W5»- FESTIVAL \l/
BETWEEN THE TEETH
Language as a weapon of deception. oppression and (occasionally) self- defence is the theme of this intense. punchy one-man show. performed with taut physical control by Andrew Buckland. The (loose) storyline concerns a boy growing up in a country where doublcspeak is the dominant tongue. with the action mostly in the language — dialogue chopped and transposed. familiar phrases in strange contexts and vice versa. Sounds and meanings are exploited to darkly comic effect — racist terms used to explain fire-lighting (‘you wop your spic in here'); a ‘liar-fighting‘ class mimed like a karate lesson (‘Surprise him with an “I love you“. follow through with a “cheque‘s in the post" and finish off with a “the security forces are impartial". )' lntelligently and angrily written. powerfully performed. the show confuses at times. but this detracts only marginally from an engrossing and stimulating hour. (Sue Wilson)
I Between the Teeth (Fringe) Theatre For Africa. The Netherbow (Venue 30) 5569579. 18.104.22.168Aug. 1pm.
DEAR ISABEL/ WICKED BASTARD OF VENUS
Stripped of any hint of comedy and performed in near darkness. the Isabel and Angelo ofthis Measure for Measure adaptation appear as two tribal combatants in a battle of morality and virtue.
Isabel‘s self-assumed purity provides the fodder for Nick Sagalle‘s masturbating Angelo. who recognises his own fallibility and thus has the makings of a tragic anti-hero. But despite some strikingly innovative staging one wishes the play would explore its territory further. dwell a little longer on the paradoxes of its protagonists.
Wicked Bastard of Venus gives As You Like Itsimilar treatment. though it lacks the intensity of Dear Isabel. perhaps because it attempts to take a more darkly comic line. Here. Orlando‘s cunning
Juan Carlos ‘would rather die than live like a sick man’, so he lives a rowdy lite and contracts consumption and syphilis. The show contains well executed, sometimes exciting tangos, and songs that are beautilully sung by actress Bella Enahoro. Care has obviously been taken to create an original Argentinian atmosphere, with inventive use of the stage set. However, it’s a complicated story
where the action jumps around in time too much and most performers, coniusingly, swop characters throughout. There were many interesting parts, but as a whole it didn’t satisfy me. (Tamsin Grainger) Lipstick Tango (Fringe), Buster Theatre, Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550, until 31 Aug (not 23, 26, 27), 2.15pm, £4 (£3).
manipulation of Rosalind‘s affections leads inevitably to a stormy conclusion as Rosalind and lover Celia are drawn into a terminal turmoil.
Deftly performed by a very strong cast, but lacking the drive which made the company's previous Shakespeare adaptations so compelling. (Aaron Ilicklin)
I Dear Isabel (Fringe) Custard Factory Theatre
Co. Bedlam Theatre
(Venue 49) 225 9893. 23. 25 Aug. 2.30pm. £4 (£3). I Wicked Bastard oiVenus . as above. 22. 24 August.
V CABARET 100 LINES
Maybe it‘s the afternoon spot. Maybe it‘s the fact that audiences relish the opportunity to sit stony faced whilst the progeny of famous wits try to amuse them. But Alex Langdon (son of Dave. comedy writer) and Vicky Coren (daughter ofAlan. know-it-all) raised barely a smile. Both seemed genuinely surprised at the reaction so perhapsthe reception has been warmer previously. Perhaps it will be warmer in the future. but [don‘t think so.
All of Langdon's material is written by his
father who obviously has an abiding image of his little boy as a fourteen year old. But the ‘it‘s tough being a teenager' theme becomes increasingly ridiculous as the years roll by and young Alex leaves the acne and masturbation further and further behind. Coren talks about the problems of being a middle-class public school kid (poor baby) although slagging off father would have been eminently more amusing. (Philip Parr)
I 100 Lines (Fringe) Alex Langdon and Vicky Coren. Southside (Venue 82) 667 7365. until 31 Aug (not Suns). 2.40pm. £3.50 (£3).
V THEATRE TROPHY HUNTERS
Theatre for Africa add to their list ofexcellent shows with this musical entertainment about big game hunters. The story revolves around an Irish zoologist and an aristocratic adventuress who make up part ofa diverse expedition into the African bush. Using hunting as a metaphor, the play explores the attitudes that white people bring to Africa and the effect in turn that Africa has on them. This sounds rather weighty.
but Theatre for Africa‘s fast-paced style. witty dialogue and use ofsong makes sure the piece works on several levels. conveying important issues in a subtle and light-hearted way. (Frances Cornford)
I Trophy Hunters (Fringe) Theatre for Africa. The Netherbow (Venue 30) 5569579. 22. 24. 27.29.31 Aug. 1pm.£4.50(£3.50).
NINE BELLS FOR BENTLEY
Hanged in 1953 for his part in the murder ofa policeman. the case of Derek Bentley has now become familiar territory. the list ofwrongful convictions having become so bloated that we are in danger ofbecoming immune. But in a production that fairly crackles with indignation. Exaeting Theatre revives the thudding sense of shame and anger that such a shocking miscarriage of justice must provoke. Maintaining a fine balance between fiction and fact. the company leaves no stone unturned. makingthis a powerful and moving indictment of the police force. the law courts and the government ofthe day. which refused to bend to pressure and review the
sentence. My only problem is with the familv scenes. which are ' over-sugared and unconvincing. but these do not mar what is otherwise a strong and timely production. (Aaron llicklin)
l Nine Bells lorBentley (Fringe) Southside '9] (Venue 82) 667 7365. until Aug 24. 2pm.£3.50(£3).
THE MASTER AND MARGARITA
In this adaptation of the Bulgakov novel. the Devil arrives in Stalinist Moscow to wreak havoc among a nation ofatheists and help the Master. a writer. and his mistress Margarita escape the repressive regime into the welcome half-light of death.
This production is staged with flair and enthusiasm and is suitably fantastical. with the devil's sidekicks Behemoth. a giant cat. and Azazello. lending an air of sinister comedy to the proceedings. However the atmosphere of chaos that the cast ably create. although it reflects the power of the devil. also obscures the political allegory ofthe story and leaves the audience rather confused. marring what is otherwise an entertaining piece. (Frances (‘ornford) lThe Masterand Margarita ( Fringe) Four Corners Theatre Company. Richard
22) 557 0707. until 24 Aug. 2.30pm. £4.50 (£3.50).
MORE LUNCH-TIME GEMS
‘At half past two in Bristo Square. you‘ll hear his spaceship landing there'.
! Whose? Why. Mr Boom‘s of course.
This is another lunch-time round-up: the choicest pickings for those 1—3pm hours when you are not used to being entertained. but fancy it anyway.
MrBoom is at Venue 2on Aug 24 at 2.30pm. And afterwards there's Two Too Far. from the States — stilt dancing with Fred and Luanne. That‘s especially for kids.
For adults. Dr Hamish Henderson. poet. folklorist and songwriter. is giving a lecture and workshop at the Acoustic Music Centre (Venue 25). Entitled Scottish Folk Music Bevival-ALiving Tradition. it is on 31 Aug at 2pm.
V THEATRE .
For more music — that funky. jazzy. rock-gospel type — Phil Ng-a-Oui and Excelsis are at the Calton Studios (Venue 71 ). 28—31 Aug. 2.45pm.
Alternatively if you fancy theatre. then what about the Festival Club? There's a heavenly clash ofgreat egos there. and a newly discovered skeleton - not in the same show you understand. The Final Appearance of Miss Mamie Stuart ( 19L24 Aug.
2. 15pm) and Herr Bach and MI’ Handel (until 31 Aug. l.30pm) could be worth a visit — Venue 36.
Shaffer's Black Comedy by TNI’ Student Drama is at the Demarco (iallery (Venue 22) to convulse and confuse you. 26—31 Aug. l.30pm. while The Closet Heterosexual. by Freefall Monster Company. is seemingly where old Greece meets 20th century Britain and asks ‘Is Colin the perfect
male form'." -A 26-31 Aug. ' 2pm. at The Celtic Lodge
Finally. Recent Disappearances is told with the voices oftwo kidnapped girls. Idon't know ifit's one ofthose oh so frequent typographical
errors butCalifornia Fault-Free Zone Theatre
Company of. . .(‘suh are at Moray House Union. until 24 Aug. 2pm. Venue 108. (Tamsin Grainger)
Demarco (‘iallery (Venue _
This Way lip Theatre ('ompany has chosen logo for easy laughs in this cynical look at middle glass do-gooding peaceniks. It is light andit is funny. but it isalso rather tedious.
L‘niversityeducation comes in for a particularly severe battering as five young peace campaigners find their right-on attitudes increasingly hard to maintain once they are forced to transform rhetoric into action.
‘.\'ew men' are exposed as phonics. and monogamy a charade when Vernon falls for a new female member ofthe peace group. A few good points are made regarding sex and sexism. but the play lacks any real bite and the characterisations are one-dimensional. Sacrificinga more detailed. sharper focus for pat one-liners the company clearly wants to avoid preaching. but ends up being bland and superficial instead. (Aaron Hicklin)
I Snap! (Fringe) Celtic Lodge (Venue 6). 225 7097. until 31 Aug. 2.15pm,£3.50(£2.50).
28 The List 23 — 29 August 1991