svm- 6pm


Kenny Carries Dn/ Think No Evil Of Us

When Kenneth Williams died, it seemed a particular age of comedy went with him. The diaries he left behind revealed that behind the pop- eyed smile was a very sad man indeed. llow they’ve inspired two men to pay their very different tributes. Each is set in the days leading up to Williams’ death and attempt to reveal the melancholy behind the camp leer that made him a staple ol the Carry On tilms. Both though, take the biographical material into other areas.

In Kenny Carries 0n, Aidan Steer presents a lictional day in the life of Williams which sees him as a pill- popping boozer tormented by visions of the past. In Think Ila Evil Of Us meanwhile, David Benson mixes snippets from his own life with a portrait of Williams, drawing parallels between their lives.

‘I think it’s very important when doing a biographical show to put some ot yourselt into it,’ says Benson, who tirst became interested in Williams alter the star read a short story by the

Carrying on: David Benson and triend

teenage Benson on Jackanary. ‘lle was the ace raconteur of all time and I wanted to show how his private tragedy informed his comedy, giving it this manic edge.’

For Steer, how Williams kept this manic edge out of the public eye was the initial fascination. ‘All the things in the play indicate his refusal to have relationships,’ he explains. ‘There was an enigma to his life, in that he earned a lot, had a lot, but also turned down a lot.’ (Claire Prentice)

Kenny Carries 0n (Fringe) II II Productions, Diverse Attractions (Venue 11) 225 8961, 9—24 Aug (not Suns), 3pm, £5 (£4).

Think Ila Evil 0! Us: My life With Kenneth Williams (Fringe) David Benson, St John '8 Church Ilall (Venue 125) 556 0492, 12-17 Aug, 5.30pm. 19—24 Aug, 6.30pm. 26-31 Aug, 1.30pm, £5 (£3. 50).


last time Red Shilt were in Edinburgh they picked up unequivocal praise tor a stirring theatrical adaptation of Thomas Mann’s Death In Venice. Three years on they’re grafting a typically classical sweep on llerman Melville’s angst-ridden 19th-century epic set on Wall Street. llere, the meek but expert legal copyist Bartleby - a ‘human Xerox machine’ according to director Jonathon llolloway - stages his own quiet rebellion, withdrawing into a

The Great Betusenik: Edward llalsted in Bartleby

not’ are not simply his only utterance, but his Great Refusal. The respectable world’s reaction to this classic outsider is predictable, though ultimately tragic.

llolloway sees the play littered with contemporary parallels with current attitudes towards mental illness and homelessness. ‘What it does is address the idea that there’s a collective responsibility to maintain a standard of living for everybody in society,’ he states. ‘That was a discourse that was erased in the 19803.’ (lleil Cooper) Bartleb y (Fringe) lied Shirt Theatre Company, Theatre Workshop (Venue 20) 226 5425, 10 Aug, 5pm, £5 (£3), 12-31 Aug (not Suns) 5pm, £7.50 (£5,

world where the words ‘I would rather l £3 SUMO/8)-



'Maybe somebody slltltlltl' come on at the beginning and say: “don't worry. It's 0an says Ben Ward of The (‘llc‘t‘u‘ Shop. There's no point getting worried o\ er this show. There's no lnddeu code. Better to let their imaginative sketches wash over you in their ow ll silly way. ll. audiences are surprised it is because tlte standard oi imention and skill is so rat'er seen.

And the material utterly



Wallace Shawn is probably best known as a perl‘ormer in films such as Woody Allen's Manhattan and Louis Mallc‘s Dinner Willi :lllr/I't’ although.

aboy e all. he is a playwright. Shawn's T/lt' l-‘i'i't'r is a one-woman monologue which explores the perennial gull" between the haves and the have-nots. and the unease with which we respond to other people's sul‘l‘ering.

Shawn claims the performer must care about what she is saying as The ("ever is. ‘the rather impassioned attempt to

Twister and other disasters: The Cheese Shop

tlel'ies analysis.

'l‘iddlyw Inks. bizarre cults. wooden spoons and a dysfunctional liamily ol' l'emale Impersonaters are all in there. 'We've been very conscious this year that we might hay e too many Iliad sketcltes.' admits Gerard Foster. ‘There are definitely some that we wouldn‘t put on first. You have to ease the audience in gently with some notion of normality Il‘ you are really going to go oil at a tangent.‘ (io along and delight in how l'oolish grown men can be. (Catriona Craig)

I The Cheese Shop Presents (I Can’t Believe It’s llot) The Butter Factor tl-ringe) The Cheese Shop. Gilded Balloon ll (Venue 3(1):.26 2l5l. ‘)—3l Aug. 5pm. £0.50 (£5.50).

llllc‘:\t'ilc Ill the private lite ot the viewer.

Leading Canadian actress Clare Coulter regularly perl'orms the play in priyate houses. at parties or e\ en in railway carriages. 'Both ol us are interested In trying to bring a play into tresh environmentsf explains Shawn. ‘and into the parts of the mind where real lite is not shut down.’

So don‘t be too surprised it the middle- aged woman sitting next to you suddenly delivers a 00-minute diatribe. (Alan C‘t‘aw lord)

I The Fever ( l'rmgel (‘lare Coulter. Traverse Theatre (Venue IS) 338 l-ltl-l. until 31 Aug (not .\lons‘l times vary. £7 (£4).

“his my.

Clare Coulter: TaiSIflg {empeyatufes

llobby Shanks: Keeper of the Beadlsnax keys



Nobby Shanks is not a happy man. As Readis‘nax Leisure l'oods' (London) chiel’ security guard. it's bad enough that t e company is attempting to introduce their savoury snacks into the Scottish market. Now though. he's been lel't to run the flaming variety show to help (log 'em! We have monologues. a few songs. sotne competitions. and maybe even the odd guest star to help present the prizes with the slogan 'lt's an easy tile with a Readisnas snack'. ringing in your ears.

‘Ile doesn't understand w lty everyone keeps laughing at him.‘ says Mick ()‘(Tonnotz Shanks' spokesman who bears more than a passing resemblance to the reluctant entertainer who inadvertently won the IWS Hackney Empire Newcomer ol’ The Year Award. O'Connor. though. does. "There‘s a quasi-reality there. a whole life for him to sift througlL' he adds. "He's been around two and a half years now. and there's still plenty of me in the old dog yet." (Neil Cooper) I llobby Shanks. It’s A lock-Out! (Fringe) Nobby Shanks. The Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 (>550. until l2 Attg. 5.20pm. £4. l-l—IS. 18-22. 36—27. 3(l--3l Aug. 5.20pm. £6 (£5). l()-l7. 23-25., 5.30pm. £7 (£6).

35 The List ‘) l5 Aug I‘l‘lti