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The Pod

They’re weird, they’re wired and they’ve beamed down for the festival. Jim Byers talks to the future of Clubbing.

What Is The Pod'.’ 'lt‘s a futuristic. amorphous. cyberdance collective; we're future evangelists. The Pod is no one unit. it’s fluid. sometimes it involves ten people other times l().()()(). We‘ve got sub-collectives in Nevada. Pygmy tribes and small tree communities in the Amazon basin.‘

Where is The Pod? ‘We’re setting up a club in the cyber-accelerated environment of the Ultra-Pleasance. It's a very secure. womb-like environment like a bio-technological feedback space. Inside the club there‘s ambient eye-food. cyber bars selling IQ enhancing drinks. on-line toilets. ego-recalibration systetns. chill out stools and total immersion tanks. We’ve got a nutrient DJ who mixes various forms of gases into the air bringing the crowd up and down. It's going to smash your head apart and put it together in the shape of a computer.‘

What are you trying to achieve'.’

‘We're trying to promote the future as the only way forward for mankind. We‘re looking into new dimensions. Time is shaped like an armchair. The seventh dimension is where everything happens twice. the eighth dimension is exactly the same as this one but without any cheese and the ninth dimension is just this little girl with blue eyes who

looks at you.’

Are you on drugs'.’ ‘We advocate experimenting with all kinds of drugs. Drugs are the doorway to the universal soul. We explore all doorways and open all doorways that lead to new corridors and in every corridor we always open all the doorways leading to new corridors that lead to new horizons. We‘re working on a new drug that grows on Arthur's Seat called Lychon; when you distil it down. it gives you a hit that

makes you go blind for three days. then you feel 3ft shorter than you actually are for about four years. We‘ve also been experimenting with these mild non-toxic biotic infections and a drug called L-26 which was used on American housewives in the 6()s to make them buy more cheese during the consumer crisis.‘ Everything's going Pod-shaped . . . I The Pod (Fringe) The Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550, Ill—26 Aug (except 23 Aug). lam. £5.

L *‘k‘k‘k


Possibly the most striking thing about llall’s brand of comedy is his politeness, a quality rarer than a nun at a comedy gig. This is a man who can see the absurdity inherent in any situation and deftly but gently extract the humour without covering the audience in a shower of putrid bile. Hall is wry rather than wrathful and warms an audience rather than castigating them.

Unusually, he manages to combine surreal flights of fancy such as the comedy beast’s intercontinental migrations with acutely lucid dissections of world and human

liich llall: charming not churlish

affairs. lloary chestnuts such as the old boy meets girl scenario are given a fresh twist and he’s no slouch when it comes to concocting an on the spot ditty on the old ioanna.

While this show is by no means all new, his best material is well worth hearing again and his ad-libbing second to none. When the front row are pulled into the routine, llall laughs with, rather than at, the participants and it is during these Ioose-limbed moments that Hall is revealed at his free-associating best. Your sides won’t burst with laughter but you’ll be chuckling contentedly as you leave. (Jonathan Irew)

Rich Ilall Free wheelin (Fringe) Rich Ilall, Gilded Balloon Theatre (Venue 38) 226 2151, until 31 Aug (not 18) mm (11pm, 25 Aug) £7.50 (£6.50).

quick hits

I Cannon Funebre Set in the atmospheric surroundings of Edinburgh University Quad. Biuro Piodrozy present their disturbing take on the war that ravaged Bosnia and stunned audiences last year. The language barrier is no problem: horror and suffering is universal.

Carmen Funebre (Fringe) 'I'eatr Biuro l’odrozy. University Old College Quad (Venue I 92) 220 5606, I 6—26 Aug (not 23 Aug) 10.30an [8 (£6); 23 Aug. midnight. [l0 ([8).

I Phill Jupitus Brook no arguments. grab yer pals by the hair and yank them along to see this man. He gleefully ambles through tangent-packed shaggy dog stories and every tangent has top notch gags steaming out of every orifice. So go. See review. l’ltill Jupitus (Fringe) Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 226 2/51. until 24 Aug. [0.15pm. £7.50 (£6.50).

I Owen O’Neill Intelligent. articulate comedians are ten a penny. lt'sjust a shame that their material often doesn’t reflect this. Step forward Mr O'Neill. a man who is not afraid to weave a narrative into his comedy. You'll laugh. you‘ll cry and you'll even get a chance to think. goddamit. as you follow ()‘Neill around the building sites of London.

()wen O'Neill (Fringe) Traverse (Venue I5) 228 [404. until 25 Aug (not [9. 20) [0.30pm. {8 (£6).

I Sir Bernard Chumley’s Gang Show He‘s lewd. crude and hasn‘t advanced much beyond the playground on the humour evolutionary scale which is why we like him here at List Towers. As a screaming old queen. luvvie and raconteur, Chumley esq. shares his memoirs with a sickened public. See review.

Sir Bernard Chum/ey Is Gang Show (Fringe) Assembly (Venue 3) 226 2428. until 3/ Aug (not 29) [0.30pm. [6.50—[850


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