When does teenage fanship become obsession? How can you spot when a lively imagination is spinning out of control?
A 15-year-old boy fantasising that an old toy clown is his best buddy surely indicates the ‘imaginary friend’ gone beyond normal boundaries: it is also the hook on which Strays Youth Theatre have hung their new production Who? Unable to deal with a fraying family set-up or bullying at school, Russ retreats into computer games and finally hallucinates a walking, talking doll.
Developed in improvised workshops over the past six months Who? reverberates with the tears of our ‘at- risk’ society. Even the doll is a symptom of repressed memory syndrome in this scenario. Bottom line: young people are more vunerable, less resilient.
Director Gillian Cree stands her ground on the issue of the slippery slope. ‘Anything which becomes an obsession is a problem - Buss plays with his computer instead of confronting things. It starts out as a help and becomes an enemy,’ she says. But if every problem is a
Strays Youth Theatre: ‘obsessional problems'
potential monster, Cree still gives some credit to teenage suss: ‘If they use the intelligence they are born with, they can tackle things.’ Will the teenage cast solve the riddle “Who is safe when everyone’s on the danger list?’ All bets are off until the bogey- clown swings. (Deirdre Molloy)
Who? (Fringe) Strays Youth Theatre, Southside Community Centre ( Venue 82) 667 7365, 28 Aug-2 Sept, 11.15 am, £4.50 (£3).
ﬂamboyance stakes herself. Lady Wilde. aka Jane lilgee. aka anti- linglish poetess Speranza. aka Algiati. assumed descent from Dante. Joy Melville has adapted her biography which brought this forgotten heroine to the fore. and also acts as narrator. while dynamic lrish actress Gerardine McDermottroe sweeps the
DEE. MOTHER or
‘She was on such a roller coaster ride of tragedy.‘ says Melville. who isn‘t understating the case. A philandering hubby left three illegitimate children. two of whom burnt to death.
stage as the divine Miss Fl.
Problem children never came more problematic than Oscar Wilde. but the woman who sired the great man of letters was no slouch in the
Venue 82 - Soutliside. Community Centre. Nieolson Street.
Aug 28 - Sept 2
while her own daughter died young. The husband was later accused of rape. and when he died he left clan Wilde in debt. Uiiderstandably. her effect
on ()scar was profound.
‘l’eople regard ()scar as a remarkable talent that came from nowhere in a great blaze of glory. but when you look at his family background you realise that's not so. She led such a sad life. btit she was also quite. quite brilliant.‘ (Neil Cooper) I Mother of Oscar (Fringe) Bridge Theatre Company. Southside (Venue 82) 667 7365. 27 Aug—2 Sept. l2.2()pm. £3.50 (£2.50).
STORM IN A TEACUP
This children‘s adaptation of The Tempest is a disappointment after Intimate Exchanges great double bill last year.
Prospero (Robert Bristow) and Miranda (Ruth Harris) make a very promising start. but writer lid Finch's concentration on the unconvincing clownish figures of Stefano and Trinculo results in lidgety children and yawning adults.
l’rospero attempts to keep reins on the storytelling aspect. and Miranda and Ferdinand (lshwar Maharaj) m; nage to rescue some of the magic. However. whereas Shakespeare's use of music exemplifies the island's magic. Ariel (Ruth Harris) could not reproduce that magical quality in song.
Dead slow in parts. the narrative needs to be sharper. but the storyline's admirably uncluttered. and features some engaging performances. (Gabe Stewart)
I Storm in a Teacup (Fringe) Intimate lischanges Theatre Company. l’leasance (Venue 33) 556 6550. until 2 Sept (not 2‘) Aug) 25. 26. 27: llam: 2S ‘2 Sept: I 1.30am. £5/L‘4 (13.50/13).
Dreamscape: Cool and hip
, jazz vibes DREAMSCAPE Poetry and jazz have been blowing up a storm together since Allen Ginsberg and beyond. These days spoken word albums have become commonplace. Storyteller Martha Cinader and double bassist Sabine Worthmann aren't as confrontational as latterday noiseniks. coming on instead like a hip beatnik Sesame Street for grown-ups.
Cinader is cool. sensual and assured as she translates myth itito sexually evocative oral glimpses into the lives of forgotten icons of the feminine and feminist persuasion. Alongside this are raps by Lenny Bruce contemporary l.ord Buckley and an improvised bass solo to die for. With four differen'
something. (Neil Cooper) I Dreamscape (t—‘i-mgc) l’o'au. Yo'au. Productions. Randolph Studio (Venue 55) 225 5366. until 2 Sept (not 29) 10am. £3.50 (£3).
ONE FOR THE MONEY
There are so many reasons
why this sad succession of rock cliches doesn't work. they won't all fit in this review. But here goes: I) musically. l’ete Scott‘s accomplished but even- paced melancholia made Leonard Cohen look like a l()()bpm techno nosebleeder; 2) Carol Clewley's weak material was mirrored by a weak ‘performance'; 3) what performance'.’ This static. musically-accompanied reading. masquerading as Fringe theatre. is obviously geared towards increasing book sales. and as such belongs in the Book Festival; 4) this lukewarm evocation of a I'Ut'k chick's haphazard lifestyle features no rm}. music . . . Yep. I knew there wouldn't be enough room. ((iabe Stewart)
I One for the Money (Fringe) ()ld St Paul's Church Hall (Venue 45) 556 ()476. 12.30pm. £5 (£4).
THE A—Z OF
()n every seat there's a flyer for a company advertising a concoction
known as ‘lierbal
' licstasy'. making me
wonder about the
motivation behind this
humorous lecture on every drug under the sun. Duff and l’oulter work well together. and it's a laugh (admit it) watching Graham Duff sniff poppers on stage (Edinburgh City Council wouldn‘t let them give it
out). and various audience 7 members are cajoled into
injesting assorted legal drugs. including the aforesaid herbal li. It‘s one big excuse to do drugs gags for an hour
The lceman could seriously damage your health
from last night. (Cait Hurley)
I The A-Z Dl Drugs (Fringe). Assembly Rooms (Venue 3). 226 2428. until 2 Sept. noon. £6/£7.5() (£5/£6.5()).
[E1331]:- THE IDEMAN
Audience beware -- this outrageous show could be dangerous! In fact you may well want to take a pair of goggles along. and if you're asthmatic you will definitely need your \'entolin. Billed as ‘slightly entertaining‘. the lceman soars and falls but always soars again. With the help of some highly chaotic but extremely 'special' effects. a handful of songs and some rather obvious puns. the lceman moves beyond the realms of the possible in his quest to melt a recalcitrant piece of ice and liberate his rubber duck. ()f course. things don't always work out as expected! (Robin James)
I The Iceman (Fringe) l’leasance (Venue 33) 556 6550. until 2 Sept. llam. £4/£3.5() (£3.5(l/L‘3).
THE HOLY GROUND
Look no further for confirmation of contemporary lrish theatre's genius for giving unforgettable voice to the overlooked in society. What's more. the writer of this passionate female monologue — part elegy. part humorous reminiscence — is a man: Dermot Bolger.
The subject is a widow whose husband blamed her for their childlessness. Actress Mariah Neary has a unique. tantalising stage presence that perfectly complements the delicately unfolding script. ller memories mingle the sweet early days of their marriage with her husband's retreat into religious bigotry and rage. Sensitiver directed by David Byrne. (Peter links)
I The Holy Ground (Fringe) Assetnbly Rooms (Venue 3) 226 2428. until
l 1. 15am (12.45pm) £4.50 (£3.00)
and a half and starting at noon'.’ Half their audience will still be recovering .
programmes to choose from. you‘re bound to dig
27 AUG - 2 SEPT
2 Sept. noon. £8/£7 (£7/£6).
22 The List 25 Aug-7 Sept 1995