It’s a quiet Sunday night in Morden - the southern tip of London’s Northern Line tube. But it’s not the end of the line for Musselburgh’s own comedy sensation, Bona Cameron; even though she’s topping the bill in the back room of The Leather Bottle, one of the English capital’s less throbbing hotspots. She clearly doesn’t feel she deserves the honour - ‘The running order’s got mixed up, it means I’m supposed to be the funniest’ - nor does she have much confidence about the impending routine - ‘lt’s a terrible audience, you’ll not see me at my best’.
But when she finally takes the stage at 10.30pm, all the apprehension disappears. ller act refuses to take the confrontational approach beloved of many circuit comics — it’s more like a witty and sharp pub gab. Topics range from losing her virginity to her next-door-neighbour in Musselburgh - ‘white socks and a wet-look perm . . .’ - to the shopliftability of Body Shop products. Beforehand, in a refelective mood, she’s illuminating about what interests her as a comic. ‘I like to talk about life’s basic irritants - drinking, irony and relationships. I’m appealing to the sad fucker in all of us’.
Life though, is currently being very kind. After graduating from an Open Spot at London’s Comedy Store, Cameron’s two-year gigging stint paid
off with victory in the So You Think You’re Funny competition at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe. She’s also snagged two TV spots - on music programme TXT and as a roving reporter for The Big E. But she’s sanguine about the future. ‘I still haven’t found my absolute niche yet - I started off as a very aggressive persona, but I think I’ve mellowed out a lot.’
She’s a sexy, funny, natural performer, and not short of ambition. And the future: ‘I want to end up in Hollywood, with an Oscar. I’ve been practicing in my room long enough.’ (Andrew Pulvar)
Bona Cameron comperes at the Comedy Works, Edinburgh, Fri 30 Apr and Sat 1 May (see Cabaret listings); and supports John Shuttleworth at The Ferry, Glasgow, Wed 19 May.
No holds Brd
Volcano Theatre Company has been accused of producing ‘pornography for intellectuals’, it has earned a reputation for a brutal, relentless and uncompromising style of theatre, and a typical performance is awash with swear words and unrepressed violence. So does the fact that its latest production is based on Shakespeare’s sonnets mean that it’s turned all wimpy? Well, yes and no.
‘One of the reasons we thought we’d do L.0.\l.E. was to signal a sea change in people’s expectations,’ says
the tables on people’s expectations. But then having decided to do L.0.\l.E., it ends up that it’s about a sort of obsessional love, a love that turns to lust that turns to anger and violence. We’ve tried to make it erotic, but in a very black, severe way, where eroticism is negotiated through power and control, rather than where it can be enioyed by both partners.’
Fans of hardcore theatre will be relieved to learn that a Belfast Free Presbyterian minister has already called for the show to be banned (he didn’t see it, but, ‘knew only too well what sort of material was being presented’) and that it features the slashing of T-shirts (still being worn) with a nine-inch blade, as well as the general groping and snagging of the audience. For all this, Davies claims that there is much tenderness in the show and that Shakespeare is treated with respect. ‘It is just Shakespeare in terms of text, but we’ve imposed a series of theatrical events and an ending,’ he explains.
Admittedly, Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer’s Day is done as a randy wrestling match, but thanks to the direction of OVB dancer Nigel Charnock, L.0.\l.E. is not without subtlety. And just for a change, Volcano’s next show will be based on the Communist Manifesto. (Mark
24 APRIL-23 MAY, 11am-7pm DAILY
24 HOUR PSYCHO
An artist's startling reworking of the Hitchcock classic.
FRIDAY 30 APRIL-SUNDAY 2 MAY (inclusive) & TUESDAY 4-FRIDAY 7 MAY (inclusive) £7/c4
NVA (former/y TEST DEPARTMENT PRODUCTIONS)
High-tech theme park, exposition, or performance?
Experience the trip... into the body. Running time: 1hr.20mins. Audience admitted in groups of 40. Eight full circuits per
evening from 7pm and every 20 minutes thereafter until 9.20pm.
SUNDAY 9, MONDAY 10 MAY, 9.30pm at Glasgow Film Theatre, 12 Rose Street. £7l£4
HOW TO ACT BETTER
The queen of subversion returns. Performance and live video projection. A tongue-in-chic look at the ancient art of pretending to be someone else in public.
FRIDAY 14 MAY, 9.30pm TILL LATE. (Licensed)
THE TRAMWAY CEILIDH
and enjoy a Dram, courtesy of Mayfest dancemania with the north m Ah
east‘s hottest good-time band. 9%)
THURSDAY 20, SATURDAY 22 MAY, 8pm and SCOTTISH CHAMBER
VISITATIO SEPULCHRI with a cast of seven singers, dancers and orchestra. Plus Stravinsky DUMBARTON OAKS, Bach
SUNDAY 23 MAY, 2.30pm £9l£5 The world premiere of James MacM/llan's BRANDENBERG CONCERTO NO. 3
TICKETLINK: 04l-227 55“
, T R A M w GFT:04l-3328l28
performer Paul Davies. ‘You know FiShefI volcano, they" probably do L.O.V.E., Arches Theatre, Glasgow, Sat Clockwork Orange next - it was to turn 1-3!!!) 2 May-
25 ALBERT DRIVE GLASGOW CA FE BUENO OPEN DAIL Y
The rm :3 April l. Mu} NW 17