Centering on the legend of the Holy Grail, thistale follows the mystical cup from its beginnings with the Fall of Lucifer. through its use at the Last Supper and its appearance at the Round Table, to its resting place in the Grail ' Temple.

The production is atrnospherically staged in achurch, with awooden set, the smell ofincense. scattered leaves and the still bodies of the Grotesques ready to awaken.

Employing a distinctive ceremonial and ritualistic style of movement, the narrative is carried with a minimum use of words. and a maximum use of symbolic and mimetic language. An epic and timeless tale unfolds with mesmerising pace. weaving the physical journeys ofthe three Wounded Kings—Jesus. Pelles and Arthur. with the spiritual struggles between good and evil. A powerful and evocative piece of theatre. (Michael Balfour)

I Love Lies Bleeding (Fringe) Kaleidoscope Theatre, St Martin's Church. (Venue 39) 337 9714, until 29 Aug, 8pm. £5 (£3).


Never has the spectacle of two people drinking coffee and reading in silence been so absorbing. Possibly the most i appealing thing about Watson & Co‘s ‘movement theatre piece‘ is its clarity and simplicity. It’s a straightforward story on a familiar theme - the fickleness of one’s own desires and although the chronological sequence is fractured, it‘s told very lucidly. Naturalistic acting blends unstiltedly with stylised movement and

i l Access Network (motto:


music by Schubert and Andrew Lovett (very Laurie Anderson all sampled voices and pulsing beats) to dissect the processes of falling in and out of love.

Some of the choreography is a bit clumsy, and Adrian

Norman as Jonathan looks

uneasy with it, but overall this is an entertaining and thoughtful venture into the well-charted territory of the eternal triangle. (Andrew Burnet)

I How Far Can You Go?

,5 (Fringe) Watson & C0. Theatre Workshop (Venue 20) 226 5425, until 29Aug.8.45pm,£4.50 (£3.50).



Greek myths are never the most straightforward stories in the world, but this play achieves new levels of complexity. Firstly. it‘s a play within a play a sister and brother suspect their motherof murdering their father. They decide. in Hamlet

' fashion, to perform a play

containingjust such a

- murderto gauge

mummy's reaction. Then the sister persuades the brother that he must murder the mother (using

as evidence that this is the

best course ofaction). This is too simple for

this production. though.

so the brotherand his

chum are played by real-life brothers Richard Davis and John Davis.

Elements ofTwelfth

Night (lost brothers. . .)

are thrown in and the whole play wrigglcs. twists and turns like an eel; enjoyably so, but maybe the quality ofthe

Davises‘ acting was

ignored in order to achieve the aesthetic of brothers in the cast.

f (Philip Parr) f I Electra Complex

(Fringe) Strindberg‘s Sister. Church ofthe

German Speaking

Congregation (Venue 52)

until 5 Sept. 8pm: 29/30 Aug.2pm,£4(£3).



3 A day in the schedules of

the Women's Equal Cable

We Can) is your sensible solution to the constraints

| ofthe Hill StreetTheatre. ' Funnywomen Parry and

I Cross need minimal sets

and costumes for their

humorous send-up ofan earnest Wimmin‘s TV

Five Items or Less (Fringe) The Funny r Farm, Fringe Club (Venue 2) 226 5257, until 5 Sept (not 27), 8.15pm, £5 (£4.50) incl Fringe Club membership



Five items it you count the performers; less if you’re counting the acts— cheery twosome May and Fay, the debonair Jeremy Herrin, former So You Think You’re Funny winner Kenny Harris and genial compere Jill Peacock.

f Hampered as Caledonian comics are

; by the absence oi an established Scottish touring circuit, the show manifested iamiliar shortcomings an ; air oi inexperience and a tendency to be derivative- in too many limp jokes ,' and some hesitant delivery. But there was plenty to enjoy, too, in M&F’s

; musings on football and karaoke,

Herrin's sell-mocking suavity and

' Harris’s warmly down-to-earlh Glaswegian-observational style.

Uneven, but okay. (Sue Wilson)

iorthe night.


Despite the most

incompetent lighting

person in the whole Fringe (doubling as most incompetent sound engineer) the pair

, provided a rapid-fire

succession of such witty. if

I obvious. sketches as various Shakespeare plays

‘Menstrual Updatc'. ‘Penny and Polly's Porcelain Palace‘ and the

‘Co-DependentGame Show'.

I left chuckling. but it

was all a bit too sixth-form

to be dangerous. More a gentle disclosure than an ambush. (Thom Dibdin) I Ambushed in America

(Fringe) Yankee Productions. Hill Street

Theatre (Venue 41) 225 7294, until 5 Sept.

5 9.05pm.£4 (L3).


A dynamic. stripped-down version of The Tempest, this engrossing production maintains Custard Factory‘s honourable reputation for inventive adaptations of the Bard‘s plays. Standing a head above a clutch ofstrong performances is Jeremy Thomas‘s commanding. broodineg charismatic Prospero, an arrogant absolute ruler convinced he knows what‘s best for those under his sway. with more than a touch of cruelty in his make-up. but a half-buried vein of compassion. too. The circus-ring setting is an ingenious and effective means of bringing out the

playfulness and magic— and the occasional menace of the drama. and the noisy but slick live musical accompaniment adds another energetic layer. The odd redundant movement sequence smacks of self-indulgence but on the whole thisis sexy Shakespeare. (Sue Wilson)

I Play Me False (Fringe) Custard Factory Theatre Company. Theatre Workshop (Venue 20) 22f 5425. until 29 Aug. 9.45pm; 30 Aug 7.45pm. £5 (£3.50).



Ilutchins has woven reminiscences of his childhood into three quiet but entertaining short stories. ‘My New Car’ chronicles his love affair with the motor from the moment he first desired a James Bond Aston Martin matchbox toy. ‘What is money for'.” asked his big brother swiping

i five-year-old llutchins‘ hard-saved pennies. and he finishes the show with ‘Butterflies in the stomach'. a spooky little ghost story.

These are finely observed stories. sometimes so true it is painful. The wry internal references provide enough grins to make your average stand-up comic happy. lfyou’ve enjoyed llutchins before. you‘ll be glad to hear that this move to a more intimate style of storytelling has brought out a freshness ofdelivery not apparent when performing llcathcote Williams‘ forceful poems. (Thom Dibdin)

I Roy Hutchins' First Time Tales (Fringe) Randolph Studio. French Institute (Venue 55) 225 5366. until SScpt (not 29, l).8pm.£5 (£4).



Despite the onanistic programme blurb (‘acting that taps into the actor‘s

5 full being, raising himto

full consciousness and making the imagined life of the character his own‘) this is a pretty conventional play with music, about three long-time women friends meeting for dinner and talking about life , love, loss and so forth. As always in an essentially naturalistic drama, the songs are problematic, awkwardly disrupting the level at which disbelief must be suspended, and the show is dogged by a nagging sense of ‘so what?’ Nevertheless, sound performances and fine singing make for a reasonably absorbing, if undemanding, experience, though starting fifteen minutes late and overrunning by halfan hour isn’t the best way to endear yourselfto an audience which may well have other shows to get to. (Sue Wilson)

I Three Postcards (Fringe) Blue Window, Richard Demarco Gallery (Venue 22) 557 0707, until 29

9 Aug,9.30pm.£5(£3.50).



‘We want you to enjoythis show, even ifyou‘re a Catholic.‘ And amidst a strong Irish contingent, a hail of sketches and bio-degradable rubber bullets the show sets out to do just that.

Although makingjokes about the culture and ‘troubles‘ of Northern Ireland doesn‘t seem the most obvious ofstarting points for an evening of gags, this gang offive present a no-nonsense commentary on familiar figures and topics, from Ian Paisley, terrorism and politics to peace talks, heavy drinking and religion.

Occasionally the material is a little stale, for instance the references to Paddy Ashdown‘s election affair, or David Mellor's toes have surely past their sell-by date. But what the material lacks in punch, the performers make up for in inoffensive charm. (Michael Balfour) I Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Northern Ireland But Were Too Terrorlsed To Ask (Fringe) Hole In The Wall

Theatre Company, The Festival Club (Venue 36) 650 2395, until 5 Sept (not 30), 8.30pm, £4 (£3).

40 The List 28 August 10 September 1992