festival 1pm - 39m
akespeare: an Irish one-man bard
O’SHAKESPEARE It‘s the morning after the Globe Theatre burned down. and Will Shakespeare's smarter Irish cousin picks through
fears that the play won't develop beyond an excuse for Rafter to act out his favourite soliloquies. btit develop it does — if not into an outstanding play then at least a more satisfying piece of theatre than was promised at the midway point. (Alastair Mabbotl)
I O’Shakespeare (Fringe) Denis Rafter. C Venue (Venue I9) 225
5 |()5. until 3| Aug (not l8). 2. l0pm. £5 (£4).
Seen ill Trim T/tt'illl't'. (r‘lusgrm'
The latest production from Glasgow‘s l.ook()ut
The dialogue is intelligent and lively. and a young cast turns in some strong. sensitive performances. but there is a tendency towards verbiage which simply rehearses the hackneyed God vs Marx argument addressed more subtly by the play's dramatic development. With a little honing however. [Entertaining Angels will offer a humane study of family duty and a powerful evocation of our era. (Andrew Burnet)
I Entertaining Angels (Fringe) LookOut Theatre Company. Traverse Theatre (Venue IS) 228 l4()4. 20—3l Aug. times vary. £7 (£4).
. THEATRE PREVIEW
Adina l.. Ruskin. playwright and a native New Yorker. ‘But I feel strongly that through entertainment something should be learned.‘ she adds. Collaging real-life memories from her own and others' lives. The Art 0fReiiit'lii/icri/ig sets out to celebrate the human spirit and to make a plea to remember the past. ‘I hate work that is pedantic. but it's essential we learn from history.’ insists Ruskin.
Staged by New York arts company Asa Productions. making their Fringe debut. the play's final line is a near- ultimatum: ‘It takes only one generation to forget.‘ Perhaps a good offering for those battling with amnesia. (Susanna
Contort yourself with The Mapapa Acrobats
If you're feeling bogged down by an endless
horse. rustle up some kids and head on down to the
Famous Grouse House. But a word of advice:
don‘t go with a hangover.
I The llappy Gang (toes Yankee Doodle lloo (Fringe) The Happy Gang. Famous Grouse House (Venue 34) 220 5606. until 3| Aug. 1.30pm. £3.50 (£3 schools. nurseries. playgroups).
It's a joy to see a writer and an actor harmonise as well as Richard Hope and Andrew Sianson have in
me remnants of the Theatre Company. co- Beaumo'") yen-cam Orwnmiium. and these two very contrasting written by director Njculu . "'3 A" 0' m-c SUI-L. ynu'“ hi! [hc m.“ monologues. In (he ﬁrst. Remembering (Fringe)
Asa Productions. Roman
I—Iagle Lodge (Venue 2 I) 225 7226. until 3| Aug. l.45pm. £4.50 (£3.50).
wardrobe department and his curtailed career. Denis Rafter is an engaging actor. who turns the intimate space to his advantage. drawing each of the sparse Week '/.ero crowd into his predicament. lie and Will wrote these plays together. he insists. But Richard Burbage would never tolerate an Irishman playing a leading role and. to make matters worse. his livelihood has just gone up in smoke. Halfway through. one
McCartney and cast- member Lucy Mcl.e|laii. pits Marxism against Christianity iii a Liverpool domestic environment that — sadly but irresistibly — brings Carla Lane to mind. Set in the home of liric. a security guard and committed socialist. whose buried secrets arise when his family gathers for his 50th birthday. the play is naturalistic but contains suggestions of spirituality and frequent intrusions of the past into
A Polish emigre arrives in the US. an Argentinian makes a stand against political repression. a woman witnesses the fall ofthe Berlin Wall while another returns home to bury her child. Weaving global events with domestic tragedy and triumph. The Art Of Roman/wring is a semi- spiritual rendezvous with history.
‘I want to make people laugh and cry.‘ declares
‘I think I must be the only person who does Mae West in a three-piece suit,’ ponders Michael Roberts, effectively capturing the essence of his impressive solo show, Hollywood Screams. Billed as a ‘wild romp’ through American humour, it starts as a formal lecture before digressing joyfully into some of the best impressions you are likely to find on the Fringe, including Laurel and Hardy - both at the same time, Bette Davis imitating Joan Crawford and, more bizarrely, Vincent Price presenting a
Roberts admits that the show is the result of a ‘misspent’ youth in the flea-pit cinemas of north london. ‘l was in there all the time. In the 50s,
found that I could talk like Vincent Price.’ Re can also dance like Harpo Marx and walk like Mae West.
What raises the show above self- ' indulgence is the fact that it never loses Sight of its initial inspiration. Hollywood and all its little foibles are mercilessly dissected with intelligence and humour. In between the recreations of his favourite movie moments, Roberts adds a little gentle analysis. lie offers up expert insight at one moment and anorakish trivia the next. But the best reason to see the show is to revel in all the foolish things that people will do in the name of entertainment. (Catriona Craig) Hollywood Screams (Fringe) Ken Sharp Productions, Honeycomb ( Venue 139) 226 2151, unfi131 Aug, 2.30pm, £6
The Art Of Remembering: a plea to remember the past
Closing In. from promising comedy writer Will Ing. is a play that wants to be a TV sitcom. As such. there is a basic incompatibility about its being on stage that it never shakes off. The inventive. rather eccentric. plot. concerning two cops on a surreal stakeout assignment. has lots of potential but is foiled by heavy dialogue that sounds too calculated. As a rule. the waggish one- liner thrives at the expense of staples like character development.
person who tries to force a leaflet upon you. then this is the ideal show to refresh your Fringe senses. These gravity- defying. rubber-limbed performers will have you gasping at their seemingly effortless feats of physical contortion. Their sheer jnlt’ (/(’ l'll'I't’ has the entire audience clapping along within minutes to the world music backing track. As the limbo bar is lowered. or the human pyramid goes higher. the audience cannot help but whoop encouragement. even if it involves being invited onstage to participate. (Catherine Pound)
I Mapapa Acrobats (Fringe) Mapapa Acrobats. Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 (i550. lo. l7. 23—25 Aug. 2.30pm.
£8 (£7): lit—22. 2o. 28—3l Aug. £7 (£6).
THE HAPPY GANG GOES YANKEE OOOOLE OOO
Nothing as cheesy as the title suggests. Yes. they‘re decidedly happy. and yes. multiple yee-hahs abound. but what sets this refreshing. ex-Scottish Opera threesome apart from much kids' dross is: a) there‘s a proper storyline; b) it’s
Sianson is a Beatles- obsessed l'UCls’ _|()Ufllilli.\‘l working out his Pete Best fixation as deadlines loom. Rambling comically through his thesis. Stansoii inhabits the part of the snide critic as though he'd written it himself. The second monologue is far darker. will) a Cold. hate-tilled estate agent existing on a diet of porn videos aitd prostitutes. his air of suppressed \ iolence warning of inevitable catastrophe.
These finely-turned miniatures ha\e all the depth you could want from a half-hour short. and it's no surprise to discover that West Yorkshire Playhouse has coiiiliiissioned Hope it) write a full-length play. Sianson. meanwhile. is a great. natural talent. who should be seen at all costs. (Alastair Malibott)
I Target Practice (Fringe) Faux Pas. Cale Royal (Venue 47) 556 254‘). until 3| Aug. l.l5pm. £5 (£4).
when l was growing up, they always Maybe this is a phase that ‘hemricany we“ Target Practice: an
used to show double-bills, old movies Wm“ have ‘0 g0 ‘hroi'gh s r d- the audience 9"“"9'" "m" 0‘ Wm" bet. .tructu e . c)
ore they come up with and act“
and some terrible science fiction
a really great TV series.
don‘t need encouragement to clap along; d) adults get
fllms.’ As a result, he has never had to - - - - study video tapes of the stars to (.C‘é‘ﬁﬁgﬁﬁgélinge, w“. a giggle. but not at kids' new w Star [mm 5 perfect his performance; they are ing and Mark Evans, The exPense' OI“ and ‘hey do * 1' : I : ngiﬁﬁ'e already lodged in his head. ‘lt’s a Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 t 3122?":23 m predua it 1r ii WorytliJ seeing question of confidence, and being H 6550. until 22 Aug (not p 50. for a'live'y good a it Below average
able to see them in your mind’s eye.
l6. i9. 2|) 2.05pm. £5.50 (£4.50).
laugh. saddle up your
it You've been warned
One day, I just opened my mouth and Hollywood Screams: Sharp wit
30 The List l6-22 Aug I996