So, you’re not sure an hour’s recitation of Robbie Burns’ poetry would turn your crank? If you like good acting, you’ll love it. Bill McColl pulls Burns’ poetry into four dimensions with such passion that his eyes appear to change colour with emotion. The masterful simplicity of the production elements (set, costume, lighting and background music) puts McColl’s sublime and subtle acting into high relief. From philosophical entreaties to a mouse, through his grief of leaving his homeland, tender declarations of love, and raging tales

of drunken townsfolk. it’s 8 Billy McColl in Creative Fire

captivating performance of poetry to

replenish the human spirit, and a iterature lesson to boot. (Lynn


Creative Fire - Burns (Fringe) Gilded Balloon II ( Venue 51) 225 6520, until 2

Sept, 11.3Uam, £5 (£4).


Magical realism has captured the imagination of many in recent years. With its strong story- telling thrust and its stress on fantasy. it is an ideal vehicle for ‘total' theatre of this kind. But total theatre needs to be total. and while the integration of live music. storytelling. movement and song should create a seamless world of make-believe. this production lacks the focus and definition necessary for such a creation. A hugely ambitious project. it is somewhat redeemed by the moving harmonies of the songs and the performance of the story- teller ftgure. (Robin James)

I The First Years of Solitude (Fringe) Brian Collective. St Brides Centre (Venue 62) 346 1405. until 1‘) Aug. 3.40pm; 21—26 Aug. 11.45am. £5 (£3).


Does flirting in a short backless dress. wearing heavy makeup and having


a drunken snog with a male acquaintance give him the right to rough you up and rape you‘.’ Rachel. a night club singer is set up with her best friend's. husband's boss. When things get out of hand she makes accusations that all involved have reason to sweep under the carpet. Easy. at Mayfest hit written by l.ook()ut‘s director Nicola McCartney. explores the ambiguities and complexities of date rape head on. l.ook()ut's production tackles the heavy subject matter with understanding. but there are plenty of laughs. live cabaret and excellent all- round performances along the way. (Gill Roth) I Easy (Fringe) l.ook()ut Theatre Company. Gilded Balloon. (Venue 38) 226 2151. until 2 Sept. 12.30pm. £4 (£3).


Northern Theatre Company's Family Values explores the complex issues that arise when lesbian couple .10 and Anna decide to have a baby. To what extent should the donor/father be involved? What can be classified as a normal family? There are some fine moments of comedy

Fee, ii, to fum, I smell a BFG

in this play. slickly provided by the classic mother-in-law. but it is a shame that the lesbian couple have been styled on the stereotypical heterosexual model. Nevertheless. it is a sensitive and thought- provoking production and deserves to be seen. (Robin James)

I Family Values (Fringe) Northern Theatre Company. Adam House Theatre (Venue 34) 650 8200. 18. 20. 22. 24. 26 Aug. 11.30am. £6 (£4.50).



See pages 26 and 27.



This is an enthusiastic adaptation of what is probably many children's favourite Roald Dahl book. Dahl’s name was probably responsible for the impressive size of the audience. Unfortunately. The BFG himself turned in a rather wooden performance. but even so. few children would have been disappointed in the company's straightforward retelling of the tale. Simple. moderately subversive fun. (Gabe Stewart)

I The BEG (Fringe) 4 X 4 Theatre Company. C Venue (Venue 19) 225 5105. until 2 Sept. 11.30am. £5 (£3.50).

[KEE- cLowrtrowu

This Canadian. clown- dressed band sings songs. dances. tells jokes. does magic tricks and indulges in a little non-violent slapstick (which had one little girl in helpless hysterics). The overall atmosphere should appeal to 3—7-year-olds: songs and dances are Mr Boomish. but some of the jokes are way over the

heads of the younger kids. F and older children are

understandably stand-

j offish about participating

in clown exercise classes. The Canadian bi-lingual

jokes don‘t travel (you

could practically see the hub." think bubbles in the audience). The magic

7 went down very well. and

proved that there are no more persistent hecklers on the Fringe circuit than tiny tots. ‘l)oes anyone have a rabbit‘." ‘()ur rabbit died.‘ (Gabe Stewart)

I Clowntown (Fringe)

' Marco‘s (Venue ()8) 228

9116. until 2 Sept (not 20. 28 Aug). 1 lam. £4.50 (£3).

llob Vesty does a Tommy Cooper in The Star Child

l l l


The young members of Pinstripe Theatre have adapted ()scar Wilde's story about an abandoned baby found under a fallen star. and made it their own. ()r rather. with its interactive script. where children vote for their preferred ending at cliffhanger stage. make it the audience's own. I Originally aimed at 7—1 1- year-olds. but perfectly i suitable for over-3s. 1 Elaine Postil's story- i l l

telling background shows in her powerful narration. weaving a wondrous spell of magical poetry over her rapturoust captured I audience. Fellow cast member Rob Vesty is a similarly accomplished and engaging actor. particularly adept at handing pint-sized hecklers. In comparison. the other two actors in the company simply lack their lightness of touch. but this does little to detract from the overall effect. (Gabe Stewart)

I The Star Child (Fringe) Pinstripe Theatre Company. C Venue (Venue 19) 225 5105. until 2 Sept. 11am. £4 (£3).

, A PAM. ll ll DRUM





Luka Bloom

Thursday 17th August at 9pm.


An Acoustic Show

Friday 18th August at 9pm.

Sunday 20th August at 11pm and Tuesday 82nd August at 7pm

O O Klkl Dee Almost Naked Saturday 19th August

at 9pm.

Credit Cards 0131-557 6969. Tickets from Venue Box Office & all usual festival outlets.

The List 18-24 Aug 1995 29