60m _ 89m




Two Scottish stand-up comedians, Bonnie Ancona and Alan Francis, join iorces in animating an Olympic range oi characters and accents in this show; and reveal that whether related by blood, by choice, or by deiault, we weave complex webs oi human relations.

This hodge-podge oi short sketches - Interwoven with music irom

Beethoven to Henry Mancini and lectures irom an adamant security guard with an authoritative hat - spans a similar range oi upper and lower-crust characters struggling with love and iamily Iiie: a blood-stained but hilariously optimistic mother gets a sex talk irom her son’s lover; a iickleTV interviewer accomplishes an impressive amount oi ilirting with a woman oi malleable sexual persuasion while discussing both ‘art’ and ‘tart’; some oi the iunniest stuii happens when two American ex-lovers meet in a boxing ring oi vicious banter, attacking each other with well-oiled accuracy - until the scent oi each other gives their parting a pause. While much oi the show is not exactly gut-splitting hilarious, and there’s a bit oi cliche-clutching, the duo manage to strike several very precise chords oi recognition. Beware the disastrous possibilities oi Audrey Hepburn in a department store, and the murderous consequences oi an Internet love aitair. (Sara Porter) Miss Conceptions (Fringe) Bonnie Ancona and Alan Francis, Gilded Balloon Backstage Theatre ( Venue 38) 226 2151, until 31 Aug (not 19, 29) 7pm, £7 (£5).



Milton Jones is said to have the funniest gag in Britain in his armoury. Whether he displays it in The Head is arguable. What is indisputable is that Mr Jones has devised a cunning little number. Among his own off- kilter ramblings he has interspersed characters such as the dim PE teacher. the dimmer British corporal and the lights-out Aussie tourist. And those gags. Jones squeezes what must average ten punchlines a minute into his set and. although the targets are rather familiar the lRA.

Doctor Who. environmentalists Jones puts a fresh twist on everything. Let Milton

give you some head.

(Brian Donaldson) |

Milton Jones: melting headway

I Milton Jones’ The Head (Fringe) The Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550. until Aug 3| (not 28. 29) 6.40pm. £7/£6 (£6/£5).



The real Fn'nge is out on the street every day. Big Issue seller as out-there

Street scene: Bomiortable Shoes

entertainer is taken to new extremes in Tony Burgess‘s new play. which sees smack addict Reebok have his shop doorway invaded by bank robbers. cops. and worst of all. a barefoot dosser in search of shoes. The first half is really two extended bleakly funny routines.

betraying Burgess‘s stand- up roots and trying a little too hard to be ‘street‘ . Once things start moving though. absurd extremes are the order of the day. There‘s a real edge to Andy Farrell's production. making it something of a rough-hewn gem. (Neil Cooper)

I Comiortable Shoes (Fringe) SPG Associates. The Music Box (Venue 50) until 18 Aug. 6pm. l9-26 Aug. 7pm. £5 (£3).

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James Joyce‘s clinical dissection of his native city is always going to be difficult to stage. principally because in the book nothing very dramatic happens. Lindford Cazenove's

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adaptation interweaves three of the stories. generating its own energy by employing a variety of routines and dances to illuminate the text. Asa strategy it works well. although this inventiveness falls off during the second half of the play.

Nevertheless. this is a confident production. ably acted by the cast of the

Edinburgh University Theatre Company in its centenary year. and one which successfully captures the sombre atmosphere at the heart of Joyce's vision. (Marc Lambert)

I Oubliners (Fringe) l-ZUTC. Bedlam Theatre (Venue 49) 225 9893. until 24 Aug (not l8) 6pm. £5 (£3).

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