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Our Festival scouts have seen more shows than Blackpool Pier, and after seven days of no sleep and liquid brunch, are proud to announce this week‘s tips for the top . . .


I Headstate They‘re milking the Irvine Welsh connection for all it‘s worth. but this ‘acid drama‘ devised by Edinburgh's off-the-wall Boilcrhouse in conjunction with Mr 'Ii‘ainslmtting hitnself is living up to the hype. In finest in-yer-facc Welshian tradition. the audience are led on a promenade performance with no place to hide. What follows is a dizzy combination of expletive-riddcn sick humour. technical wizardry and emotionaIIy-fired acting. (Ira/it/i. until 3/ Aug (not 27).

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I Snowshow Slava I’olunin and his troupe of Russian clowns bring you one ofthc biggest. tnost unexpected hits of the Fringe. Red noses. big feet and big sad clown eyes filled with tears are not the deal here. But comic mastery. theatrical depth and uplifting spectacle are. Go before they do. Assembly Rooms. until 3/ Aug (Hill 25. 2S), 4.45pni/l /. l5pnt.

I Martin And John Hugely affecting performance from solo actor Sean O'Neil. as he throws heart. soul and everything else he possesses into this emotionally upfront drama. Adapted frotn Dale Pcck‘s novel I-‘uelting Martin. it gets under the skin of a young gay American than as he seeks life after the AIDS-related death of his lover. Hill Street Theatre. until 3/ Aug. 7.20pm.

I Dealer’s Choice Top actors from the Royal National Theatre deal a killer hand with Patrick Marber‘s excellent black comedy about the seductive/ destructive nature of gambling. A sure- fire bet for your money. Fringe Club. until 28 Aug. 7pm.

pissing it against the wall. Catch him

I Catalpa ()ne-man theatrical dynamo Donal 0' Kelly sets sail on the hiin seas for this epic adventure based on the real-life story of a whaling captain who hijacks his own vessel mid‘voyage to rescue a group of Irish prisoners frotn a penal colony on the other side of the world. 'I'heatre Ilbrks/top. until 3/ Aug (not 25). 8.45pm.

I David Strassman Ventriloquism takes on a new meaning as Strassman's menagerie of not-wclI-behaved house- guests prove there‘s life in the old hand-held puppet yet. Hilarious stuff. and not a string of shoshidgcs in sight. Spiege/tent. until 3/ Aug. It).3()/mi.

I Phill Jupitus Ile doesn‘t come from the planet Jupiter. but the man who spells Phil with two Ils has enough in the way of outrageous stories with unfeasible tangents to make the most ilI-humoured eanhling laugh themselves into orbit. Not many days to go. so hurry hurry. (Jill/ell Balloon. until 24 Aug. /(). [Sp/n.

I Rich Hall Freewheelin’ Another good year on the Fringe for the craggy- faced. quick-witted US humourist who combines smart observational humour with improvisation about chocolate bars (among other things). and who comes away with a house full of new pals after his show. (ii/(leil Balloon. until 3/ Aug. Ill/nu (25 Aug. ll/nn).

I Harry Hill’s ’96 Comeback Special There's no getting away from it. The than with the worst shoes in comedy is here to stay. Hisjokes get more surreal. his references more absurd . . . and his audiences get bigger. He may wear beetlccrUshers. but he sure has talent. The l’leu.\'atu'e. until 25 Aug. 8pm.

I Owen O’HeiII Stand-up cotnedy meets one-man theatre as Ulster's O'Neill delivers a poignant and hilarious monologue on the early years of his adolescence spent on the building sites of London. His teenage naivety turns gradually to disillusiontnent the realisation that there's tnore to life than

Jazzy B at the Mela

while you can. 'l'raverse 'I'heatre. until 25 Aug. /().3()pnt.

I Bill Bailey Tickets are selling like hash-cakes for the big. hairy. hippy keyboard whiz]. whose rendition of Richard Clayderman doing ‘Three Blind Mice‘ (and other famous nursery rhymes/theme tunes/film soundtracks) is second to none. Assembly Rooms. until 3/ Aug (not 29), 9pm.

I Mela The niuIti-cultural ans fest is back. And it‘s bigger. better and more colourful than it's ever been before. Crowds of 44.000 ready-to-patty punters are expected to attend this year's event with star turns ranging from bagpipers to Bolly wood film stars and including Bhangra superstar Jazzy B. The Bhundu Boys. leading Kathak dancers Nahid Siddique and Company and Indian pop star Bappi Lahiri. 3/ Aug-l Sept. ,‘l/eailotrlmnk Stailiunt. events throughout the (lay.

I Ines De Castro Already being hailed as the first great Scottish opera. James MacMilIan‘s musical version ofthe play by John Clifford gets its long- awaited premiere in Edinburgh. The tale of lne’s De Castro is a suitably operatic one involving abuse of power and fiery emotions. and MacMiIlan's interpretation is bound to attract the world's attention. I-‘estii'al 'I'lieatre. 23/25 Aug. 7. 15pm.

I lphigenie Aut Tauris Legendary European dance theatre innovator Pina Bausch brings her unique dramatic vision to bear on Gluck's famous opera. Using her entire company. flanked on both sides by singers frotn Scottish ()pera. Bausch‘s take on Gluck's masterpiece is bound to be a different. and extremely powerful experience. Festival Theatre. 29—31 Aug. 7. / 5pm.

I Giacometti The crowds are still pouring in for this blockbuster of an exhibition celebrating the great 20th century artist whose famous skinny bronze figures are affectionately remembered for their one-time appearance in a Royal Bank Of

Scotland TV advert. Scottish National Gallery ()melern Art. until 22 Sept. I Helen Chadwick The top British artist who died earlier this year is remembered in Stilled Lives. a timely exhibition showing her disturbing. but poignant photographs exploring in- vitro fenilisation. Portfolio Gallery. until 2/ Sept.

I Breaking The Waves Another week at the top for Danish director Lars Von Trier's highly emotive movie about a young woman from an extreme Scottish Calvinist community whose devotion to her husband eventually drives her to extremes. Film/louse. 23 Aug. 8pm.

I The Phantom Of The Opera The classic silent movie with Lon Chaney demonstrating what fear really is. gets the full orchestral treatment under the baton of top conductor Carl Davies. Playhouse. 23 Aug. 9. /5pm.

I he: V Throw away your Fringe Club pass and head out of town for the biggest. best. most happening dance event Scotland‘s ever seen. Up to 6000 clubbers are expected to dance twelve hours of the night away at an event that‘s moving on from its previous hardcore image to encotnpass all from house, uarage. drutn ‘n‘ bass. handbag. hardbag and any other kind of bag you care to mention. Re: If Royal Highland Showground. lngliston. 23 Aug. Spin—Sam.

I Pure The hard. fast and positively thumping sound of Pure is not every Festival-goer's cup of tea. But if the thought of sweaty. tops-off. dance-till- you-drop house and techno pops your cork then this is still one of. if not the best night of its kind in Scotland. For its sixth birthday Pure and its many followers will be indulging in an uplifting dance sandwich of tnoody techno maverick Dave Clarke and respected US house DJ Marshall Jefferson. The Venue. 23 Aug.

Dave Clarke plays Pure


The List 23 Aug-5 Sept I996 9