The wearing of the green

Think of Irish cultural heroes and you think of Yeats, Joyce, Behan, maybe

laconic Geordie, manager of the Republic’s soccer team, is hero- worshipped to an unbelievable degree in Ireland, and his success in taking the green-shined national side to the European Championships and World Cup have created a whole new climate of soccer fixation in a nation that has made huge strides towards a new European outlook in recent years. This ‘new Ireland’ is the basis for novelist and playwright Dermot Doiger’s play, ‘In High Cennany’, performed by innovative Dublin theatre company lucid Productions. Set during the European Championships of1988 (when Ireland beat England), the one-man show follows Eoin, a young Irish soccer fan as he considers the future for himself and his country. By turns comic, sad, provocative and argumentative, it’s an evocation of a new Irishness, where

Dermot Bolger soccer becomes a symbol of a more liberal, urbanised society, several degrees removed from the old rural, Catholic identity of his father’s generation. Ireland is now regarded as the sixth most powerful soccer nation in the world. And you thought it was only a game. (Tom Lappin)

In High Germany (Fringe) lucid Productions, C (Venue 19) 225 1501, until 4 Sept (not 2 Sept) 9.15pm, £5 (£3).

Dur Dominic’s the little guy with specs. The young one who went professional on the stand-up circuit about a year ago, and still hasn’t got his ego fully Inflated. Which is rather endearing for a stand-up. Dr it is for the first half-hour, then it becomes obvious that his self-effacement is misplaced, and by the end of the act It’s clear that he has enough material to fit the hour allotted. His Is observational comedy of the non- aggressive kind. It Is quite safe to sit in the front row and you could probably even wear a Pringle lumper without attracting too much scathing wit. The Attic at the Pleasance Is ideally intimate for Dominic. On a sell-out

. Dominic Holland: misplaced self-effaceinent

night he can get the audience’s ribs tickled with his patter about Wimbledon and tennis, toilet paper, fettuccini and his pop-up toaster while fitting in a good moan at the reviewers who give away all his material. When he moves further up the stand-up ladder he will become lost in larger venues, and even his more tasteless routines about Brian May and plane crashes won’t give him the edge he achieves in the small sauna that is the Pleasance Attic. (Thom Dibdin)

lied Hot Dutch With Dominic (Fringe) Dominic Holland, The Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550, until 4 Sept (not 2 Sept), £4.50/£4 (Ell/£3.50).



A Scouse stone angel is granted one chance to enter the world of humanity. She must persuade the first person she meets to kiss her and thus replace her in a fountain in London’s West End.

She meets a bouncer. waiting for his girlfriend with chocolates. champagne and an orchid. They dance to a techno beat. she eats his chocolates. drinks his

delivers a slender idea with wit but no real substance. (Thom Dibdin).

I The Angel and the Bouncer (Fringe) Glittens, The Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550. until 4 Sept (not 31 Aug. 2 Sept) 9. l5pm. £5.50/£5 (£3.50/£3).


The twilight comedy aone

Another radio-to-stage transfer. and one whose humour is only marginally enhanced by being able to see its weird array of Brummie vampires. gyspy seers and professors of urine. Tom Baker takes

( Bono at a pinch, but not Jack 32l;3:tgfyj:s:tylsmor?ugh Charlton. The fact is though that the I. Manhattan's underbelly.


time off from advertising every product and service in the world to provide a suitably booming intro. and then we're off. delving into weird netherworlds of time. religion, ghosts and monsters.

Stewart Lee and Richard Herring are endearing guides. perfect as the hapless hosts for whom stumbling around in the dark after inexplicable

g phenomena is an

extension of their adolescent train-spotting phase. Look out for their pantomime Jesus of Nazareth who thinks he’s

l Santa of Lapland. (Craig

wine: tastes life. Will she ' McLean) yaw through. (Sue have the heart to let him I Lionel lIimrod’s 50" V kiss her? This is a nice lnexplicable World I “no”, (Fringe) . . . enough idea. but the ; (Fringe) Stewart Lee and Ardour, Rifle LOdge th D performance seemed . Richard Herring. (Vellue 101) 557 1785' e o u c strangely constrained. l Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 um" 28 Aug, 9-lopm' ,, Slightly incoherent. it 5 6550, 8.15pm. until 4 Sept £450 (£350).

(not 3] Aug. 2 Sept).

l £6.50 (£5.50).


A young Italian nobleman falls from his horse during a Medieval pagent. He

hits his head and for the

next twenty years is locked in the belief that he is the llth century ruler of the Holy Roman Empire. Henry IV. Or is he? Pirandello's play is a fascinating study of the idea of madness of what constitutes sanity. of the correlation between one‘s sense of self and the way one is perceived. and of theatre itself.

This is a very talented group of young actors, especially Robert Palmer,

j who has real stature as the

extraordinary Henry. With his dramatic entrance. the garrulous atmosphere of the preceding scenes instantly evaporates and there is a palpable shudder from the audience. From this moment on. he is riveting and entirely convincing in his alarming mood swings. Despite the odd hammy moment. this is an impressive production of a wonderful play. (Catherine Fellows) I Henry IV (Fringe) Double Edge Drama. Adam House (Venue 34)

Angel and the Bouncer: a strangely constrained performance

FESTIVAL 8""/10""

650 8200. 26. 28 Aug. 9.45pm. £4.50 (£3.50).


David Mamet’s punchy drama. about a white-

coIIar New Yorker who leaves his arid marriage and tumbles into a dark.

is, thematically. highly reminiscent of Joel Schumacher's Falling Down. In a brutal world. both say. men brutally conditioned will eventually respond with more brutality, even if they start out decent. though Mamet's lean. sharply stylised dialogue treads this treacherous territory with considerably more subtlety. In an aptly taut, nervy production. the cast’s concentration on sustaining their (unusually proficient) American accents does seem to distract them from generating the intensity and precision the play requires. but if you pay attention to the words, the script is strong enough to



( Okay so they‘re

( unfashionable. And they sing songs about German tourists and golf. And the audience is composed entirely of middle-aged couples who get their satirical frisson with Instant Sunshine. But what the hell: critical heterodoxy or not it has to be admitted that Kit And The Widow are a damn funny and fantastically clever comedy duo with a gag per minute rating twice that of most Assembly acts. Even their Light Entertainment niceness is tempered by moments of shockingly sick vindictiveness (usually directed toward our esteemed Royal Family) and minutes of wonderfully crap buffoonery. Their intricate. intellectual filth x is presented on solo piano ,' and unamplified voice. i giving an incisive clarity . rare on the comic fringe.

It’s almost enough to forgive them for wearing matching costumes. -

I Kit and The Widow (Fringe) Cafe Royal. The Cafe Royal (Venue 47) 556 2549. until 4 Sept.

8pm/9.20pm. £6 (£5).

(Stephen Chester)

The List 27 August—9 September 1993 39