The Old West was never like this. as a trio of legendary outlaws cross the generational divide for a verbal stand-off. Until. that is. an entirely new breed strides in. in the shape of Sundance. the face of the future. This ultimate existential hero in turn blows away the representatives of the reactionary past (Hickcock). revolutionary fervour (Jesse) and acquiescence (The Kid). Then there’s The Barkeep. in touch with his own meaninglessness as much as Sundance. Meir 7. Ribalow‘s play looks suspiciously counter- culture-ish. but this new production is a playful exploration of ideas. complete with a brand new soundtrack to die for. (Neil Cooper)

I Sundance (Fringe) Ravens‘ Twilight. Famous Grouse House (Venue 34) 220 5606. until 3] Aug. 2pm. £6 (£4).



Fresh out of Cambridge Footlights. James Bachman and Matthew llolness's sketch show. Rummage. gets the early afternoon slot. taking its place on the lower rungs of a familiar career ladder. With an audacious approach to technology. they juggle aural gags with projected visual images. but some of the strongest material emerges from the lo-tech moments. ‘The President's Apology' is sophisticated in its stupidity. and the final guitar number is a riot. You can see the influence of generations of comedy forefathers in this show. but Rtmtmagt' is at its best when it hits a ludicrous ‘Far Side‘ tone. It is worth hanging on for these gems of originality. (Catriona Craig)

I Rummage (Fringe) James Bachman and Matthew Holness. Pleasance (Venue 33) 556

Sundance: blowing away the wild west

6550. 23. 25 Aug. 2.05pm. £6.50 (£5); 27. 29. 3| Aug. 2.05pm. £5.50 (£4).



High 60s mythology is given a new twist here in Tim Plester‘s follow-up to last year‘s John Lennon play. Dakota. This time. it‘s a wild melding ofthe pivotal events of l969. which sees an astronaut blast straight into an LA orbit. where a lictionalised Sharon Tate and co party on before Charlie comes calling. Or does he“? Fictionalising real events is never easy. yet this is a mind- expanding feat ofthe imagination which fuses pop 'n' roll with X-Fi/es- type conspiracy theories and drug-induced psychobabble. Best viewed after lashings of space cake. so when it's over it’ll all seem like a craaazy dream. (Neil Cooper)

l Mad Dog Killer Leper Fiend (Fringe) lndent Theatre Company. St Columba's By The Castle (Venue 4) 225 5105. 8—3l Aug. lpm. £5 (£4).


‘You'rejust going through a bit ofa good patch. What you need is a bout of alcoholism and sex with someone you don't like.‘ So runs literary agent Madge Hister's advice to her client. Sue Cooper. who has produced a script which is deemed excessively optimistic.

Hister's acerbic wit is superbly portrayed by Julie Nash. while Joanna Neary manages to convey excellently Cooper‘s initial intimidation which gradually gives way to arrogance of a more subtle shade than Hister‘s.

The Agent: time for a quick Sherman

Brian Mitchell and Joseph Nixon combines great one-liners. which manage to avoid becoming tedious. with an unexpected sting in the tail. In Madge Hister. they have created a wired hybrid of Oscar Wilde and Oliver North. When asked what it feels like to sit behind her desk. Hister

immediately retorts: ‘I like to imagine I'm sitting in the turret of a Sherman tank.‘ Thatcher without the politics. if you like. Oh. dear. (Alan Crawford)

I The Agent (Fringe) Quirk: Theatre And l‘ilm. Marcos (Venue 98) 228 9| l6. until 3| Aug. lpm. £4 (£3).

A marvellous script by






On 14 October 1881, a freak storm at sea took the lives of 129 fishermen from the small Borders town of Eyemouth. Ann Coburn’s play centres on the lives of three local fisherwives and how they cope with the aftermath of the disaster. Alison Coates, lyndsay Maples and Wendy Summers are magnificent as Janet, Jean and Molly respectively, united by hard work and through the shared grief of their

separate tragedies.

In a prophetic early moment, Janet talks of the women’s hopes for the coming fishing season, claiming the silver darlings might swim elsewhere ‘and take our living with them’. When the newspapers catch the scent of the story and offer the fishermen posthumous medals for bravery, Jean cries bitterly: ‘What do they write


Get Up And its Your Fingers: three women united by hard work and shared grief

father in Ben Ilur- gives the play a simple but direct intimacy, rendering the heartfelt passion and sheer tragedy of the disaster all the more

This is a hard-hitting, yet intimate tale of ordinary women coping with extraordinary circumstances. An


Weird Captain Sant of the Secret Service re-enacts his finest hostage capture with the help of two raw recruits whom he has press-ganged into the service of his clumsy amateur theatrical ambitions. The outcome is glorious, farcical, physical comedy that reaches the heights of originality and depths of silliness. The plot hardly matters. it is just a frame on which the Peepolykus Theatre hangs its awesome comic skill.

The company comprises an Englishman, a Catalan and a Basque, all trained in circus skills, puppetry and mime of the continental European tradition. But they have none of the preciousness sometimes associated with physical theatre. They simply see themselves as following an alternative comic route. David Sant believes that it is easy to underestimate the complexity of physical comedy. ‘There is a tradition in British theatre of being quite clever, quite witty. We don’t do that. We lust piss about, but in many ways what we do is more

The Ravens' Twilight


play by Venue 34 The Famous (irouse House 5 Chambers Si.


let The Donkey Co: loopy, but intelligent


Indeed the high energy set-pieces and ludicrous deviations must either be the result of scrupulous attention to detail or, as Sant point out, ‘weeks and weeks of messing around together.’ Their work may be loopy and manic but intelligence shines out. The next time you hear someone complain that the Fringe is dominated by boring stand-up, send them along to Peepolykus for a dose of real comic originality. (Catriona Craig) let The Donkey 00 (Fringe) Peepolykus, Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550, 23/24 Aug, 2pm, £6.50 (£5.50); 25-31 Aug, 3.15pm, £5.50 (£4.50).

Meir Z. Rlibalow

d i rooted by David A. Roylance

r_:t‘r;‘-r;\l<v marriage of existential drama

about us, the women left behind?’ and adds: ‘If they gave medals for waiting, we’d be armoured with them’.

The script is deeply moving, and the subtle direction of acclaimed actor laurence Payne - he played Jesus’s

original Scottish play not to be missed. (Alan Crawford)

0a! (In And Tie Your Fingers (Fringe) Fourth Wall Productions, Gilded Balloon (Venue 30) 226 2151, until 31 Aug, 2pm, £6.50 (£5.50).

Aug 20 - 31 2pm 0131220 5606 £6014]

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The List 23 Aug-5 Sept I996 23 I P'-