In this madcap homage to Ray llarryhausen, guru ot stop-frame animation, two grown men play an entire jungle, a t-rex, a six-armed monster and, oh, much much, more. In a series ot capers sampled from trash- epics like Jason and the Argonauts and Clash of the Titans, Gavin Robertson and Andy Taylor are the almost intrepid adventurers who must take on the mad Emperor Daryus in his submerged kingdom. With a bit at luck, they may even save the day.
‘Obviously it’s completely ridiculous, says Robertson, who co-wrote Thunderhirds FAB. a tew years back. ‘There we are with this huge story and a minimal set so we’ll be relying on the audience’s imagination - the only props we’ll have are a couple oi pipes and a cigarette case.’
They’ll also be helped by a soundtrack which Robertson variously describes as ‘big,’ ‘very big,’ and ‘Rritish naval.’ At the same time he and Taylor will be working hard and using the techniques ot mime. ‘But
Fantastic Voyage: almost intrepid
we’re not asking the audience to see the cleverness or the craft underneath it,’ insists Robertson. "All they need to do is enjoy the stupidity of an epic story told by two actors running around getting very sweaty . . .’ (Marc lambert)
Fantastic Voyage (Fringe) Gavin Robertson and Andy Taylor, Pleasance ( Venue 33) 556 6550, until 31 Aug (not 27), 5. 30pm, £7. 50/27/134 ([5).
Armstrong and Miller - The Quality
Back in the 803, Saturday live made stars at llarry Eniield and Ben Elton. With Its 908 incarnation the programme looks set to do the same tor Armstrong and Miller. Their bandana-wearing Norwegian rock band, Striika, have already captured a small corner at the nation’s heart. ‘We were doing a publicity thing on the street while we were dressed as Striika,’ recalls Alexander Armstrong.
‘Suddenly these people pulled up in a car and started shouting at us in llorwegian. That was quite bizarre.’ Despite its success it pays to put Striika in perspective, and the duo are glad that they can leave alter the show in wigiess anonymity.
Their other set oi characters are equally as absurd. Two disillusioned Geordie mountaineers tell the insider’s story at tile on the llorth Face in hushed voices (‘there’s a lot at crap talked about Everest’), and a pair ot not-quite-hip Australians pop up with patronising social messages tor young people.
Slick and original, their strength lies in the detail. Some ot the best moments occur in the gaps between the gags. Armstrong and Miller can be tunny doing nothing much at all. (Catriona Craig)
The Quality Shag (Fringe) Armstrong and Miller, The 'Pleasance ( Venue 33) 556 6550, until 31 Aug (not 12, 27), £7. 50/16. 50/24. 50 (£6. 50/E5 . 50).
Armstrong and Miller: gags and shags
The League at Gentlemen: tabletoppers
THE LEAGUE OF CENTLEMEN
The traditional sketch show has not been well recently but The League ()l'Cientlenien are set to change all that. Their cleyer and slightly disturbing comedy marks a radical change from the monotony ul‘ stand-up. Instead. they have created a range ul' scary characters from the \ iciuus unemployment counsellor Pauline. to Mabs and lidward. the spooky proprietors of The Local Shop.
It hasn‘t been easy tor the quartet tu establish a niche for themselves. ‘We
realised that there w as no point trying to do stand-up or play the comedy clubsf states w ri(er/performer Mail. (jatiss. 'It is such a specil'ic thing that we do that il‘ you cut it down. it just (Itlt'xllil work ‘
lle tctltailts cunl‘ident about their ability to expand. ‘We could do a whole series based on the characters that we have.’ believes (iattss. 'The I ocal Shop could it”) and run. Like The slit/wry.‘ But much more entertaining. (Catriona Craig) I The league 0t Gentlemen (Fringe) The League Of Gentlemen. The I’Ieasance (Venue 33) 556 (i550. 7~~3l Aug (not l3. 2()) 4.35pm. £(i/L'5/L‘35l) (ES/£4).
A PLAY ABOUT A CHAIR
This could be Ruald I)ahl's‘ lust existential play about the Northern Ireland peace process. It revolves around an ingeniously simple dramatic conceit — two opposing leaders cannot escape from a negotiating-chair contraption unless they teach a consensus. (‘hildishness is a constant reference point A the .lm'Atuiu/‘r-style narration. the politicians' juyenihty and in the lit/cs U) The (I/it'i/n'cit't/ twist.
The strong RSC cast perl‘ortns this table with energy. style and humour. The play does sul‘l'er (rum occasional overwriting and a reliance on stereotypes bttt l)a\ id Mct'reight's pacy script tends to swing from poignant insight to naiyety. But this is a sharp. amusing. relevant workshop piece (Grant Gordon)
I A Play About A Chair
(Fringe) Tl’T Productions.
St John‘s Church Hall (Venue l26) 226 5I38. IZ-ZJ Aug (not I8). 3. l 5pm. £5.50 (£4).
DIRECT FROM LOS ANGELES...
"3/5.. C/mﬂéac/ 6..
I Elektra LA LA
A RlFF ON THE MYTH. WITH SONGS
'IRREVERENT AND CHILLINC... EXCEPTIONAL PERFORMANCES' - L.A. WEEKLY
Moray House Studios l2th - 3 I St August (Not Tuesdays) 5:] 5 PM BoxOfﬁce- 013! 556 OIOZ
a scorching mix of poems. songs & scripts from the tap-dancing poets ADRIAN HENRI - ROGER MCGOUGH - BRIAN PATTEN ANDY ROBERTS - WlLLY RUSSELL ‘Five gifted Scousers in dark suits held us enthralled and in tears of laughter' Michael Caveney. ObSt'NN
WED 215t - SUN 25th AUGUST at 4.15pm
ASSEMBLY ROOMS, 54 GEORGE STREET, EDINBURGH Box Office: 0131 226 2428 Tickets: Wed - Thurs £9 ('27) Fri - Sun £10 (£8)
The List ‘)-l5 Aug I996 39