In this modern verse adaptation ofthe Anglo Saxon epic poem. Beowolf‘s heroic credentials are called into question when he failsto carry out an oath to kill the monster man-killer Grendel using only his bare hands (understandably. he was drunk when he made the sworn oath).
At a basic level the play. which is only 45 minutes long. asks questions about honour and reputation. the nature of evil. and man's relationship with nature. while scenes set in the Viking long-ship and conjure up a lost era of blood. sweat and toil. Adaptor Gary Drabwell. who plays Beowolf. and Jon McCabe as the hulking Grendel put in solid enough performances as the two warriors locked in mortal
combat. in an unambitious
but well-rounded production. (Robert Alstcad)
I Beowulf (Fringe) Mania Productions, Celtic Lodge (Celtic Lodge) 225 7097. until 5 Sept, 7pm, £3.50 (£3).
SHELLEY —THE FLIGHT OF THE SNAKE
Rule number one for Fringe performers: DON’T SHOUT. Peter Karl Burgess as the eponymous hero has yet to learn this basic tenet so it’s hardly surprising that
the rest of this show falls similarly short of the mark.
The stage is virtually bare and so is the acting-- very much ﬁrst term drama stuff (use those hands darling). As for David Stratton‘s direction, ‘clumsy‘ would be the kindest word. Finally, Kate Ashley and Doug Holton‘s script only lifts the spirit when Burgess bawls out one of Shelley's couplets. For the remainder we are treated to many a gem of dialogue. My favourite came when Mary Shelley (apparently pregnant) yelled from stage left ‘Ooh, I ‘m haemorrhaging.’ Maybe it loses something in translation. (Philip Parr). I Shelley-The Flight of the Snake (Fringe) Westbury Theatre Company, Church of German Speaking Congregation (Venue 52) until 5 Sept, 6pm, £6 (£4).
THE DUM SHOW
We‘re not exactly living through the heyday of sketch-based comedy. but some determined/ foolhardy individuals nevertheless continue to believe in the format. and the all-male fivesome — Steve Coogan, and four others whose first names I don‘t know (sorry): Herring. Lee, Marber and Munnery— that isthe Dum Show are among the few who can still make it work. It‘s clear that crucial extra bit of thought has gone intothese sketches, like the
piss-take on Inner Warrior masculinity workshops (an obvious target. but squarely hit). or the right-on comic getting caught buying a porn video. or the sequences about the AGM of a society for people called Ian. Mostly still a bit inward-looking, like so many revues. but unquestionably a superior example of the breed. (Sue Wilson)
I The Horn Show (Fringe) Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550. until 5 Sept (not 27 Aug). 6.15pm. £7 (£5.50).
From his entrance — surely the most elaborate on the stand-up circuit — to his finale — a spectacularly funny tribute to a recently late pop star — Lee Evans has the crowd in the palm of his hand. Given the fact that his hand. like all his other body parts. is in constant motion throughout his hour-long set. it's a remarkable balancing act.
lfyou haven‘t seen him before. imagine a cross between Frank Spencer. Marcel Marceau and Phil Cool on a busload of amphetamines. with a BBC sound effects tape lodged in his larynx. subtract the number you ﬁrst thought of. and you‘ll begin to get the picture.
There again. ifyou haven‘t seen him before, it‘s about time you did. (Andrew Burnet) I Lee Evans (Fringe) Assembly Rooms (Venue 3) 226 2428, 24, 31 Aug. 6pm; 25 Aug, 1 Sept. 10pm, £6 (£5).
GM Music in Scotland
ACCOUSTIC concern I
SAY A PRAYER FOR
There’s a definite buzz in the sell-out crowd for the opening of a new Berkoff by one oi the most-praised solo perlonners of recent Fringes. George Dillon -who has a healthy pedigree of Berlioft collaborations- presents dramatisations of two of the great man's short stories (one unpublished) alone on stage. This is appropriate, since the common theme is desperate
In the first piece, Berlioff's recurrent misery-guts Harry attempts a sordid seduction, with catastrophic results to fuel his sad misogyny. It’s wittin written and inventively enacted, but fairly predictable. Hell, however, is an astonishing contrast. If you thought Berlioff was all arch bombast, then try this mesmeric wade through the quagmires of despair, presented (almost) nude to the ambient tones of Hamid Budd. From its monotone opening to its killer final fine, it's both
unique and fascinating. Not cheery, but definitely chunky. (Andrew Burnet)
Say a Prayer for hie/Hell (Fringe) George Dillon, Southside ’92 (Venue 82) 667 7365, 27 Aug, 6.40pm; Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550, 28, 29 Aug, 10.45pm; Randolph Studio (Venue 55) 225 5366,30 Aug, 2.30pm; Assembly Rooms (Venue 3) 226 2428, 1 Sept, noon; 2 Sept 6pm. All tickets £5
GLASGOW BARROWLANDS 8th OCTOBER
GLASGOW ROYAL CONCERT HALL
GLASGOW BARROWLANDS 22nd OCTOBER
:‘::::1 show .2. __
TICKETS - JUST THE TICKET VIRGIN UNION STREET, GLASGOW - RIPPING VIRGIN EDINBURGH AND ALL TOCT A OUTLETS. THE PLAYHOUSE 031-557 2590. CANDLERIGGS 041-227 5511. CREDIT CARDS 031-557 6969. POSTAL &
OTHER INFO 031-556 1212.
The List 28 August — 10 September 1992 35