Simon Day

Scorchio! Neil Cooper has words with one of the hottest men on the box.

Fans oi the phenomenally gil‘ted I’usl Sliml- should make a special note to catch the ct'caitit ()I- three ()I. its funniest and most acutely observed characters. Tommy (‘oekles you'll know about Ii'ttill many a [)t'c\ ious Fringe ~ terminal nostalgist and sell-st} led tnusic hall legend \khti's played \& ith the best. Hill) Bleach and (iideon Soames you‘ll also know ex en il_\ou don't think you do. Bleach is the eternal pub bore. IIe'II sort out any situation. knows exei‘ything about anything. yet becomes strangely mute when it comes to getting a round in. Soames is also something of a kill)“ -all. a tweed} historian with all the lw‘lMthIll} ola lx’adio l‘our night- time presenter

‘IIe talks about architecture a lot.‘ \;l}\ Ha). \\ ho's nursing a strange muscular pain as we speak. "the shov. 's basically going to be three monologues. \\ hieh uhile it allow. you to broaden out the characters. is also quite dillieult to sustaitif

(‘oekles is the most duelopcd oi Ila} is characters. simply because he's been around the longest. ‘I think it's \ei‘y interesting hov. he's changed since I ltrst did him. He‘s grown more eonlident (ls l hax e He‘s now appeared on littl'i't'murt' and .ltillill/Hlll Russ. \\ heieas before he just talked about it.‘ Bit of yoursc-Il lhcte then'.’ ‘()l" course.



there's a bit of you in any character. You don‘t just switch off. I mean. I'm not technically brilliant when I’m doing it. I don‘t have lots ofdii’ferent mannerisms for each character or anything.‘

You‘re still not likely to see too much of the real Simon Day though. as he'd much rather hide onstage behind a series of comedy wigs than punt his own personality. And. as he probably gets his round in. isn’t much ofa Radio Four man. and actually comes across as really rather shy. you can take it as read that neither Billy Bleach or Gideon Soames are drawn directly from



With a new series of The Fast Show lined up as well as a Christmas special we can expect further developments from Cockles. Bleach and Soames. along with a few new faces. “My stuft"s always been character based. I wouldn‘t mind doing chat shows as - myself. but basically I‘m a coward.‘ (Neil Cooper)

I Simon Day (Fringe) Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550. previews 7, 8

Aug. Il.l5pm.£4:9—I2. I4. l5. l8—2l.

26. 28—31 Aug l0.l5pm.£8 (£7); l6. l7. 23—25 Aug. |().l5pm. £8.50 (£7.50).


' 29) [0.30pm. £7.50(£6.50).

Simon bay: man ot a thousand tacos.

The Spirit

Putting thirteen characters dying ot AIDS together onstage is a brave thing to do, but for American playwright Joe Pintauro it paid all when his Raft 0! The Medusa wowed audiences at London’s Gate Theatre. Now with The Spirit, several short plays culled trom a series at 27 produced last year in Chicago under the collective title American Devine, he looks set to do it again.

“The whole collection’, according to Pintauro, ‘is an end of the century topographical description at

The Spirit: tilting the void

American society.’ Though it pre- dates Angels In America, recently produced in Scotland tor the tlrst time, there is an underlying awareness in The Spirit oi a spiritual lack, caused, as Pintauro sees it, by

orthodox religion’s own rigidity. ‘The people in charge are such strict bastards that people -' homosexuals, unmarried mothers, whoever, are exiled, and lett floundering around with an over-existential view ot things.’

Falling through space is used throughout as a metaphor. ‘lt’s a psychological tailing. in society we’re all alone, but we exist in constellations - like stars to maintain equilibrium, but when one star goes out you’re left in a void. It’s a void we’re all thrown in when we’re betrayed by someone we love.’ (hell Cooper)

The Spirit (Fringe) Voyager Productions, Traverse Theatre ( Venue 15) 28 1404, 8-31 Aug, times vary (not Mons), £7 (£4).

quick hits

I David Streamed Well we've all seen ventriioquists and their dummies before. eh? Probably. but not like this. Strassman has a vast menagen'e of friends whose personal habits make Emu seem like the perfect houseguest. And you can't always rely on puppets to do your bidding. Even when their master isn't there.

David Srrassman (Fringe) Beck '3 Famous Spiegellent (Venue 87) 558 /072. 8—3/ Aug (not [2. I9.

I The iiemernbrance 0t Edgar Allan Poe The versatile George Dillon presents a one-man show illustrating the creative processes of one of the masters of gothic horror. Compiled entirely from Poe‘s short stories. poems. essays and letters. Dillon's work summons up the spirit of Poe. No hiding behind your hands.

The Remembrance 0f Edgar Allan I’ve (Fringe) Viral Theatre. Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550. 8—3/ Aug (mil [3. 20. 27) l/pm. [5/[6 (Li-£5).

I Rich Hail The best comedians induce strength-sapping fits of chuckling while the initiator of all the mirth maintains a poker straight face. Hall is a past master at this. He's also the inventor ofa stunning improvisation act based around chocolate bars which could revolutionise comedy as we know it. Or something. Go. Now. F reewlteelin ' (Fringe) Ric/r Hall. Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 226 2/5/. 9—3/ Aug (not [8. 25). [0pm (/lpm. 25 Aug). £7.50 (£6). I Late ’n’ Live Get rat-arsed with today‘s comedy stars and witness all those celebrity brawls first hand. Yessirree. this is the place where copious amounts of jiggering and caperin‘ will be carrying on until dawn. Oh aye. and there are some shows and music as well as the drinking. Late 'n' Lire (Fringe) Gilded Bill/nun (Venue 38) 226 2/5/. 9—3/ Aug. lam. £8.50 (£7.50).


The List 9-i5 Aug l996 67