the beautiful people. the finale cannot come soon enough. (Philip Parr).

I Le Grandes Meaulnes (Fringe) Young Vic Young(‘ompany. Assertiny (Venue 3) 2le 434‘). until 17 Aug. 2pm. £(i.5ll'£7.5(l(£5 £6).


The mysterious world of the lonely -hearts columns is a gilt of a target for comedy . and this sharply ()bsery ed. if over-extended. tale of a sex-starved yuppie braving the box numbers wastes little ofthc potential for humour. The format is much as you'd expect our herogoes through a succession of disastrous dates with a variety of weird and wonderful women (a feminist nymphomaniac. a Russian with a passion forT.S. [Clint ). between times analysing what went w mug with his best (female) friend. Apart from a few lapses into stereotype (such as the neurotic New Age American w ho is Neil's first date). and the fact that the subiect isalmost (rm easy to send up. it‘san enjoyable. if undemanding. tour through the minefield of modern romance. (Sue \Vilson)

I Heartland ( Fringe) (‘onledcracy' of Fools. (’haplaincy (‘entre (Venue ~3) 5565184. until 31.»\ug(not.\lons). 2.25pm. £5 (£4).



Sparks begin to fly very early on in Strokingthe

Karl MacDermott

Pigeons. barely stopping until the lights dim at the end. Jerry shouts at ()liver. ()liver at .lerry. Sarah at ()liyer thcn.lerry. and both ()liy er and Jerry at Sarah. And so it goes on. Relentlessly. lotsof yyell-intentioned but futile comments on the Meaning of life and Art. [inter l,ouise. at whom no one shouts because she is mentally handicapped. yet ultimately stronger than all ofthern. Settingthe play in a

squat is a nice idea. but the

sentimentsare trite and well-worn. A shame really . as Show\\'o.‘ytan are a talented group ol young actors. sadly let down by a poor script. (Aaron Hiekliltl

l Slrokinglhe Pigeons (Fringe). Show \VoMan Productions. St ('olumba's by the ( ‘astle (Venue «l ). 226 5435. until 26 August (not lh’). 2.15pm. “(8).


The Assembly Rooms has .1 good track record in staging impressiy e theatre from South Africa and this year is no exception. :t! 'l'lie Iirlge tells the history of a group of people normally forgotten in discussions about South Africa; Indians who bought themselves out of

indentures and set up their own communities complete with schools and services.

Pat Pillai is asuperb storyteller and. play ing all the parts. he builds a complete picture of one of these communities. ('ato .‘ytanor. Through the storiesof(‘ut-neck Bobby and his ridiculous brother. of Pays -Payv. hard on the Outside. but soft on the inside. of Mrs .‘yloonien's exorcism. we are giy en a picture of a place ys ith its own language. humour and beliefs w inch is destroyedentiicly by the .-\partheid settlement laws till 1958.

The sparse first night audience proy ided a poor subject for Pillai to \y case his spells upon but . with the full house he desery es. lie ys ill be magical. (Frances ( ’ornford)

IN The Edge ( l-ringe) Baxter 'I'heatrc (South Attica). Assembly Rooms (Venue3)33ll434().o 15 Aug. 2pm. L‘o(£5). {Tl Lo) lb. l7Aug.



If you are looking for a

wee gem of a lunch-time entertainment then perhapslapanese Theatre. Scottish verses. Bahamian or Latin-American music would gladden your day'.’ ()r do you need somewhere to take the kids at the weekends? Read on. ..

The Acoustic Music (‘entre (Venue 25 ) offers John Milligan. folk singer in the auld tradition on 17 and 2-1 Aug at 2pm; plus the chance to skip the fattening repast and sing yourselfthrougb lunchtime with Christine Kydd. 20—23 Aug at 1.30pm.

Bahamian music comes from the ('haplaincy (‘entre (Venue 33) 12-17 Aug at 2pm; and world music with the popular Awatinas ison 12—17 Atig at 2pm. at Randolph Studio(Venue 55).

There are chances to see Japanese dance and theatre styles in action with a demonstration by Nakamura Matazo. a grand master of Kabuki. at BP Studio'I'heatre. part ofthe Book Festival on 17 Aug


at 3pm. and with local performers Petronumen. who use the Buto technique to explore the setting outside the Scottish Poetry Library. Tweeddale Court. l3. 15. ll). 22. 37. 2‘) Aug at 2pm. The SPl. also present daily (‘ourty'ard Readings at ' 2.30pm (Venue 5o).

Leicestershire Youth Dance are staunch Fringe performers. and this year they explode into orbit with The Planets. based on , llolst‘sscorc. 19—24 Aug. 3pm at St Ann‘s (‘ommunity ('entre (Venue (i5 ).

The Fringe wouldn't be the Fringe without Fringe Sunday and Fringe at the Seaside. The Sunday is 18 Aug. l--7pm at l Toly‘rood Park with every sideshow under the sun (we hope) plus the popular dance platform. The relevant seaside is l’ortobello -- golden sands and children's shows. a market. buskers a chance to leave the crowded city and sample the fresh sea air. 17 Aug. l—5.3()pm.

(Tamsin (irainger)

(delete as appropriate)

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Apparently spending a few day s camping in the bathroom of his friend ls'laus Barbie in Bolivia. Karl MacDermott talks about his job - writing statements of regret for Northern Irish paramilitary groups his childhood and. as comedians invariably do. about masturbation. There‘s a lot of film nostalgia and a few rather tasteless references to his penpal's namesake. the Barber of Lyons. Although occasionally very funny. MacDermott struck me as nerdish and his humour middle-of—the-road. The audience. however. seemed to enjoy the show and. of the three strikingly hirsute men in the front row who were previously muttering about causing trouble. two laughed throughout and the other one fell asleep. Two out of three can‘t be bad. (Miranda France)

I An Afternoon With Klaus Barbie's Penpal (Fringe) Karl MacDermott. (iilded Balloon Theatre (Venue 38) 2302151 . until 3! Aug (not Mon). 1.30pm. £4 (£3 ).

_- August NW 31