Frank Skinner _

To describe a stand-up as ‘blue’ conjures up a stag-night, mother-in- law, I-wouldn’t-say-she-was-fat kind of comedy hell. Boy ‘Chubby’ Brown is blue, Bernard Manning is blue, Ben Elton definitely is not.

What about Frank Skinner? He talks about the ‘pale blue book’ to describe his BBC shows and the ‘deep purple’ one for the stage show. But he’s also a sensitive chap who is worried that his act could be misunderstood. ‘Just because I may talk about shagging doesn’t necessarily mean I’m being deeply sexist,’ he pointed out defensively in a recent interview.

llo indeed, but Skinner is deeply laddish, llew Laddish perhaps, but laddish all the same. These days there’s an endless stream of comedians lining up to say they’ve liked football all along, but Skinner trumped them all when he became a World Cup pundit, offering a comedy counterpoint to Alan Hansen’s tactical analysis.

llis simple, blokey appeal has been successfully spun out in a variety of directions. In the vaguely autobiographical series Blue Heaven, Skinner is one half of a no-hope musical group playing the West Midlands club circuit, but the frequent straight-to-camera asides deflate any attempt at character development,

Frank Skinner: blokish charm making it more of a stand-up vehicle than a proper sit-com.

The Fantasy Football League series, adapted from the age-old pastime of choosing composite football teams, is based on life chez Skinner with real- life flatmate David Baddiel who share footballing anecdotes and cans of Carling in front of the telly. It’s the ultimate in mates-down-the-pub banter, and again relies on Skinner’s relentlessly down-beat sense of humour.

And this is his year: Frank Skinner has already collected the television set of sit-com, chatshow and gameshow (see Gagtag), he’s writing material for a couple more, and a 60- date tour follows his Fringe appearances. llot bad for a man with one character - himself - up his sleeve. (Eddie Gibb)

Frank Skinner (Fringe) Pleasance, 10-20 Aug, 9.20pm, £7 (£6), except the last three shows which are £8 (£7).

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.Slmm wicker/(y sleett 'ers slerenly/Ies

The Village Voice

.85 (AL-$.50)

excavations of untold truths and other outbursts

A professional "funny lady" confronts family taboos. global insanity. nervous breakdowns. the Holocaust. and beauty school. An ear/say production at


31F llamtlton Place box office ()BI 226 3-4253 or fringe of'f‘iee OBI 2226 5MB



This man has forgotten more spastic jokes than an entire class of primary school kids could recite during big break. Someone so clumsy he has two left calipers. a stand-up who deserves an ovation for simply standing up. a man who buys live pints at the bar so he‘ll still have a half when gets back to his seat (joke translated from the original Australian).

Welcome to the world of Steady liddy. the best 25- year-old Aussie comic with cerebral palsy appearing on the Fringe this year. He's also a funny guy. A compilation of clips of Steady's television appearances reveal two things: Australian morning show hosts make Alan Titchtnarsh look sexy and middle-aged women like to laugh at disabled jokes. Steady fiddy says that's OK —- if he can laugh at his disability. you can too.

‘I think now all my material refers to my disability at sortie point but with my newer stuff it's getting less and less.‘ he explains. ‘lt's talking about what I know best being a spastic.‘

But Eddy. don't you feel sotne responsibility on behalf of the rest of the disabled community to present a positive role model and fight to break down the barriers of society‘s prejudice? Nope. 'I mean basically l'm just a stand-up.‘ he says. ‘lfl make it easier for people to cope with disability then that's a bonus.‘

Steady liddy. Most likely to say: ‘llow many spastics does it take to change a light bulb‘." Least likely to say: ‘I prefer the term "differently-abled". if you don't mind.‘ (Eddie Gibb)

I Steady Eddy (Fringe)

Gilded Balloon (Venue

' called on to populate

. the

38)226 2151. I2 Aug—3 | Sept. 8.45pm. £7.50 (£6.50).


lfyou're ‘hunting the

bandits'. says George Rosie. you gotta come to lidinburgh. ()f all Scottish cities. this is the place where the uppercrust of high finance. the legal system and national Government rub shoulders with the underworld. creating an unusually complex network of power and influence.

Rosie is an investigative journalist who has (temporarily) hung up his bandit-hunting hat to concentrate on writing plays. His previous Fifth Estate-produced scripts - ’l‘ltt' Blusp/tt’nter and (tlf/llt't‘ll (mill/1e Queen off/nuts - pounded a historical beat but Rosie's latest follows one Jinkie Baxter down into the dark world of the contemporary gangster.

linkie is based loosely on a character Rosie tnet while chasing a story on south London's answer to the Krays for the Sunday limes in the early 70s. “What intrigued tne was the battalin of the evil -- these people are not monsters. they just do monstrous things.‘ he remembers.

It Had 7}) [3e lim. set amongst the middle men of Edinburgh‘s drug trade. tells the simple story of hunter and hunted. or murderer and murderee as Martin Amis once described this age-old relationship.

The psychological exploration of killer-as- victim isn't a new theme but Rosie has adapted it to explore another set of Edinburgh characters. away from the New Town toffs and drug—injecting losers who are usually

fiction set in the city. | (Eddie Gibb) j

. 6

I It Had To Be You

(Fringe) Fifth Estate. The

Netherbow (Venue 20) 556 9579. 9 Aug—3 Sept (not Suns). 8.30pm. £5 (£3).


Director Ben Harrison is clearly hooked. ‘Some things are definitely not true.‘ he says. ‘They weren‘t btxlysnatchers at all they cut out the middle men and went straight for murder.‘ ln lidinburgh. you can tell Burke and flare obsessivcs by the untamed glint in their eye and a tendency to use dissection metaphors.

Foremost among them is writer. theatre critic and lidinburgh University historian ()wen Dudley fidwards who has devoted an unhealthy amount of his time to examining lidinburgh's most notorious serial killers. Now the critic has turned playwright with Hare and Burke which —- as the title suggests < turns upside down many accepted fictions and seeks to salvage sotne sympathy for the demonic duo.

Act one of the play will be performed in the Bedlam Theatre. while the second act takes audiences across the road to the wonderfully macabre setting of Greyfriars' Kirkyard.

where Burke‘s final days

will be played out amidst

the tombstones. ‘()wen

wrote the play with

Greyfriars' in mind.‘

explains l-lat‘rison. ‘You see. the sixteen victims

were never buried. so in a

sense we're bringing them to rest in the graveyard.‘ (Justin McKenzie Smith) I Hare and Burke

(Fringe) lidinburgh

University Theatre Company and Common l‘orce. Bedlam Theatre (Venue 49) 225 9893. l5—27 Aug (not Suns). 9.55pm. £5 (£3).

Join the Fantasy Godesses of Comedy Mayhem for a night of illegal pleasure.

Party time is 8pm.

Southside Venue 82.

Aug 1 1th - Sept 3rd (not weds)

Tickets 667 7365 £5.00 (£4.00)

ICED JEMS GIVEAWAY l’rmlut e this advert at the Southsitle box office and get your FREE TICKETS. :3 pairs onlyll matlahle lur jwrlortnant es on Tuesday 16th. 23rd 8: 30th Aug. Tickets will he issued on a first come first sen ed lmsis on the day of the show from 10am to 6pm. Limited to one pair per person


The List 12—l8 August l994 51