Moving poetry

A For those who missed Bob * Kingdom‘s first excursion as Dylan is his follow up. Dylan I Thomas: Return Journey. once again l directed by Anthony Hopkins. Kingdom has been widely acclaimed for not merely playing or imitating Thomas. but for being Thomas. Indeed he does have an uncanny resemblance. and his dark melodic baritone is a good approximation of the voice in the BBC archives. But most importantly he invests in his performance a manic intensity. and speaksthe poetry as fervently asifhe ; had written it himself. i ' ‘Working with Bob.‘ says Hopkins. 3 ‘has been a revelation. because I saw ; how passionately he feels and ' identifies withThomas. . . sometimes. and often. the two personalites seem to merge‘. Kingdom. born in Cardiff. I eventually got his first Thomas show togetherin 1985. after ‘messing i around’ in pubs and at parties. : ; Anthony Hopkins had wanted to i 39-, ., play Dylan Thomas for years. and ,, ». after seeing Bob‘s performance in a : i in" "" Soho pub theatre was so impressed i Anthony Hopkins (left) directs Bob Kingdom ; he offered to direct the first show. in Dylan Thomas: BetumJourney ‘We both share a love ofThomas, and of the tragedy and the life.‘ says presentation of poetry by 7—1 1 year Kingdom. ‘Which is so very seductive ; olds. Selected and in some cases and beguiling. but there are so many written by the children, the poems

Poetry in Motion is a

FESTIVAL 9‘71" \I/

are loosely structured within themes of going to bed, dreams and night-time, picture book (the children’s view of brothers, parents and animals), and playground. The children use movement, music and sound effects to illustrate the show, and the poets featured include Brian Patten, Norman MacCaig, and Hugh MacDiarmid.

Anne Tinline, the director of the show, picked the young actors from auditions, but has not imposed her own adult ideas on the process. She has enabled the cast to pick and choose which poems they liked, as long as they fitted into the thematic sections.

A refreshing Fringe show, devised by children and taken from their own point ofview, that includes contemporary and original poetry, at turns humorous and moving. (Michael Balfour)

I Dylan Thomas: Return Journey (Fringe) Bob Kingdom, Assembly Rooms (Venue 3) 2204349, 10, 11, 13—15, 18. 20—22, 26, 28—31 Aug, 12pm,£6 (£5.50); 16, 17, 23—25 Aug, £7 (£6).

I Poetry in Motion (Fringe) Edinburgh Acting School, Davis Snooker Club (Venue 50) 12—17 Aug, 12pm,£3.50(£2.75).

um— ; Tall stories

1 ‘In all of us there‘s a child waiting to hear a story.‘ A programme of Scottish storytellers providing traditional tales

in every genre; fantastical, historical, heroical, supernatural and allegorical, , comical and tragical.

David Campbell, organiser of the mini-storytelling festival and ex-BBC producer, has a strong opinion on how importantthe art form is. ‘Traditional stories today, as ever, carry our cultural inheritance, our identity and because they bring people together they hold a key to our future,‘ he says. ‘Television sets should, for the duration of childhood, be banished or at least bear a government health warning.’

Duncan Williamson, one of the other nine storytellers taking part, was born in a tent on Loch Fyne and through his travelling lite on the road has in 50 years collected 3000 stories in his head and a wheen of ballads. Like Campbell he believes that retelling has a magical influence on one’s life. ‘Atoy will break orwear out oryou will lose it,’ he says, ‘but you can keep a story forever.‘

The line-up also includes Paraig MacNeil, who ‘commutes between ; here and the 17th century’, Sheila and Andrew Douglas who were the first to bring the folk stories ‘out of the nooks and crannies and into the festivals‘,

Willie MacPhee, an 81-year-old piper/traveller, and Montana-born

the American folk tradition and begins hertales with: ‘l‘ll learn you a story, eye to eye, mind to mind, and heartto heart.‘

Anotherteller of tales to recommend is Simon the Storyteller, who invites children to make up their own stories, structuring a workshop that introduces his little guests to a world of songs, masks, costumes, make-up, scenery, stage lighting and some very special effects. There‘s also an expanded * collection of weird and wonderful

accompany their own play, including

some extraordinary musical ‘stlcks' of Simon‘s own devising.

Simon‘s Do It Yourself Theatre enables children to liberate their imaginations and discover how fun theatre can be. The children, through a relaxed and enjoyable process, learn about putting together a simple 20430 minute show featuring anything from a dozen space pirates marooned in an inter-galactic lunch box on the outer rim of the galaxy to a very stupid giant

with seven heads. A final tree production is performed, dictated by u the children‘s suggestions and only

pragmatically directed by Simon. Furthermore, while the children are

. hard at work, the parents get the

Linda Bandelier, who tells stories from

musical instruments forthe children to

morning off and are suitably rewarded and surprised by the children’s dramatic accomplishments. This special baby-sitter is back for another Fringe. Booking advisable. (Michael Balfour)

Stories-A Living Legacy (Fringe) Scottish Traditonal Storytellers, Theatre Workshop (Venue 20), 226 5425,9—18Aug,10.45am,£3.50 (£2.50).

Simon The Storyteller's Do-lt-Yourself

Theatre (Fringe) Simon the Storyteller, .

Calton Centre (Venue 119) 661 9121, 9—17 Aug (not Sun), 10am, £4.50. Free performances start 12.45pm

Michael Balfour picks out

live shows worth getting up

early for.

I Off-beat America (A Mask ;

Fantasy) Working not

from a script, but towards l


a script. the award-winning American festival Theatre explores the nature of improvisation ' Off BeatAmerica (Fringe) A merican Festival Theatre Workshop, Randolph Studio ( Venue 55) 225 ; 5366,12—31Aug(no!18), 10am, £2.50 (£1.50). I Duelques Ffeurs Liz Lochhead and Stuart Hepbum in two f intertwined new monologues. Promises to be warm. witty and i touching. l l l

Quelques Fleurs (Fringe) Liz Lochhead. Assembly Rooms ( Venue 3) 220

4349. 11-15, 19-22 Aug. 11.45am, £6.50 ([5); 16,

17, 23—25 Aug. [7(1'6).

I Scarlattl's Wedding An I outrageoustheatre party. a in a light-hearted feast of ' ludicrous parody and virtuoso classical musicianship. Party hats are provided, as well as ' masks for the bashful.

i Scarlatti's Wedding

(Fringe) Natural Theatre Company, Assembly Rooms (Venue 3) 220 4349,11—25 Aug (not 18). . 11.45am, £0.50 ([5); 16. ! 17,23—25 Aug, [7. 50 (£6).

I Slight Possession 1

Talking Tongues isa '

young and innovative

company (winners ofthe

Guardian International

Student Award)

presenting a mixture of

intense narrative. film.

; and physical theatre.

: Slight Possession (Fringe)

I Talking Tongues, Richard

} Demarco Gallery (Venue

322) 5570707, 12—24Aug



;IThe GreatGranny

l Robbery The highly

A professional

' Nottinghamshirc

Education in an inspired dance version of Rob Lewis's children's story. The Great Granny Robbery (Fringe)


l l l i l


Education, TheatreArts ; Centre (Venue 16) 667 (2388, 12—17Aug, 11pm. [[3 (£1.50).


9am—1pm Whaddaya mean, you're still in bed? Grab the kids. knock back the black coffee and the Pro-Plus, and take in one of the wealth of momlng shows.

The List 9— 15 August 1991 23