Pelvlcaliy challenged lrorn sitting in too many hard chairs, brohen-wristed lrom writing reviews, See Wilson pops another Pro-Plus and pichs out live mid-evening shows to enrich your existence. I The Audition New one-man play by award-winning Scots author A. L. Kennedy, performed by Mike Hayward of Take the High Road fame (he’s also worked extensively with the National Theatre), probing the painful reality of the stereotypical drunk, failed actor. See Feature.
The Audition (Fringe) Borderline Theatre Company, Stepping Stones Theatre (Venue 51) 225 6520026 2151. 29 Aug—4 Sept, 9pm, £6 (£5).
I Peroxide Comedy Brassy, foul- mouthed, exuberantly offensive humour from Jenny Eclair, a funnywoman going from strength to strength.
Peroxide Comedy (Fringe) Jenny Eclaii; Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550. until 4 Sept (not Thurs 2). 9.15pm. £6.50 (£5.50).
I From Heaven Through The World To Hell m1 & 2 Fringe First winners last year, Poland’s Provisorium company return to premiere the second instalment of last year’s show, variously inspired by the Book of Job, Geothe and Dostoyevsky, following two men across the spiritual desolation of contemporary Europe.
From Heaven Through the World to Hell Parts 1 & 2 (Fringe) Provisorium. FEAST at the Fringe (Venue 73) 228 9666026 2234, 27 Aug-4 Sept, 8pm. £6 (£4).
I Tb Third Policeman Ridiculusmus in an exuberant promenade production of Flann O’Brien’s classic, with live traditional music, plenty of audience participation for those who want it, and free beer to boot.
The Third Policeman (Fringe) Ridiculusmus, Calton Centre (Venue 119) 661 9121, until 4 Sept. 8pm, £5 (£3).
I led lint Butch With Dominic Observational wit from Dominic Holland, a Time Out ‘Best of ’92’ choice and a guest on STV’s Funny Farm, making his Edinburgh debut. Red Hot Dutch With Dominic (Fringe) Dominic Holland, Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550. until 4 Sept, 8pm. £4
Paul Daniels he ain’t. Of an evening, The Amazing. Johnathan likes nothing better than hacking at his arm with a butcher’s knife. Craig McLean tries not to get too close.
‘You should see my set-list,’ says Johnathan. ‘Eye-poking, butcher’s knife in arm, dn'nk window cleaner. 1 have to make a conscious effort to write stuff that’s not like that.’
Ah, the worries of being a deranged, psycho conjurer from Paul Daniels’ worst nightmare. Johnathan is Amazing and 34, an LA-based magician for whom the art of magic depends not on sleight-of-hand, on deft visual deceit. Well, it would if Johnathan was any good at the old pulling-rabbits-from- hats, making-flowers-from-fluff jiggery-pokery. He’s not. He’s duff. And he’s proud of it.
‘lt’s kind of deranged,’ he boasts. ‘My show is kind of like a parody of magic, it’s not real magic, it’s like a magician on drugs and everything goes terribly wrong. The assistants get killed and the birds get killed and the rabbits get smashed and everything dies. I used to do that for real, when I wasn’t trying to. When i used to do serious magic that
same thing would happen. I remember stepping on my dove in front ofa bunch of kids one time by accident. All the kids were crying and the dove was pretty much squashed ﬂat. So I ﬁgured there was something there . . .’
From one dead doo has sprung a feast of blood and gore. Johnathan has spent ﬁfteen years honing his show, ﬁrst on the streets of San Francisco, then in comedy clubs all over America, Australia and France. The only glimpse
UK audiences have had of this ‘Norman Bates of comedy‘ has been on television‘s Paramount City, Viva Cabaret and The Jack Dee Show. But for his debut live appearance in this country he’s built a whole new show, including, ‘sucking someone's head through a vacuum-cleaner tube into a clear glass bucket at the other side of the stage.’
Another of his party tricks involves swallowing razor blades, followed by a
. length of thread, then regurgitating the
blades strung along the thread. Said jape is also performed by Jim Rose, that other notorious shockmeister, although again Johnathan makes a ' virtue of his ineptness, gleefully spitting blood and tongue gristle. Is it real? Can you see the joins? lt’s cherry- ﬂavoured ﬁzzy pop, but it looks damn convincing, ‘and if you add sugar 1 can also drink it.’
And if that sounds bad, pity Amazing Johnathan’s Hapless Assistant, ‘an old hippy‘.
‘i almost killed him for real a couple of weeks ago. i have a bit where l stab him in the head with a pair of scissors and the scissors penetrated the trick into his head about a quarter of an inch.‘
He must have been a bit miffed?
‘Well he built it. If he wants me not to kill him he’s gotta make thicker metal there. Anyway he’s had his hair red for about a week. . .’
I Tire Amazing Johnathan (Fringe) Acropolis on Calton Hill (Venue 26) 557 6969, 27-29 Aug, 9.30pm (30 Aug, 7.30pm), £7.50 (£6.50).
unawar- From Heaven Through the World to Hell
‘Vihen we lirst came to Edinburgh it was hell,’ says Slaweh Shop. last year when Provisorium returned to Edinburgh alter live years’ absence, it accepted that the Festival had to be lihe that and this year happily returns to hell.
Poland, however, has been through ltsownhelllnthistime. ‘contraryto some positive changes in Europe,’ says Shop, ‘we are still somewhere in the labyrinth.’ In the wire ol recent political and economic upheavals, many ol Poland’s theatre grows, such as the highly acclahed Theatre ol the Eighth Bay, have disappeued, while the state theatres, once a preserve ol classic historical dma, now produce “second-hand Broadway bullshlt’.
Being a small company ol three
actors, Provisorium has managed to survive and continues to create the hind oi committed theatre which has redeemed the Festival lrom the waiter ol llimsy productions which bloat the Fringe progranune.
Part One - which last year received a Fringe First - deals with ‘the sense ol human sullering’, drawing mainly on texts lrorn the Old Testament. Based upon the story ol Odysseus, Part No considers the necessity ol compassion. ‘You cannot contemplate only your sullering,’ says Shop, ‘you must also give.’ Giving is the basis ol
Polish theatre, Provisorium is a company which will bring everything it physically can to a perlormarce, and gives its audiences the gilt ol hospitality in the emotional, dillicuit world ol its plays.
At important times in its history, Polish theatre has been drawn to ilorner’s tale of a man in search ol borne. lluring Gennan occupation, Kantor perlormed his version in a bomb-wreched house in Cracow. Provisorium’s new interpretation is addressed to the “contemporary problem ol people living in Europe’. The ligure ol Odysseus ‘ls very visible’ in today’s Europe, according to Shop. ‘lie is lihe a symbol ol our late, loohing lor a way back or a way home, we are not certain il this home still exists.’
This Festival Provisorium has made a home in hell, but as tireatre, will oller you something very close to heaven. (Simon Yuill)
From Heaven Through the World to Hell, Parts line and Two (Fringe) Provisorium, Edinburgh College nl Art (Venue 73) 228 966N228 2234, until 4 Sent. m. £6 (£4)-
38 The List 27 August-9 September 1993