Live and kicking back
After scaling the giddy
status, comedian Simon Fanshawe has been everywhere but live on stage. He tells Neil Cooper why he is preparing to stand up once more.
‘Hit Show‘. These words are common enough at this time of year. too :ommon in fact. Seeing them immortalised. albeit discreetly. on the cover ofthe bright red folder containing the script for a brand new stand up act. one might be tempted to think it a tad presumptuous.
Except that the folder belongs to Simon Fanshawe. 1989 Perrier winner and srnartypants raconteur par excellence. making his first Edinburgh appearance for three years. He wrote ‘Hit Show‘ on the folder immediately after buying it by way of encouragement as he honed the material therein. Considering his pedigree. it shouldn‘t be much ofa problem.
During his sabbatical out of the live limelight. Fanshawe has made something of a name for himself as an
heights of Perrier-winning _
\ .) . .9
all-round renaissance media tart. with magazine columns bearing his Bunteresque byline in everything from Punch to The Guardian. with regular
‘ celebrity profiles in The Sunday Times
culture section. The bulk of his work. though. has been on radio. first with Radio 5's l'anshawe on Five and I'iinshan'e '5‘ Sunday Brunch. then with Greater London Radio. who rather snottin sacked him forjokily suggesting Prince Edward was a little. shall we say. rnasculinely challenged. Since that misdemeanour he's been doing very nicely thank you on Talk Radio UK. Radio 4. and so the list goes on. So why the dickens come back to
Edinburgh when everything‘s going so disarmineg chipper? ‘lt was an accident.‘ says Fanshawe. who‘s
1 stopped offen route to Stirling Castle's
Highland Ball. ‘1 was asked to open the
thinking. so it must‘ve been at the back of my mind that l‘d quite like to do it again.‘
To polish up material Fanshawe is
Simon Fanshawe: Mr Media returns to std up
\h _ ‘\\ Lw 4 l
packing himself off to a men‘s only writers‘ retreat for nine days. ‘lt was endowed by some dreadful old mysogynist in the 1920s. and is next door to the house Andre Previn used to livein with Mia Farrow. on the outskirts of Rygate ofall places.‘ says Fanshawe. ‘Every so often you‘d get Antonia Fraser going up and chaining herself to the railings before going in to have dinner with whoever she knew who worked there.’
This type of contradiction lies behind Fanshawe‘s work. which is still
, influenced by the theatre of the absurd
that is British politics. ‘I think there‘s this extraordinary decline as the right get more and more shambolic and cling on to anything they can find. like
morality.‘ he says. ‘They‘re full of
: contradictions which i think should be exposed. because apart from anything ‘ Brighton Festival and i said yes without
else. they‘re funny. Very funny.‘
I Simply Fanshawe (Fringe) Simon Fanshawe. Assembly Rooms (Venue 3) 21 Aug—2 Sept. (i.l()pm. USO/£8.50 (£6.5()/1’.‘7.5()).
40 The List 18-24 Aug 1995
Technology is a wonderful thing, reckons fast-rising young British choreographer Mark Baldwin. Following fast in the footsteps of American dance god Merce Cunningham, Baldwin was the UK’s first dancemaker to create work using
j the revolutionary computer program ; Life Forms.
Since hooking up with the program
: several years ago, he has
demonstrated it on BBC 2’s techno-
' slot The Net, given live lecture-demos
all over London and used it to expand
his rapidly growing reputation with
dozens of rich, sparky pieces for his own company, and one-offs for the
likes of Bambert and Scottish Ballet.
‘I don’t think I could have been a choreographer without this technology,’ says Baldwin. ‘Just in ; terms of finance - which we [the Mark i Baldwin Dance Company] have very : little of - it means you can start to i create work without having to find the
Wired tor sound: Mark Baldwin Dance ' money for studio time, or dancers. Company Suddenly you can be creative at home I £6 (£4).
it helps me tap into my subconscious,’
in the same way a novelist or a musician can.’
Sightlines, the trio of pieces Baldwin is bringing to the Fringe, have all been
created with the aid of Liteforms and
another method Baldwin has christened ‘cut and paste’. This
slightly more lo-tech scenario involves
Baldwin improvising in front of video
cameras, editing this material down
until a coherent piece of choreography takes shape and finally, teaching it to his dancers.
Baldwin refutes any suggestion that this wired-up, technology-fuelled approach might lead to a cold, mechanised kind of dance. ‘It actually makes my work more human, because
he explains. ‘At the end of the day I
just do it so I can flesh and blood it in the studio later.’ (Ellie Carr)
Sightlines (Fringe) Mark Baldwin Dance Company, St Bride’s Centre ( Venue 62) 346 1405, 21-26 Aug, 6pm,
adaption by the creative team that _ wowed Festival audiences with A Scots
Take a deep breath and indulge in some seriously hot shows, selected by
7 Kathleen Morgan.
I Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme A powerful tale of Ulstermen going to the trenches in World War L Frank McGuinness‘s award-winning play has been resurrected to mark the ceaseﬁre in Northern lreland.
Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme ( l'estii‘al) Abbey Theatre. King '5 Theatre. 225 5756. 18—23 Aug. 7.30pm. £6—US.
I Brothers of the Brush Jimmy
Murphy‘s funny. but poignant award- wirming play follows the working lives. struggles and banter of three Dublin painters living on the breadline. Wiseguise revive their acclaimed production. seen recently at Glasgow‘s Citizen's Theatre.
Brothers oft/1e Brush ( Fringe) li’iseguixe. Theatre Workshop. 226
5425. I7 Aug—2 Sept (not Suns).
7.45pm. £6 ([3).
I Happy Days Angela l’leasence stars in Samuel Beckett‘s black humoured play. up to her neck in cardboard. Happy Days ( Fringe) Angela l’leasenee, l’leasant'e (V’nue 33) 556 6550. IS Aug-2 Sept (not 2]. 3/). 7pm. £6. 50/ f 7. 5t ) ( £5/f6).
I Lanark Alasdair (lray's epic novel. a sweeping vision of Scottish culture. finally makes it to the stage in this
Quair in 1993.
Lanark (festival) TAG 'l'heatre ('mnpany. Assembly Hall. 225 5756. Until I‘); 22—27Aag. 7.30pm, £5~£l~l. I Tap Dogs Kicking the butt of contemporary dance ~ with jack boots on — is this explosive Australian tap dance troupe. Forget the top hat and tails. this is dance in the raw.
721p Dogs (Fringe) The l’alladiton (Venue 26) 556 6969. until 2 Sept. 7pm.
£7.50 (£6). J