Anna Ch


The daunting Anna Chen is on a laudable mission: to question our cartoon perceptions of the stereotypical Chinese person. frotn Charlie Chart to Bruce Lee via the 'evil opium-devils‘ of bad 1930s movies. She also presents a very convincing and riveting case for the neglected and influential history of Chinese women and their sexual power. Though this colourful and dynamic monologue is truly revealing. Chen's attention-grabbing PVC catsuit and demonstrations of the intriguing ‘Cleopatra grip‘. hint at revelations of another kind. ()fcourse. Chen is well aware of the irony since she asks the 70 per cent single male audience: ‘You are here for the right reasons aren‘t you'." I think some of us were. (Ann Donald)

l Suzy Wrong - Human Cannon (Fringe) M u-l.an Arts. Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550. until 3 Sept. 4.15pm. £6.5()/£5.5() (£5.5()/£4.5()).



Whoopi Goldberg in .S'isierxict is as close as most Scots get to witnessing a funny black woman. so this band of fast-talking London girls went some way to redress the balance. Falling the right side of politics and humour. the myths and cliches were dressed down. debunked and downright funny. Whether it was the Essex girl-run Soul Productions. bad ethnic poets or the vacuous ‘oooh yeah baby' US soul singers, the material hit the regulation bull's-eye every time. Angie La Mar‘s own sparky stand-up set and the wicked black (;()/(/(’Il

: xploding 0

ur cartoon image or the Chinese

(iir/s sketch in particular bode well should the self- billed ‘Fn Vogue with cellulite' choose to build on this strong set. (Ann Donald)

I Funny Black Women On The Edge (Fringe) Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 226 2151. until 3 Sept. 4pm. £6 (£5).


Planet ‘K': hetero hero in search or true luuurve

Steve Kearney is a desperate man. A desperately pheromone- crazed. hormonal MAN in search ofa WOMAN. In his vain and crude attempts to fathom the missing gene that will make all. or even one of womankind find his dorky Liberace persona attractive. we embark on a maniacally spirited journey to find true luuurve. Via the hilarious groin-thrusting disco

, mimes. the gargoyle faces

Funny Black Women On The Edge: fast talking London girls


Hey you! Drive, ambition, motivation - 1 learning the WOO!“ Panel ‘0 the you got ’em? It’s a ruthless business, network selling and it ain’t for the

faint hearted.

An executive pyramid sales seminar is the scene for this bleak comedy that looks at the pressure, hype and psychobabble oi the salesman. The show spans all aspects of the job from the proliferation of acronyms vital to

3 quasi-religious veneration heaped on I the mega-successful sales guru.

The play is frighteningly close to reality - constant driving talk and an overwhelming sense of urgency. Have you got what it takes? (Jonathan Trew) Bare Knuckle Selling (Fringe) Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 226 2151, until 3

; Aug, 3pm, £5.50 (£4.50).

FESTIVAL 3""lfi'"

tackle and Gut Reaction ( do so with varying g degrees of success. j Mirjam and Crawling i From The Wreckage form i a two-for-the—price-of-one double bill which deals 3 with women‘s experience 'i of the Nazi Concentration Camps and their attempts ; to reconcile that de- | humanisation with a ‘normal' lifestyle after the Mirjam. written and directed by Mariela Stefanski. draws on selected interviews and __ writings from camp . _. ,1 j " survivors to create a four- ' " . woman. strong piece of physical theatre. There's f deep commitment and dynamism to the words they express. but a little too much running around


. ' f . screaming. not enough ' . ' real movement skill and a Bare Knuckle Selling: have you got what it takes? l few too many clues as to

the local origins of the cast to give the piece a total integrity.

Crawling From The Wreckage is a translation of Auschwitz survivor Charlotte Delbo‘s eight- woman play. Two women

face the audience and display the emotional scars that freedom cannot remove. It's simply

and elastic-man impersonations. Steve weaves his organ-led way through the obstacle course of personal ads. Despite the band practising beneath him. our full-blooded hetero hero still managed to make his giggle-ridden impression upon the audience. (Ann Donald) I Planet ‘K' (Fringe) Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 226 2|5l. until 3 Sept. 3pm. £6 (£5).



The best episodes of Jeeves and Minister. love scenes worthy of Room with a View and song-and- dance routines worthy of an old Hollywood musical all at the one time.

The lightweight jokes. razor-sharp puns and daft as a brush Chaplin-style skits come thick and fast

as two men. one woman and two ladders play the

entire population of ‘I.ower Crumble'. including dogs. cats and (don‘t ask how) the facade of a manor house.

Not the most radical piece of theatre you‘ll see on the Fringe. but massively entertaining in a pull up your covers. pull down the shutters and escape from the world with a cup of hot cocoa kind of a way. and not without a touch of Saki- style cynicism for the old iinglish afternoon tea- taking way of life. (lillie Carr)

I Crumble (Fringe) Rejects Revenge. Bedlam Theatre (Venue 49) 225 9893. until 3 Sept. 4pm. £6.50 (£4).


It‘s a measure of how times have changed in South Africa that the Soweto Paradise Players are sponsored by Rio Tinto Zinc a name that

Gilded Balloon H.

g 51) 225 6520. until 3



. mom THE

staged. well focused and performed with enough maturity to have all the

impact with none of the

, cringe factor. (Ellie Carr) l Miriam/Crawling From The Wreckage (Fringe) Gut Reaction. Demarco Foundation (Venue 22)

E 558 337]. until 3 Sept.

I 4.15pm. £4 (£3).



Bristol. the 1760s where Medieval England and the 18th century combined. From here came Thomas Chatterton. Wordsworth's ‘marvellous boy'. a spoilt. precocious lad with ideas and a talent not suited to his lowly station. Without the means to support his .ability to write. he travelled to London and died a consumptive death. Mark Denny. as 3 Chatterton's ghost. skirns through his life in a 5 passionate monologue that picks up his dreams and wit. tosses them into the I air like a pile of old parchment and plucks out individual vignettes to create a coherent. pleasing and ironic piece. A perfectly formed Fringe experience. (Thom [)ibdin) I The Marvellous Boy (Fringe) John Cargill Thompson. Cafe Royal (Venue 47) 556 2549. until 3 Sept. 4. 15pm. £4.50 (£3).

once headed the list of boycotted corporations. Have Mercy.’ addresses many of the issues facing the new democratic society. but it would be unfair not to point out its faults. The singing and dancing of the young cast is fine. but not exceptional. with a couple of routines resembling aerobics. not dance. Raymond Otto's lyrics and dialogue are straightforward. but appear to have been adapted from a political manual. without considering their dramatic value.

There are moments of good acting which have a more lasting impact and Have Mercy! is interesting : as a reflection of its times. i but by the standards of South African theatre we have been privileged to witness. it is not a very satisfying production. (Justin McKenzie Smith) I Have Mercy! (Fringe) Soweto Paradise Artists.

Stepping Stones (Venue

Sept. 5.30pm. £6 (£5).


The Holocaust is no easy subject for a young. British theatre company with limited experience to

The List 26 August—8 September I994

i l J 33