COMPARING ; SALA KAHLE FBIEDMAN/ . Atrenchantblack comedy

tables-and-candles wickedlvwittysmpuo FestivalandFringe “3"1‘5" and this '5 shock the audience into pmgri‘mmcs inih .- certainly one ofthcm. king‘th Presented as a magnifying glassuyou ill Three women on SC “es of Skits. me play be unable to find shows saxophone plus three explores the issues arising which are brav e enough to backmg muslcmmi from the squatter problem go 9“ “"101” _thc “WW playingtradjazz-(ole in South Africa. Bum basic publicny tools. One j Porter standards.simply wmthvpomica]"came such thisyear.which aren tvgried or thism'fl; Clcvcrwrbal . promises to be one ofthe interesting enough to g and visual puns. recital highlig'htsofthe stare'at from rowsofscats exuberant, energetic ; whole three weeks. Isthe . for ninety minutes. no performanccsund a : Dcmarco FriedmanGala matter how oftenthey I y. g ' on 26 Aug when violinist change their frocks. The C’de‘PgPd“ Lnsun' th‘” ' Leonard Friedman plays whole thing Mt a bit polemic is borne on the I at the Richard Dcmarc'o back ofentertainment. . . lacklustre. the banter i Gallery in Blackfriars ' Street. 1

making use of 84 percent ofthe prostitutes there I've told it you now). Either way. this is dull. long-winded theatre. Let's just pretend it never happened. (Mark Fisher) I Casanova. True Confessions of a Cabalist t (andotherlies)(Fringe) Borderline Theatre Co. Moray House Theatre 1 ' (Venue (il)until3lAug (not Suns). 7.30pm: 24. 28 and 31 . 2.30pm. £6.50 (£5.50).


There is nothing shy and retiring about Lip Service. with their quick-fire over-the-top deliveries and boundless energy. Sue Ryding isllilda Gibbings. spinster sleuth

with soothing. ethereal voices. I almost fell asleep. (Robert Alstead) I The Lost Prince (Fringe) Diverse Attractions (Venue l l ) 225 8961 . until 25 Aug. 7.30pm. Free.



Avner the liceentric's series ofsilent routines and tricks is impeccable. 'I'he jugglingand balancing acts are ' impressive enough in themselves. but what makes the show unique is the kind of mirth that Avner himselfgenerates through his cute stage persona. lie is constantly interacting with his audience. whether involving them in the performance oftricks.

sets and unconcealed enthusiasm propel this crime-writing spoof above the standard fare. (Roberta Mock)

I Knit One MurderOne (Fringe) Lip Service.Tic Toe at Marco's (Venue 98) 229 8830. until31 Aug. 7.45pm. £5.50 (£4.50).



If after a long bout of cultural binging you feel like you’re nearing saturation point. and your nerves are shot to pieces after successive bouts of alcoholism. you could do a lot worse than see this free show at Diverse



Memorable moments between numbers. all on . . the m ‘n. cam “w include a sequence Both m ‘n have been - Wm mm “w depicting an arrest (for ‘nhan ‘intthc am i . not carrvingapass-book) .c t 5 . without- em theme. ' immeasurably in Edinburgh for 25 years

) ' uouslv fiilin to followeddeCtleOn. u n p ' g 1nICTT()g8110n.t0rturc and

sparkle and the bright smiles seeming distinctly forced. Still. they can certainly play. and most of the (large) audience seemed reasonably satisfied. (Sue Wilson)

I Comparing Notes (Fringe)The Fairer Sax. Assembly Rooms (Venue 3) 22043-19. until 31 Aug (not Fri 23). 6.30pm. £7.70 £8.50(£5.501£6.50)


Elizabeth and Hattie sit on a porch. Theydrink bourbon. watch television game show contestants dressed as chickens and fold some laundry. In breezes Amy Lee. to sell tickets to a pancake supper. inform Elizabeth that her husband is having an affair. and puke on Hattie‘s shoes. Such are the externals of Laundry and Bourbon. a short play presented with its parallel piece. Lonestar. in which Elizabeth‘s husband muses about ‘Nam and his car while getting pissed with his brother.

These are plays which are deserved American fringe favourites. bristling with small town Texas absurdities and aspirations. Kick Back's Laundry and Bourbon fails to gel. mostly due to a lack of comic timing. However. Lonestar. despite a few problems with Southern drawls. packs a punch with the warm camaraderie of Norman Scott and Russell Milton as brothers Roy and Ray. (Roberta Mock) I Lonestar/Laundry And ; Bourbon (Fringe) Kick '. Back Theatre Co.

Randolph Studio (Venue l 55)2555366.until31 Aug. 6pm. £3 (£2).


‘suicide' - it‘s chilling. but the use ofa chair for the ‘victim‘ allows us to laugh. Another sketch demonstrates the difficulty ofobtaining fresh water in the squatter


; camps—withoneofthe actorsplayingan

uncooperative tap. Short. sharp and spitting defiant humour. this is political theatre at its best. (Sue Wilson)

ISala Kahle (Fringe) Theatre for Africa. The Netherbow (Venue 30) 5569579. 24. 27. 29.31 Aug. 6pm. £6(£5).



in this excellent one man show. written and acted by Michael Mears. the audience is transported back to the time when Stephen. now a lecturer. had a summcrjob ina works canteen. We never see Stephen but instead through his eyes see the characters that make up canteen life— Bert. the world-weary dishwasher. Walter. the bomb-damaged Pole and i

Eve. the loud-mouthed

dinner lady. This exercise in reminiscence could be cosy or even patronising but this is prevented by the acuity ofMears‘ observations and the sheer virtuosity with which he controls his cast ofcharacters. These are people who everyone will recognise but their tale of drudgery and monotony is here transformed and choreographed with a skill that is marvellous to watch. (Frances (‘ornford)

(Fringe)MichaelMears. Traverse Theatre(\’enue 15)2262633.until31

i Aug.varioustimes.£7

l (£4).

I Tomorrow We Do The Sky


and both desperately now need money to go on. Dcmarco has many new activities in Eastern Europe to fund and. quite simply. Friedman needs to buy back his own violin. which has been stolen. found. impounded by the police pending investigation and is now the property ofhis insurers.

Behind the presentation ofthe gala isthe irrepressible Lady Polwarth.who in the early 70s became Chairman of Friedman's Scottish Baroque Ensemble and. later. Chairman ofthe Dcmarco Gallery. Untiring in her efforts. she and Friedman have arranged that at least one piece in his performance of Scottish and Italian baroque music should be on the famous Cappa violin - with no doubt a strong insurance man in the wings to make sure he doesn't run off with it. (Carol Main)

I Friedman/Dcmarco Gala The Dcmarco Gallery. 5570707. Mon 26 Aug. 7.30pm. £10.


i L : CASANOVA It‘s not funny. it‘s not sexy. it‘s not particularly well acted or well directed. [can't tell whether it‘sJohn Murtagh's direction which is so heavy-handed it makes (THC/(CUUCA' look like the height ofsubtlety. or David Kane's script. which apparently has only one joke (about seven per cent of the aristocracy

with sinister scedcakc; Maggie Fox is Winifred liaxby. crime novelist and avid amateur actress. Together they play a plethora of murder suspects from identical twins Miles and Steven to . flaky flapper Violet Effusive and the Marxist gardener. Dribbling.

Elastic facial contortions. silly gags played with conviction. the clever self-referential

A workshop piece put ; on by Brahma Kumaris' ' “World Spiritual University". this show promises ‘a meditational experience which will unlock hidden treasures of peace and power‘. With accompanying slide show of cartoons describing the story. one focal character Jim ‘on stage'. it is a kind

of fairy tale with a

' message narrated from off-stage by two people

conducting a medley of clapping which brings in everyone in the audience or just mimicking someone when they make a funny noise into their handkerchief. The audience can't help but love him? ( Robert Alsteadl

I Avnerthe Eccentric (Fringe) l’leasance (Venue 33) 556 (i550. until 31 Aug (not'l’hurs). 5.15pm.£(i £5(£5 £4.50).


Local Edinburgh theatre continues its contribution to the Fringe with the opening of The Happiest Days of Your Life, from Onstage 66. This post-War school farce at first aroused my instinctive ‘church hall’ apprehensions, but after a slow start it gained an impressive momentum.

The action takes place in the staftroom of Hilary Hall, a remote boys’ school for seemingly over-active under-achievers. This bastion of chauvlnism falls victim to a ministerial blunder, and St Swlthin’s girls school takes up residence.

There's little mileage left in this scenario, where the sexist humour is perhaps too dated. In all, the script appears a weak choice for the potential of this drama group, with their ingenious set design and accomplished cast, led by an indefatigable performance from Eileen Walker, the battle-axe Miss Whitchurch.

Leitheatre tolllows previous Fringe successes with The Honours of Drumiie. Nothing ever happens in the sleepy backwater of Drumiie. according to its frustrated womenfolk, that is, until the turbulenttimes of the Jacobite retreat. When Prince Charles’ men arrive at Provost Gows's home in search of the town silver, the Provost makes a deadly resolve, leaving the women to cultivate the intrigue.

This fast-moving comedy

occasionally lacks direction and timing, but the energetic cast overcome any technical difficulties. The highlight of the show has to be yet another inspired performance from John McCoII, as the hapless Provost. Like most Edinburgh theatre groups, Leitheatre attracts a largely local audience, but for any visitor it provides an excellent example of historical Scottish humour. However, its endearing yet uncompromising ‘Auld Scots’ language might give some difficulties to the unaccustomed ear. (Charlie Llewellyn)

The Happiest Days of Your Life (Fringe) Onstage 66, St Stephens Church and Hall (Venue 74) 7.45pm, until 31 Aug (not Sun), £4 (£3).

The Honours of Orumlie (Fringe) Leitheatre, St Serf’s Church Hall (Venue 83) 7.30pm, until 31 Aug (not Sun). £4 (£3).

44 The List 23 29 August 1991