6pm - 8t"n festival
Israeli director Ilava Zukerman takes an unusual approach to theatre. Working entirely through improvisation, her company Tmu-Ila devises its own dialogue rather than learning lines from a script. Dead ﬂours, her latest project, started life as a chance meeting with lrish actress Ilicole Bourke in Edinburgh four years ago. ‘Ilicole had a real story about two women in an Irish prison from across the divide,’ she explains. ‘I put her together with an Israeli actress and from that we started to improvise and research women’s prisons. It was very exciting because I have never put two women together in that way before.’
Dead llours: common ground behind bars
guards. Zukerman believes the play’s success lies in the fact that it concentrates on the bond between the
Dead Hours follows the fortunes of an Irish woman and an Israeli thrown together in prison. One is accused of terrorism, the other has been convicted of murdering her husband. The play has already been performed in an Israeli women’s prison, on one occasion provoking a three-hour discussion, surrounded by armed
two women rather than their crimes. ‘I didn’t just want to “do” criminals,’ she says. ‘Both these women have their own history. They have incredible stories to tell.’ (Catriona Craig)
Dead Hours (Fringe) Tmu-Ila Theatre, Theatre Workshop ( Venue 20) 226 5425, 9-31 Aug (not Suns), 5.45pm, £6
The Shamans: a world beyond words
Having started life with only two performers and one musician. Hungary's The Shamans are one of those rare companies who have successfully forged their own distinctive latrguage. Inﬂuenced by Pina Bausch and by a eornbination of theatre and dance training. their physically intense. sharply timed performance style can tackle complex emotional dialogues without words. In The Title. performed at the I995 Fringe. Eva Magyar and Csaba Hor'vath played out the entire course of a love affair through its most poignant transitions from flirtation to hatred. Disturbineg honest. Magyark choreography strips human communication down to the raw truths words often try to obscure.
Magyar"s ambitious theme in The /)i\'.\illllI/ttfrir'.\ -- with a cast augmented to five ~ is the contemporary seaclr for survival in central liur‘ope. a subject which draws on her talent for marrying political and personal issues. With a highly accessible language. and an excellent track record. The Shamans offer stimulation to the imagination and the emotions. (Tanya Stephan)
I The Dissimulators (Fringe) The Shamans. Continental Shifts at St Bride's (Venue (32) 3-H) l-l05. l3—l7 Aug.
(r. l5pm. £5 (£3).
BIRD As far as inspirational political leaders go. South African president Nelson Mandela could teach his British counterparts a thing or two. lust such high regard prompted Theatre for Africa founder and director Nicholas Ellenbogen to create his own tribute in the forrn of Bird. 21 simple fable which follows a man on a journey for wisdom. Ellenbogen describes the story as an allusion to the challenge faced by Mandela and the hopes for the reinvention of society. surrounding his I993 inauguration. Told with the athletic physicality that has become a company hallmark. the piece is full of traditional songs and dancing. ‘Mandela‘s political
appointment was a very moving time for trs all in South Africa. and I wrote the play as a prayer to him. Like the man in the play. Mandela must look to the wisdom of the past to create a vision for the future. but it’s a spiritual rather than a political piece which can be appreciated on many levels and is incredibly uplifting' (Claire Prentice)
I Bird (Fringe) Theatre for Africa. Netherbow Theatre (Venue 30) 556 957‘). l2. l4. l6. l9. 2|. 23. 26. 28. 30 Atrg.
(r. l5pm. £5 (£3.50).
llans Liberg: playing it for laughs
COMEDY ‘ PREVIEW
If you spot a man with a shaved head and a banana-yellow suit in Edinburgh. it‘s probably Hans Liberg. a Dutch comedian who plays the piano-forte in an amusing
manner. So far so unprornising. you might think. but after he spent a portion of last year’s Fringe in a backstreet venue. word-of-mouth prompted Liberg‘s mid- season transfer to the Pleasance — the comedy equivalent of an upgrade to Club Class.
Liberg trained in music but discovered that making ftrn of the classics produced better audience response than playing them straight. His show includes everything from Beethoven to Prince. linked with a wry line in comedy backchat. ‘lt‘s a mega-mix which is very post-modern.‘ says Liberg. ‘I think if you live in this time. you have to understand pop music to understand classical music. otherwise it'sjust sterile.‘
Liberg is frequently likened to Danish musical
comedian Victor Borge. a .
comparison he finds flattering. ‘I'm across between Borge and Woody Allen.‘ he jokes. And as a musician. how does Liberg think he rates against legendary ivory tinkler Alfred Brendel'.’ 'He's not funny.‘ (Eddie Gibb)
I llans Liberg (Fringe) The Pleasance Name 33) 556 6550. until 3| Aug. 6.40pm. £7.5()/£6.50 (£6.5()/£5.50).
l i 'L t. ‘. ILL-’1‘...
The slinky connection: Bedlam Oz
Following their acclaimed I995 Slim/ties street act. Bedlam ()1 have gone forth and multiplied for their new visual theatre showIl‘ri/w. which features a whole famin of Slinkies. aged from nine to 47.
David Mills. artistic director of the rnulti media performance group. claims. ‘We love beautiful visual theatre but we're trying to have visual theatre which kicks you on the backside as well - visual theatre with attitude.‘
Tribe came about following the company's experiences slinking around Europe and
touring the Australian outback. observing what they call ‘the outer edge of Western culture'. This year's show moves
indoors to explore the relationship between humanity and technology against a backdrop of industrial ambient music. The company use visual theatre in an attempt to breach international language barriers. ‘We‘re trying to communicate from heart to heart rather than from head to head.‘ says Mills. ‘This show‘s all visual. emotional. gut sluI‘I‘f
A veritable visceral feast. (Alan Crawford) I Tribe (Fringe) Bedlam 01.. Theatre liast End (Venue ll4) 556 1202. I2 Aug~2-l Aug. 6pm. £4.50 (£3.50).
Dancers lead ietset lifestyles - true or false? True if you’re star soloist with the Bolshoi. False if you’re Frank McConnell, a pint-sized dancer] teacher/choreographer from File.
But when Canadian dance guru Peter Boneham visited Glasgow’s Ilew Moves dance festival in 1994, McConnell was plucked from among f Scotland’s most promising dance talent to accompany Boneham back to
his famous dance-lab.
Boneham - who is known to eat dancers for breakfast it they don’t plumb the depths of their soul to produce their best work - picked McConnell on the strength of One Road, created at Ilew Moves. Other dancers were younger and flashier, but McDonnell pulled out all the stops. One Road - performed partly in silence, partly to Strauss in McConnell’s compact, easy style - was a ten-minute epic. ‘We had some laughs,’ says McConnell, recalling Boneham’s killer sarcasm.
After surviving a month with Boneham, McConnell is ‘much thinner’ but One Road is 40 minutes long and
ready for the Fringe, where it forms a double-bill with Edinburgh-based Brigid McCarthy’s MOB.
It_othing, it seems, focuses the mind like a trip to Ottowa. ‘lt’s the most boring place on God’s earth,’ laughs McDonnell. ‘[Boneham] apparently moved the studio there deliberately, because there are no distractions whatsoever. There’s nothing else to do but work.’ (Ellie Carr)
One Road/MOB (Fringe) Frank McConnell/Brigid McBarthy, Scottish International at The Famous Grouse House ( Venue 34) &0 5606 (until 9 Aug 661 5687) 10—17 Aug, 6pm, £6
The List 9-l5 Aug I996 45