MILES AND MILLNER .. it.
It may sound a strange thiiigtosay when talking about a musical comedy duo. btit imagery is of paramount importance in 21 Miles and .‘ylilltier show. The originalityofthought isastounding- Iilgarasa diary-keeping Brummie getting otit of his lieadori Malibti.J.S. Bach asa precocious five-year-old. Vivaldi as the originator of jazz. Working in perfect harmony with the itiiages and music is a complete mastery ofimbecility. Many of the more physical routines are reminiscent of Abbott and (‘ostello (only this time they are funny) and even though their props let them down almost continually it simply doesn‘t matter. If. as they suggest. this is to be their last appearance at Iidinburgli then at least they're going to lcaye the audience laughing. (Philip Parr)
I Legends on the Edge of the Millennium ( Frinch Miles and .\Iilluer. 'l'lie Pleasance ( Venue 33 l 55b 0550.7 31 Auglnot29l. lll. 15pm. to £0.50
FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER
Poetic and graceful. dark and disturbing. this Oxford-based company's stagitig of Full oft/re HouseofL's/iertakesthe strongest aspects from both the Poe original and the Berkoff adaptation. The horror and the claustrophobic sense of personal tragedy that pervades Poe's works are presented in a stylised. dream-like manner that lifts a tale ofcatalepsy and
moral decay to the higher
level of an artist struggling against the power of his own imagination.
The blcakness of the set allows for this overwhelming sense of confinement to be worked
laughter without a struggle. So it‘s
SERIOUS FREE ZONE ' Hard-core stand-up by people who take themselves seriously, redeemed by a mixture of styles lrom right-on ranting to Hegleyesque deadpan. Different acts take the routine out of routine and the show is occasionally spiced by some accomplished a cappella (it you’re into that sort of thing).
The refusal of these comedians to accept the death of Thatcher is indicative of the moribund state of stand-up — still the search goes on (or the common target to draw uncritical
another night of those comedy-sale havens; dangerous dogs, turds and our ex-Premier. So much for the supposed diversity of a multi-cultural society. But, for all that, it is lunny (surprisingly) with enough crap jokes to keep you boring lriends tor a number at days; ‘I got a postcard from Austria. It was huge. They'd all signed it.‘ (Stephen Chester) Serious Free Zone, (Fringe) Calton Centre (Venue 119) 661 9121. until 31 Aug(not19,29), 10.45pm, £5024).
otit on all levels— Madeline buried alive. Roderick unable to leave the house. Edgar trapped in his own artistic consciousness. Michael ()liva's haunting score is perfectly set to the action. which itself is impeccably directed and choreographed by Rupert Warren. (Alan Morrison)
I Fall olthe House of Usher
(Fringe) ()dd Socks Theatre Company. Overseas House (Venue 19). 225 5105. 16—22 Aug and 26—31 Aug (not 20. 27.29).10.45pm.23—25 Aug. 1.30am.£4.50(£3).
' COMEDY ZONE
.-\ bumper bargain cabaret pack. with liye stand-ups tor the price ofone. ('ompere .\lark Lamarr starts the ball rolling w ith cracks about the audience's music taste arid rap artists' egos. before introducing double act (‘hris and (ieorge. The duo hay e a relaxed.
w ell-honed routitic. including ati effectiye. self-mocking spoof on comedy double acts. Then it's time for Stewart Lee. w hose deadpan sty le takes a w liilc towin the audience round. but eyentually the quietly insane surrealism of his humour gets them giggling
away. Last on stage is
Alan Parker. sell-styled ‘l'rban Warrior'. witli a sharp. well-judged send-upol earnest. 'politically correct' letty
. types. Steady chuckling
tl.roughout rather than
56 The List lb -- 32 August T‘)‘)l
KILLED THE CAT
gales of belly-laughter.
btit at just under two hours
a better deal than itiost Fringe cabaret. (Sue Wilson) I Comedy Zone (Fringe) Pleasance (Venue 33) 55b ; 6550. until 31 Aug(not Thurs 29). 10. l5pm. £6.50 £7(£5 £5.50).
Apparently. back in 1989 this very magazine proclaimed the Durham Revue the best student revue on the Fringe. Iixtrapolating backwards from this year's Durham performance. there are three possible ' explanationsfor this: I) 198‘) student rey ues w ct e of aneartli-sliatteriiigly dire quality . 2)in 1989ny- were employ trig lobotoriiised sea-sponges as reviewers. or 3 ) said sponges torrii the new generation of Durham student performers.
Now . you expect rey'ues to have the usual quota of Monty Python plagiarisms. and here they were. satisfyineg stale and unfunny. What came as a surprise is the profound influence the Two Ronnies apparently hay e iii the groves ol acadcnic. The sketches came. thick and stodgy ; the man who spoke in rhy me. the person finishingotfanother's sentence in a oo-err missus style. the (has ‘n' l)ayc routine .. Woelully unoriginal. (Tom l.appiiil I Bestiality Killed The Cat (I-ringel Durham Rey uc. (‘eltic Lodge (Venue b)
i 335 7097. l 1724 .-\ug(not I I‘ll. lll.30piii. £.3.5(l(£3l.
KABARET— CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH THE THIRD REICH
Set against the backdrop of(iermany iii the l930s this collage of song. dance and theatre tries to capture the mood ol the (ierman people as the Nazis strengthened their gripon the country . It is aii adyeiiturouschoice tor a young group. and one in which they acliieyeonly partial success. Their liy'mnal harmonies eflcctiyely capture the tiielaiiclioly of war and winter. and one ortwo songs. like the amusing. “If You Knew llet likel Do'. are good fun.
I low ey er. despite the suspenders and lace the troupe of fresh-laced girls lack real sleaze appeal. and the pow er of the grotesque aiiti-iia/i ettl'ltmtis slitiyy it ill the simultaneous slide-show. is not really eqttalled on the stage. l Robert Alsleadl
I Kabaret—Close Encounters with the Third Reichtl-iinge l Strattoid Year ( )ut ( iroup. I‘e\ll\ al (‘lub t Venue 3oto5033‘l5. until l" Aug. llmidniglit. £35003).
V CABARET TRIO GRANDE l’pstatrs at the I'esll\ al ('lub. you can titid that rare thing at the II iiige. an alternatiyc comedy-tree zone. \Valeliittg(nyaltlia is like peering oyci the generation gap to a time when all women wore red lipstick and batted their talsecyelaslies ‘I'lit‘ec women in sequins and llsllllelspel‘ltit'lit \PUUI\UI (iilbert and Sulliyan. selections from Stephen Sondheim and a lot of songs that seem todate from the 1930s.
This impression is borne out w lien for their closing number they per form a lunny send tip of orieol
tliose 4t ls propaganda films. The show is well put together —< the singers have good y oices and Kate lilmitt. the pianist . does a mean boogie woogie -but it left me w ith the bizarre feeling of hay iug been catapulted back in time.
(Frances(‘ornford) ; ITrio GrandelFringe) (Riyatitiafl'he Festiyal
('lub (Venue 36) 6502395. until l7Aug. l0.30pni.
; V CABARET
What hay e these American college kids got
that our students liaven't'.’ A wonderful sense of
humour if this show isany guide. .-\lterycarsof
j sittingthrough tliepuerile ‘ larces iiiasqueradingas
comedy from British student rey ties. the
i freshness of this show is
astounding. leounted at least four exceptionally talented natural comics w liilst the retiiaiiider of the troupe would probably walk out ofa British university comedy group because of abject tediuni. In their sketches. no-one forgets his or her lines. no-one is an acting liability and. most importantly . tlie sketches themser esare always witty and frequently hilarious. ()fspecial note
is a musical based on the
life of Nietzsche which is so elassy it could hay e been penned by Steye Martin. But ll istheit'
iniproyisation routines \y lticli steal the show . ()K.
I know w hat you‘re thinking. but done like this w e are reminded of w bat an esciting geiiieit
can be. and w hat a 1 quagmiieol boredoiit
A ndersoii. Law rence and Sessions hay c made it
into. The entire cast of , Whose Line Is It Anyway j sliouldgototliissliow to
see how it can be done. And so should you. (Philip Parr)
I Princess. Duke and King
. (Fringe) L'niversityof Chicago.(‘haplaincy
(‘entre (Venue 23) 55b 5lS-l. until 3-1 Aug ( not IS). 10. 15pm. £4 ( £3).
7 CABARET A
GILHOOLY AND SOAN IN LOVE
If you're going to base your act on one joke better make it afunny one. And Martin Soan has done just that. Resplendent in dressing gown and pyjamas. he regales us with tales of hospital life. However. this is no ‘leave your brain on the operating table‘ doctors' revue but comedy of the sharp-as-a-scalpel variety. Much ofhis material maybe a tad too surreal but all that really matters is that his. shall we say. forthright delivery elicits virtually constant laughter.
“is partner. in love and on stage. Brenda Gilhooly. takes a little more time to find her feet. Also. she cannot help grinning at her own lines which. as Jimmy Tarbuck will tell you. can lead any comic down the rocky road to quiz-show hostville. As in Soan‘s act. though. the laughs keep coming so why ask for more'.’ (Philip Parr)
I Gilhooly and Soan In Love (Fringe) The Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 (i550. S~3l Aug (not 29). 10. l5pm.£5 £5.50