A bedroom farce showing the failing relationship between two ordinary. fairly dull graduates. hardly seems a promising beginning for a play. However. when the spotlight turns on a chorus figure in the form ofa feminist psychosexual councillor. the play takes on an interesting new dimension. With scalpel's edge diagnoses and acerbic humour. she strips the typical relationship down to its bare. pathetic bones— a ritualistic child‘s play driven by adult desires.

It‘s a pity none ofthe characters, although real and convincing. are so unsympathetic. Ultimately. no happy medium is struck between the desperate mutual loyalty of the couple and ruthlessness of the councillor; the play succeeds in showing emptiness by being empty itself. (Robert Alstead) I Love-APsychologlcal Perversiiy (Fringe) Confederacy of Fools. Chaplaincy Centre (Venue 23) 5565184. until 31 Aug (not Mons) 6.15pm. £5 (£4).


The concept of seven singing brothers sounds like it really must belong to the mythological world of sentimental musicals. but in a Fringe where anything can happen. the Jones Boys are there as real as can be. singing everything from early Purcell up to the Persuasions.

Any notion of sentimentality disappears too as it was rugby which actually prompted the brothers to sing together. ‘We started last year when youngest brother. Gareth. was old enough to join the rest of us to form a rugby seven .’ says oldest brother. Richard. ‘At the

same time as playing rugby we did a couple of songs and now have an extensive repertoire. There are lots of numbers relevant to us too. like The Whole Town's Talking About The Jones Boys and He Ain't heavy. He's My Brother.‘ Richard and William. who is a teacher in Edinburgh. both sing professionally. but the others have an assortment of careers including journalist. caterer. sheet metal worker. Royal Marine. male model and schoolboy ranging in age from 16 to 35. And when more variety is required. mum and dad Jones have three Jones Girls waiting in the wings ready and willingto join their brothers. (Carol Main) I The Jones Boys (Fringe) And Can It Be'.’. St Paul’s and St George‘s (‘hurch (Venue 144) Thurs 22—Sat 24 Aug. 7pm. £3.51) (£2.50).



The story of Bonaparte O‘Coonassa and ‘his oul grey fella‘ is a cracking good yarn by Flann O‘Brien which sadly fails to survive this transition to the stage. despite the


Cuban heels

There would not be a Ballet Nacional de Cuba without the prima ballerina | assoluta, Alicia Alonso. A star ol some - I 50 years, who began her career on | Broadway dancing the steps oi some of : the most famous American ! choreographers that have ever lived - 1 Agnes de Mille, Balanchine, and 1 Jerome Bobbins ol West Side Story 1 lame -Alicia is the General Director ol j the company, and still dances major l roles - Nureyev eat your heart out!

The story at the company is a varied one. Founded in 1948, it was impossible in pre-revolutionary Cuba to keep the ballet company alive -the dictator, Batista, withdrew funding in 1956. But with Castro’s triumph three years later the company was remodelled with great success, and invitations have poured in lrom all the world’s best festivals ever since.

The company brings two different shows to Edinburgh. Don Quixote is a “robust comedy with character dances'. Based on the novel by'Cervantes, it has a complicated plot lull at human intrigue with a happy ending.

Altemately, they present a triple bill with tragedy: Les Sylphides is a romantic ballet, with girls in floating white dresses, set to Chopin’s lush

music. A p


oet sylphs against the backdrop of a ruined monastery. Lorca’s classic tragedy, The House of Bernada Alba, meanwhile, tells of the oppressive . household at a recent widow who cares ? more about what the neighbours think than the happiness ol her many daughters. And the little-known Dido Abondanada is the tale of Dido and Aeneas, whose love is thwarted by Jarba, a Moorish King. Spectacularly, the evening goes up llames. (Tamsin

. '3; r. o -"

v 3“." ‘14 ‘1, '~ I k '

ances with ghostly

Don Quixote (International Festival) Ballet Naclonal de Cuba, King’s Theatre, 225 5756, 20 and 22 Aug, 7.30pm; 24 Aug, 2.30pm, 28—21850. Les Sylphldes (International Festival) Ballet Nacional de Cuba, King's Theatre, 225 5756, 21 and 23 Aug, 7.30pm; 25 Aug, 3pm, 28-21850.

undeniable talents ofthe two actors involved. A surfeit of chortles at various aspects of ‘Gaelic misery‘ are lost through a lack of dramatic articulation imaginative staging. including the Pugwash-style presentation of various other characters. simply cannot overcome the remorselessly static fact of two men reading from a single monologue.

The result is a peculiarly disengaging piece. which without hard concentration feels as ifit is being delivered in a foreign language. Despite its humorous commentary on the treatment ofGaelic culture by both Irish and Eng-leash. it never becomes more than ‘a cripple footed. but energetic‘ play which sends you to the book. (Stephen Chester)

I The Poor Mouth (Fringe) Priory Productions. Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550. until31 Aug(not 27). 6pm. £5.5()/£6 (£4/£4.5()).


Sinking Ark‘s great success at Edinburgh‘s Festival of the Environment encouraged Zero/One to ‘get themselves in the Fringe programme at the last moment. on the last day at 4.45pm.‘The show is an ‘environmental musical‘ written and directed by Malcolm Le Maistrc (Incredible String Band) and is the story ofhow humans are destroying the environment and with it the animal kingdom. Maistrc is weary ofthe cliches of ideological theatre. but at the same time he believes ‘one has to deal with the reality of our situation. and the message is to think about what one does and what is happening to the world.‘

' The show is performed by

children and this ‘adds to the credibility". but the show also boasts colourful

characters and costumes

and eleven infuriatingly catchy songs. (Michael Balfour)

I Sinking Ark ( Fringe) Zero/One. Viewforth Centre. (Venue 44). 229 0044.19-24 Aug. 7.30pm.

. £2.50(£1.50).



‘I love the smell ofanother man on my wife.‘ reveals the aristocratic Charles in the opening line ofthis dark comedy. And so he embarks on a sordid game

to satisfy his obsession to steal obscene glances of his wife. Dawn. cavorting with strange men.

He dresses her like a doll. creating a 'Babycham tart' ofa monster called Rebecea.

rcvelling in perverse ; sexual ecstasy when she j gets picked up by Mike the

Stud at the seedy Ileatcr night club. However. his kinky adventure turns sour as his ‘creation' and the beefeake fall in love (after Mike serenades her with ‘Rebecea in the Dark‘— his own composition) and the ‘monster‘ seeks revenge on her creator.

A twisted. quirky. and demonic comedy ofgothic proportions. (Michael Balfour)

I Sleep With Me Too (Fringe) Gone Fishin' Theatre Company. Buster Brown‘s (Venue 60). 226 4224. until 24 Aug. 6pm. £5 (£3).



When the Poly starts running coursesin

I creative comedy. this

show will be the classic model ofthat late-80s phenomena ‘stand-up'. Special attention will be paid to the numerous splendid and many-hued Thatcher jests. and to rambling anecdotes commencing ‘Have you ever noticed/ It‘s a funny thing/Isit just me or. . .‘

But even ifyou‘ve heard it many times before. the gags that time forgot are still chuckle-worthy. and after an extremely slow start with an extremely small audience Eddie lzzard‘s enthusiasm eventually overcomes resistance to material drained of interest several years earlier.

It is funny. but when several pints oflager equal a single ticket you‘re better offgetting pissed instead. (Stephen Chester)

I Just The Words (Fringe) Eddie lzzard. Counting House (Venue 66) 226 2151.until31Aug(not Tues). 6pm. £5 (£4).



As you rush to the King’s for the nineteenth show of the day, it seems fitting that this International Festival showcase production should be about an actor. An actor. what is more, who is lost in the world of the characters he once acted. cut off from

livinga truthful life. A degree ofempathy here. I feel.

The weakness of Kunio Shimizu's play is that it doesn‘t so much develop as elaborate you get the basic idea pretty early on and not much else afterwards. The twin strengths are Peter Barnes‘s witty translation and Ninagawa‘s relatively restrained. but beautiful production light criss-crossing the ruined cinema ofa stage. cool breezes blowing in from the wings and one momentous visual coup at the play's climax.

The play's metaphorical meaning— something to do with revolution. liberation and truth - doesn't make itselfclear to a Western audience. but is sufficiently well acted to hold us on a literal level. (Mark Fisher)

I Tango at the End oi Winter (International Festival) Ninagawa Company. King‘s Theatre. 225 5756. until 17 Aug. 7.30pm; Sat mat 2.30pm, £5—£12.



There'sa strong idea at the centre ofJulie Balloo‘s nervous breakdown tragi-comedy. but it's one that‘s largely wasted on a mundane script. Moira isa woman who channels the nervous energy ofa broken marriage into the creation of a clay head. The head becomes such a focus for her traumas that. in her mind at least.it takes on a life of itsown.

But before this

dramatically intriguing development takes place. we have to go through Moira‘s long and not especially interesting life history to the point where we don't much care about howshe or the head get on. It's well-actedand there's much life tothe script. but it is theatrically unambitious. (Mark Fisher).

I Clay (Fringe) Incidental Theatre Presents. Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6551). until 31 Aug(not 29). 6.40pm. £6/£6.5() (£51550).



Dodging the tramps outside the venue and slipping into a comfy seat to appease a liberal conscience. Here poverty is neither ugly nor sordid nor smelly. and is represented by a designer slashed and grated overcoat. What is a life for others is here a symbol of

40 The List 16—22 August 1991