' Angela Pleasence: Happy, shiny person

‘Stuck up to her diddies in the bleeding ground’, Angela Pleasence Donald’s daughter —- plays Winnie in Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days with captivating self-assurance.

Happy Days isn’t an easy play. It demands a level of concentration its atmosphere is at odds with - its subject matter is illusion, time


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that Elastoplast the absurdity of existence.

Winnie passes her measureless, intolerable days behaving as though ! they were all ‘natural’ and ‘most understandable’. ller consolations are the objects in her bag and her cobwebbed memories. Beckett’s words' not only bludgeon you with their colour but with their astonishing capacity to convey the failure of language to reveal anything about ourselves: language as a barrier and a reflex action.

At times it’s easy to feel this play is one long suicide note, but it is illuminated by the residues of human Q tenderness in its closing moments -

something Pleasence, and Howard Goorney as Willie, uniquely and powerfully bring to it.

If there’s a problem, it is the cardboard mound Winnie is stuck in. This seems to make references to cardboard city rather than to the sand which Beckett scripted with its nuances of a timeless British seaside holiday. If anything, Pleasence missed that beat of brassy happiness in Winnie’s character that would have signalled her plebeian origins more authentically and made sense of her attempts to make herself happy, no

matter the situation. (Ronan O’Donnell)

Happy Days (Fringe) Pleasance ( Venue

33) 556 6550, 17 Aug—2 Sept (not 17,

21, 31) 7pm, £6.50/L‘7.50 (135/26).


A 7 . . Recitnf

staggering‘fo halt—and theqplatitudes z.

Scott Capurro: ‘lt could be you’



At 32 (that's over 80 in gay years) Californian Scott Capurro has had his

fair share of one-night

stands but what he wants is a long-term relationship he just can‘t be bothered with all the talking. This excellent new(ish) show. which mixes old favourites with new material. is loosely based on a look back at former

boyfriends. But really it‘s

just another chance to do what Capurro does best picking on members of the audience. A very out lesbian couple in the front

. row and a straight (he

said) single man at the back were the evening’s real entertainment. Another night it could be

i you go with a secure sense of your own sexuality. (Eddie Gibb)

l Scott Capurro’s love

and Affection Tour

(Fringe) Scott Capurro. The Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550. until 2 Sept (not 29) 6.50pm. £7.50/£6.50 (£6.5()/5.5()).

I m


The Kosh presents a well-

! .' i oiled solo show about one

Main Theatre Venue I68

Moray House

.37 Holyi‘ood Road


I Thurs IOth Aug - 1 , "' Sat 2nd Sept

‘s 7.30 - 8.30

* " £5 (£4 conc.) I s " Box Office:-

.7 «‘23: Ol3| 556 Ol02


woman‘s romance turned i rancid. Despite a rather cliched introduction a straight-backed typist , unravels hidden passion l the performance gains a momentum when she lives out her love’s labours on a ' flying trapeze. Romance is a one-ring circus and she‘s required to do some pretty 3 exhausting tricks. Sian 2 Williams gives a a commendable j performance she 1 accomplishes the difficult I feat of melding acting ' seamlessly with i acrobatics. firing her

words through physical

prowess. The intermittent flow of evocative poetry furnishes narrative and resonance to this intelligent chronicle of one of life's fundamental traumas. Ever seen PVC flamenco? (Lynn Keating) I Just Below the Surface (Fringe) The Kosh. Gilded Balloon ll (Venue 5 l ) 225 6520. until 2 Sept (not 29) 6pm. £6.50 (£5.50).


One wants somewhere with room for the kids. two long for male company. another wants to see her daughter right. while one has become a lady.

Sue Glover's award- winning play Bondagers. always a Fringe favourite. follows six women through a year on vast Borders farms of the l860s. Farmhands annually hired women. known as the bondagers. to work alongside them: some work, half the pay. The women portrayed here are no dour drudges but feisty. independent women who mostly scorn the sew-spin-spawn treadmill of marriage.

A gentle. low-key score by Pete Livingstone and Stewart Laing's barn-like set evoke the feel of an isolated farmstead. while the cast carry Glover‘s love of her land and people without mawkish sentimentality. This is a history school never taught you. (Catriona Smith)

I Bondagers (Fringe) Traverse Theatre Company. Traverse Theatre (Venue I5) 228 I404. until 31 Aug (not 2 1) various times. £10 (£6).


THE WOW SHOW It‘s like being hit full in the face by a ludicrous. Dayglo custard pie. Continuously. For an hour. Subtlety? Forget it these four will do

: anything to get a laugh

and that includes mooning the audience. apparently destroying people‘s


The war: Show: ritual humiliation

lllclt llevell: llberal psychotic

belongings or the ritual humiliation of some poor sod in the front row.

()nce you're in the gig it‘s a war of stupidity: the audience are prisoners and if we're lucky. we might get time off for good behaviour. but heck. go with it. this is good. old- fashioned lunatic anarchy. I can‘t help btlt wonder how long these elderly statesmen of slapstick cart keep going before they drop dead of exhaustion. Full on. (Cait Hurley)

l The Wow Show (Fringe). The Assembly Rooms (Venue 3) 226 2428. until 2 Sept (not 31). 7.30pm. £7.50 (£6.50).



The Hampstead right-on set and its spiritual kid brother (and sister), designer crusties from Camden. are obviously ridiculous with bags of comic potential. Nick Revell is a stranger in this strangest of lands as he charts his own voyage from wide-eyed idealist with dreams of becoming the coolest terrorist on the block. to late thirty- sornething home-owning cat sitter.

Uncertainties with relationships. though. put the meat on the bone of analysts. New Ageist Americans talking twaddle and beautiful art student neighbours. This isn‘t unfunny. but considering his experience Revell seemed restrained and a little uncertain, and he only occasionally connected. If he let himself off the leash a bit more he might hit the mark more often. (Neil Cooper)

I Liberal Psychotic (Fringe) Nick Revell. Assembly Rooms (Venue 3) 226 2428. ll Aug—2 Sept. 6pm. £8.50/£7.5() (£7.50/£6.50).

-~‘ ~"' m

_ 44 The List 18-24 Aug 1995