f HANGING’S T00 3GOODFOBTHEM
Dog turds are not the mos‘.
promising subject for a
play but Western Union
do the best they can with
the material. This farce
i chartsthe rise of
extremism within 1
Decency as writingletters to the local paper is
f replaced by more exciting
As a portrait of the
you get in small English
believable. and the cast do
a good job of fleshingout
their characters. Entertaining though it may be however. it is in essence a parochial play and as such occupies the low comedy end of the Fringe rather than that of high drama. (Frances Cornford)
I Hanging’s Too Good For Them (Fringe) Western Union. Calton Studios (Venue 71) 556 7066. until
Set in ‘Any College' USA, this one ' woman play— aided by the curious figure of V.D. Vaudeville-examines the lives of tour all-American college girls. Taking subjects from ‘The Home Front' to ‘the Ole ln’n’Out'. Esther Goodstein expands into one of her tour personas, telling tales of obesity, clinging mothers and other modern woes. Her characters, the southern belle, the husky-voiced vamp, are well
BIBLE STORIES AND BEAUTY PAGEANTS
BiBlE sronirgg. AND BEAUTY PAGEAms
observed it rather familiar and she moves deftly from one to another. Her enthusiasm and her ear lorthe tones and nuances of speech ensure an intriguing, it rathertoo brlel, insight into modern America.
Bible Stories and Beauty Pageants (Fringe) Casual Theatre, Southside ’91 (Venue 82) 667 7365, until 31 Aug, 4.30pm, £3.50 (£3).
‘i ‘1 Kr A:
The hauntlng new Scottish play based on the true story of the disappearance of the three keepers of the Eileen Mor lighthouse In December 1900.
A startling combination of
lighthouse the poem FLANNEN ISLE by lered William Gibson.
“ADDY vocscrtp HALL LCXHIEND CLCXBT: CANCDNCM‘E
mg t, >r "rt-1r: 1 mm —.sii1;\ 1,10 llrl‘ Written by Dobcrl. Thomson Directed by Dhil McCool
V THEATRE A DREAM PLAY
For nearly a centurycritics have been attempting to ascertain whether Strindberg‘s abandonment of the theatrical realism he employed in plays like MissJulie was symptomatic of madness. A Dream Play provides a few clues.
In it. the Goddess lndra descends to earth to observe human suffering and to learn ‘if it‘s as hard as they say". Certainly. Strindberg‘s conclusion was that. yes. it's bloody hard. California Fault-Zone presents a mystical. post-modern interpretation of the play based on music. movement and ritual.
lfnot entirely convincing. the production docs highlight Strindberg's astounding modernity. foreshadowing the Adamovs and (ienets to come. It can only heighten the conviction that Strindberg was. mad or otherwise. a man ahead of his times. (Roberta Mock) IA Dream PIay(Fringe) California Fault-Zone Theatre Company of C81)! 1. Moray House Union Theatre (Venue 108) 5565184. unti124 Aug.4pm. £3.95 (£2.95).
V THEATRE ~
During the 80s. redundancy and unemployment forced thousands of women from the north of Britain into part-time prostitution in London. This poignant drama focuses on three of them. laid-off factory hands who travel south 'just this once. just fora fortnight' to pay for the electricity bill and the kids' Christmas. Risking arrest. discovery and violence. the trio slowly and painfully learn the ropes. each finding her own way ofcoping. Despite the didacticism and occasional sentimentality ofthe piece. the characters remain individuals. not mouthpieces. and their stories build a powerful indictment of a system which drives women to ‘save their skins by selling them.‘ (Sue Wilson)
I Thatcher's Women (Fringe) Stomping Feet Theatre Company. Across the Mersey Theatre (Venue 123)557
v CABARET ;
PLAY BY EAR _ SWEENEY & STEEN
has been hailed as the new 1
Big Idea in comedy. Sweeney and Steen have been at it for years. and experience certainly tells. They provide the framework ofan Agatha Christie-type murder and an outline ofthe characters. the audience supplies identities. occupations. murky pasts and motives. 1 w as perhaps lucky to be among spectators who suggested. for instance. that a taxidermist's secret was that he stuffed his specimens with stolen navel ﬂuff. but I suspect
from pretty unpromising material. Their quick-fire reactions and evident enjoyment as they lay traps for each other. upping the unpredictability factor yet further. make thisa refreshingly different cabaret experience. (Sue Wilson)
I Play by Ear—Sweeney and Steen (Fringe) Assembly Rooms (Venue 3) 220 43-19. until 25 Aug. 5.30pm. £6 £7 (£5/£6). 9659. until .24 Aug.
5. 10pm; Festival Club (Venue 36) 6502395. 25—31 Aug. 10.15pm. £3.75 (£3).
Ex-Fasciuating Aida Adele Anderson wants us to get to know her. In husky song she reveals all her dreams and neuroses: her desire to be small. her changing attitudes about spinach. her propensity for falling in love at the drop ofa trouser‘. She muses upon relationships with the ‘oh sorry your medallion keeps bashing my nose’ variety of married man. and the therapeutic value ofBarry Manilow and Shirley Bassey. ‘songs that give your soul an enema‘.
when such alliances come
to an end. Ultimately. though.
i there is no realintimacy
between Adele and her material. Her songs. accompanied by the marvellous Sarah Travis on piano. are often clever but tend to dwell in the generalised cliches of ‘woman‘s condition' which fail to inspire or challenge. At best. Adele Anderson provides a pleasant afternoon with a competent songstress. (Roberta Mock)
I Adele Anderson (Fringe) Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550. until 31 Aug.
5&3 could conjure laughs : 3301"” 5 (£4)-
Sweeney & Steen
34 The List 23 —» 29 August 1991