This is one ofthose modern fairytales w here the heroine is a witch who wants to play football for her Country and the hero is a prince with wind problems. The Cambridge Mummers tackle their tale with more enthusiasm than art. clattering on and offstage and shouting out their lines in a way that reminds me of a primary school production.

But. after all. it isa children's show and the children in the audience are certainly amused by the burping and the business with the water pistol. while a good line in jokes with contemporary references keeps the accompanying adults from getting too restive. With a little more practice and finesse. they could leave their audience spellbound instead ofshell-shocked. (Frances Cornford)

I The Burping Prince (Fringe) Cambridge Mummers. ()verseas House (Venue 19) 225 5105. until 31 Aug(not Tue). Ilam.£2.5(l (£1.50).



Aspects at Southsidc reaffirms its reputation with an ambitious adaptation of Brecht’s Caucasian Chalk Circle. It was a brave gamble to update Brecht's parable on class and war. but it works.

Making the most of Brechtian technique. the company offe rs an exuberant performance. with some fine singing and superb use of rock and blues music. Despite occasional lapses. the cast does well to maintain the pace. with Francesca Iillis as (irusha and Ben Wong as the chorus standingout.

A striking set. constructed from scaffolding. frames much of the action. and is

L, , 26The List 16— 22 August 1991



l l I


' enhancingthebrutality of

the landscape. This is complemented both by the stark costumes and choreographed movement which underline the ridged and uniform society being portrayed. Certainly one tocatch. (Aron Ilicklin)

I Blues Chalk Circle Aspects'I‘ouring'l‘heatre. Southside ")1 (Venue S2). 667 7365. until 2-1 Aug (not IS). Ill.l5am. {4(8)


A small stage is marked

out and the audience sit closely around. L’sing ' fancifulpropsand

costumes (a single fiat or hit ofcloth representinga change ofcharacter). this professional and cxuberent American company retell the adventures of the young king with speed and invention.

With constant use of mime and help from the children. they conjure tip the era of sword and sorcery. allowing the young audience to participate in a variety of performing tasks such as being King and Queen. rabbits. lions or even a field of flowers.

Enjoyable. inclusive fun

for all ages. (Michael Balfour)

I Young King Arthur (Fringe) Imagination Company. Southside Community Centre (Venue 6’2). 667 7365. 19.21.23. 25—31 Aug. 1245 pm.£2.5(l(£2).




As part of its excellent line-up this year. ‘I’heatrc \Vorkshop has brought it’gcthcr some of I’olarid‘s most innovative multi-media artists in a week long series of v ideo screenings.

For what must be one of the most reasonably priced ev cuts of the


This show is totally ridiculous. From a frozen food warehouse in downtown Brooklyn where a mafia hood, Don Scarlatti, is getting married, it moves, without much reason, to the 18th century where Handel, Vivaldi and Bach preside over the wedding of

Scarlatti the composer.

But never mind the plot, what everybody‘s here for is the music. There are virtuoso performances of everything from Scarlatti to Presley on everything from a harpsichord to an


, “its. p "\x ~ e ‘ali‘.’ * . o \ x 9‘s O Q E‘s ' V so i“ . 51$ , 9 ,..

umbrella handle. Here is your chance to see someone eating a Ouatre Stagione pizza in time to the Four Seasons, to hear a potted history of music on the piccolo and to be bullied mercilessly by the company. It you want to be amused and bemused, it‘s a wedding worth getting an invitation to. (Frances Corntord)

Scarlatti‘s Wedding (Fringe) Natural Theatre Company, Assembly Rooms (Venue 3) 220 4349, until 25 Aug (not Sun), 11 .4Sam, £6.50/£7.50 (25/556).

Fringe. the series includes work by .lerzy Is'alina. whose recent installations at the Third Iiye Centre in (ilasgow met with considerable critical acclaim. and the haunting work of .lcr/y (ir/egor/ew ski. director (II the Sltltllo Ai'tchntie in Warsaw

As the future of the I)emarco ( 'entre hangs in the balance. it is reassuring to know that other Fringe v enues are beginningtoexperiment more with cast Iiuropean av ante garde and contemporary theatre. A w elcome contribution to the festival which shouldn‘t be ov erlooked. (Aaron I Iicklin) I Polish Contemporary Theatre'l'heaue \Vorkshop ( Venue 2“). 2265-125. Ana 1‘) 25. llam. £2.5tltil5ll).


A collection of simple storiesandexceptionally good songs ( and confidently sunglabout some unliker beasts. Beginning in a fridge and trav elling around the world. we meet a ( 'hiiiese beetle (play ed w ith genuine charm by .lulie Peterson). a rappiii' Satyr. a Catoblcpas. the Brownies. a leprechaun and a panther. Better suited for older children. w ho might appreciate the humour of the ‘stand-iip beast i'outiiies‘ more 'I he show is. however . uncondescendirig. and the pace brisk enough to keep

the younger ones awake and watchful. (Michael Balfour)

I Unlikely Myth(I-ringcl l'nlikely Theatre Company . Chaplaincy Centre ( Venue 23). 55h 518-1. until 24 Aug(not 18). Want. L2(£l ).



If bands can do cov ei‘

v ersioiis of other performers songs. why can't one comedian tise aiiother's material. particularly II the man in question w as the foundation on which modern stand-up comedy is liasetl'.’ The artsw er Is that. with the best stand-ups. the material is the performer and. in the case of [entry Bruce. v ice versa. This is why Ray Hanna‘s one-man show “or ks so w ell. He doesn‘t just ripolf Bruce's best-know n routines in the name of homage. but rises them to illustrate the career dcv eloprnent of a complex and much-hounded performer.

The ‘acC segments merge w ith semi-confcssional autobiographical details that are delivered straight to the audience. with the result that life and performance are seen as the same thing. Ilanna’s portrayal of Bruce cannot be pr aiscd enough for the way he runs tlieftill gauntlet of the man's emotionalstate - anger. love. commitment. despair. This Is a show

1 I

that is as funny . tragicand thought-provokingas its subject. (Alan Morrison) IThe Devil and Lenny Bruce ( l‘i'inge) Ray

I lanna. ( 'iilded Balloon (Venue 38). 2262151. until 31 Aug. noon. L5 (U),



Probably the shortest play appearing on the Fringe and undoubtedly among the best. .lirn Morris's bleak. nine minute look at a seaside shag is more disturbing than any ofthe two hour Dram Soc bilge which clogs the rest ofthe l'estiv al.

The account of a one-night stand is presented in a distanced style reminiscent of the shorter stories of .loyce ol' Is'elman. The refusal to allow inarticulate characters to articulate or to look beneath the surface of an incident creates a picture postcard of a play . which in turn becomes a snapshot of a common hell.

This theme is excellently serv ed by bold. bare staging and the superb acting of little and Maclcan. w ho deliver this short. sharp shock with v icious precision.

As nasty and brutal as the lives it describes. this short tragedy is bigger than Kurt: Leur and you don't get a numb bum watching it. (Stephen Chester)

I Picture Postcard

(Fringe) Fishing Net

Theatre Company . The Mersey Theatre (Venue I23) 557 005‘). until 17 Aug. 12.05pm. 12.25pm. 12.45pm: IS- 24 Aug.


I)av id \\'.\\'. .lohnstone has a CV' which includes various I’olish v entures and the ( irotow ski Theatre lath. so you expect to be assaulted with an incredibly intense one man show by a fully qualified wierdo. These hopes are dashed on both accounts howev er. and we are treated instead to a quasi lyrical. occasionally humorous account of the problems of coppingoff. A talented performer taking neither himself nor his audience to anywhere new . this is a disappointing experience. consideringJohnstone's oft claimed commitment to Truth. capital T. as in 'I‘heatrical. The potential for that rewarding moment of actor-audience interaction is present. but it is never consummated. This ispartly due toa fumbling attempt at sincerity (which can never work with a North American accent). the unfocused nature ofthe material and the use ofa venue that resembles a busy aircraft hanger. (Stephen Chester) I Gargoyle Jam ( Fringe) David \V.\V. .lohnstone. Calton Studios (Venue 7| ) 55h 7am). until 25 Aug (not Mon). 11.15am. L3.5ll(£2.5(l).


A conventional interpretation of a show which should be all too familiar to an audience. Centering on the tribulationsof the 'yoof's' of Rydell High in 195‘).

the stereotyped characters are. on the whole. acted well but without much panache although it's plain that the cast have a

lot of fun with the show.

The production and

technical standards are solid. without being

special. There are one or two good performers and singers who sustain their energy and concentration throughout. and the large group scenes are w ell directed and executed. A predictable and ov erlong show that nonetheless is enjoyable in an undemanding way.

(Michael Balfour)

I Grease (Fringe)

Leicester Youth Theatre.

St Ann‘sCommunity Centre(Venue (i5) 557 (l-lti‘). until 2-1 Aug ( not IS).noon.£3.5tl(£2). J