8PM 0m ®
In theory this show should have been killer. illgh ratio of bums on seats, two respected comediennes and a cleverly-devised, well-scripted routine. In practice, the laugh count was painfully low and many of the witticisms shot straight over the top of the assembled heads. liuite simply Split Tease was positioned too far off- kilter. Sadly so, because it was a fresh inventive move for the two stand ups and a particular improvement on Smith’s 93 routine.
The world of work - an apple tumover factory — provided the location for Smith and liayridge’s oblique repartee. Induiging in a kind of brainstorming word-association session, the pair moved through verbal trains: oddlob to Bond to Brooke Bond
Teenagers today are more sophisticated than at any other time. With no obvious way to turn to for salvation, they are also highly disaffected, which is why plays like this are so vital.
A devised piece, it is a visual and verbal bombast charting the descent of fourteen-year-oid lat into a murky world way out oi his/her depth. Bullying, sexual abuse and parental strife all pile on the pressure, and let turns to drugs, moving into a kind of teenage commune that is part lord 0f the Flies, part Fagin’s lair, minus the charm of either. in order to survive iiat turns to prostitution and worse, resulting in the final, sad, predictable horror.
This would mute perfect theatre in education, its visceral authenticity bypassing the proseiytlsing of more
llayridge and Slith: oil W
with slick finesse.
Absurd moments like the diatribe on extended warranties worked best and the tannoy snatches of Radio 4 were entertaining. The ambient relaxation tape with brash, northern voice-over raised a laugh as did liayridge’s Russian vixen phone chat. However, the delivery was too unbalanced for
Smith too overt, llayridge too kooky and mousey.
Unfortunately, the show didn’t even hit the off-the-mark point it was aiming for. Stronger towards the end, disappointing overall. (Bethan Cole) Split Tease (Fringe) ilattie llayridge and linda Smith, Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 225 2151, until 3 Sept, 9pm, £6.50 (£5.50).
The Web of Innocence
‘ The Web Of Innocence: ‘rmiversnl ills’
“grown up’ companies. The spirited young cast feature some genuine talents, their collective energy never flagging for a second. They clearly understand the world they portray, which might upset a few molly- coddling parents, but that is no bad thing.
Most of the eight-strong ensemble play liat at some point, a device that initially confuses, but, along with androgynous character names, succeeds in conveying a commonality of universal ills. it could happen to anyone, and probably does. (lieil Cooper)
The Web Of Innocence (Fringe) Spotlites Theatre Company, 0, Overseas ilouse (Venue 19) 225 5105, 10-20 Aug, 9.30pm, 21-27 Aug, midnight, £5 (£3).
2 A PAIR 0F 5 GRIHIIIIIG
this dialogue to be generally effective; I
Perhaps it's the superb
timing and originality that 3 make Parsons and Naylor ' such a great act to watch.
Maybe it’s the audience
participation and the fact that your attention is
never allowed to wander
from their inane brand of
slapstick. Certainly it‘s not the
duff basis for the show.
The loose storyline has our heroes trying to impress some high- powered casting director who could advance their television careers. (In fact. P&N are already developing a show for the Beeb). No. it’sjust the plain fact that they write very funny. professional material: opening titles to television series. ﬁtness instructors. adverts, Monopoly. playing cards and even Fred West receive a swift kick up the comedy coccyx. Go out with a group of mates and get merrily drunk on some great grinnin‘ tonic. (Philip Dorward)
I A Pair of Brinning IIIIOIS (Fringe) Parsons and Naylor, Gilded Balloon l1. Stepping Stones (Venue 51) 225 6520. 12 Aug-3 Sept. 9.15pm, £6.50 (£5.50).
V THEATRE TECHNIQUE
A man is held hostage after interviewing an unemployable tank- topped saddo for a job. and is methodically tortured and humiliated. Both the job-hunter and his manipulative, implausibly vampish ﬂatmate seem to be acting out some kind of revenge on the world for allowing outsiders like themselves to be thrown onto the scrapheap.
PM a liayior: grimtin' tonic 9
This attempt at Pinteresque power games is clumsily constructed. while the mixing up of theatrical conventions fails to convince. Scene changes are handled by what seems to be a
reputable furniture removal firm. and look out too for this month‘s [hurled magazine. in possibly its first stage appearance. (Neil Cooper) I Technique (Fringe) Sleeping Giant Theatre. Adam House Theatre (Venue 34) 650 8200. until 27 Aug. 9.45pm.
7 v COMEDY
: Ann rouv eunoess,
contemporary concerns i Slaphead comic Roger i Monkhouse has clearly
played tougher audiences than the meek lambs who came to this show. But he still managed to work up a bit of a reaction with an opening salvo ofquick- fire gags and audience questioning. before introducing support act Tony Burgess. Bad move. Fifteen minutes of this whining Mancunian - a sort of Shaun Ryder without the irony — left Monkhouse with it all to do again.
Roger Monkhouse has the typical concerns of a thirtysomething. 90s male — co-habitation. becoming a father. being a bit ambivalent about students. football. But
‘ sheer force ofcharacter
makes him funnier than his standard-class material. Buy Monkhouse. sell Burgess is my advice.
I Boger Monkhouse and
. Tony Burgess (Fringe)
Music Box (Venue 50)
220 4847. until 3 Sept. 7 9.45pm. £6 (£4).
5 v COMEDY
‘ Standing with his mike
above the cosy tables in
the Main Theatre. Kevin Day is big enough to intimidate hecklers into
submission, but he simply
incorporates them fluidly
into his set. Otherwise his targets are regulation class of ‘94 stand-up — OJ Simpson. Baby Abbie.
dead Tories and
vegetarians (still) — if
. accurately struck. It’s a crude. well-delivered.
. politically quasi-correct
set. beefed up by Day’s
working-class attitude which he wears on his sleeve next to the serious
drinking badge. His act includes the most precise differentiation between shit and faeces you're likely to hear. (Thom Dibdin)
I Kevin liay (Fringe) Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 226 2151. until 27 Aug. 9.15pm. £7.
48 The List 19—25 August 1994