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Netherlands-based lieflex have one foot tripping out on the wilder shores of European dance theatre, and another safe and secure in the comfort zone of comics, cartoons and old-time movies.

Kicking off their UK debut programme, Cover llim With Brass clicks in with a boysy-boysy cast of supersonic Samurai sword-master, cloth-cap-wearing cheeky chappy and a Joe 90 doll (cue Mission Impossible music) with an impressively performed lack of moving parts. Each comes from his own cartoon strip with the hint of untold adventures to follow, but sadly each fizzles out before the promised

Wild boys: Dansgezelschap Reflex

action begins.

Part two, (the: Dre gets off to a good start as the. lights lift on a burly man in a dress shaking his considerable musculature to a sweet choral score.

Things just get weirder as the rest of the cabaret - all staring eyes, smudged slap and manic smiles - drifts in for a kind of farewell dance in the waiting room between the last cabaret show and hell. There are moments of real clarity, black humour and excellent dancing here. But this almost-too—youthful troupe are either too nervy or too rough-round-the- edges to do justice to this wild, orginal double-bill of dance. (Ellie Carr)

Dansgezelschap Reflex (Fringe) Continental Shifts at St Bride’s (Venue 62) 346 1405, until Sat 24 Aug, 6.15pm, £5 (£3).



A reasonable, but not particularly inspired, American production of Shakespeare. The tale is of a business deal gone wrong: the Jewish money- lender demands repayment in human flesh and, fired up with long-standing Christian-Jewish hatred rather than financial acumen, refuses the merciful option.

Being Shakespeare, there’s also the requisite tangle of young lovers making tests of devotion. Too economical of set and costume, lafayette Workshop’s production presumes to set the play in pro-World War II ltaly, but that’s about it for

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DEMARCO IN DUNDEE Bridging the gap batween Edinburgh. Dundee. Scotland and the Baltic

l3 - 17 AUGUST, 7.45PM

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The Belarus State Theatre Company “Slavonic theatre diffe; Improvisation is an art... a pleasure to watch... countlessly finely observed touches of charicature and detail "

The Scotsman ‘95

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Venice from law York

particular points of production. Some funny soap-opera-lsh portrayals of girls intent on their man-hunting gets a giggle, but unfortunately, so do a number of technical flub-ups.

This relatively young New York-based company sports some mature and able actors, but doesn’t manage to bring much that’s new by way of commentary, nor reveal why they chose to present this play, whose contemporary relevance is under severe question. luckily, Shakespeare’s genius and timeless wit stand the tests of radical time-shift and mediocrity of production. It you don’t know the play, and prefer a quicker alternative to reading the paperback, it’s not a total loss. There are some fine moments, you get the famous speeches, and can bone up on your classics culture. Just don’t expect theatrical revelations. (Sara Porter)

The Merchant of Venice (Fringe) lafayette Workshop, St. Bride’s Centre (Venue 62) 346 1405, until 31 Aug (not 25-26) 7. 45pm, £6 (£4).



Everyman was billed as a morality play about our death-obsessed consumer culture. told through a combination of music. video and text. Instead it is more like a Dadaist evening of splendid nonsense. freed of any obligation to discemable narrative or structure. Performed in a car park. it does without the video footage due to technical hitches (only two plugs in the building). and despite some powerful acting comes to an abrupt and inconclusive end. leaving the audience perplexed. Afterwards. the show‘s rather gloomy director Sulayman Al-Bassam admits that the production needs revision. Ifthis happens. Iii-environ just may be worth your time. (Marc Lambert) I Everyman (Fringe) Zaoum Theatre Company. Edinburgh City Council Car Park (Venue 74) 220 5606. until 3| Aug. 7.30pm. £6 (£4).



Phew! our favourite felines have emerged unscathed from their involvement in the last series of French And Sunmlers. and return to Edinburgh as the undisputed queens of character comedy.

Old favourites such as the Camille Pagliaesque academics make a welcome reappearance. as does icon of hate Emma Thompson. but the new characters prove that these cats have no intention of resting on their comedy laurels.

Coco and Bobo. the primary school health education clowns. are inspired creations which will have you howling. as will Jan and Jim Seaspray. the guest-house owners from hell.

Somebody give them a TV show. now. (Catherine Pound)

I Planet Pussycat (Fringe) Mel and Sue.

Pleasance (Venue33) 556 i

6550. until Aug 31 (not 29) 6.20pm. £8/£7 (£7/£6).



Kevin Gildea is involved in some sort of hushed-up

improvisation project. or he hasn‘t rehearsed enough. or else he's forgetting lighting and sound cues. This though some will doubtless find it endearing doesn't help to promote a much- needed image of professionalism. or leave any audience members with a feeling of value- for-money satisfaction. Laughs are reasonable when they finally arrive. but are few and far between. As Kevin tells us of his life and. therefore. our own lives there‘s more gentle recognition humour than out-and-out belly laughs. The finest material is the more surreal and visual comedy. but there's really not enough to keep you interested for long. (Danny Wallace) I Get Up Kevin Gildea (Fringe) Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 226 215l. until 3| Aug. 6.45pm. £7 (£5).

Salty and saucy: Laura lllclimond In Seven Tenth:



Britain‘s only touring theatre ship has docked in Leith with two original shows: an afternoon children's play. Captain C ro wsnest Ahoy! . and Seven Tent/is. a salty tale of love between Lorelei with her 'sea-green eyes' and Stern.

The show takes place on the vehicle deck of this former ferry. where back projections. atmospheric music and even an impromptu mechanical downpour complement the strong but sensitive performances by actors Laura Richmond and Paul Boyle.

An outdoor cafe-bar adds to the enjoyment of

Everyman: moral chaos

this unique venue; just be sure to disembark afterwards as the ship‘s next port ofcall is Methill. (Alan Crawford) I Seven Tenths (Fringe) Walk The Plank Theatre Ship. MV Fitzcarraldo (Venue I96) 0850 388277. until 25 Aug. 7.30pm. £5.50 (£4.50).

Yes. My Fuebrer: how we loved llltler



Based on the experiences of a close friend of the playwright. this poignantly written and beautifully acted one- woman play seeks to examine the confusion of mind which allows dictators to dominate over so many people.

For this woman (played by Jacqueline Pilton). Hitler was a god because he enabled her to escape her bullying mother. wear a cornflower blue dress and work with other girls in a castle. To her it is a fantasy. She has no views on the Jews except those she has been told. which she blindly accepts as the truth.

In the end we pity rather than despise her. (Catherine Pound)

I Yes, My Fuehrer (Fringe) Zeitgeist Theatre. Marco's (Venue 98) 228 9| l6. until 3] Aug (not Weds) 6pm. £4.50 (£3).


****t ***i

Unmissable Very good i t it Worth seeing it t Below average it You've been warned

34 The List 23 Aug-5 Sept I996