Coffee is the traditional inducement uttered by a Fringe company eager to maximise the audience at an early performance. Poulter and Gulf are a lot less innocuous. Gofiee might well be sampled, but not with a side order of flaky croissant. Gava cava will be more like it.

This is the A—Z of Drugs. Audience members will be offered a choice from the lexicon of legal highs which the duo have to offer. And once narcotically challenged, the willing guinea pigs will be asked to provide a running update on their experiences.

‘It is comedy,’ stresses Graham Duff, ‘but there’s lots of information and facts in it as well. it’s iniomedy: information and comedy in a iatuous package.’

Such is the stuff of which decadent Fringe entertainment is made. True to form, Edinburgh Councillor Moira Knox

The A—Z 0f Drugs


.- -1

The A-Z of Drugs: the perfect start to the day?

has already attacked the show on a

radio programme, according to Duff.

‘She wasn’t upset about us giving out

_ chocolate,’ points out James Poulter,

‘which is very addictive and not very

good for you. it seems to be the khat

which is causing the problems.’ llor is the show simply frivolous hedonism. After four months’

dedicated research in which the duo sampled their way through the legal

Pharmacopoeia, they are thoroughly versed in the ways of drugs. ‘It is an awareness show,’ argues Poulet, pointing out that all their drugs have their highs as well as lows, ‘hut it is the perfect way to start the Festival day: come and get pumped full of legal drugs!’ (Thom Dibdin)

The A-Z of Drugs (Fringe) Poulter and Duff, The Assembly Rooms (Venue 3) 226 2428, 12 Aug—2 Sept, noon,

£7. 511/1150 (£6.50/i‘5.50).

Animal Farm

Virtuoso Guy Maerson ls king plg down on Animal Farm

After last year’s Festival winner, Guy Masterson cast around for a suitably challenging follow-up to his one-man multl-volced performance of Under Milk Wood. George Orwell’s Animal Fenn seemed the most obvious contender as the next undertaking for the nephew of Richard Burton.

llot only ls1995 the 50th anniversary of the book’s publication, but

Masterson was also drawn by the uncanny political parallels to present

3 day Britain. ‘It really hit me how

applicable the book is to the 90s,’ says Masterson. ‘l tried to illustrate that certain similarities can be drawn with the totalitarian Animal Farm situation, because the nearest thing we have had to that is the same government for the last sixteen years.’

In order to give the play a contemporary feel, Masterson has deployed tapes of famous political speeches, topical cross-references to recent political events, and familiar Parliamentarian voices. ‘The soft m of lleseltlne is in there, and the aghrr of Major In the character of Snowball,’ he says. ‘And perhaps there is a little of Portlllo In llapoleon.’

Masterson has by default fallen into this genre of physical storytelling, as he explains. ‘Over the last few years

storytelling has really come back as

i an art form. I think that people like to : listen to a story being told but

embellished with a physicallsatlon

; that makes for a very rich form of

: theatre.’ (Ann Donald)

E Animal Farm (Fringe) Guy Masterson,

( Assembly Rooms (Venue 3) 226 2428, 1 12 Aug—2 Sept (not 21 Aug) 11 .3aam,

l £8.50/27.50 (£7. 50/26. 50)

l Bolger's new play. The



Intimate cinema experiences don‘t come much more intimate than the pint-sized splendour of The Smallest Cinema in I/it' War/(l. There are only ten velveteen seats (including a lovers' seat) in this small but beautifully put-together picture palace. However. a chandelier. flock

wallpaper and full

usherette service promises to strike the right note of faded elegance.

A mini budget of £6000 from MGM UK meant Quadrangle Productions. a team of professional filmmakers and scriptwriters. had to take a DIY approach to filmmaking. writing. producing and distributing their own material. after shooting all the lilms in just three weeks. The full programme contains fifteen microbusters. the longest of which lasts eight minures. With titles like Pub Fiction. there's a good chance of film buffs rolling down the miniature aisles. In addition. there‘s an open invitation for all independent filmmakers

to submit their work to

become part of this tiny

enterprise with a big

future. (Gill Roth) I The Smallest Cinema

in the World (Fringe)

Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 5 6550.9 Aug—2 Sept. all day. £2/£5.



Fringe First winners in

1990. the writing-

' directing team of Dermot

Bolger and David Byrne

: return this year to the

Assembly Rooms with

Holy Ground. A one-act,

one-woman play set in 1 Dublin. it's described by l Bolger as being about ‘the

The Frontmen have packed their teeth whitene

sort of women you don't notice on buses.‘ Emerging from the shadow of her recently deceased husband. Monica reflects on a forty year marriage to a man who. on discovering he’s infertile. has stopped speaking to her. Whilst he throws all his energies into right-wing anti-liberal campaigning. she is left to live out a lonely life in a loveless marriage. Judging by the lrish reviews. this could be a real gem. One critic described Monica as ‘one of the most memorable women characters of lrish drama’. and in her first starring role. Myrna Neary has received what Bolger calls ‘ecstatic' notices for a vivid and striking performance. (Ben Brown) I The llon Ground (Fringe) Assetnbly Rooms (Venue 3) 226 2428. l2 Aug—2 Sept, noon. £8/£7 (£7/£6)


We asked The Frontmen (US TV hosts Don McEldritch and Sergei Washington) what precious items they‘re packing in their cases: ‘We're pleased to bring to Old Rocky: a whole lot of love for our fans; Brylcreem; tooth whitener; a blue blazer with gold buttons (they're ideal for any event); golf clubs; self-tanning cream; an American flag a great

Monica lives through hell in The llon Ground

rand are headin’ this way

soother for the soul. and a phone book with home numbers for Carson. Letterman. Leno and Kasem. We like to ring every night to chew over what we've learned about the art of hosting. So far they've always been out. ‘Things we hope to take back: a signed set of Sir Walter Scott albums; two Scottish wives (we think you Scottish gals are real sexy); a Robbie Burns mug (we think you'll do just fine outside Take That Robbie); waterproof tartan golfing slacks; a phone book with the home numbers of Steve Rider. Jeremy Paxman and Michael Parkinson. and a kilt. We'rejust crazy about making our own pots and stuff.’ (Cait Hurley) I The Frontmen (Fringe) Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550. 9 Aug—2 Sept. 12.30pm, £6l£5 HIS/£4).



Situps meet stand-up in this sweaty one-woman show by Lita Doolan. a practising aerobics instructor. and winner of a competition for new playwrights. ‘There's a fine line between teaching aerobics and doing stand- up.‘ says Lita. 'Step aerobics is a great way to perfect your comic timing because it's all about rhythm.‘

The shows promises a Tummy Toning Workout with Barbie. and Texan line dancing. Lita insists the women in her classes inspired the play.

'There's the high income bracket who pay hundreds of pounds to punish their bodies. women who exercise in high heels. and housewives who perfect the inner thigh stretch while watching Brookside.’ (Gill Roth)

I The lll Energy Show (Fringe) Flip Flop Fit, Hill Street Theatre Studio (Venue 41) 226 6522. 10—26 Aug (not 13 Aug). 11.05am. £3 (£2.50).

24‘The List 11-17 Aug 1995