moras— From Sir with love

Matt Lucas is 21, a close friend of Vic ’n‘ Bob, hangs with Blur, master- creator of a phantasmogoria of comic characters, and strangely similar to corpulent toff Sir Bernard Chumley. Don‘t you hate him already? Cait Hurley doesn’t.

In the bar of the Gilded Balloon this time last year a wide-eyed Matt Lucas mentioned that he might be appearing in the new Reeves A“ .llortimer show this with the awestruck charm of a lad that stayed in specially so he could watch the first series of Big Night ()ut on telly. One year on. both Lucas and his extraordinary alter ego. Sir Bernard Chumley. have hit their stride after that ‘might be‘ turned into a ‘delinitely did‘. So did TV fame turn his day-job a student at Bristol University ~ into hell?

‘Not one person recognised me!‘ laughs Lucas. ‘The problem was. I spent the whole of the series dressed up as a flan and no one in the street recognised me because i usually look like a pudding.‘

Lucas. now 2 l. is furthering the adventures of his rapidly burgeoning group of characters. though the one that made his name is still with us. Sir Bernard Chumley is a hysterical creation. an old luvvie who bursts into bouts of swearing in the middle of sentences. A sad. sad man which makes it all the funnier. obviously. For his first full-length Fringe appearance Sir Bernard isjoined by ‘Friends‘.

‘Al Pacino. Julia Roberts. John Cleese. Letitia Dean . . . the idea is that Dave and l are doing all the characters.‘ Dave is David Walliums. a mate from Lucas‘ days at the National Youth Theatre. it was Walliums' own comedy performances as part of a double act that inspired Lucas to get up and try his own hand. Meanwhile. as Lucas went offto study. Walliums began writing

comedy this year for the Ant and Dec

and Sunday shows. ‘How would i describe Matt?‘ says



Walliums. ‘He‘s a genius. one in a million. You can place him up there with Chaplin. Keaton and Duncan Norvelle. the “chase me. chase me" comedian [oh. ltim Ed].'

Lucas has hit a rich seam of English eccentricity that is universally acknowledged: a comfortable. if slightly disturbing ‘type‘ that lurks within all of us. if this was 1970 he‘d be up there with Sid James and Kenneth Connor. He‘s just done another series with Vic and Bob called Shooting Stars (it‘s mad and it‘s on in September) and classy. this he's in the new Damien l-lirst-directed Blur video. So yeah. you could say the star of the annoyingly young Matt Lucas is somewhat in the ascendant . . . Catch him while you can.

I Sir Bernard Chumley Is Dead (Fringe) Matt Lucas. Assembly Rooms (Venue 3) 226 2428. ll Aug—2 Sept. midnight. £7.5()/£8.5() (£6.50/£7.50).

unm— ln Flagrant Dehoht

I. - v.

In Flagrant Dellcht: llfe and how to love It

It’s about seven years ago I first saw Michael Marra. With a pal of mine, the dancer Frank McConnell, in a delightful wee show which both had devised with Communicado’s Gerry Mulgrew. It was called A Wee Home From Home and it was funny, lyrical, truthful, oddly menacing, totally nostalgic and at the same time took the piss out of sentiment and nostalgia. There was a song with the lines, ‘I dreamt I was sliding on slippy linoleum/from Annlesland Cross down to Partlck agaln’ delivered with Marra’s distinctive gravelly Intimacy. lie instantly, in my book, was right up there with Tom Waits, Randy Newman and, yes, Fred Astaire (who sings as easy as he dances) or that lloagy Carmichael Marra’s been compared with. Just substitute Tannadice for Tennessee and you’ll see why Dundee is an anagram of Duende.

My principle has always been: when you find someone you think is brilliant, work with them as soon as possible - as I did with, say, Siobhan Redmond, Elaine C. Smith and Carolyn

Bonnyman of the Alexander Sisters at different times. So why it’s taken Michael and I seven years to get it together - with this intimate little cabaret of related songs, poems, storytelling, modern music hall monologues on such universal themes as love, famous painters, school days, sex, housing schemes, divorce (‘lle gets the Beefheart, she gets the Stones/they’ll light through every court in the land for the Hearts and Bones’), football, Scottish Sundays, and how-to-behave-when-you-meet- your-old-lover-from-l 969-at-a-Blg- Four-O-Party - why it’s taken us so long, God knows. Especially as Mr Marra had the title ready the very first night the idea was mentioned. Well, what’s everybody’s favourite late night entertainment? Whether it's in Latin or in Scots? (le Lochhead)

In Flagrant Delicht (Fringe) Liz lachhead and Michael Marta, Gilded Balloon II - Stepping Stones ( Venue 51) 225 6520, 11 Aug-2 Sept (not 15, 29), 11.30pm, £6 (£5).

Sir Bernard Chumley: totf laffs 3

(l'wzuc 3‘3) 55() (3550. ll) slug—2 Sty)!

types causing a stir with a high flying


Sleep is over-rated and home is for

losers. Tramp the first-week, late-

night trail in the company of Craig McLean and five tip-top treats.

.g N :'l. .5 I

quite sure what this is all about. since the company‘s whirlwind publicity bumf is big on kitschoid, wacky. b- movie nonsense but small on content (you know. that story 'n‘ plot stuff). Hey. just like the real fifties thang. yeah? Maybe that‘s the point.

Invasion ()_/"l'he Cathode Rays (Fringe) lira/til X l’rmlut'tions. l’leasant‘e

(not [4), 12.20am. [5.50/1‘6(£4.5()/£5). I Club Swing - Appetite lix-(‘ircus ()7.

mix of trapeze. sex and food in this most deliciously fruity of theatrical aphrodisiacs. They‘ve already upset councillor Moira Knox. so they must be doing something right.

Appetite (Fringe) (,‘lult Swing. 'I‘he Palladium (Venue 26) 556 6969. I2 Aug~2 Sept (not 2/). l/pm. £7.50 (£6.50).

I Will Durst Like too many American stand-ups. Will Durst‘s show can smack of over-scripted. over-rehearsed routine. Unlike too many American stand-ups. Durst is cerebrally cynical. scorchineg topical and liberally radical. And dead funny.

Will Durst (Fringe) Assembly Rooms

( Venue 3) 226 2428. 12 Aug—2 Sept. 10pm. £7.59/f8.50 (“JO/£7.50).

I Romeo Et Juliette The scene is set: balcony. moonlight. ltaly. young love, young death. But soft? What imaginative, improvising French theatre company through yonder dramatic window breaks? Nada Theatre‘s flight- of-fancy starts off with Shakey‘s last scene and then wonders: maybe Romeo and Juliette bottled it. couldn‘t go through with their suicide pact . . . Romeo Et Juliette (Fringe) Nada Theatre. Theatre Workshop (Venue 20) 226 5425. 14 Aug—2 Sept (not [3. 20. 3/) (preview 12 Aug). 10pm. £6(£3.50).

I Cluub Zarathustra A free—wheeling. mind-melting cabaret where anyone can happen. Core players include Simon Munnery (aka Alan Parker Urban Warrior) and Stewart ‘Fist Of Fun‘ Lee.

C luub Zarathustra (Fringe). Pleasanee (Venue 33) 550 6550. IO Aug—2 Sept (not 15). 11.59pm. £7/f8 (£6/f7).

The List 11-17 Aug 1995 57