Jane Rutter (well. her press release anyway) promises plenty. Rumours abound about classical music as you‘ve never heard it before. outrageous behaviour with the audience and even stripteases. And she delivers. . . partly. Some items ofclothing are velcroed off. but others remain underneath; some odd arrangements accompany the classical pieces but the tune remains the same; she does chat with the audience but Thea Vidale it ain't.
This is just gentle cabaret of the traditional variety with a Madonna routine thrown in at the end to modernise it. It‘s no more risque than James Galway and only slightly more amusing. if you like the sound ofa ﬂute playing for over an hour. you‘ll enjoy this. if not. . . (Philip Parr) ITutti Flutti (Fringe)Jane Rutter. Assembly Rooms (Venue 3) 226 2428. until 5 Sept. 4pm. £6/£7 USS/£6).
THE SHDW’S NDT OVER ’TIL THE FAT LADY SINGS
Jennie Reznek‘s clowning - learnt at Jacques Lecoq - does nothing to diminish the tragic aspect of the subject she investigates in The Far Lady Sings. This is a story about the tyranny of the body: Belinda is obese and accustomed to bingeing when anxiety or depression strikes. As the performance unravels. it becomes clear that this was a comfort learnt in childhood — Reznek uses
V CABARET .5 i
masks to portray Belinda‘s grotesque. abusive parents.
But this is also a light-hearted cscapade. and the story ends happily when, stripped of her worries and her clothes (Reznek wears a fantastic ‘fat’ body suit throughout) Belinda climbs a rope supplied to her by mystery man, Mark Fleishman and performs acrobatics with all the grace of a nymph. Reznek‘s performance throughout is endearing. although sometimes a bit squeaky. (Miranda France)
I The Show's Not Over 'til the Fat Lady Sings (Fringe) Magnet, Richard Demarco Gallery (Venue 22) 557 0707. until 29 Aug (not Sun 23). 4.45pm.£5 (£3).
BEING THERE WITH SELLERS
It‘s good to see that Richard Braine entered this show in the ‘Theatrc‘, rather than the ‘Comedy‘ section of the Fringe programme. There are not many laughs to be had here, even with the inclusion of sizcable chunks of Goon Show scripts and some of Clouseau's funnier moments.
Braine portrays Sellers
Gilyak Amagasaki’s brand of drama
; amounts to a personal philosophy: this renowned Japanese dancer- no spring chicken at 55 - rejects the formality of theatre in favour of closer contact with the public; his performances are free and large parts of them spontaneous. Originally a performer of Butoh, which he found ‘too one-sided with grotesque and depressing imagery’, Amagasaki now draws inspiration from the Kokora - ‘heart, mind and spirit’ — dancers he
remembers from childhood.
Jongara lchidai is based on the folk songs of Tsugaru, from the north of Japan and balances violent passions with an optimism lacking in Butoh
(grown men have been known to weep). His life is simple, he depends solely on donations and his mother’s pension, so don’t miss Amagasalii in action. (Miranda France)
i Jongara lchidai (Fringe) Gilyalt
: Amagasaki, Wireworlis Playground
' (behind Fringe Office) 20.22.25 Aug, 5 3.30pm,free.
as the slightly melancholic clown which we all knew
- him to be — a man reciting
happier times from the viewpoint of 1980. just before his death. While looking not remotely like Sellers. Braine is convincing in the silly voices and the quicksilver changes ofcharacter which we re such a hallmark ofthe comic.
As with all biographies of comics. though, the tendency is towards tragedy rather than comedy. Go to the theatre expecting this, and you should find this production very worthwhile. (Philip Parr) I Being There With Sellers (Fringe) Chaney Productions, Roxy (Venue 27) 650 8499. until 31 Aug,4.30pm,£4.50 (£3.50).
Brian Friel's award-winning play — a life in the day ofteenagc loversJoe and Maggie — is one of those elegant. achingly poignant pieces which make a virtue of simplicity. ()n a perfect June morning in 1966. the pair sit high on a hillin rural lrcland. he tryingto study. she chattering about their forthcoming marriage. But storm clouds are gathering. reﬂected in the terse, detached tone of the two narrators. perched portentously either side of the stage. and in the line from King I.eur(‘Like ﬂies to wanton boys are we tothe gods. . .')that
I Joe jokingly quotes. The
actors capture vividly the mercurial capriciousness of adolescence, and all the performances are skilfully
pitched and modulated. cast and playwright sharing the understanding that less can be more. (Sue VVHson)
I Lovers (Fringe) Theatre Cryptic. Theatre Workshop (Venue 20) 226 5425. until 5 Sept (not Suns). 3pm. £4 (£2.50).
v rumors I
A re-telling. in the form of a post-death monologue . ofthe life oflegcndary Highland fiddler and sheep-stealerJames Macl’herson. hanged in the 1700s. this ‘Seottish tragedy‘ is undermined from within by its own inherent lack ofpurpose. MacPherson‘s tale. as presented here. contains little of striking interest. apart from his musical gifts and dramatic death and Bruce Durie‘s performance, though competent. adds little in the telling. A stream of latecomers and a fretful baby in the audience didn't help, but even so the whole thing seemed a strangely meaningless exercise. (Sue Wilson) I MacPherson's Rant (Fringe) Bruce Durie. Richard Demarco Theatre (Venue 22) 557 0707, until 22 Aug. 5pm. £4.50(£3.50).
‘ vruenms ,
DEATH ? There are unwritten rules
concerning dyed redheads
sister does not divulge the secrets of her superiority
: complex. Playwright
Sherry Kramer knows this: her characters.
Marilyn andJean, know this. In fact. this isthe basis oftheir attraction which evolves from recognising a soulmatc to becoming reluctant lovers.
David's Redhaired Death provides fuel for the thesis that a woman‘s theatre vocabulary does indeed exist. It non-linearly traces the progression of emotions. the internalisation ofthe external world. The McDonald's drive-thru becomes a solace. a fantasy. a cause. It is ﬂed to and fro as the women seek to control both their individuality and their relationship.
Although the production tends to lose its pace towards the end. it remains a witty. highly original examination of female friendship. (Roberta Mock)
I David’s Redhaired Death (Fringe) (.‘onsenting Adults Theatre Company, Bedlam Theatre (Venue 49) 225 9893. until 5 Sept (not Suns). 4.15pm.£6 (£5).
5 END OF THE 5 TUNNEL
5 (aslam). Oneisthat a
The bigger they are. the harder they fall. Billed as the high priest of European performance theatre. Philippe Gaulier
skidded into town with a fearsome pedigree and all kinds of promise. Quel let-down.
it starts off engagineg enough. In the middle of the stage, a pristine ping pong table stands above twenty empty cardboard boxes. A young womanin a black dress swoops on to set the scene: it‘sa doubles championship between Britain and France.
This is where Gaulier’s legendary physical coaching comes up trumps. Bendinginto one delightful pose after another, the players bumble through the early stages ofthe game. it's good. old-fashioned Keystone farce and the crowd loves it, even applauding some ofthe trickier stunts. When the ball goes missing under the table, though. the whole play goes missing with it.
Each side wheels in a couple of ball-hunters who simply crawl through a series oftired cliches about Britain and France. Again. it begins with a flourish: the British duo counts its boxes with a funny rhyme. only to be outdone by some pernickety French rope-pulling. Movement and patchy dialogue mesh nicely.
Then the plot runs outof steam and the back-and-forth symmetry becomes tiresome. An interminable send-up of the British tea ritual, complete with what felt like a lS-minutc homage to Phil Cool. is followed by a slightly less irritating
ceremony from the French.
One couple stayed to the end just to howl abuse. (Carl llonore)
I The End of the Tunnel (Fringe) Philippe Gaulier, Assembly Rooms (Venue 3) 226 2428. 20Aug-5 Sept. 5.40pm. £8/£7 (£7/£6).
The List 21 - 27 Augusr 1992 33