ALL our UP: OII HOW FIVE CHEAT WOMEN KEPT OPHELIA AFLOAT
Six ﬁctional heroines are thrown together in some man-free twilight zone where they argue the toss about female emancipation. Mother Courage does the housework. while Beatrice Carbone swaps her duster for lipstick and pearls and Hamlet's Ophelia spouts pop culture clichés.
The point of the piece is never clear and isn't helped by an inexperienced cast of three and some clumsy costume changes. The novelty of allowing the audience to choose one of six endings enlivens things. as does a reckless crockery chucking spree. reminiscent of after-hours in a Greek restaurant following too much Ouzo.
For Lit studean everywhere. (Neil Coo r)
I All Cut lip: Or How Five Great Women Kept Ophelia Afloat (Fringe) Stagefright Theatre, Greyfriars Kirkhouse (Venue 28) 225 3626. ll Aug—3 Sept. 2.45pm. £4.50 (£3.50).
. CONVENTIONAL OEMONs
In Richard Davidson's new play. Tom returns from America after ten
years to a flat where two close friends still live. An uneasy tension exists between them. caused by the shared experience of Kate. Tom’s former lover
and muse. who still haunts
Shifting awkwardly between domestic naturalism and stylised lyricism — bridged by
effective original music — E the play seeks to illustrate
that in order to move on. the past has to be let go
Elegiac in tone. occasionally over-ﬂorid. this is an intelligent exploration of how. in the
quest to exorcise personal demons. the past is re- invented. idealised and
ultimately mythologised. (Neil Cooper)
I Conventional Demons (Fringe) Nottingham New Theatre. Pleasance Above (Venue 33) 556 6550. 10—18. 2|. 23—25 Aug. I.50pm. £5 (£4); l9/20.
26/27 Aug. 1.50pm. £6
V COMEDY NAKED BRUNCH
Morning TV chat shows are made to be lampooned. Half of them do a pretty good job of sending themselves up without even trying. Naked Brunch takes the genre to its logical conclusion and magnifies the absurd ﬁfteen-minute sensations and hideous egos of the presenters. Every aspect of the chat show is mercilessly attacked from the on- screen tension between the husband and wife presenter team to the grotesque guests who are set up and served up as pre-chewed fodder to an audience hungry for easily digestable pap. Kathleen
Ruddy. in the guise of Violet Chuff. steals the show as a salivating. sexually frustrated guardian of the nation‘s morals. (Jonathan Trew)
I The flaked Brunch
I Flush! The
(Fringe) One Boy and His Tiger Productions. Gilded '
Balloon II (Venue Si) 225 6520. 12 Aug—3 Sept. 1.15pm. £5 (£4).
V THEATRE I
This is a surreal, canp romp through Chicago’s toilet pan and Il-bend business, set, of course, in America’s only unisex public convenience. Loo Brush (geddit) is out to get Janet Ersmop’s homely convenience and will stop at nothing, let alone breaking into a hearty and villainous rendition I Of ‘Doing The Business’, to get his I mucky Super Lou hands on the I cisterns and ball cocks.
The show is reminiscent of Little
3 Shop 0f Honors: the 503 setting, the ; dim but Iikeabie good guys, the evil 3
and insane baddies and the sheer :
ridiculousness of the whole thing. But 3 the puns are good - like toilet cleaner, . thick and fast - and the songs and
dialogue are sparkling, although not
This had to be one of the most enjoyable ways of seeing The Tempest: out in the open air. relaxed. able to move as one pleased. following the action and the actors as they moved between stream and wooded bank. Obviously. sunlight ﬁltering through trees adds to the magic. but the acting and direction were both inspired. lfone or two scenes in the last act began to lose their sparkle. the ﬁnale brought us to a truly dramatic climax. both comically. and emotionally. with a tearful parting between an alluring Ariel (Nicole Arkless) and a pained Prospero (Bob Cryer). Director Spencer Hinton is to be congratulated on his tender. bewitching. witty production. The time just flew. (Gabe Stewart) I The Tempest (Fringe) Brave New World Theatre Company. Hermitage of Braid (Venue 99) 447 7145. until 3 Sept. 2.30pm. £4 (£3).
FESTIVAL THEATRE USC-USA
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA presents
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always spotlest clean.
At 90 minutes, the show might be a little over-long, but any cuts would undoubtedly have left out the momentoust camp Father Percy Lane. ;
His Obsession for anal activities, ‘
Flushiz Getting to grips with the plot
penchant for hanging around public
toilets and desire to do ‘men’s things’
is somewhat dubious, but probably
included to add some gritty realism. It’s a dangerously silly story, but
3 what would you expect from a musical
that acknowledges the assistance of Armitage Shanks? (Hory Weller) Flush! The Musical (Fringe) The London Musicals Company, Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 226 2151, until 3 Sept, 1.30pm, £6.50 (£5.50).
If you want guaranteed hype, anything 3 Involving the fictionalising oi the ‘ Bible will get councillors frothing and i venue bosses chewing their nails. Synaesthesia Theatre Company even
came endorsed by an angry vicar who claimed their production was ‘trash’. Their production Of Passion follows a I spate of films, plays and books 2 including Jesus Of Montreal and The
Last Temptation Of Christ, which have given the original story a modern and
Jason 0rbaum’s script focuses on Jesus the man, or rather the bloke. . Crossed in ripped levl’s with long hair
3 and a beard, he is a sort of ancient
history Bono figure. Preaching a 1 philosophy which has more in common I with Zen Buddhism than Christianity, he urges the audience to meditate, swears a lot, rejects the love of Mary Magdalen, throws a tantrum in a temple, Is crucified and dies.
Bot lost when you thought you knew the plot, we discover Jesus was lost pretending to be dead and lo, he runs Off to the South of France with Mary and has two kids.
Passion has the kind of story some producer in Hollywood has probably been pushing for years. Like Schindler’s List, it grafts a happy solution onto one of the most profound‘ accepted truths in history, ignoring the weight of theological argememt. Here, Jesus is no more complicated than Superman and his disciples are as stupid as the Seven Dwarves. ‘I love you, you bastard,’ shouts a disciple.
But if you Ignore the over-
melodramatic script and the naivéte
of the cod-philosophy that comes in five minute intervals, there is some
fun to be had. 0rbaum’s Lucifer is as
ganeg and camp as Richard O’Brien and Ellie Kratz as Herod’s Wife is an engaging, waspy sadO-masochist. Performed with energy and a certain charm, Passion isn’t really about Jesus at all. It’s more about Elvis and John Lennon and James Dean and
5 every other celebrity who sacrificed
their personal life for celebrity. (Beatrice Colin)
Passion (Fringe) Synaesthesia Theatre Company, Church Hill Theatre (Venue 45) 447 0111, until Sat 20 Aug, 2pm; 22—27 Aug, 1.15pm, £5 (£3.50).
26 The List 19—25 August 1994