HERE LIES HENRY Gabe Stewart congratulates Canadian Da Da Kamera on a comic, complex, fiery piece of theatre.

As lights dim. the disturbing music reaches its crescendo. and a man. a camp cross between Jeremy Irons and Jeremy Hardy. steps out of the black cube of sound.

Henry starts off with a sclf-cffacing charm offensive full of nervous tics and mannerisms. illuminated by atomically- precise lighting and sound effects. designed to diminish theatrical preconceptions to a puff of smoke. Eventually. he tells us that he‘s here to tell us something we don't already know.

But then. he's a compulsive liar. He expounds his theory of the hierarchy of lies. from the just-kidding lie (‘I like your shirt) to the universal lie we all share. He slickly cracks linguistic nuts. Like strangers at a convivial party. we get to know him. he seems to get to know us. Heck. he‘s a good laugh. and he seems a nice kind of guy. except when something more sinister emerges. like his odd habit of talking about the body next door.

Suddenly. it really isn‘t funny anymore. The tinder's lit, and what was warm cordiality becomes a furnace of fury. only extinguished by a torrential downpour. The sound crew creates a thunderstorm that has the seats shaking and your brain quaking. and in the undertow. we are left floundering in the wake ofthis dramatic leviathan. And you are angry and shocked. But mostly

Daniel Maclvor as high-kicking lienry in a performance full of fireworks and downpours

you are gripped.

Lies or truth? Henry‘s volatile temperament switches from effusive vivaciousness. to a fuming fever. to the sentimentality of a lover's vow that should become standard fare at all weddings.

Amusingly. grimly. Henry is dealing in the basics: love. life and death.

But as you feel the goosebumps rise at the base of your neck. as the circle of light ditnishes to Henry‘s disembodied face. he keeps his promise. He does tell us something we don't know. A

brilliant punchline that no one saw coming. Universal truth or lie'.’ Either way. it's a secret. and one that I'm not telling you.

Daniel Maclvor's pclting performance as Henry is triumphant. sparkling under Daniel Brooks' adroit direction. As Henry's creators. they both deserve all the laurels they will undoubtedly receive.

I Here Lies Henry (Fringe) 1);: l)a Kamera. Traverse Theatre (Venue IS) 228 I404, until 3| Aug (not 26) various times. £l() (£6).



When boy meets girl on an [A beach they become kindred spirits, each providing for each other shelter from the storm of 903 urban decay. he’s gay and loves movies, she finds meaning for herself by playing Mother Teresa to waits and strays. Both are recovering alcoholics and both are floundering terrified, looking for somewhere or someone safe. Inadvertently they become lovers for a night, after which mutual dependence pulls them apart, but paths have a habit of continually crossing.

leer’s Opium: testament for our times

The souring of the American dream takes another tumble in Godfrey Hamilton’s emotive and sensitive new play, as Mark Pinkosh and Kathryn tiowden brilliantly capture the frailties and fears of how difficult it is to love in dangerous days. It also

can’t stress enough the value of friendship, platonic or otherwise, putting paid to any cheap jibes of fag-haggery. Pinkosh’s character is a wannabe screenwriter, and the play’s title comes from his movie, in which the heady rush of addiction soon becomes a ball and chain. The play itself jump cuts mercilessly, crossing the bounds between stand-up, performance art and straight drama. With almost noir lighting at times, lorenzo Mele’s production, played magnificently on a bare stage, will make you laugh and cry unashamedly. A startling testament of our times. (Neil Cooper)

Viper’s apiurn (Fringe) Starving Artists, Traverse Theatre ( Venue 15) as 1404, until 31 Aug (not 26) various times, £7 (£4).

quick hits

I Twelve He had Jenny Eclair collapsed in the front row. teeth tottering. wig askew. What Ben Moor‘s surreal brand of train-of- thought spotting can do for her. he can do for you.

Twelve (Fringe) Ben Moor. I’leasant‘e ( Venue 33) 556 6550. until 3/ Aug. /2..i()/nn. {6/5

( [5/81 ).

I Animal Farm/Under Milk Wood Don‘t miss your last chance to see these two solo masterpieces. Just surrender to Guy Masterson's velvet voice as he fills the stage with dozens of characters. Funny. poignant and rousing. A physical and emotional ('Ull])-(l('-Illtllll'('. Animal Farm/Under Milk Wood (Fringe) (iuy Masterson. Assembly Rooms (Venue 3) 226 2428. until 3/ Aug. //.45am. [8.50/[750 (£7.5()/[6.5())

I Headstate Boilerhouse and Irvine Welsh‘s astonishing multi- media promenade collaboration. Given their feelings about critics. don‘t expect any rave reviews reproduced in Boilcrhouse publicity; but you can write your own on their website.

Heads/ate (Fringe) Boiler/louse. Cafe (iraj/iti (Venue 90) 557 8330. until 3/ Aug. /2.3()pm,' 24/25, 3/ Aug. 2.30pm. £9.50 (£5) I iiough Guide to Scottish Authors The lunchtime conveyor belt of literary readings continues: Stewart Conn. 22 Aug; Hamish Henderson/George Gunn. 23 Aug; William Mcllvanney. 24 Aug; Iain M. Banks. 25 Aug; Joan Lingard. 28 Aug; Liz Lochhead. 3| Aug. Rough Guide '12; Scottish Authors (Fringe) Seonish In ternalional (Venue 34) 220 5606. until 3/ Aug (no126, 27). noon. £3.50.

I The Bible (Abtidged) Still wowing mass audiences. Curl up with the Good Book that has all the gags.

The Bible (Abridged) (Fringe) The Redueed Shakespeare Company. Assembly Rooms (Venue 3) 226 2428. until 3/ Aug. Il.30am. £9/f8 (Hi/£7)


The List 23 Aug-5 Sept l99619