um:- Testing One, Two . . .

‘ltlorking Title, by Gill Clarke, is very colouriul and functional, dealing with pictures and brush-strokes, while Russell Mallphant’s Relative Shiit contrast quite starkly, being more abstract and monochrome.’ Kate Cowar, )oint Artistic Director and iounder member oi Ricochet Dance Company, is describing Testing, the double bill which the company will be perionnlng on their ilrst visit to the Fringe.

Ricochet arrive armed with accolades: three prizes at an lsraell choreographic competition In 1992 and the periormance award at the revered Bagnolet Meeting in France, also last year. In addition to recent tours oi lithuania, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria, they have also danced in a television illm by Peter 6reenaway. A repertory company, Ricochet have commissioned two highly respected artist ior their Fringe debut. Clll Clarke is best know as a dancer with Janet Smith and Company, Maliphant as dance partner to Laurie Booth, the man responsible ior introducing martial art styles to the British contemporary dance scene - Scot

may remember the stir made by Booth and Maliphant at Glasgow’s 1992 llew Moves iestival.

‘Cill Clarke’s piece is about construction and deconstruction,’ 6owar explains. ‘During the dance we gradually expose a picture that has been painted on a screen at the back of the stage, and create another on the opposite screen. 6ill uses the whole stage space as a picture tor the dancers to cast their diiierent strokes.’ Maliphant’s work is harder to describe. ‘It uses a lot oi capoeira, martial art movement. You’ll see head balancing, a range oi acrobatic moves, and it also touches on mime and conventional dance - really quite a hybrid style.’ (Tansin 6rainger) Testing (Fringe) Ricochet Dance Company, St Bride’s Centre (Venue 62) 3461405, 23-28 Aug, 9pm, £6 (£3).

Poles and

puppets (i

Rnll-A-Pea; a masterpiece ei controlled expression and nmrntivn

Brilliantly conceived and superny realised, Merszalln Theatre's Roll-A- Pea is a masterpiece oi controlled expression and narrative. Adapted, apparently, irom a traditional Byelernssian ink-tale, their story is a shin, religions table oi a Christian child sold by his parent to the Devil in the guise oi a pedlar.

Mixing liturgical chant, wooden puppet and sklliul acrobatics, the Polish company summon the stilling, incense-laden atmosphere oi the Eastern orthodox Church and the naive Iconography associated with it. The short scenes glide eiiortlessly by (helpiully annotated in a synopsis) as, with dialogue cut to a minimum, the action illps between village carnival, supernatural intervention and ialry- taie miracles in a seamless display oi stage art.

Thescopeoithestorybroadensaslt becomes, In a general sense, an allegory ior the terror oi greed. Aiter theDelelsbeatenoiibyaClulstian Saint, the child is given a chance to redeem himseli and his parent by rolling a single pea, on his knees, back to his home. This penance yields only ambiguous result, as the parent’ own avarice breeds the same

in their unpltylng oiispring.

llowever, the moral outcome - you gotta have ialth - sit uneasily with the deep-laid antl-sernltism at the story’s symbolic base. Nervous laws will emerge somewhat shell-shocked

by the uncomplicated equation oi a

Jewish pediar with a horned, cross-

destroylng anti-Christ. Although this is

the stuii ei much trad iolklore or mystery play, it’s a little creepy when

It's presented in such a direct,

uncompromising manner. (Andrew


Roil-A-Pea (Fringe) Vllerszalln Theatre,

Theatre Workshop (Venue 20) 226 6426, until Sept 4 (not 16 Aug), 8.30pm £7 (£4)-



A passionate. defiant celebration of queer culture‘s unique beauty. an anguished lament for the devastation wrought by AIDS. a sensuous paean to Hawaii‘s physical and spiritual landscape. a love story Starving Artists’ remarkable new show is all these and much more. A performance of breathtaking range and

would let the audience (who were considerably more tense than the

. performer) breathe easier

and laugh harder. (Philip



subtlety by Mark Pinkosh.

playing by turns a young hustler. his lover and a choric gay Everyman figure. combines with Godfrey Hamilton’s immaculately wrought script. a fluid. multi- layered blend of monologue. poetic imagery and laconic humour. to take us on a compelling. moving journey from the gay bars of Honolulu to the March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. Absolutely stunning stuff. (Sue Wilson)

I Sleeping With You (Fringe) Starving Artists. Traverse Theatre (Venue 15) 228 1404. 19. 22 Aug 8pm; 20 Aug. lpm; 2! Aug. 4.30pm. £7 (£4).


Helen lederer: maybe a little less honesty? The crazy in question being Helen Lederer, star of Nakeds Radio and Video and also the stupid one in the milk ads. if this is comedy-of-honest then Helen is in a particufiirly bad way. as we hear of her plummeting career. her decrepit sex life and sundry other personal crises as dissected in her group therapy sessions. Much of the material is funny. but it’s difficult to laugh when someone who does look like a less successful version of Felicity Kendall tells you that this fact has been preying on her mind. Maybe a little less honesty

. I Still Crazy After All

These Years (Fringe) Helen Lederer. Assembly Rooms (Venue 3) 226 2428. until 4 Sept. 8pm. £7/£8 (£6/£7).



I , . noticed what a homble

thing AIDS is and they're putting on their most serious faces and making a lot of noise to let us know. They don't. however. tell us anything new about the subject and in a performance that varies from the imprecision of devised drama to some moderately interesting physical theatre. they get very hot and bothered over a story that lacks dramatic tension. A man is diagnosed HIV positive.

he and his friends get j upset and that's about it.

Telling too. that a

" company so dedicated to

. ) . i .1 Michael Redmond: never


, breaking down sexual

barriers should still leave

' g the supporting roles to the

women. (Mark Fisher) I As IS (Fringe) Frantic Theatre Company. Theatre Zoo (Venue 4) 228 9208. until 27 Aug (not 22.23. 25). 9.20pm. £4 (£3.50).

cvenilutters v

Redmond gives whole new horizons to the term 'deadpan‘. ofcourse. so his utilisation of his ‘family album‘ of slides is

something of a

masterstroke. While the pictures of nuns praying next to penguins and disrobing priests pass before our eyes. Redmond never even flutters. which makes the images even

more hilarious.

His banter follows its

usual laid-back routine.

but he had his thunder (or should that be murmur?) stolen somewhat on this night by the fact that the entire first row was filled with New Zealanders a race of Redrnonds ifever there was one. Nevertheless, consistently amusing in the nicest possible way (unless you’re a devout Catholic). (Philip Parr)

I Michael Redmond (Fringe) The Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550. until 4 Sept (not 23. 31 Aug), 9.30pm. £6/£6.50 (£5/£5.50).

As rs

The earnest young actors of Frantic Theatre have



Given the current crisis. a new play by a young Yugoslavian woman about the erosion of human dignity and values in a barbaric local war cannot fail to command respect. Sladjana Vujovic herself plays the ruthless captor of two former friends. with whom she indulges

in a cat-and-mouse game ; of psychological terror l and physical torture. They

! will do anything to

themselves or each other in order to save their own


All three players are impressive as is the dialogue but flaws in the structure and staging of the play diminish its impact. Overall. the piece lacks originality which may have as much to do with the grim repetitions of history as it has with the playwright. (Catherine Fellows)

I The Tender Mercies (Fringe) Mania Productions. Roman Eagle Lodge (Venue 21) 225 7995. 13 Aug—4 Sept (not Tue). 8pm. £5 (£4).


46 Tire List 20—26 August 1993