Funny Black Women
On The Ede
‘l’d like to make sitcoms that are funny,’ says Angie Le Mar, who is not without a sense of ambition. There’s no reason why she shouldn’t be able to pull it off either: if you can count the number of successful black comediennes on the fingers of one mutilated hand then Ms Le Mar would
be one of the first two surviving digits.
But when the stand-up’s tough the tough stand up, as they almost say, and the capable Le Mar has certainly gained herself a reputation for ‘man- stabbing’ performances. Le Mar insists it isn’t all that hard on the chaps: ‘I suppose men get a bit of truth, like I might walk on and say, ‘Women do fart, its just we know how not to.’ Or I say, ‘lsn’t it awful when you break up with your guy, and you meet a new one who gives you an orgasm? It makes you want to go back to your ex and say “You owe me.” ’
Having spent eight years in the comedy biz it would be an excessively be-lagered/braindead bloke who
When the stand-up's tough the tough stand up
responded to such jibes, yet none the less they do: ‘I just ask them to put the lights up,’ says Le Mar, not without a smack of relish, ‘then I try and find the guy.’ It seems that many a hapless heckler has had much of the show dedicated to them, much to the hilarity of everyone else.
Le Mar’s latest show mixes stand-up with the singing and dancing skills of three other performers. Together they form a black version of The Golden Girls, entitled The Golden Sisters, and perform a comic re-working of Stars In Their Eyes. ‘If it all falls through I’ve still got the microphone,’ says Le Mar, who openly confesses she has no idea how the cream of the Afro-Caribbean comedy circuit will fare In Edinburgh. But even if it sinks, it would be a foolish audience member that said so. (Stephen Chester)
Funny Black Women On The Edge (Fringe) Gilded Balloon, (Venue 38) 226 2151, 12 Aug—3 Sept, 4pm, £6 (£5).
Check out the power ofthe dead-pan expression wh those masters of mask
Trestle Theatre Company - their latest show Window Dressing turns the Trestle spotlight on media exploitation, and one family’s search for the truth. Window Dressing (Fringe) Trestle Theatre Company, St Bride’s Centre (Venue 62)
34514os,15-27 Aug, 4pm, £6 (£4).
'.O~‘..° J ' e.
s. -§ , _ m. . .. .4 .
'1’ ‘..‘.' O .
c3 "A"; e .. '0 .' '-.‘e“-'.;9
Incidental Theatre Company's enviable fourteen-year track record in adult comedy has included Jeremy Hardy. Arthur Smith and Tony Hawks. Dogman.’ represents a departure into the world ofchildren’s theatre. and is the creation ofcomedians Tony Haase and John Dowie (BBC 2’s Now Something Else). starring Paul B. Davies (Radio 4's At Home With The Hart/vs) and Phil Nice (Channel 4's Who Dares Wins).
So what makes a nice bunch of respectable alternative comedians devote their combined performing. writing and designing talents to create a comedy show for. ahem. three to ten-year-old children .7
‘Perhaps because they‘re all so involved in fatherhood.‘ hazards Victor Spinetti. Dog/nan is director. ‘My first meeting with this group of alternative comedians was extraordinary.‘ he continues. ‘I‘ve never seen such a tired-looking bunch of new men. In between rehearsals I'd catch them showing each other pictures of their kids.’
Spinetti has directed children‘s theatre before. but here was a gang of experts making the transition from adult to children‘s comedy. His first job was to persuade them to stop acting and tell the truth. ‘The important thing in children’s comedy is that you create an atmosphere and tell the story.‘
Dogman.’ promises to tell
its story of a pup from outer space with ‘magical’ powers. without resort to patronising silly faces or voices. It does resorting. however. to a neat marketing ploy involving
free ice lollies. so don’t
forget the babywipes. (Gabe Stewart)
' I Ilogman! (Fringe)
Incidental Theatre Company. Pleasance
i (Venue 33) 556 6550.
Domain: one spaced-out pup
2. 24—28 Aug. 3pm;
.. 9—31 Aug. 1—3 Sept. 3.20pm. £6.50 (£4.50) Family ticket for four £l7.60.
DELIGHTS \. .l
There‘s something completely surreal about having someone parping their trumpet down the phone to you. Especially when they slip straight into a totally hep
dixieland-type clarinet solo without missing a
what his set was all about.
beat. ‘l'd love to see you write that down' challenges Earl Okin.
I suppose I shouldn't have asked Okin
At least he didn‘t try to blow his other horn down
‘ the wire. ‘First of all there
is my particular brand of sexuality.’ he claims. ‘What else can one say. one is a sex object. one has to be honest about this. It isjust one of those things. you have to be careful not to be branded as a bimbo but if you‘ve
5 got it. ﬂaunt it.‘
And flaunt it. the Iascivious lipped trumpeter certainly does. The man who once opened the bill at Wembley Arena for Paul McCartney‘s Wings (‘just me and l0.000 people in the audience.‘ he says modestly) has added this afternoon show to his hectic evening performance schedule because he reckons the punters just can‘t get enough of him. And what will they get? ‘A sophisticated mix of sex.
songs and spats.‘ Obviously. (Thom Dibdin)
l Mango And Other Delights (Fringe) Earl Okin. Accoustic Music Centre (Venue 25) 220 2462. I3. 19—21. 26—29 Aug. 2/3 Sept. 4. l5pm. £6 (£4.50).
v mares suzv WRONG - HUMAN CANNON
Remember those ‘Singapore girls are a great way to fly' ads?’ Well that‘s not Anna Chen — and she‘s written a one- woman show to prove her point.
‘There are very few parts for Oriental women.’ Chen explains. ‘Unless of course you actually want to play the passive female
sidekick to a big Triad boss roles.‘ Such casual stereotyping doesn‘t leave much room for positive images of Chinese women but. as Chen discovered when she put pen to paper. it‘s the stuff of brilliant satire.
Suzy Wong was a Hong Kong film star. And Suzy Wong was a prostitute — dependant on the kindness of strangers for survival. In an absurdist spin through the history of Chinese women she becomes Suzy Wrong — Human Cannon turning her body from ‘a soft target to a lethal weapon.‘
1 hope that doesn't sound too right-on.‘ laughs Chen — making sure I don't have her down as a boring Chinese feminist. ‘It‘s very irreverent.‘ As ifl didn't know.
‘The whole thing is based round the popular conception of the Far East ping-pong ball act — and if that‘s not funny I don‘t know what is.‘ (Ellie Carr)
I Suzy Wrong - Human Cannon (Fringe) Mu-Lan Arts. Pleasance. (Venue 33) 556 6550. IlAug-3 Sept. 4.15pm. £5.50 (£4.50); £6.50 (£5.50).
The List 12—18 August I994 37