The gospel according to Doug Anthony Allstar ﬁm Ferguson. In the beginning was ‘nothing - before we met we were just being children, torturing frogs,
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giving people lollipops to let us look mm
at their genitals.’ After ‘colliding in 1979 as extremely young pre- pubescent youths’, the trio busked, played in bands, did some ‘very violent performance art’, painting and drawing (which they still do), and moved into comedy because ‘it was a lot more fun than theatre; theatre is dead as an art-form.’ Multi-talented lads, they’ve also diversified into ‘art exhibitions, albums, more music, comic-books and even novels - a series of books about dark and horrible things, very schizophrenic
After seven or eight successful series on Australian TV, gleefully butchering sacred cows with their vituperative, maniacs-on-speed brand of musical-physical humour, they first attacked the Fringe five or six years ago, and have been selling out every ' year since. They recently moved to London, after several appearances on Channel 4’s Viva Cabaret, their goal ‘to change the way all British people think; shouldn’t take too long.’ Ferguson claims bemusement at their popularity - ‘We don’t think people
DAAS: ‘Theatre is dead as an artforei' should like what we do; we try to be an example of all the things that aren’t healthy, and they keep coming up to us saying, “Just fabulous, loved
They follow up 1992’s Satanism extravaganza with their Edinburgh swansong (at least for some time - ‘We’re in America next year, and after that we plan old age’) of two shows: Blood 6 Guts, exploring ‘the heady world of necrophilla’, in the Fringe Club’s notorious Wine Bar, where bad would-be comics go to die, and 25 Years of Fun, at the Assembly Booms - a different selection every night from their estimated 120-song back catalogue. ‘We’ve never played the Assembly Booms; we’ve always tried to do things a different way, not follow the standard “You will go there, then you’ll go there, fuck that person, suck that cock and then you’ll be famous”. We went straight to the cock-sucking; that’s failed, so now we’re going to the Assembly Booms.’ (Sue Wilson) Blood & Guts (Fringe) Doug Anthony Allstars, Fringe Club (Venue 2) 226 5257/650 4673, 13-29 Aug (not 16, 23),
9pm, £6.50 (£5.50) including evening Fringe Club membership.
25 Years of Fun (Fringe) Assembly Rooms (Venue 3) 226 2468, 18-21 Aug, 11 .45pm, £7.50 (£6.50).
controversial subject. John Keates. writer and
theatre‘ piece Face 10 Face. which explored the
' director of The Pleasure nature of male/female Dome, is anxious to state relationships. It won a that his new play is not student drama award.
;' ‘ " Most theatre groups start rehearsals by pretending to be trees; Fecund Theatre‘s actors dropped some acid in preparation for their new show. It‘s hardly the ﬁrst time people have got off their faces in the name of art. and Fecund are acutely aware that their approach could be seen as crude exploitation of a
about taking drugs. but instead uses the acid trip as a theatrical device.
A mundane living-room is the setting. The action takes place over the course of an evening and the characters‘ altered perceptions are used to run through a range of human emotions. ‘The exploration of drugs is used as a catalyst.‘ Keates explains. ‘lt is a metaphor for society in general. of how every great civilisation destroys itself.’
The Pleasure Dome follows the Fringe success of last year‘s ‘physical
drawing comparisons with the likes of Michael Clarke and DV8. Though the new show contains movement elements. overall it places less emphasis on dance. ‘We consider ourselves more from a dramatic perspective - there is always some realism in what we do,‘ Keates says. ‘We aren‘t into doing movement just for the sake of it.‘ (Eddie Gibb) I The Pleasure Dome (Fringe) Fecund Theatre. Bedlam Theatre (Venue 49) 225 9893. 16 Aug—4 Sept (not 22 and 29 Aug). 8.30pm. £7 (£5).
V POETRY DEFYING GRAVITY
‘Just before i went up to Edinburgh my wife had a baby daughter. I‘d written a poem called ‘In At The Kill‘. about being at the birth. That was one 1 included in the show with Liz (Lochhead). just on its own. But then when i went back to London. a friend of mine had died. I started to write a poem. and that was ‘Defying Gravity‘. i started writing poems then about being a father again. i thought about my own father. and this whole sequence evolved. really. which is Defvirtg Gruvifv.‘
Thus Roger McGough explains the genesis — at a reading with Lochhead two years back - of his new Festival show. It‘s based around his new collection of poems. which traces a complete circle through a lifetime.
‘Poetry readings in the past have been like — you just put your poems together. they‘re all mixed in. This has a sense of its own. . . unity. i think.
That’s what makes it a show. with its own title.‘ The man‘s judgement
after all. the 28th year he has appeared in the Festival (he only missed last year because he was in Macedonia). ‘Edinburgh‘s the one
constant. in a funny way. over the years. l’ve been back to Edinburgh at the
same time every year.
should be trusted. This is.
since i was a lad. It‘s like a marking post which you see years on. You know with the kids. you put a mark on the door at their height. As they get older. l‘ve got smaller and smaller.‘ (Gavin lnglis) I Defying Gravity (Fringe) Roger McGough. .Assembly Rooms (Venue 3) 226 2468. 14—21 Aug. 9.40pm. £6.50—£7.50 (£5.5()—£6.50).
defying gravity ROGER MCGOUGH
Assembly Rooms: August l4 2| at 9.40pm
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The List l3—l9 August I993 47