Macbeth: Shakey breaky hearts

Each year at the Fringe random forces dictate that one Shakespeare play should form the basis for a whole cluster of performances. This year it’s the turn of Macbeth.

The musical version Macbeth an The Rocks by the English/Bulgarian Atelier Theatre has fulfilled its prophecy as accurately as though the Weird Sisters themselves had titled it - the show has toundered due to an escalation of the Balkans crisis. So we’ll never know how a musical Macbeth might have sounded.

But if you want to know how the Scottish play would sound in Scots dialect then Edinburgh Theatre Arts will be following some of their full performances with Robin lorimer’s translation Macbeth In Scots. ‘lt’s very broad Scots,’ says company member Dob Cash. ‘Sometimes you have

difficulty picking it up but because of j the selected extracts you can follow

it, although you might not pick up every word.’

Yer straight Macbetlrs appear thin on the ground. Torsion Theatre’s physical comedy production Sawn-Dtt Shakespeare comprises truncated versions of Macbeth, Hamlet and Romeo And Juliet. ‘Macbeth was easy to adapt,’ says director Malachi Bogdanov. ‘lt’s full of imagery and action so we interpret it physically and you’ve got characters like the witches who are a handy medium to narrate the basic storyline.’

The Tokyo Shakespeare Company’s bi-lingual production only features the final act with selected highlights from 2 elsewhere in the text. Costumes, sword tights and dancing are all in a Japanese style. Sounds a bit Seven Samurai.

‘This world of honour, bravery and betrayal is common to the world of samurai,’ admits Edo Kaoru who plays Lady Macbeth, ‘but anyone can understand that there’s a moment where one can be tempted.’

So there you have it - physical samurai fights in Scots dialect. llow all you need is Banquo shaking his gory locks and you’ve got the

consummate theatrical thrill. (Fiona

Shepherd) Tokyo Shakespeare Company: Macbeth (Fringe) Japan Experience,

Roxburgh llalls ( Venue 176) 650 8499,

13-17 Aug, 10.45pm, £5 (£4.50).

? Sawn-le Shakespeare (Fringe) Torsion

Theatre, Adam House Theatre ( Venue 34) 650 8200, 10.20pm, £5 (£4). Macbeth In Scots (Fringe) Edinburgh Theatre Arts, St llinian’s ( Venue 71) 5531549, 10.30pm, £2.


Art undercover Drug ' Squaddie drops acid.


Street Theatre (Venue 41) 226 6522. 10 Aug—2 Sept (10. ll. 12 Aug. two-for-

) one ticket offer). I I 1.05pm. £5/£7 (£3/£5).


a gardener. How do you move from a degree in horticulture to stand-up comedy? ‘At pace.‘ is

Byrtie‘s brief explanation.

At nineteen Andrew Maxwell is the Ash or

Supergrass of the laughter pack. having gone straight

from school to Dublin's Comedy Cellar (former home of O'Hanlon.

Gildea and Carmody). He

grew up as one of very

few Protestant families iii

Dublin's working class

North Side. and survived

being made to wear a

Rangers shirt by his sash- wearing grandfather and a

near-miss with an

apparently sincere calling to the Methodist ministry. As for Kevin Hayes. his

path to 1994's Spitting Image ‘TV Act OfThe

Year' remains unclear as

he wasn't in when I

phoned. According to his

hard-selling cohorts his act is best described as ‘laid back'.

In the words of that old

school Comedic groundbreaker in the wellies. Jimmy Cricket: ‘Come here. there‘s more. (Stan Ferguson) I Young, Gifted And

union while studying to be

Green II (Fringe) lid Byriie. Kevin Hayes and

. Andrew Maxwell. Gilded

Balloon ll ~ Stepping Stones (Venue 5|) 225 6520. l I Aug—2 Sept. I0.45pm. £7.50 (£6.50).



Chirpy Scousers. Aren‘t they great? Tarby. Doddy. Tom 0' Connor. Arid then there's Cilia. ‘She‘s like a monster who haunts people from Liverpool.‘ says chirpy Scouser Steve Gribbin. who differs from the aforementioned rogues' gallery iii that he manages to be funny without turning himself into a cartoon.

Up until 1992 Gribbin was one halfof Skint Video, who wowed many a Fringe audience with their anarchic brand of

musical comedy. Since the

Wham-like split Gribbin has continued down the same road. contributing to Radio Four's lV’t’kt’llt/illg. as well as penning a brand new song every week at

London's Comedy Store. Now comes his first full- length show. drawn from Gribbin's own experiences as a proud if somewhat harassed parent of two.

‘The main thrust of it is how you explain the world to your kids. and the way you‘re manipulated. Like iii the supermarket. the way the sweet counter‘s always at their level. It can also be embarrassing. like if you’re in someone else‘s house and your kid hits their kid. what do you do'?’

Gribbin's strict Catholic upbringing also creeps into his material. with a gangsta rap about how Childhood's not what it used to be by his

eminence himself. The

Pope. We’ve also got a

. political love song for the ' smarmily coiffed Michael

Portillo. What's it like? ‘l.ibellous.' says Grihbin. chirpy as ever. ‘Very. very libellous.‘ (Neil Cooper) I Steve Gribbin: llatural Born Kidder (Fringe) Steve Gribbin. Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 226 2l5l. ll Aug—2 Sept. 10.45pm. £6.50 (£5.50).


Lam and

It’s a familiar tale. For years the partners toiled and sweated in the artistic hinterland, earning few plaudits and less money. Then, a small opening at a big festival. Gradually a ripple of applause spread out. By word-of-mouth the fleet-of-toot cottoned on to something special.

looks m the mirror and 1 Momentum gathered, shows sold out,

s ‘s ' ' . ' .1 ".1: "'““" $319,223, 33:; Snug y I YOUNG! GIFTED the taste-makers took note, the " ll ' u k, kl Wu, weird, The memo, . ,_ .- g‘ r‘“ AND GREEN II establishment looked puzzled. As if by i “"0 3"“ W°°"°'- s “9‘ ° " ° ° of this ecoumoom drama I Was An Alien Sex God: Anyone who thinks Irish magic the partners, hurrah, were top thinking we were in a rock band and turned cosmic detective zowlel Comedy means thick of the pops and got an award to prove we had to record the second album

story'. 43-year-old John Constable. really did have the mirror experience. but he’s not giving away much else.

‘I try to tell the truth. but if a lie gets you to a more interesting truth. then you’ll tell a lie too. There are lots of elements to the show - my teenage drug-abuse years in North Wales. the fact that I once worked as a stripper in Berlin. . . I'm not going to say about whether I was an undercover agent for the North Wales Drug Squad. obviously. no one would confirm that.‘

Alien Sex God manages to fit in a few pot-shots at Michael Howard and the war on drugs while examining a generation for whom social and sexual experimentation

was at the top of the agenda and Bowie was the icon. But there are other important topics to discuss. What. for instance. does Constable reckon to Tin Machine?

‘I can listen to it. It's decent rock 'n' roll but it wouldn't get me into Bowie. And I thought Glass Spider [sic] was one of the most appalling albums ever produced. But on the other hand Black Tie, White Noise is the best thing he's done since “Ashes To Ashes“. I think he completely fulfilled his promise. being one of the most original artists of the late 20th century - but I'm through my obsession now.‘ (Alastair Mabbott) I I Was An Alien Sex God (Fringe) Alien Sex. Hill

Paddy jokes. Frank Carson and Roy Walker can’t have been checking out the Fringe over the last few years. Sean Hughes got the ball rolling with his I990 Perrier win. but the ‘Murphia' hyperbole finally seemedjustified in 1994. Breaking big last year were Owen O'Neill. Jimeoin. Smiley and stars of the first Young. Gifted and Green package Kevin Gildea. Dermot Carinody and Ardal ‘Father Ted’ O'Hanlon. Hoping to out-perform their dodgy sequel status (‘The Second Coming') are Ed Byrne. Andrew Maxwell and Kevin Hayes. Ed Byme paid his comedy dues by hosting karaoke nights in Strathclyde's student


Then, as we knew it would, money, sex, drugs and fawning flunkies turned their heads. The partners, whose mercurial relationship was the crux of their act, had one fight too many. Something to do with a girl. Probably. A fatal split seemed inevitable. If they were to save their partnership and return in triumph, only one thing for it: peace talks at a get-

everybody loved the first one but we had to make this one funnier.’

Said show was a slapstick riot, a classic straight/stooge pairing revolving around two flatmates and their love of one woman, one that bore out Lano and Woodley’s love of Morecambe and Wise and The Goodies. This year the flatmates return, still friends but still feuding. ‘We ended up doing this kind of

away-from-it-all weekend in a caravan park. Dnly someone forgot to book the i caravan. Oh dear. . .

And that’s the story of Lano and

Woodley, their Perrier Award-winning

l debut at last year’s Fringe, and the ; genesis of the Australian comics’ z 1995 show. Except for the bit about 2 tame, money, sex, drugs, flunkies and t a girl. Probably. ! ‘In a way the new show was the most difficult 80 minutes we’ve written,’ l admits Colin “Lano” Lane. ‘We kept

comedy because we basically couldn’t write jokes. flow are we going to finish this sketch? Dh, I’ll hit you with a cricket bat.’

And from such simple insight was a problem solved and comic genius born. Now: about this caravan thing - would a baseball bat help at all . . . ? (Craig McLean)

Lane and Woodley (Fringe) Lane and Woodley, Assembly Rooms ( Venue 3) 226 2428, 11 Aug-2 Sept, 10.10pm, 28/29 (iii/£7).

sortie List ll-l7 Aug 1995