Mark Fisher goes on a trawl ol the best oi the early-evening Festival.
I Cale Muller The dance programme is proving to be the International Festival’s strongest card and Pina Bausch’s chamber work should be a closing highlight.
Cafe Muller (International Festival) Pina Bausch, King ’s Theatre, 225 5756, Thurs 3—Sat5 Sept, 8pm, £5—£18.50.
I Anthony Morgan Stands Alone Charming and original Aussie stand-up with a neat analysis of Australian rules football and the art of giving up smoking.
Anthony Morgan Stands Alone (Fringe) Assembly at the Meadows (Venue 116) 229 9281 , until 5 Sept, 6pm, £6 (£5).
I Good Director Michael Boyd does much justice to C .P. Taylor’s brilliant and challenging drama about the insidious rise of the Nazi party, performed here with flair and imagination.
Good (International Festival) Tron Theatre, St Bride ’3 Centre, 225 5 756, 31 Aug—5 Sept, 7.30pm, Thurs and Sat mats 2.30pm, £8 and£12.
I Say a Prayer ior tile/Hell A very late entry into the Fringe, this Berkoff double-bill performed by the talented George Dillon is witty, inventive and packs a killer punch. Say a Prayer for Me/Hell (Fringe) see review for times, venues and prices. I UltllSomewhere between Delicatessen and Bottom lies this hour-long two~person reworking of J arry’s Ubu trilogy by France’s NADA Theatre.
Ubu (Fringe) NA DA Theatre, Theatre Workshop (Venue 20) 226 5425, until 5 Sept, 7.45pm, £6 (£3.50).
Crisis manage- ment
Your evening out starts here as Mark Fisher talks to the award-winning Talking Tongues about devised drama and unscheduled meetings.
‘lt’s 45 minutes of crisis,’ says Sasha Hails about the new Talking Tongues show Shameless Extras in which she stars with Rachel Weisz. Like last year’s Guardian/Harp Award-winnin g A Slight Possession , the play is a two-woman-devised drama directed by David Farr that combines a strong sense of physical theatre with an unusually sharp ear for dialogue. The ‘crisis’ takes place when two strangers meet in an unfamiliar room and start to define
and reinvent each other’s characters. ‘lt’s a first meeting,’ says Hails. ‘which is difficult for us because if you’re meeting for the first time you don’t know anything about each other. It’s forgetting everything and starting from a clean sheet. If you meet somebody for the first time you can be freer than with an old friend or a lover. You can fabricate things about yourself.’
Where last year’s play was a captivatingly off-beat exploration of an undefined relationship played out around a set of step-ladders, Shameless Extras is working towards a more recognisable scenario. ‘We’re trying a slightly more realistic
room upon which things will then build,’ explains David Farr who has recently had some success at London’s Gate Theatre directing Botho Strauss’s Seven Doors. ‘If you start in reality and then end up with more abstract stuff that can be much more effective because people know where you’ve come from.‘
‘These two people definitely come from the world,’ agrees Hails. ‘that’s the realism - they are real people. In A Slight Possession you had to accept that the characters could click from one moment to another— they’d just stop and change it. We want to try and make it follow through in a straight line; to grow and crescendo. We‘re working much more on what we say — as if it was a written play.
We improvise it to start with and then gradually pick up phrases that we like and they find other phrases. It kind ofwrites itself, but it‘s not just quick improvisation. It’s improvisation that‘s really worked on. but you can’t always find the words that you would if you took the time to write it. so impulsive actions come out and that‘s where the physical side ofit grows from. Quite often the physicality comes out of where the words fail us.‘
I Shameless Extras (Fringe) Talking Tongues. Richard Demarco Gallery and Theatre (Venue 22) 557 0707, 31 Aug—5 Sept, 6.30pm, £4.50 (£3.50).
W Home truths
Not only the impact oi recent changes, but also the death oi Tadeusz Kantor has meant that Polish theatre has had to lind new directions in which to develop. Teatr 77 is one group addressing this problem. in its trans-environmental production Freedom Square, an immense boat built oi rubbish was dragged through the streets at Lodz— the emblem oi the city is a boat- accompanied by various impromptu perlormances, until iinaily it was burned in the main square. It was an act of cleansing and deiiverence tor a city once a booming industrial centre and now almost derelict. A placard was carried asking ‘Where is culture to go?’ A similar perionnance called Chocholy is to be presented in the streets oi Edinburgh each aitemoon at 2pm lrom the end of August. The company's new play at the Demarco Gallery in the same week, I Served the English King, questions the sacrifice oi artistic integrity in a changing culture once proud oi a theatre that was ‘the place oi truth.’
This sense oi truth motivates the work at Teatr Provisorium, also at Demarco’s, performing outside Poland tor the first time in six years. During the period at martial law two oi the company were imprisoned ior political crimes. Forthose unable to see Kantor or Grotowski in the 70s, they provide a taste oi theatre as it was when it could
be genuinely dangerous to perionn.
Preserving this past are the iiims ol Krzysztot Miklaszewski atthe Hill Street Theatre lrom 28 August. They are a detailed presentation oi Kantor's working methods during rehearsal and the persona oi a director who described himseli as ‘a tyrant who lailed’ yet who was mourned as a national hero. Once an actor with Kantor and now a prominenttheatre critic, Miklaszewski will present discussions along with the lilms also including two about the lilm directorAndrzei Waida. While in Edinburgh, Miklaszewski will be making his own lilm about the Festival which ior many years has been a second home ior Polish theatre. (Simon Yuill)
I Served the English King (Fringe) Teatr 77, Richard Demarco Gallery/Theatre (Venue 22) 557 0707, 31 Aug—5 Sept, 6pm, £5 (£3.50).
From Heaven Through The World To Hell (Fringe) Provisorium, Richard Demarco Gallery/Theatre (Venue 22) 557 0707, 31 Aug—5 Sept, 9.30pm, £5.50 (£3.50).
Krzysztoi Mikiaszewski: The Man And His Films (Fringe) Hill Street Theatre (Venue 41) 225 7294, 28-30 Aug, 7.10pm, £3 (£2).
30 The List 28 August — 10 September 1992