festival 9*"" -1pm


The House of Correction

Cart is a copywriter who promotes a successful contraceptive device. When the device turns out to be lethal, Steve, a bereaved husband, decides to bring those responsible for his wife’s ' death to iustice. lie rejects the wrangling of the law courts and instead starts a one-man terror campaign. As Steve holds Carl hostage in his own home the situation becomes absurdly comic.

The House of Correction is an example of American writer llorman Lock’s self-styled ‘theatre of iustice’. It is a style that aims to be entertaining but rigorous in its approach to important moral issues. Crucially he asks whether liberal attitudes have a place in a world where extreme actions are the only

way to effect change.

Fringe veteran Cuy Masterson most notable for his adaptation and performance of Crwell’s Animal Farm,

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‘Wnc fancies a nice cup of cocoa then?‘

The House of Correction is ‘theatre of lustlce’

directs the award-winning play‘which promises to be funny, absurd and thought-provoking. ‘l am very excited by the fact that it doesn’t apologise for its ideas,’ says Masterson. ‘It is _ about an American way of life, but it attacks a certain armchair liberalism that probably exists everywhere.’ This is the first chance for British audiences to see the ‘absurdist comedy-thriller’ that has played across America, but the questions it raises are bound to be as relevant here as they are across the Atlantic. (Catriona Craig)

The House of Correction (Fringe) MP8, Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550, 8-31 Aug (except 20), 12.20pm, £7 (£6).



Often streams of consciousness dissolve in bogs of indistinction. but Theatre Cryptic's Parallel Lines finds the ocean. Based on Molly Bloom's soliloquy in James Joyce‘s Ulysses. quite simply. this is great. seductive theatre. Laying bare the meandering, passionate mind of Bloom. director Cathie Boyd imaginatively combines acting. a mezzo soprano and live music. to deliver a powerful blend of experience. thought and feeling. These equal Molly. a woman searching for mortal satisfaction. and in this exposition everyone deserves a mention.

Muireann Kelly (Molly) is riveting; her singing foil. Colette McHohan. excellent; and musicians Anthea Haddow and Jenny Scott match them both. All four perform telepathically, carried along by David Paul

Jones' original score containing the right balance of technology- driven. ambient sourrdscape and unencumbered voice. cello and clarinet. Funny. engaging and always building. Cryptic have done Joyce a favour. His book needs an edit but this could go on forever without complaint. (Paul Welsh)

l Parallel Lines (Fringe) Theatre Cryptic. Traverse (Venue IS) 228 L104. 8—l8 Aug (not I2). times vary. £7 (£4).



Ben Moor is a man with a very strange mind. ‘I probably get more people walking out of my shows than anybody else.‘ he says. ‘Not because they're offended. or anything. Just because a lot of people really don't . . . ‘get it‘ . . .' Conlidentially speaking. as hard to blame them. Listening to Ben talk about his new Fringe show. Tire/re. is like listening to what Ire

describes as "l’lre X-Files. with jokes. Except different . . .'

So c'mon then sell trs the show. 'Well. it's basically me messing around with my strange and paranoid thoughts. What happens. I suppose. is this: I'm hanging around one day. minding my business. and I get this weird nuisance phone call where the callerjust says "twelve" and then hangs tip. Later on there's another phone call. where the caller just says "eleven". \y'riE‘i-‘C-‘iié‘Fi‘gti ' this same caller manages to track me down in order to continue with the countdown. and I begin to become completely paranoid about what's going to happen when they reach zero . . . '

But with bizarre twists and carefully-structured sub-plots. the hour-long show (billed as a comic thriller) looks set to pack in as many surprises as it does superhero-style religious figures. 'Yealr. it's got them all.’ says Ben. 'Robo-Buddha. Mecca Godzilla . . . and many. many sis-inch-high cloned Popes.‘ So how did you manage to find so many actors of only six inches in height? ‘Oh. I couldn't possibly tell you. but let me just say this on-stage. they are a truly beautiful sight to behold.‘ (Danny Wallace)

I Twelve (Fringe). Ben Moor. Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 (i550. until 3| Aug (not Tue) l2.3()pnr. £Sl£6 (LII/£5).



In case you hadn't

,notiCed. Jane Austen is currently showbiz. Think of the ()scars. and the TV adaptations. and you'\e got the picture. But of Austen herself. \ery little is known. Step in Judith French. whose solo show. premiered at Bath two years ago to great acclaim. is an imaginative recreation of Austen's inner world.

‘There's been \ery little done. ever. on her Iife.‘ says French. 'So rrry aim was to get inside her head. and to create an interpretation of the way she might have been. The one-person format is uniquely suitable for doing that. It's all about

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Judith French is Jane Austen

the psyche.‘

Vital to the play is the rapport with the audience. 'You can't just get tip there and act in front of them.‘ says French. emphasising that the show is not about quoting lrom the works. 'It's like a conversation. but you are doing all the \ocalising.‘ she explains. ‘.-\usten always had an audience among her family for whatever she came tip with. so the play is an extension of that idea.‘

lispanded through touring into the final version presented for the Fringe. this will be an intimate look at one ofour least-known. most celebrated wits. (Marc Lambert)

I My Solitary Elegance (Fringe) Judith French. Asseriibl)’ Rooms (Venue 3) 226 2428. ‘)—3I Aug (not I3. 20. 27).I l.3()am. £8.5()/£7.S() (USU/£6.50).



Thomas Hardy's no\eI tells the story of Elfride. a vivacious nineteen-year- oId trapped by the hypocrisy of Victorian society while being courted by two very

different suitors.

‘lilfride is this outrageously shocking person who just wants to live for the moment. an incredibly modern character.’ says Jonathan Pett. who. along with Fiorella Ruas. adapted the novel for the lacquerie Theatre Co. "Hardy gets a lot of stick for his women always being victims. but she's certainly not.‘

What about the perils of adaptation‘.’ 'We weren't simply going to ptit a book on stage.' replies Pelt. "Too many productions just do. But while the play had to stand tip on its own. we also wanted to be faithful to what llardy had to say about the world.‘

With only three characters. avoiding straight narration and going fora focused. staccato effect. they hope to nrake the most of Hardy's genius. ‘He's got a great sense of humour and irony.’ enthuses Pelt. 'especially in his dialogue. Pluck that out front the book and it really comes alive.’ (Marc Lambert)

I A Pair of Blue Eyes (Fringe) Jacquer'ie Theatre Co. Assemny Rooms t\'enue 3) 226 2428. Iii—3| Aug (not If). 26).

I lam. £8.5()/£7.5() WISH/£6.50).

Be My... Be My Baby/


Seen recently on the BBC documentary Making Babies, but a Fringe regular since 1981, Jack ltlaff’s ironic drama commentaries have covered everything from world politics to common or garden relationships. ‘I used to think the relationships stuff was light, but in fact the way we communicate is really desperater


This year ltlaff performs three shows focusing on parenting, metropolitan conflict, and fictitious alliances between some of the greatest male figures of the 20th century. ‘There is a relationship between Be My Baby, llrban liage and Bosum Buddies. Inevitany we’re talking about how it’s possible to live in the modern world.’


Jack ltlaff: pondering relationships

Again it seems, relationships is the common thread.

‘I have spent an above average time for a bloke, I would think, examining relationships,’ says ltlaff. ‘They’re not usually identified with chaps, unless the guy is writing for Cosmopolitan. Inevitany there are people who get pissed oil with me, and ask me who the fuck do I think i am . . . Then there are other people who say, “Jesus, at _ last a man who is saying these things . . .” (Cabe


Be My . . . Be My Baby/Bosom Buddies (Fringe) Jack ltlaff, Assemny [looms

( Venue 3) 225 2428, 8-31 Aug (alternate dates), 12.30pm, “725.50 (£5/£4) 7/8 Aug, £3. 50. -

28 The List 9-l5 Aug I996