Woody Bop Muddy’s Record Graveyard
If you look in the wheelie-bin outside my flat you’ll find thousands of smashed records. You’ll also find my milkman: bound, gagged and subdued. They say you can tell a good song if the milkman whistles it. Of course the reverse is true: there is no greater indication that a song is crap. It is also true that milkmen never have any shortage of tunes to choose from. The record companies just keep churning them out. They have no shame. If it’s got sixteen choruses and no verse it’s a hit.
In order to protect future generations from these musical obscenitles my Record Graveyard came into being. Follow the example of recent audiences at the Montreal Comedy Festival and Glastonbury and choose
Bop 'til you drop: Woody’s smash hits
1 ‘Mull Of Kintyre’ - Paul McCartney 2 ‘Silly love Songs’ — Paul McCartney 3 ‘llello’ - Lionel Richie
4 ‘little Miss Dragonfly’ - Paul McCartney
5 ‘Could It Be Magic’ — Take That
6 ‘llo Brain Required’ — Phil Collins
7 ‘5th Symphony’ - Beethoven
8 ‘The Puppy Song’ - David Cassidy
9 ‘Too Drunk To Fuck’ - James last &
your own smash(ed) hits. Cast your His Orchestra vote and condemn society’s worst 10 ‘Everything I Do (I Do It For You)’ - aural nightmare to a nasty fate at the Bryan Adams (Woody Bop)
hands of my golden hammer.
This isn’t so much an act. It’s a mission. In the meantime, here is my personal list of Top Ten Turkeys.
Woody Bop Muddy’s Record Graveyard
(Fringe) Woody Bop Muddy, Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550, IO Aug-3 Sept, 10.30pm, 157/28 (916/27).
Iago: pool of ideas Theatre-on-Podol have a post-Soviet take on the theme of racial identity, too. ‘We don’t highlight it a lot,’ says ' Ozhabarov, ‘but Vitaly does stress the
Professional jealousy is a green-eyed monster whose nippy jaws few actors escape. Perhaps that’s why Shakespeare - who knew a thing or two about thesps - gave Iago more lines than Othello.
For Anatoly Ithostikoev, being second actor at the llational Theatre of Ukraine was a minefield of frustration. So he hatched a devious scheme, and whispered it In the ear of Vitaly Malakhov, director of Kiev’s Theatre- on-Podol.
‘lle has always been like Iago, always second,’ explains Theatre-on- Podol’s Constantine Uzhabarov. ‘Ile would suggest ideas but even if they were good, nobody noticed him.’ In Khostikoev’s version, the story of ‘Othello’ is seen from Iago’s point of view. ‘We try to do more for the audience to understand him,’ explains Ozhabarov. ‘The difference is seen on a physical level: out Othello Is very small, and Iago is the big man, very handsome.’
Here in Ukraine, we are a contradiction, because partly we feel, partly we know.’ Knowing how much mileage Iago got from a single handkerchief, Theatre- on-Podol took dirty linen as their theme, and set ‘Iago’ in a laundry. Unable to find a suitably sudsy venue ? in Edinburgh, the company settled for l a swimming pool, creating new 'j possibilities: the liquid boulevards of Venice, the stormy crossing to Cyprus, the victorious voyages of Othello. As the Fool remarked to King Lear, j "Tis a naughty night to swim in.’ ! (Andrew Burnet)
. Iago (Fringe) Theatre-on-Podol,
Infirmary Street Swim Centre (Venue 117) 557 4963, 15 Aug-2 Sept,
l 10.15pm, £5 (24).
point that “Europe knows; Asia feels”.
The Right Stuff: clapped-out double-act are go
STOP CALLING ME VERNON
In terms of comedy theatre. true stupidity requires great intelligence. ()n the stupid scale The Right Size must weigh on the side of genius. They're connoisseurs of craziness. masters of everything from surreal slapstick to gag-worthy gags and assorted acrobatic antics. Bouncing out of a Vaudeville/music- hall tradition. their work is laced with lovely. loony invention. inspired illusionist's tricks. and pathos.
These London-based world-travellers have been going since 1988. Their newest show Stop Culling My Vernon. is an hour- long two-hander about a clapped-out double-act eager to trade-in tired pratfalls and numbing numbered routines for the legitimate. ‘serious‘ stage. In it. Sizeists Sean Foley and Hamish McColl mercilessly send-up the lofty aspirations that come crashing down around their gloriously inept alter-egos' ears.
Invoking the spirit of Stan Laurel. Buster Keaton. Eric Morecambe and Tommy Cooper. the ginger-haired Foley and buggy blue-eyed McColl specialise in creating well-deﬁned screwball worlds for characters whose desperate passions and tragic optimism can seem hysterically funny. Continually they blast out and refill what McColI calls ‘the gulfbetween your dignity held. and your dignity lying on the floor.‘ Foley simplifies The Right Size's universal appeal: ‘People falling over is a source of comedy the world over.‘ (Donald Hutera)
I Stop Calling Me Vernon (Fringe) The Right Size. Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550. ll Aug—3 Sept (not Mons l5 or 22). 12.l5am. £5l£6 (LII/£5).
BACK TO BASICS
Are you a true Brit? That‘s what Roland Allan wants to find out if you‘re in the audience at Back To Basic: The Game Show.
a little Iess'. (Thom Dibdin)
I Back To Basics: The Game Show (Fringe) Big Wheel Theatre Company. Festival Club (Venue 36) 650 2395. I3 Aug—3 Sept (not Wed 24 Aug). 12.10am. £5 (£4).
MODERN PROBLEMS IN SCIENCE
Anyone who remembers the children‘s science programme How? will be truly appalled by the three imprtwisational revolutionaries currently turning the academic world of Chicago topsy- turvy. For Dick Costello. Rich Fulcher and Phil Granchi specialise in completely bogus science demonstrations. albeit based on genuine scientific principals. to
; prove whatever screwy
show format. part political l
satire. Back '1?) Basics falls into that semi- nebulous state known as
Interactive audience participation games are what sets the show apart. Take ‘The Newspaper Game' where two teams have to make up the front page of a tabloid. ‘lt's not directly political but politics underlies it.‘ says Allan. ‘We say. “It is very important to stamp out the loathsome trade in pornography" — which is a direct quote from John Major's Back to Basics speech — and then tell stories about the sort of things that tabloids get upset about. like pornography coming through the Channel Tunnel. But the contestants always have to put tits and bums on the front page.‘
Putting a message into the context of a fun-fun- fun game show has been Big Wheel’s bread and butter for the last few ye. rs. They have been using the technique to great educational effect. bringing literary criticism and Shakespeare alive for teenagers. Now it‘s the turn of Tory values. As Mr Major himself said. ‘We should condemn a
little more and understand
. remise the audience Part piss-take of the game ' p
throw at them. Since their inaugural
lecture the trio have
proven irrefutany more theories than Einstein. These include: The Turin Shroud Can Be Used To Predict Basketball Scores. Television Causes Impotence. Up Is Down and. en par with the theory of relativity. The Reflection Of Bald Men's Heads Causes Global Warming.
It transpires that the brains behind these absurd goings-on cannot be dismissed merely as intellectual lightweights on laughing gas. ‘We all have degrees.’ says Fulcher from his Chicago base. ‘Either in law. computers or geology. but none of us wanted to go into academia because it‘s so stuffy. Combining
, comedy with learning —
. I l ' c. Q. Modem Problems In Science: fools out for stint-er
that way you can really learn something.’ he hypothesises.
Though the team may be treading in intellectually murky waters. the laughter theory should be proved without a doubt. (Ann Donald)
I Modem Problems In Science (Fringe) Annoyance Theatre Company. Hill Street Theatre (Venue 4 I) 226 6522. I2 Aug—3 Sept. 10.20pm. £6 (£5).
The List l2—18 August I994 59