Girls With Big


Henri and Phil from Girls With Big Jests two comedy vixens with extremely large er, jokes are ever so excited about coming to the Fringe. But heavens! What‘s a girl to pack? Henri and Phil crack open their suitcases to reveal ten things they won’t be leaving home without this

year. 1) Skis.

2) Magi-mix, to impress dinner party


3) Festival brochure, well thumbed. Handsome men should be checked out well in advance. We’ll spend the next three weeks trying to cop oil with them in the Gilded Balloon bar.

4)Henn. 5) Phil.

6) Rice sturdy pants for those pre-

show nerves.

Girls With Big Jests: not very Iadylike at all

7) Predictor kit.

8) Perrier Award speech.

9) Balloons and streamers for our celebration party.

10) A box of tissues just in case . . . (Henri Garden and Phil Fordham) Girls Will) Big Jests (Fringe) Gilded Balloon II (Venue 36) 226 2151, 9-31 Aug (not 29), 8pm, £7.50 (£6.50).



id Iiyrne must haw been a nightmaie in the pub. Iiis dictaphone would be I'igllllllg It») space amongst the empties and crumpled labs. while he taped his pals comersations in the hope ol'capturing a few lmll rim/v for his comedy routines. llc's past all llial now content to rely solely on his ineiiioi'y. Last year. Ilyrne's observations were platfoimcd as part of a show called You/(g (fl/It’ll xlllt/ (i/i'i'n // from a trio

of young Iriin stand tips. Now he's out on his tod and i‘eiiiaining remarkably calm. ‘It is a classic thing where some people do their solo shows before they're ready for il.’ explains Byrne. ‘I think I'm ready ~- and another package show wouldn’t have been a step forward. anyway.

He's young (33). Irish.

. fakes orgasms on stage. is

rather big in Australia and once liv ed in Glasgow for three years And his name is I-Id Byrne. (Brian Donaldson)

l Ed Byrne - A Stand-Up In The Making (Fringe) lid Byrne. The Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 236 2 (5|. until 3| Aug (not )3. 29). 9. lSpin. £6 (£5).

Ed Byrne: young, Irish and lakes orgasms on stage



(ii/)i/it'l is the story of an honest man whose decency gets him laughed at. Pei‘foriiied in Iinglish and based on a story by Nobel Prize winner Isaac Bashevis Singer. Krakow- based Mist Theatre‘s tale draws on Polish-Jewish culture and its tradition of emotive. visual theatre. ‘This play shows that honesty and goodness are qualities you really have to go for and hold onlo.’ explains Tomek Bork of Arts International Exchange. ‘Gimpel is laughed at but. his philosophy is that it is better lobe laughed at than to be wicked.‘

Mist Theatre was started by actors who worked with the great Polish director Kaiitor and who now pay contettiporat'y tribute to his style. ‘Kaiitor came to the theatre through design and his direction had very strong visual qualities.‘ comments Bork. ‘but there was more to it than that. He believed in total commitment to emotional truth in a play. His actors were changed on a personal level by each production. It's this mystical. intense quality that is carried on.’ (Catriona Craig)

I Cimpel (Fringe) Mist Theatre Krakow. Poland. Moray House Studios (Venue l69) 556 (i102. Ill—3| Aug (not II). 9pm. £6 (£5).



The courtroom trial is a hackneyed theatrical stand-by. rarely associated with experiment or innovadon.

Scottish company Communicado. however promise a trial with a difference. it) Portrait of u lVHHIlI/I. the true story of French medical student Pauline Dubuissont. tried for murdering her boyfriend in I95I. Dubuissont faced the guillotine. and claimed a crime of passion. which under French law means acquittal.

Dubuissont's story is retold by playwright Michael Vinaver in a blend of traditional courtroom scenes. flashbacks and personal accounts. Through it all an ambiguous picture emerges.

‘What you get is almost a cubist portrait.‘ says director Gerry Mulgrew. ‘The prosecution called her a monster. unnatural. they wanted to destroy her. The reality Vinaver presents is much more complicated.‘

At times. flashbacks and trial scenes occur simultaneously. It is

demanding for both cast and audience. says Mulgrew. but rewarding. ‘Vinaver presents the “truth” from seventeen different angles. to reveal something about both society and Dubuissont's situation.‘ (Stephen Naysiiiith)

I Portrait (it A Woman (Fringe) Coiiiiiiunicado Theatre Company. Traverse Theatre (Venue (5)228 I404. ll—3l Aug. various times. £ l() (£6).



When a show promises comedy. drama and an archaeological dig. you‘d think it was aimed at university professors in need of a lift. However. Pig Iron's The Otlvxsev was acclaimed at last year's Festival as a colourful and inventive reinterpretation of the classic. So. those venturing along to this year's big or fly should not be put off if history isn't their thing. According to director Dan Rothenberg: ‘It isn't going to be a boring history Iessott.‘

The Philadelphia company mix three stories: Daedalus and Icarus. America's famous

aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart and scholar Heinrich Schliemann. ‘He discovered Troy and popularised archaeology but is now known to be a liar and a cheat.’ Rothenberg summarises.

It may seem unlikely but they are. says Rothenberg. all related. ‘The stories connect in the end. Part of the fun of the play is thinking: ‘How are they going to pull this together.‘

With eclectic music. clowning. poetry and dance. it certainly sounds more fun than brushing dirt off bils of old pottery. (Stephen Naysmith)

I Big or Fly (Fringe) Pig Iron Theatre Company. Old St Paul's Church And Hall (Venue 4S) I2-—3l Aug (not I5. 18. 25. 26). 8pm. £4.50 (£3.50).

Pig Iron: making a song and dance about archaeology

John Cooper


The return ot John Cooper Clarke is timely to say the least. The hard oi Saltord with the Tommy-gun delivery and hairstyle that probably inspired Eraserlread is reaching new audiences at the same time as another Johnny has gone back to being Rotten. Clarke was always the joker in the punk pack, yet his deceptively throwaway stand- up poems - set in a world remarkably similar to Saltord - were mostly bleak little things. As the man said himself in “Beasley Street’, ‘it’s a sociologist’s


Inspired by Patti Smith, Clarke’s career began on the Horth of England, chicken-in-a-basket nightspot circuit. He lound a natural attinity with punk, and appeared alongside The Buzzcocks and The Fall at Manchester’s legendary Electric Circus club. ‘Howard llevoto encouraged me,’ recalls Clarke. ‘He said I already looked the part. Like one oi The Jam but belore the event.’

Fast lorward to the 90s and Cooper’s act is a lethal mix at old favourites fused with a tongue-in-cheek, old- fashioned working men’s club comic- style repartee. There’s enough new


John Cooper Clarke: one punk )ohnny who’s not gone rotten

material to till a new book and enough old stult to constitute a punk rock

Despite his elder-statesman status, Clarke remains sell-etlacing. ‘Cood luck to the Pistols. I hope they make some money out at it this time. Me though, I never made a right move in my llie.’ (lleil Cooper)

John Cooper Clarke (Fringe) The Music Box (Venue 50) 220 4847, 12-26 Aug, 8.30M". £6 (£5).

The List 9- l5 Aug I996 55