*festival 1t)"m - Late
David Strassman is the ventrilooulst ior people who hate ventriloouists. About iiiteen years ago, Strassmen looked about himseli and came to the conclusion that ventriloguism was the “most lame, banal art ionn’ around and embarked on a radical overhaul oi the genre. The result is a sophisticated performance that uses a range oi animated characters who are as lnsightiul, charming or obnoxious as any human being.
‘My main character Chuck Wood gets possessed by the Devil,’ chortles Strassman. ‘lle vomits. ile spits. ile’s very antagonistic.’
We’re not talking Orville The Duck here. Elsewhere in the show, Strassman is joined by three groovy dinosaurs who sing along to ‘Bohemian lihapsody’ and the nice but dim Ted E. Bear. liowever the real stroke oi genius stems irom Strassman’s contacts at NASA (no, l’m not kidding). A iew years ago, he had a space scientist develop Chuck Wood’s robotic potential to spine-chilling eiiect. ‘l had my puppet sack me on
Strassman and Chuck: who's pulling whose strings?
stage. i walked oii and the audience was leit thinking that they were witnessing a ventriloquist having a nervous breakdown. The lights go down, some weird music comes up and then . . .’
We won’t ruin it for you but let’s say that it’s amazing what you can do with some vocal gymnastics and a low bits oi old space shuttle. (Catriona Craig) David Strassman (Fringe) Beck's Spiegeltent (Venue 87) 558 1072, 8-31 Aug (not 12, 19, 29), 10.30pm, £7.50 (£6.50).
WARNING...Don't Feed The Plants
Chaplaincy Centre I Bristo Square (nr Fringe Club) OISI 650 820i
Sat lOth - Sat l7lh August at o.l0pm
The Edinburgh University Fooﬂighis
blitis ﬁlter at llorrort FORBIDDEN FRINGE!
A late night cabaret of musical satire
Tickets £6.00 (£1.50 cone.) available from Box Ofﬁces & Fringe Box Ofﬁce: 0l3l 226 Sl38
Moray House Studios 37 Holyrood Road 0l3l 556 OlO2
Thu 8th - Sat i7th August [not nth) at l0.SOpm
26, 27, 28, 29 AUGUST at 9.! 5pm (I 0.1 5pm) “sluts £7.50/E6.50
Box Ofﬁce 0131 226 2ISI
Al Murray: the drinking man’s bestest buddy
THE PUB LANDLORD’S lATE LOCK IN
AI Murray‘s pth landlord is a familiar phenomenon. You've seen him holding court from behind the bar. serving up his half-baked beery philosophies to his regulars and anyone who strays within earshot.
In the microcosmic world of the pub he is God. ‘He's a divine idiot. a giant stupid fool who has lived his life in pubs and thinks lager is the answer to everything.‘ explains M un‘ay whose I994 Festival show Pub llllt’l'lilllfU/Itl/(‘ with Harry Hill was nominated for a Perrier award.
.loin him at the bar and imbibe his coekney banter. soak up his cod philosophy and fall about laughing at the sheer stupidity of the man who sees life through the tiny haze of a pint glass.
In terms of reference points. think a dash of Harry linfield and a squirt of Alan Parker mixed with a touch of AlfGarnett. All together now: ‘lager. lager. lager'. (Jim Byers) I The Pub Landlord’s lock in (Fringe) Al Murray. The Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 (>550. 7--3l Aug (not l3. 27 Aug). £4—£8.5() (£7/£7.5()).
LOOK AT IT THIS WAY
What William Morris. the l9th century socialist. crasftman and wallpaper designer would make of a ventriloquist and magician who prolnulgates socialism by sticking his hand up a Morris dummy's bottom is hard to fathom. ()ne suspects he’d see the funny side of it.
Ian Saville is the prestidigitator and ventriloquist in question. His mission: ‘to do tricks which illustrate the class nature of society. the way
in which things work in society and how we can change thinng
Tony Blair claims to have been influenced by Morris and the exact nature of this inﬂuence is examined closely by Sav ille. ‘We don't think it was his ideas on class. education or Parliament. all of which were pretty revolutionary. that inspired him. Unfortunately. we come down to the conclusion that it must have been the wallpaper.‘
There’s also a trick illustrating the Tory policy of privatisation which involves Saville borrowing some money from an audience member. You can guess the rest. (.lonathan Trew)
I look At It This Way (Fringe) Leon Rosselson And Ian Saville. Hill Street Theatre. (Venue 4 l) 236 6523. 8—24 Aug (not I I). l()pm. £5.50 (£4.50).
The lied Wedge oi the Magic Circle
DAMN DAMN DAMN, IT’S THE DAMNBUSTERS
Bath-based theatre company lnnen‘oom make their first foray to the Fringe with Dunn) Dunn) Damn. It's The l)um/msler.v.’. a show which sounds like the Trim and theatre styles' round of Whose Line Is II Anvvruvf’. if the audience tad shouted ‘stiff upper
‘Damn, what a large conk you have'
lip war film and ‘slushy romance .
'lt goes very quickly through the whole dambusters story but takes a few bizarre turns.‘ says director Andy Burden. Like? ‘Bart Willis develops a female bomb that will fall in love with him. but they have an argument and she bounces over the dam and all over Germany and ends up in various other war lilms.‘
Two actors take on all the roles. including the plane and the bouncing bomb. to create a frenetic 'cartoonesque' style which the company have developed over various productions. The year-old Dumlmslers has been short) of fifteen minutes for the Fringe.
‘I've got an attention span of three seconds.‘ says Burden. ‘This way the laughs are closer together.‘ (Fiona Shepherd)
I Damn Damn Damn it’s The Dambusters (Fringe) lnnerroom. Moray House Theatre (Venue 167) 556 ()IOZ. I0—25 Aug (not ll). l().25pm. £6 (£4) (free previews 8/9 Aug).
YOUNG, DRUNK AND FULL OF SPUNK
At last year‘s Festival. Danny Brown’s audience was so tiny that he. took photos of everyone as a memento of the occasion. ‘Some of them keep in touch.' he says. “livery so often I'll get a letter from one of them.'
This year will be different. In the past twelve months Brown has worked furiously. playing clubs all over the UK and supporting Parrot on a sell-out tour. This autumn he stars in the BBCZ comedy series. The l-‘ul/ (luv. a revenge show that gives the victims of practical jokes a chance to get their own back. As the nation's antidote to Jeremy Beadle. he is bound to achieve a certain cult status. In the meantime. he plays the witching hour at the Gilded Balloon where he promises to blatantly supply laughs and shock value.
‘Most people have a boundary where they draw the line. but that boundary is my starting point.’ You've been warned. (Catriona Craig) I Young, Drunk And Full OI Spunk (Fringe) Danny Brown. Gilded Balloon (Venue 38). 236 2l5l. ‘)-3l Aug. midnight. £6 (£5).
68 The List 945 Aug l996