FESTI ' «AL 1 PM /3PM
It you’re looking for some tasty cultural morsels to keep the stomach rumbles at bay over lunch, Kathleen Morgan has the pertect menu.
I Tongues/Not I Sam Shepard's collage of echoes from the dead and living is coupled with Samuel Beckett‘s recounting of a life through a maddened mouth in this distinctive double bill by three celebrated female New York artists.
Tongues/Not I (Fringe) The Translmrent Theater. Randolph Studio (Venue 55) 225 5366. until 3 Sept (not Tue 30) 2pm. £5 (£3).
I liuelques Fleurs The most active woman on the Fringe. Liz Lochhead brings us this comic caricature of an oil widow‘s existence.
Quelques Fleurs (Fringe) Gilded Balloon II. Stepping Stones (Venue 5 I ) 225 6520. until 3 Sept. 2.15pm. £6 (£4.50).
I lightshltt A writer with an Anorak Of Fire and still bathed in West End success. Stephen Dinsdale brings us a black comedy thriller set in a dodgy minicab ofﬁce.
Nightshtft (Fringe) Gilded Balloon Theatre (Venue 38) 226 2151. until 3 Sept. 2.30pm. £5.50 (£4.50).
I Virtues Fledgeling Glasgow theatre group LookOut explores the creation of social identity in two challenging new plays — Laundry and Baby For Up. Virtues (Fringe) Loo/(Out Theatre Company. Gilded Balloon Theatre (Venue 38) 226 2151. until 3 Sept. lpm. £5 (£3.50).
I Paradise - The Second llratt God is called up before the heavenly board and ordered to redesign the earth — a feat he cannot undertake without the help of Satan. Rob Shearman and Richard Turner's comedy sketch show is thought-provoking stuff.
Paradise — The Second Draft (Fringe) The Electric Company. Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550. until 3 Sept. 1.15pm. £5.50/£6.50 (£4.50/£5.50).
Behind the feel—good image surrounding bebop’s greatest pianists lay a different story, as Thom Dibdin discovers.
()n a warm. mellow night in 1951. two of bebop’s ﬁnest pianists. Thelonius Monk and Bud Powell. sat on the corner outside Monk‘s New York ﬂat. shooting the breeze and arguing about life. Monk was drinking and Powell waiting for his man to arrive with the smack. Occasionally. Nellie Monk would come down and argue with them both. urging her husband to come back upstairs.
Monk 'n' Bud is a fictionalised account ofthat night. which ended with the pair ofthem injail after Monk took violent exception to a comment made by his best friend just as a police car was passing. For Monk. the repercussions of that night were serious. His refusal to co-operate with the police and implicate his friend meant he lost his licence to perform and was virtually unemployed until he got it back six years later.
Told in extended flashback from the confines of their shared cell. this volatile. frenetic piece perfectly captures the paranoia and racism of the time. With ﬂying soliloquies. easily as
wild and free-ﬂowing as the accompanying music. Monk and Bud's conversation and argument soars back and forth. What makes this a completely believable piece is that the chat is what you‘d expect from anyone: what makes it special is the insight the conversation gives you to the musicians‘ minds. the music they made. their dreams and failures.
Alvin Alexis as Monk and Tony Jackson as Powell. wrap their characters around the language in fine.
Monk 'n’ Bud: Wild. three-flowing soliloquies sustained and often physical performances. This is not quite enough. however. to carry the whole piece which seems to dip towards the end when repetition creeps in. Nor can they take the blame for the venue‘s oppressiver hot atmosphere. off-stage noises and very uncomfortable seats. (Thom Dibdin)
I Monk ’n’ Bud (Fringe) Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 226 2151. until 3 Sept. l.15pm, £5.50 (£4.50).
The lights go down, a strobe tlickers intermittently and then the music starts. It could be a Floyd concept album entltled Cars At The Gateway To Motorway Madness. Fortunately it’s not, although the sense of sweeping grandeur is there. One man in his battle against the elements and his fellow humans, protected only by the isolating shell oi his pride and joy, his car, the extension at his revved-up ego.
Graeme Fite’s script is certainly a good idea - take two actors, one male, one temale and give them chairs on castors and a bagtul ot props. Then get them to act out a nightmare loumey on the roads, each actor playing a selection oi the ditterent species ot road user. Watch them react against each other and the situation they tind themselves in. Take a trattlc lam and make it a metaphor
All [attuned up tor modern lite, a concentrated microcosm ot human behaviour: claustrophobic, frustrating and impatient.
Most ot the major car-related themes are there - cars are sexy, cars represent personal treedom, cars tart
pollution and cars bring out the worst in people. It is this last aspect of automobile etiquette that provides some of the best lines in the show, perhaps because they ring true. The dialogue is sharp and aggressive with bruising wit, each insult is spat out and returned with added bile and bone-crunching humour. Yet in the midst ot this comes a spot at deep, philosophical navel contemplation which sits uneasily with the rest of the show. Intense, poetic language lars against the sociopathic banter ot the waning motorists.
This apart, the play delves braver into the bitter psyche ot the motorist and comes up with some mordant gems. Just remember: ‘l’m a road user, you’re litter,’ but don’t let the throbbing engine go to your head or you might end up in court tor ‘wanton acts ot vehicular buggery’. (Jonathan Trew)
Jam (Fringe) Ample Productions, Pleasance Attic, (Venue 33), 556 6550, until 30 Aug, 2.30pm, £6.50/£5.50 (£4.50).
24 The List 26 August—8 September 1994