Portrait Of A Woman: the jury’s out on Communicado's outstanding production



‘Judgement is the negation of

understanding.’ Andre Malraux’s words

echo through Communicado’s outstanding telling of Sophie Auzanneau’s real-life trial in 1951 for her boyfriend’s murder.

Truth is seen as contextual and reality is as fragmented as Sophie’s tortured suburban personality - both pieced together in an intricate mesh of past-and-present dramatic storytelling.

Sophie, beguilineg played by Veronica Leer, is both Hamlet and Ophelia, extreme confidence and fractured vulnerability, intensely private in a masculine public world, and brought up ‘not to look into people’s faces’. Mixing the tones of Dostoevsky, Sylvia Plath and Dorothy Parker, writer Michael Vinaver traces

the trail of psychological cause and effect, love lost and love witheld, leading up to the killing.

like a busy courtroom, or the hectic racing of Sophie’s mind as her prosecutors bay for her execution, the production is always on the move, literally, as the set is on wheels, constantly creating new spatial iuxtapositions.

Brilliantly resonant, often paradoxical, non-judgemental, and political - the spectre of Nazism and notions of fatherhood hang over the production - the patriarchal hierarchy is shown as the real ‘monster’, not the accused. A few moments of cluttered staging and clumsy sound effects aside, this terrific ensemble piece is a wonderful, multi-layered portrayal of female identity. (Grant Gordon) Portrait 0! A Woman (Fringe) Communicado Theatre Company, Traverse ( Venue 15) 228 1404, times vary, £10 (£5).



Sex, sex, sex, and more sex, most of it gay but more than a little straight sex to keep all audience orientations happy. That’s Scott Capurro’s speciality, that and relationships,

usually gay ones but straight ones too.

That and embarrassing audience members. The show wouldn’t be the same if he didn’t call some poor innocent from the crowd and probe them about their sex lives. And it’s no good hiding or pretending you’re not there - he won’t take no for an answer.

This is a new show for last year’s Perrier Finalist. It sees Capurro as a

Review star ratins

* t t t * Dnmlssable t t t a: Very good

at t it Worth seeing it t Below average it You’ve been warned

Scott Capurro: sexual healing with Dr Love

camp, bitchy psychologist on a hip San Franciscan radio station (like a , homosexual Frasier) doling out advice to the lovelorn and sexually frustrated. In between calls, we get to listen in on Dr Capurro’s troubled personal life, particularly his relationship with stripper/prostitute boyfriend Martin.

Capurro’s delivery is fast, quirky and exceptionally funny. His ability to send up gay and straight at the same time is unrivalled but he’s at his best ad libbing with the material and with the audience. A natural talent. (Jim Byers) Scott Capurro’s The Doctor Is On (Fringe) Scott Capurra, The Pleasance ( Venue 33) 556 6550, until 26 Aug (not 13, 20) 9.45pm, £8. 50/2150 (Hill/£6.50).



Western scientific rationalism meets the Bunk ()fT/It' l)(’(lt/ in Toby Gough's humorously picaresque dramatisation of the life of Joseph Rock. botanist and explorer of Tibet. Two years after the hit-show /.illll(lt’ll.\'. Gough. with the Spirit Of. Tibet Performing Arts Troupe. takes us on a magical journey in Rock‘s footsteps through Edinburgh's Botanic Garden and into the Hidden Kingdom.

Acted with great panache and verve. incorporating everything from the surreal to the burlesque. arid with superb set-pieces. the evening's promenade is lil‘ted to even greater heights by the traditional chanting. singing and dancing of the exquisitely talentedTibetans. Get

along there now and

improve your Karma. (Marc Lambert)

I Plant Hunter (Fringe) 'l‘heatrum Botanicum.

l l l l

Theater ()l'l’lantes. Royal ;

Botanic Garden (Venue W3) 236 5138. until 3-1

Four hours of FREE performances from hundreds of Fringe shows. Seventeen marquees with live music, comedy, theatre, dance

Piper’s Cave: utterly convincing

Aug (not l8) 8.30pm. £10 (£7).



Since lis‘ rehearsed reading at 'l't‘avet‘se twelve years ago. Rona Munro's I’i'pt'r's ('ui't' has been in the dark until. like its two main characters, it underwent metamorphosis.

()n a Scottish coast. a hillwalker seeks shelter in a tramp's cave. Both have been chewed tip by lite.

and a host of musical numbers.

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He's embittered with hate. she with love.

It's about conflict and the nature of strength. but as well as menace. humour erupts. along with lyrical descriptions of the ever-changing landscape.

Helen Lomax and Sean Ilay are utterly convincing as Alisdair and Jo. both admirably evoking interchangeable vulnerability and strength. (Gabe Stewart)

I Piper’s Cave (Fringe) Boilerhouse. The Famous Grouse Ilouse (Venue 34) 220 5606. until 3| Aug (not Tue) 8pm. £7 (£5).

'l‘hc l.l\l loll Aug I‘Nb 51