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Shining Souls: stormingiy Intelligent black comedy

clothing becomes an emblem oi identity - one which doesn’t always lit the wearer.


In this stonningly intelligent black comedy, brimming - perhaps to overilowing - with ideas, motlls,

planned wedding oi Ann, a

to tear the number two, it pulls together a ragbag oi characters,


mythology), but at its heart are ordinary people with small eccentriclties and big needs.

Scots playwright Chris llannan’s long absence trom the stage is swept aside

queries and theories. Set around the

superstitious woman with good reason

including her two suitors, both named

The main theme oi Shining Souls is the millennial clash oi beliei systems (irom naive romanticism via mouth- irothing pentecostalism to pop music

Wardrobes ieature prominently, and

Ian Brown’s energetic iinal production as the Traverse Theatre’s artistic director boasts a cracking all- Scottish cast, with Stuart Mclluarrie outstanding as the impetuous Charlie; though Frank Gerssen’s set design is a mystiiying aiiair that suggests a decaying mortuary. What resonates most loudly is llannan’s dramatic voice, an ebullient, living language reminiscent oi Mamet (and sharing his occasional tricksiness); brilliantly articulate, yet expressed in ilurries oi inarticulacy. Shining Souls is a near- perfect evocation oi the contusion and disgruntlement oi our times, and oi the eternally tickle nature oi human desires. (Andrew Burnet)

Shining Souls (Fringe) Traverse Theatre Company, Traverse Theatre (Venue 15) 228 1404, until 31 Aug, times vary, £10 (£6).


puts sperm o outs“

“VERY, VERY ElINNY” Adrienne Seems. The Sunday fines “A BARNSTIIRMINB


Sew Taylor. The Observer

E) “lllilY YllllNli MEN 1 PRESENTINli IllilllEl”

Viewer Mrs i. Sedrill. Ileven

AUGUST 14th - 25th at 8.45pm [Except 22nd] PLEASANCE Box Office: our 555 5550


After coming of age last year. with a full hour-long show. Sean Lock is back with a full set of new material. What remains. however. is the ()sfam- issue 70s suit and blokeish detneanour which sits halfway between a cheery Jack Dee and the Men Bt’lltll'illl" But/Iv boys. Standard observational fare is spurt off into llights of whimsy which stay aloft about 50 per cent of the time.

Clearly used to tougher crowds than the Fringe pussycats he ironically refers to as tigers. Lock has developed an armoury of self-deprecating comedy tics which allow him to amiany back away from gags which aren't paying their way. The point of Sean Lock's humour is that you have to warm to him. and it's pretty hard not to even if his material is uneven. Worth checking out. but at eight quid you might have expected new stage gear. (Iiddie Gibb)

I Sean lock (Fringe) The Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 ()550. until 3| Aug (not 27) 9. 15pm. £8.5(l/U'l (£7.5()/£7).

Sean lock: sell- deprecating humour in an Oxiam-issue 70s suit


in heavy rock. the riff is often better than the song. Alter a great opening ten minutes kind of Spinal Tap in rehearsal - this show rapidly deteriorates as Kate J. starts her rock groupie-cum-life-in- suburban-Australia monologue. She presents be: material (some of hich is amusing) with l()() per cent conviction. bill has little sense of decent delivery or subtlety. It comes across

as coarse and unfunny. And she goes on and on and on. her tone swinging unsuccessfully from rock piss-take to Disney empathy. This is a silly. incoherent show, worthy of a dodgy pub in Dagenham. Cool drummer. though. (Grant Gordon)

I Hard as Rock (I‘ringc) Stick It Productions. Fringe Club (Venue 2) 326 5l38. until 3| Aug (not 27) 9. l5pm. £6.50 (£5.50).




Amidst the usual Fringe comedy excess. Alan Parker will surely stand ottt with this solid hour of entertaintnent. invention and attitude.

Still every inch the Urban Warrior. he maintains a healthy air of paranoia. 'My voice is going. It's the gtwernment. forcing me to smoke fags.‘ The pace never drops.

Go along. if only to find out why the Dutch are to be feared almost as much as the Germans (‘What are windmills. bttt swastikas pttt to a practical nse'.").

There's a hilariously grumpy pastiche ol' the ()rb song LilI/t' I’lii/(r (Yum/x and a wonderful. apparently ad-libbcd gag about the Highlands. It seemed to take even Parker by surprise. but should certainly be

Alan Parker: the comedy

warrior strikes back

adopted as a regttlar. (Stephen Naysmith)

I Alan Parker - Urban Warrior - The Time Is NOW . . . Again (Fringe) Alan Parker. The Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 (>550. until 3) Aug (not 39) 9pm. {ti/£8.50 (EV/£7.50).



Jerry liardin as Mark Twain: almost too good

Jerry Hardin’s solo performance as Twain is almost too good. As is common when listening to opinionated old buffers holding forth. there is a risk that the audience's attention will wander.

But this is an entertaining show as Twain's innate wit and skewed outlook shine through. The most you‘ll learn about man however. is that Twain thought him: ‘A rickety poor sort of thing. whatever way you look at it.‘

It‘s more revealing of the man than his work. and he stands exposed as a humanitarian (with an unaccountable prejudice against the French) and a great raconteur. prone to digressions. non- sequiturs. gruesome details and flashes of humorous insight. (Stephen Naysmith)

I Mark Twain (in Man And His World (Fringe) Hollywood Hills Productions (USA). Chaplaincy Centre (Venue 23) 650 820). until 31 Aug (alternate days from 17 Aug) 8pm. £7 (£5).

Rviw str ratin s t a t s Unmissable * i t * Very good Worth seeing Below average

it a a

t t

t You‘ve been warned

48 The List I6-22 Aug I996