The things people do to get notices . . . Theatre

Editor Mark

I knew things were going wrong when Vampire Lesbians of Sodom pulled out ofthe Fringe, but I didn’t appreciate just how bad it could get. I'm going to give you this one straight. It comes from a gentleman by the name of Melbourne R. Shepherd who has written a play about the sinking of the Titanic for Time Dream Theatre Leigh. This is his story: ‘We performed Beneath the Waves for one week in May ofthis year. After the show. three of the cast dropped out. With only a few months to go we had to rearrange the cast. Then one of cast members. whose daughter is also in the show, died aged 41, which threw us back again. All programmes had to be reprinted and costumes had to be altered and. in some cases. new ones had to be made. In the same week, my mother-in-Iaw had a heart-attack and since coming out of hospital has been staying with myself and my wife. Then I set the dog on fire by spilling a grill- pan over it. The pan was on fire and the dog ran between my legs. As I was putting the pan outside, the dog did dirt on the floor and weed. I fell in the wee and dirt and my daughter threw a bowl of water over us. as the dog had run under the table and set fire to the table cloth.‘

So no complaints from anyone for the next three weeks. right? Not even from Aspects Theatre and their preview night hospitalisation nor from Mimi Cichanowicz and her two broken arms. You can catch Mr Shepherd’s show at the Mad Abbot from 23 August and the dog, you‘ll be relieved to learn ‘is OK now’.

It’s nice to see ‘The Independent’ being loyal to Its own award-winners. Last Sunday’s list of Fringe highlights was headed up by a show called Accustomed To Her Face by one Clive Binnie, winner, It said, of last year’s Independent Theatre Award. The name‘s John Binnie, actually. They must have been thinking of Clive’s linity Theatre.

Pleased to report the stakes have been upped on the Press Bribe front. I'll put last year's dismal record down to a recessionary blip and take this Festival’s mailbag as the first green shoots of recovery. The principles of Italian politics have still fully to be grasped by Fringe companies though the Totally Naff Tart's photocopied £50 note was on the right lines but press officers are starting to understand the needs of the modern journalist. I hate to bring up the F-word, but hacks cannot live on Xeroxes alone. They need Food. On this basis. I‘m pleased to report that this year‘s Oxford Revue will be sharp

Fisher casts his net into the pool of pre-Festival publicity.

and zesty (rcd: one jar. marmalade), Brave New World will stage a sweetly delicious version of Cloud Nine (red: one bar. chocolate). Red Shift‘s Death in Venice will be short and intoxicating (red: one miniature. amaretto) and there'll be heady theatrical brews from the aforementioned Totally Naff Tarts and the Cambridge Counterfeits (red: one teabag a piece). If only all reviewing was this easy.

Perhaps it will be. Food is certainly the order of the day on this year’s Fringe. Take twelve or more people to Box liipper’s morning show and they’ll serve you up a ‘Planetary Cake’; head along to Field Day Enterprise’s show about a wake and they’ll supply you with light refreshments; go properly attired to Three Men In A Boat at the Calton Centre and you qualify for cucumber sandwiches and gallons of tea; spend the atternoon digesting and then choose between more free cake from Deborah Clapp, the chance of an after-show meal from Freud Egg’s chef star or a £17.50 scoff at the Bangladesh Festival at Food and Culture down In Leith. If you’re not hungry, you could always check out the Jim Rose Circus swallowing three- toot swords, eating insects and regurgitating the contents of other people’s meals.

The sad thing about the Fringe is the way ideas that in any other circumstance would be drowned out by the next pint, somehow make it to fruition. Oh how amusing it must have been when some wag in the Dartington College Student Union Bar suggested that Up Your Arse would be a good name for a theatre company. Very drole. I‘m sure. but does it really fit in with the group‘s stated aim to be accessible to everyone. ‘notjust to the familiar white middle-class elite‘? Meanwhile in Oxford, it was a cruel trick to play on a press officer to Christen an ‘original high-velocity comedy revue‘ with the name of Crotch. ‘The show’s name belies its content,‘ she claims in desperation and just this once I‘m prepared to believe her.

lcan’t quite work out what the Cheltenham Ladies are doing nestling alongside the Bosnians, Croatians and assorted Eastern Europeans at Richard Dernarco’s new home In St Mary’s School (see this issue’s Festival Art preview) but I’m a little concerned that American slang might not be top ot the curriculum at the posh girls’ school. The Chipmunks, The Coyotes, The Gophers - all would have been fine narnes, but Cheltenham Ladies Beavers Is frankly In Lea de Laria territory.



At the Assembly Rooms you can snap up a pair of tickets to see some of the best shows on this years Fringe. The Assembly Rooms and their major sponsors STELLA ARTOIS, BODDINGTONS and MURPHY'S are giving away a generous number of tickets on a FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED BASIS. Tickets may be picked up ONLY on the day of the performance and vouchers should be presented to the STELLA ARTOIS CREDIT CARD COLLECTION POINT IN THE ASSEMBLY ROOMS FOYER.

AS 8 IE M l3 LY






in association with


subject to availability and limited to ONE PAIR PER PERSON.


A pair of tickets to see

JEFF GREEN on Fri 13 Aug (10.00pm).

Five pairs of tickets available.


A pair of tickets to see THE PROVINCIAL LADY GOES TO TOWN on Sun 15 Aug (12 noon). Five pairs of tickets available.


A pair of tickets to see A FEAST - i DURING THE PLAGUE on Tues 17 Aug (2.00pm).

Five pairs of tickets available.


A pair of tickets to see RIGHT HO, JEEVES! by PG Wodehouse on Fri 20 Aug (11.503m).

Five pairs of tickets available.


A pair of tickets to see ALL THE WORLD'S A GLOBE & SHAKESPEARE: THE TRUTH on Sun 22 Aug (9.40pm).

Five pairs of tickets available.

The List l§93 9