divides his show into two halves - one a jigsaw- pu/lle of one-liners and non-sequiturs. the other a . . ah-hah. that would he i telling. and spoiling one j of [he classiest. clcyel'est ' comedy set-pieces around. Meanwhile. you better believe a man can slay an entire audience with an impersomttion ol~ a kitten saying: ‘l'ye losl my mittens. . .' Genial genius. (C‘t'aig McLean) I Boothby Grattoe (Fringe) The Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 (i550. until 2 Sept. 9.25pm. £7/t‘h‘ (Lb/£7).


Paul Tonkinson: matey, no‘. laddish


It's easy to see w hy Paul Tonkinson is often cotnpared to a hyperactiy e nine-year-old Zioy. He has a cheery. untainted optimism that shines through both his gangly body language and matey- but-unladdish material. and. like a stnall child. he just can't contain his excitement when his jokes get big laughs.

lndeed it's Tonk‘s personality that excuses the routines about student and family life. although you do feel he has experience of the former. unlike. say. lien lilton. if you‘re after grown-up comparison. though. think of Frank Skinner. another than who wings through on charm and guile alone. Looks like the search is over for a replacement (Jug 'litg panellist. (lan Watson) I Paul Tonkinson (Fringe) Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 226 215 I. until 2 Sept (not 31) 8.45pm. £6.50 (£5.50).

' [mm-N RICH HLl

Don't be put oil by the comedy name; Boolhhy Graffoe is the straight-up. drop-dead real deal. A comedian so tangentially- I wayward that he wrings I fresh laughs from that unfunny standard. the dodgy playing-ol-gtntar. A stand-up so lightning— bright that he even makes juggling entertaining. .-\

g mad-eyed. loony~

mouthed. wet-gel-haned.

Cool-dude (t)wit who

Trainspotting: Peter and Paul Ireland are ones to watch

Irvine Welsh’s notorious novel set in the torgotten outposts ot Edinburgh’s underbelly has been on the Scottish best-seller almost continuously since it was tirst published in 1993, and it’s done no’ bad in England too. Judging by the round the block queue tor the third production within a year at Harry Gibson’s powerful stage adaptation, it looks like the play has touched a similarly tamiliar chord. Charting the seamy saga of Mark Benton and assorted Embra cronies, addicts and wasters, it is a trightening glimpse into a world where the next fix is all that matters. The book, and now the play, also paints a grim portrait ot a generation without hope or ambition, neither glamorising nor sentimentalising.

At times the humour ot the novel comes over as a sick stand-up routine on stage, such is the hilarity ot the


Stiff upper-lips abound in this tale of a crippled war hero whose injury causes him to lose not just the family title and his

largely out tront, first person script. At other times the full brutal horrors of smack addiction come at you like a punch in the lace. Relative newcomers to the Scottish stage Peter and Paul Ireland give notice that they are actors to watch.

Put simply, Trainspotting gets more and more cohesive with every outing, to such an extent that it now contains something resembling a narrative thrust the book never had nor wanted. Bringing it to the Fringe, particularly in the mainstream Assembly Rooms, is a wondertully sick joke that can stand alongside the play’s own black humour with wasted pride. Tourists should take note and believe every junk- intested word at it. (Neil Cooper) Trainspotting (Fringe) Citizens’ Theatre Company, Assembly Rooms (Venue 3) 226 2428, until Sept 2, 8pm £9. 50/? 8.50 (£8. 50/? 7. 50).

Boothby Grattoe: genial genius

.f'g!). /,

P i"

The set-up is simple. yet effective. Henry Naylor , adds a touch of authority to his Bot'fcharacter but remains the straightman. while Andy Parsons plays i the baby-faced buffoon who makes a fool of himself at a showbiz party

the present day. As it is. I we're left with a slice of i old school bigotry we all knew existed in the first place. (Neil Cooper)

I Hoplite (Fringe) 4 X 4 Theatre Company. C (Venue 19) 225 5105. 9 Aug—2 Sept (not l7. 3 l) 8.20pm. £5 (£3.50).

Rich Hall: say ‘cheese board’ There's an element at improv to

Hall’s show, though he uses audience

interaction more as a link to move

Anyone who saw David Letterman’s show broadcast trom London earlier this year and didn’t think it was much

ambitious fiancee. but also the squaddie with whom he‘s been having a homosexual affair. One should warm to such a tragic situation. yet talk of ‘old money‘ invites little sympathy for the crippled captain‘s plight.

This is an old-fashioned talking heads piece hindered further by a clumsy set change which negates any believability to proceedings. With the gay soldiers issue making the headlines so recently. it might have been more pertinent to set things in


Television aficionados will be pleased to hear the Barclaycard gag appears after ten minutes. but the real news about Parsons and Naylor is that they’re light. likeable and blessed with the ability to wring humour from even the most inoffensive topics.

and wonders who will

comeov ;

have custody of the jokes when his partner runs off with another comedian. The tone is defiantly Saturday early evening mainstream. but at their best Parsons and Naylor have the runaway energy and naive madness of Dumb and Dumber. Stop sneering and enjoy. (lan Watson)

I Parsons and Naylor's Brand New Pigbag (Fringe) Parsons and Naylor. Gilded Balloon ll (Venue 5 l) until 2 Sept (not 31 ) 8.45pm. £7 (£6).

at a recommendation for one of his tormer scriptwriters should know two things: a) The Dave’s polished smarm

just didn’t translate well to British television and b) Rich Hall’s style of stand-up is very ditterent trom letterman’s showbiz irony. Rich Hall is just a regular guy with tlare tor verbal humour and datt comic set-ups.

Hall visits Edinburgh with a comedy CV as long as your arm, including the inevitable spell on Saturday Night Live, so to see him playing 150-seat

venues is a treat. Ills morose, down-

beat style hides a seemingly ettortless control of material and the way he works an audience is just awesome.

from one part at the show to the next, rather than a springboard for creating entirely new material. Despite running over tonight - itselt a sign at quality when so many British stand-ups this year are padding to tilt an hour - Hall didn’t have time tor his ‘cheese board' routine in which the audience is invited to write joke themes on slices ot processed cheese. Instead he did remarkable things with a sheet of perspex and a bag at chocolate bars. Go see. (Eddie Gibb)

Rich llall (Fringe) Fringe Club (Venue 2) 226 5138, until 2 Sept (not 31) 9pm, £6. 50 (£5.50).

42 The List 25 Aug-7 Sept l995