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He who laughs late. . .
Now in a home for the permanently booze- addled, Claire Prentice has spent the last ten days exploring the late night cabaret venues. The results are a lot more positive-looking than her liver.
in the small. sweaty conﬁnes of ‘The Comedy Zone' you can be entertained nightly by four young stand-ups of varying pedigree. lt's largely student type humour — sex. drink and drugs — together with a stomach churning circus of horrors type act from The Bastard Son Of Tommy Cooper. Time to move on. the night is yet young.
The anything goes spirit of the Fringe is in evidence at the ‘Bongo Club.‘ With a bill including comic poetry, mime. puppetry and stream-of- consciousness babblings they‘re not aiming for a mainstream audience. Having relocated to a larger venue it tends not to get too mobbed and attracts a well-behaved arty bunch. A highlight has to be the happy hour (£l bottle. 75p wine), which lasts as long as the usually smiley barmaid feels like it. Onto something a bit more boisterous . . .
Fondly known as the bear pit. the ‘Fringe Club‘ is always packed to the
gunnels with a well-oiled pack of bloodthirsty students. It‘s mainly stand- up with snippets of performance. from the likes of rock-tripper Lennie Travis. though anyone who's deemed not bawdy enough is off within seconds.
For a complete change of scenery head down to ‘Cafe Grafﬁti’. the most spectacular and bizarre of all the venues. Housing three bars. a beer garden and various cafes. this converted church buzzes well into the wee small hours. Comedy is notable for its absence here. with a truly international bill offering Egyptian belly dancing. Spanish guitarists. African drummers and the swirling Salsa Celtica.
Fend off sleep and head down to the well-lively ‘Late ‘n‘ Live‘ where a varied bunch of stand-ups do their hit to keep you a-chuckle. It’s worth checking the bill first but highlights so far include Greg Fleet. Dylan Moran and Phill Jupitus. Despite its size this place is regularly stowed out with young and old. comedy connoisseurs and thosejust looking to drag their drinking hours out.
Bleary-eyed and darn near chuckled- out it's time for ‘Mischief Round Midnight.‘ the last stop on the late-
-. \ 1’ Smith and Blackwood: cheese to please night trawl. housed in the surprisingly plush l920s art nouveau style Spiegeltent. Resident crooners Smith and Blackwood lay on the cheese. while a mixed bag of comedians. trapeze artists. bands. drag acts and naked dancers ensure a varied night. All in all a fun winding down after a mad night. Time to grab a couple of hours kip before it starts all over
again . . .
I The Comedy Zone (Fringe) Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550. until 3| Aug (not 27) l0.50pm. £8.50/£8 (£7.50/£7).
I The Bongo Club (Fringe) ()ut ()f The Blue (Venue I43) 556 5204. until 3| Aug. llprn. £5 (£3).
I The Fringe Club (Fringe) The Fringe Club (Venue 2) 226 5l38. until 3l Aug. IOpm (approx) £5.
I Cafe Graffiti Cabaret (Fringe) Mansﬁeld Place Church (Venue 90) 557 8330. until 31 Aug. ll.l5pm. £6 (£5).
I Late ’n’ Live (Fringe) Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 226 2l51. until 31 Aug. lam. £8.50 (£7.50).
I Mischief Round Midnight Beck's Famous Spiegeltent (Venue 87) 558 l072. until 3| Aug (not 24. 29) ll.30pm. £6 (£4).
Hello Sonya New Year
They do things differently in lithuanla. Ask anyone who’s seen the first two parts of a startling theatrical trilogy by the esltaras Kursonovas Company, parachuud into oundee as part of lllchard oemarco’s ongoing world domination exercise. There To Be Ilere and The all Women were derived from the literature of ones, or ‘llnion For Realistic Art’, a loose alliance of assert“ East European avant- gardists in the 1930s. low Ilello Sonya New Year, continues their stock in trade of category-defying
outaras Kursonovas Company: surrealist shenanigans
surrealist shenanigans, some of which could be straight out of Monty
“We want to be laconic,’ says
liursonovas in somewhat fractured English. “We want to rid ourselves of all unnecessary elements: actor’s narcissism, scenery and text.’ At 27, liursonovas has already been compared to Meyerhold and Artuad, and is motivated by ’fear and guilt and the necessity to get rid of them. The power of theatre gives meaning to everyday life. In other words, a miracle happens, and the unbearably ignorant and severe existence becomes not so oppressive. It is as if a ferocious woman suddenly becomes gentle, or a killer turns into an anazing Santa Claus.’ lluite. (lleil Cooper)
Hello Sonya New Year (Frlnge) Mares Kursono vas Company, The Demarco Foundation In Dundee, Dundee Rep (Venue 191) 01382 223530, 27 Aug, 7.45pm, 28-31Mg, 7.45pm, £6 (£4).
I Bib And Bob’s All llew1994 Show Now. Jerry Sadowitz is not for everyone. In fact. most people would probably find his humour cruel. distasteful. sadistic and unkind. Bloody funny as well. mind you. The show is. of course. trash but guaranteed to provoke a reaction. Leave early or split your sides. Which will you do? See review.
Bil) And [3012's All New I 994 Show (Fringe) Assentb/t‘ Rmmrs (Venue 3) 226 2428. until 3/ Aug.
ll . 45pm. £9.50/[8. 50
( £7. ISO/f8. 50).
I Boothby Graffoe’s Midnight Comedy Specials As the name suggests. Graffoe will be your genial host for three nights oftip top comedy featuring the likes of Jim Tavare. Dan Freedman. Julian Barratt. Simon Day. Sean Lock. Dave Gorman. Alan Parker. Jason Freeman and Al Murray. Laugh yer pants off.
Barn/thy (Ira/ﬁre '3 Midnight Comedy Specials ( Fringe)
Queen '3' Hall (Venue 72) 668 2019. 23—25 Aug. midnight. £7.5()—£/2.50.
I Jo Brand The mother of all cornediennes jets into Edinburgh for a one night caustic comedy clusterbomb. The word ‘deadpan' was probably invented for her and just how someone who always looks so weary of everything can mine life‘s funnier seams so effectively will continue to be one of the world‘s greater mysteries. What‘s more. it’s all for charity. See Guest List. page 10.
la Brand (Fringe) Play/muse (Venue 59) 557 2590. Sat 24. 11.30pm, £13.
I oavld Strassman We’ve said it before and we‘ll say it again: ventriloquism is not dead. Strassman has given the genre a well deserved kick up the Gary Glitter and makes his puppets come to life. Literally.
David Strassman (Fringe) Beck '3 Famous Spiegeltenl (Venue 87) 558 [072. until 3/ Aug (710129) [0.30pm. £7.50 (£6.50). '
THE LIST’S TIPS FOR THE BEST SHOWS 1DPM-LATE
The List 23 Aug-5 Sept I996 47