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Based on old Yiddish stories lrom the Russia that existed before the Great War, A Dybbuk For Two People tells of a love taken to extremes of life and death. Although steeped in Jewish culture, it never excludes audience members of other races no sooner have the lights gone up than we are welcomed to a meal, and later invited to a wedding.

Not only that, this is theatre born of the ancient art at storytelling, and here it is made utterly compelling due to a remarkable virtuoso performance by Bruce Myers. His consummate skill shines at every turn as he-moulds the rhythm ot the piece, building to moments ot great comedy here and



()Idham’s a funny place isn't it‘.’ Much funnier titan Halifax and Leeds

any way . This seems to be the basic premise on which Bob Dillinger's show is based.


individual nuances ol northern English towns are bound to be somewhat lost on an lidinburgh audience (or indeed any audience not within spitting distance ofthe l’ennines). The occasional reference to the inadequacy-ofllibshelps i to draw the audience back i into the show but this is Unfortunately . the

3 1‘3: 2"! ° .3 A? profound sadness there. Continually alert to even the subtlest audience reaction, he creates that all too rare sense of the stimulating immediacy of theatre.

But this Dybbuk is tortwo people, and in a rush of hyperbole it is untorgivably easy to ignore the contribution at Corrine Jaber. She glides from charm to menance in a performance of great versatility, knowing just when to emerge trom Myers' eclipse. Dybbuk is not only the best show I have seen so tar at the 1991 Fringe, it is one of the most enjoyable and invigorating l have ever seen. (Alan Morrison)

A Dybbuk ForTwo People (Fringe) Assembly Rooms (Venue 3) 220 4349, until 31 Aug (not 20, 27) 8pm,

. £7.50/E8.50'(£5.50/£6.50).

. Jiist one ot any numberol

annoyingly obvious targets which Dillinger seems unable to resist (Day id leke may be funny btit we‘ve surely exhausted him by now haven‘t we'.’).

, An adequate supporth ' provided by (‘aroline Alterne in her guise of Sister Mary Immaculate. But no matter how good

an idea it is. she only really has one joke. Overall. a magnificently average hour ofstand-up. (Philip Parr) IAnotherSide olBob Dillinger ( Fringe) Bob Dillinger. The Pleasance (Venue 33). 55(1 (1550, until3l Aug(no13‘)). 9pm. £5.50 £5 (£4 £4.50).



Ady ance publicity that places ()ur Merv in a ‘music hall' tradition is actually a bit misleading. Sure enough. the act revolves around various comic songs knocked out on a piano. but the style and content are of an entirely different era. Whereas most of the comedians dotted around lidinburgh are kids of 'l‘hatchcr‘sts’lls. Stutter is unashamedly a product of thetylls. lleapproaches

similar material - John Major's blandness. the (iulf War like a protest singer turned stand-up. This is the comic voice of the baby boom generation. and none the less valid for it.

Easily one of the most amiable acts around. Stutter is cheeky rather than offensive. slightly rude rather than toilet-bowl vulgar. Some strange quirk of programming means that when he completes a more serious anti-war routine. explosions burst out from the Tattoo overhead. If that doesn't show that Stutter has something to say. i don't know what does. (Alan Morrison)

I Our Merv(Fringe) Mervyn Stuttcr. See Red (Venue 4). 2200541 . unti 26 Aug (not 18). 8pm.£5 (£4).\


Hey. why stop with a time travelling First World War soldier? Why not chuck in throw-away lines about doing unmentionable things over pictures of

(iloria lltmniford. make pylons into a romantic \ ision on a par with rainbow s over Niagara and include a spot of transy esticism'.’

{\rlltu r Smith. whose stand-up routines rer largely on insults and swift


shown that his w ritittg can encompass all of the above and more. Perhaps more importantly. he is also not afraid to forget the comedy to make a poignant statement. This could be the heginningof a beautiful career. (Philip Parr)

I Trench Kiss (Fringe) Incidental Theatre. The Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 (1550. until 35 Aug.

8. I0pm. £6.35 £6.75 (£5.25 £5.75).



When Skinner's parents natned him Frank. they must have known a thing or two. This boy tells it how it is. and that means naming those bodily fluids with carefree abandon. .\'ot that he tries tooffcnd for the sake of it. The sordid details are a natural corollary of an engaging anecdotal style that had the audience loving him in minutes. which must be a first for someone hailing from Birmingham. Working with the crowd. without humiliatingthem. Skinner is a natural comic. able to take off at a tangent. spark offone-liners, or calm things down with a slow-burn story. inevitably he returns to some stand-up staples; masturbation.teachers. childhood, but does it with a freshness of approach that marks him out as one of the best of the new crop of British stand-ups. (Tom Lappin) l Frank Skinner(Fringc). Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550.7—31Aug.9pm.£6 (£5). Fri—Sun £6.50 (£5.50).

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52 The List 16— 22 August 1991