurring
' motifin this quirky play: a
link to the outside world.
never comforting like the
I Maureen Lipman adverts. ) ltemphasisesthe frailtyof
the man whose mother took too long to say she loved him. and probes the insecurities in his relationship with his wife. Structured with a series of recalled moments. the play consiste ofthe emotional memory of the great man. There is just a touch too much ofthe aforementioned granite to
make it entirely convincing. (David McKenzie)
I My Mother Answeredthe Phone to Stanislavslti (Fringe) Respice Prospice. Harry Younger Hall (Venue 13). until 1 Sept. 7.30pm. £5 (£4).
COMEDY STORE PLAYERS
With so many improv acts on offer at this year's Fringe. familiarity could easily breed contempt. But with five years behind them. the Comedy Store Players have to be the most accomplished of the current batch.
All graduates of Who 's Line ls It Anyway 7’. the pedigree of the players is clearly visible throughout the show. They grapple with even the most obscure audience suggestion and cope manfully with the ubiquitous wanker who shouts ‘blow-job!‘ at every available opportunity.
Although there is an occasional sense of deja vu (you would be forgiven for expecting the imminent arrival of Anderson or Sessions). the ingenuity and machine-gun wit ofthe group can only leave the audience helpless with laughter. (Adrian Searle) I Comedy Store Players (Fringe) Assembly Rooms (Venue 3) 226 2428. until 1 Sept.
10. 15pm. £6 (£5).
TANGO TIEMPO Tango Tienipo is a short potted history of the tango — four dancers perform different tangos to music played by the three on-stage musicians. The guitarist. singer relates the story in broken linglish. Unfortunately. the guitarist's Hispanic accent is the most exotic thingon the stage. for though the dancing is very good. these English dancers do not convey the steamy sensualiton a back street Buenos Aires bordello. Also the distinctions drawn between the workers' tango in Argentina. and the bourgeois tango of Paris. are so subtle that it all looks roughly the same. Though there is some stamping. there is not enough steam. (Fly Freeman) I Tango Tiempo Festival Club (Venue 36) 2200539. until 1 Sept. 10.45 pm. £3.5()(£3).