The themes of Alfred
J arry‘s infantile epic - like Macbeth, which it parodies— are megalomania, paranoia and the pursuit of power. It therefore lends itself to being relevant. and probably always will.
In Fat Red Theatre‘s production, Ted Dawson’s Ubu is a suitably graceless. sausage-guzzlin g gutbucket resembling Jarry’s own sketches, and he is supported by an enthusiastic ensemble. with particularly good work from Lecoq students Jonny Hoskins and Vanessa Earl.
A chamber music score by John Binias provides live, ironically elegant accompaniment to the action, but the interpolated songs and recitatives are among the things which weigh the show down. For all its inspired and energetic moments, this Ubu cries out for more pace and less sluggish, reverential staging: the plot is simply too weak to survive any loss of momentum. Ifit
lost ten minutes (and gained an ending) it would be improved greatly. (Andrew Burnet)
I Ubu ﬂex (Fringe) Fat Red Theatre, Hill Street Theatre (Venue 41) 225 7294, until 5 Sept. 3.10pm. £6 (£5).
INTO THAT CLEAR PLACE
Very few redeeming features to this overly ambitious and garbled look at naked ambition. except perhaps that the production gives a lot of performers the chance to spend a few weeksin Edinburgh.
There‘s this TV producer, see, who is on the way to her first BIG BREAK. But she'sa manipulative bitch who drinks too much and doesn’t deserve success anyway. We are treated to a crashingly boring untheatrical ‘live television‘ scene which hammers the lid onto both her professional cofﬁn and the play itself.
The production and its lacklustre performances cannot even be saved by the creative use of
montage video sequences since these have little apparent relevance to anything else on stage. least of all the Hindu Warrior who keeps appearing with his entourage of New Age game show hosts. He‘s showing us the alternative path, although unfortunately it does not lead out ofthe theatre. (Roberta Mock)
I Into That Clear Place (Fringe) Count of3. Hill Street Theatre (Venue 41) 225 7294, until 31 Aug. 4.15pm.£4.5()(£3).
I V COMEDY
THE HELL GUIDES
The best article that ever appeared in Viz comic was a surreal explanation of the workings of electricity. A mix of displaced fact. semi-logic
'; and popular science, the
piece was hilarious because it almost made sense.
Ben Keaton and Paul B. Davies’s show works in much the same way. An explanation of everything and nothing. the show has the kind ofunhinged world view that can make
" The Pleasance
a direct link between the formation of the universe and the rayon shirt. What‘s more, you nearly believe it.
Perhaps the greatest wonder of The Hell Guides is that not one , but two comedians can lay claim to this idiosyncratic and very silly sense of humour. Keaton and Davies work in perfect — and perfectly daft - harmony in a funny. tightly worked out show that might not change
5 your life, but could
seriously warp your afternoon. (Mark Fisher) I The Hell Guide: (Fringe) Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 226 2151 , until 5 Sept. 4.30pm, £6 (£5).
For all her charm, Pom Boyd has about herthe sheen of a comedian starting out. She is usually funny, but seems a bit nervous on stage. and you have the impression that she is rushing from sketch to sketch — perhaps this is learned from working with American comedians. whose speed and energy she very much
“A unique cocktail of perceptive observation and carefully measured delivery”
Manchester Evening News
60 The PleasanceIVenue 33]
3pm 0 12 August - 5 September [Except Sundays 16 8 23]
Tickets‘ES/Eél 0 Box Office  556 855C).
POPULAR PRODUCTIONS PRESENT
“Distinctly funny” Time Out
a Whistlevstop package tour of the poetic art
admires. A few of her characters are fantastic— Soulful John the phone-box poet and Cindy Clumph, the paranoid New Yorker are funny. The Irish busy-body who kicks off the show and Angora Cardigan. writer of romantic novels are the funniest, and there isa great moment when Boyd takes on the character ofa trendy London yoof presenter and storms out into the street to interview people she meets there. Back in the ‘studio‘ speakers relay the results of her interviews back to us. But some ofthe other characters are less distinguishable. They risk confusing or obscuring her very sharp line in humour. 1 would like to see Boyd do more stand-up. (Miranda France)
I Pom Boyd (Fringe)The Counting House (Venue 66) 226 2151 . until SSept. 3pm. £5 (£4).
ALIEN DOCTORS/ SOJOURNER
A pair of two-handers, one silly and one serious. A terrestrial proctologist and a psychiatrist from the planet Nexus take turns discovering the pleasures of each other’s world and eventually tie the knot. The contrast between the perfect Consumer and perfect Green societies is employed to show that the best world has features of both (no surprise). Sojourners is an elegiac reﬂection on the tribulations of life in the theatre through a mysterious visit by an older actress to a younger playwright. Their mutual admiration society offers an opportunity for the former to deliver some
' choice lines from St Joan.
but little else. (Wes Shrum)
I Alien Doctors/Sojourner (Fringe) New York Players, Acoustic Music Center (Venue 25) 220 2462. 24—29 Aug. 4.30pm, £3.50 (£2.50).
26 The List 28 August - 10 September 1992