SHRIM- Gettmg your Phil

Loopy, wild and not of this planet, but that’s enough about Ann Donald. What about this

comedian chappie she went to see. Phil Kay?

Earth to Kay. Earth to Kay. Come in Phil Kay. Are you receiving us‘.’ For anyone who has just witnessed the mercurial. manic and well off-thc-wall experience that is Phil Kay. then this is a perfectly normal question to pose of the comedian‘s sanity. Perhaps he drinks a lot of Lucozade Sport. or perhaps he has his own MDMA

But this man must be the comedy

equivalent of being Tangocd by that

big. fat orange bloke in the adverts. ()n the fashion front. the Jesus beard

hippy threads for some splendid white trainers. Regarding material. there are

laboratory or perhaps he's just a nutter.

is still intact and he‘s swapped the neo-

no Big Themes to speak of. though a recent tour of Australia obviously provided ajumping-off raft in terms of

#421: t

Phil Kay: spiking his comedy with Lucozade Sport?

subject matter: the surfing ironing- board sketch was truly deranged in its inspiration and execution. Kay has the

confidence to derail a whole show with his lightning improvisations that skate from kidnapping the Tron bar-manager aided and abetted by rows A and B, to imagining Russians under the floorboards. Even the twist in his microphone lead provides an excuse to zap off into the weird and wonderful skewed world of Kay.

His brand of humour owes its roots to no one, though the unlikely names of Spike Milligan and Buster Keaton seep through the blurry haze of kinetic comedy. He moves about like a hyperactive child on stage. with all antennae out and bristling, ready to dive off into another nutty line at a nanosecond‘s notice.

And just when you thought it was safe to go home. he’s bounced out from behind the curtains like the Yeti, to berate those unfortunate souls too quick offthe mark to the bar. Another ten minutes of madcap funny faces and tomfoolery behind the curtains and we are allowed. weak with laughter, to retire for a cup of calming camomile tea to proselytise on exactly what it was that Kay said/did that was so funny.

I’hi/ Kay was seen at the 'l'mn Theatre. Glasgow and [Edinburgh audiences can catch him at The 'l'rat'erse on 3 and 4 Jane.


MARY QUEEN or scars


Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh. Until Sat 6 Aug.

Eilidh Fraser: brassy and charismatic

I’m really impressed. When I saw this production of Liz lochhead’s irreverent history play on its opening at the Drunton Theatre a couple of months back, it struck me that for all the inventiveness of the staging there was too little concentration on the clear telling of the tale. It seemed to

Maybe my mood’s changed or maybe, as I suspected at the time, the better acoustics and scale of the Royal lyceum help pull the whole thing into focus. Whatever the reasons, David McVicar’s production has moved into central Edinburgh with a firm and confident stride, capturing the spirit of the original Communicado version with a style that Is very much its own. It Is very good indeed.


be all activity but too little substance.

i Performing on an open-plan 1950s ballroom floor, complete with mirror balls, teddy-boy drapes and lli-Di-ill dresses, the company dances and

l finger-clicks its way through

tlochhead’s historical strategy game

.' as Elizabeth I of England attempts to

subvert the shaky authority of the

Catholic Mary. The script demands a

theatrical approach and Mchcar’s

team shows itself more than worthy of the challenge. Whether it’s Daniela llardinl as an austere, sell-assured

Mary, Eilidh Fraser as a brassy,

charismatic Elizabeth, John Kazek as a

wide-boy Bothwell, Tony Curran as a

: hilariously ineffectual Damley or

Susan Ilisbet as a plucky La Corbie,

this fight ensemble creates a stylish,

musical and very visual treat that perfectly matches the iconoclastic air of Lochhead’s play. (Mark Fisher)

amm- THE SILENT rwms

Dld Partick Police Station, Glasgow. Until Sun 5 Jun.

Sit a tiny audience in the menacineg cloaked environs of Old Partick Police Station and within seconds its collective imagination is easy prey for a piece of theatre scnrtinislng the world of those whose minds are traditionally defined as being off- kilter.

llVA’s choice of location is not coincidental: it was to Broadmoor prison that identical twins June and Jennifer Gibbons were sent for indefinite committal after their petty criminal activities.

The Gibbons sisters - disconcertineg played by identical twins, Julia and Jennifer Pinto - retreated Into each other: mute to ‘experts’ and strangers intent on unearthing what lay behind their apparent sullen insolence. This , iolnt mask of recalcitrance, however,

bid a far deeper, psychological and disquieting imaginative world, giving llVA director Angus Farquhar licence to devise a riveting theatrical work that gels overall in its use of lighting and sound-montage, even if it occasionally [are when It over-reaches itself and strays into the DTT realms of the absurd (the female masturbation scene resembles a bad Madonna clip).

The Pinto twins’ inexperience filters through only in these more experimental scenes, and as a whole their convincing performances, especially in the seamlessly mimed sequences, evoke frissons of edginess in an audience trying to come to terms with the oscillating nature of the sisters’ weirdly symbiotic relationship. Whether they are psyching each other out in their incessant power-struggle or mischievoust acting out games that vary from the childish to the macabre, the spectator is held in rapt attention.

Though not professing to offer any solutions about treating those

, diagnosed as mentally ill, this

production does reveal a world that only a minority know at first hand. (Ann Donald)


Seen at the Brunton Theatre, Musselburgh. On Tour.

Which wars will be remembered in 50 years time? It is certainly impossible to believe that the genocide perpetrated in Rwanda or Bosnia will be so fondly regarded as the Home Front in Glasgow’s Dennlstoun is In I’ll Be Seeing You. Constructed from the memories of a group of elderly people, the play is a clever exarnlnatlon of the lives of four very different women,

living through World War II, liberally sprinkled with the popular songs of the period.

Susan, who has just turned fourteen, is as preoccupied with her burgeoning sexuality as any of her age, much to the shame of her otherwise down-to- earth Maw, the consternation of her Maw’s prudish best pal Mrs Ross and the delight of her sister-in-law Catherine. Reaching out for a very British and prudish interest in matters sexual, the production uses Susan’s demands for enlightenment on such points of interest as the curse and fornication as a vehicle to examine the issues of loss, camaraderie and, above all, the spiteful hurt of loose gossip.

However, this is the acceptable face of the 0-day anniversary celebrations. lt laughs with the women in their predicaments in a way which speaks a bit about universal problems of growing up, while concentrating on the specific travails of the time, and the acting and singing are well done. While it’s not the thing you would want to see on your own, grannies and aunts will sing along with the tunes and crease themselves at the risque jokes. ’Maw, what’s self abuse?’ indeed. (Thom Dibdln)


Seen at The lletherbow, Edinburgh Big Stramash believe that education and entertainment are compatible bedfellows, which Is why this play is an off-shoot of the Zero Tolerance carnpalgn. The Inherent danger of tackling such an emotive theme as male abuse of women and children, Is that the audience, not to mention reviewer, might feel duty bound to reserve criticism In the light of the sensitive subject matter.

58 Thu I Act I—Lfi lime 1994