unny : singular
When television's best loved female ' grotesque since Anna Karen‘s Olive
in ()n The Buses visits the Fringe it i won‘t be to keep an eye on Sharon ‘ and Tracey.
Lesley Joseph couldn't be further removed from the monster that is Dorien in the hit series Birds ofA Feather. and is looking forward to bringing her new one-woman show to Edinburgh. It's an occasion she sees as a homecoming ofsorts. and her enthusiasm for the city is obvious. ‘I adore the place.‘ she says. " ‘l‘ve lived in Edinburgh on and off over quite a long time. I’ve done four 7 Festivals. three seasons at the ' Traverse. and Godspell and The Boyfriend at the King's. I‘ve climbed ; Arthur's Seat more times than I can i remember. and I‘ve always said that ’ ifI didn't live in London. I'd make Edinburgh my home.‘
Lesley returns ‘home' with a collection of four monologues. under the collective title Singular Women. Each piece is about a woman on her own - a comedian‘s mistress. a Jewish lady who serves in a chocolate shop. a lonely schoolteacher. and finally a midget ; who. having played munchkins in productions of The Wizard of()z. now finds herself in a mental home. Lesley insists that because these characters are all rather sad it doesn't mean the show itself is
without humour. ‘The characters are not necessarily overtly funny in themselves.‘ she says. ‘what provides the humour is that each one is so extraordinary.’
the four pieces together is that they are survivors in a life that has not turned out the way they planned. ‘They‘re all bitterly disappointed.‘ says Lesley. ‘Looking in from the outside you think. “God they‘re so sad. but to them it‘s just a case of getting on with their lives." Singular Women has been in
; rehearsal since May. during which a time Lesley has also completed
Lesley Joseph as the Midget in Singular Women
The common theme that threads
'i'Rts‘rRA M Ki-LN'rim
another twelve episodes of Birds 0) A Feather. and a new quiz show for BBC]. As one who admits to being very bad at saying no to work. Lesley likes the idea of having a ready-made stage show under her belt to perform at festivals. ‘I chose very much to do these pieces because having done nothing but television for the past two years I really feel the need to get back on a stage and flex my muscles a bit. and Edinburgh really is the best place to do that.‘ (Liam Rudden)
I Singular Women (Fringe) Lesley Joseph. Assembly Rooms (Venue 3) 220 4349. 25—31 Aug. 6pm. £7u£6 (£6‘£5).
, Genty does it ‘
Last year lestival audiences raved about Compagnie Philippe Genty’s show, Derives. This year, atthe request at the Festival, the company presents an older piece, Desire Parade, which has been acclaimed all overthe world. Genty’s productions are ( characterised by slick and clever I aesthetics. He creates images and i perspectives that amaze. Yet beneath E
the style, so beloved oi the French, there is a brain stutted with ideas. Genty’s pieces oiten open with an elaborate trick. In Derives a man in a trenchcoat opens a suitcase irom which I a marionette oi himsell llies into the 1 air. Then another iigure, ten times the i size oi the man, steps up behind. The iirstiigure, to everyone’s suprise, was a puppet. ‘When something which looks impossible happens on stage we open a gate into the subconsciousness l oi the audience,’ Genty explains. ‘Everything becomes possible and we I
.light, behind which people can’t be
reach a sort oi surrealist, dreamlike area. We don't need to have a logic. It evolves, like a dream, through association.’
There is a danger that his work could lose its substance to style and gimmickry. ‘We thought about that in the last production, Derives,’ he admits. ‘We decided, lor instance, to abandon the black theatre system ior our next show. That is a lighting technique by which we create a wall at
seen. it meant people could suddenly appear irom nowhere and dissolve into nowhere. It’s no good to do a trick just lor the trick. But it we enter into a sort oi metaphor, as in Derives where people were being sucked into an abyss, the
trick at this black theatre was good.‘
Genty’s productions rely on much technical wizardry. Since touring the world in 1961 with a couple oi puppets, Genty has amassed knowledge on what he terms “raw materials.’ He talks about matter as it it has a tile at its own. ‘First we create a script. Then we start to build and Include raw materials. Sometimes the raw material pulls us into a direction we were not expecting.
A magician with a vision, Genty, like Pinocchio’s lather, likes to toy with the idea at lite in the inanimate. ‘We used
to have an ancient beliel that
everything has a soul. Nowadays we teed only the conscious mind. i think it is important that this kind oi periormance also ieeds the subsconcious. It used to be led by legend, religion and superstition. i’m not saying we should go backwards. We know that there is someone animating a puppet or character, but on the other hand our subsconcious is led and can enjoy the mystery.’ (Jo Roe) Desirs Parade (international Festival) Compagnie Philippe Genty, Empire
Theatre, 225 5756, 28 Aug-1 Sept. 7.30pm; 29 Aug, 2.30pm, 25.50410 i 1550-110.
I From the people who
2.35 5 756. 28 .‘l ug 7 I Sept.
Mark Fisher picks a handiul oi must-sees irom the next two hours.
I Zun One ofthe international Festival‘s more curious pieces sets athletes. swimmers and gymnasts to a backing track from Mozart to rock ‘n‘ roll.
Zun (International Festival) Teatr I'fkspresu. King '3 Theatre. .325 5 756. 26 and 2 7A ug, 7.30pm. [5—18.
I Giselle lfthe Ballet of the Deutsche ()per Berlin is on form. this new production of the classical ballet should be a must for fans of traditional dance. Giselle (International Festival) Ballet ofthe Deutsche ()per Berlin. Playhouse Theatre. 225 5756, 3(1Aug. 7. 30pm; 31 Aug. 2 .30pm and 7. .il)pm;i 1 Sept. 3pm. ? I Tomorrow We Do The Sky! A stylish and comic view oflifeinacantecninthis l semi-autobiographical one-man show by Michael Mears who jumps ably through six characters andl a trolleyful of dirty dishes. i Tomorrow We Do The Sky (Fringe) Michael ; .llears. Traverse Theatre (Venue 15) 220 2633, until 25 A ug, 7. 45pm: 2 7—31 Aug. noon. [7 (£4).
I Bad Life on the inside presented by those who know~ i-iyounginmates and ex-cons from Edinburgh's prisons.
brought you the
down-and-out drama Glad. Bad (Fringe) Grassmarket Project. .Alisnlie Park Leisure Centre (Venue I30)55124()(). anti/31 Aug. 6pm. 16(1‘4).
I Desirs Parade The hit of last year‘s Festival. Philippe (ienty. brings his unique brand of theatrical illusion back to Edinburgh. Francophile fun with dance dcckchairsﬁ I )esirs I’uruili' (International festival) ( ‘ompagnie Philippe (ientv. Iz'ntpire Theatre.
7.30pm; .i’I .‘lllK- 2--m/””-
The List 23 -..“i Auguq 199139
lioldthe pizza. You can slip in one ortwo more betore 8pm can't. you? Or maybe i you’d prelerto t l i
see a show.