The Festival begins here...

It's That Time Of Year again. Edinburgh is hard at it, girding its loins for the 50th anniversary Festival. Read all about it in our next three issues, published weekly on Thursday 7, 14 and 21 August. For now, we bring you a nineteen-page taster to whet your appetite for the world's biggest feast of culture.

Grrrrls behaving badly

lf performing arts are any barometer of zeitgeist, then the Fringe is an ideal opportunity to investigate the state of the nation. If lads and louts hit a peak last year, then this year the lassies' backlash is kicking in. What's the story . . . 7 Words: Claire Prentice

Forget sugar and spice and all that shite. Apart from the obvious bits ‘n’ bobs. girls and boys really aren‘t all that different. Womankind is ready to give the blokes a run for their money boo/,ing. blaspheming. leering at totty and generally having a ball. Lining up at the Fringe to tell you that romance and red roses are definitely not what they really. really want are a whole host of up-for-it girlies. ready to add their own brand of spice to the summer stew.

First up and always ready to revel in the delights of nature's gifts is Shakti a sell-out act in previous years -— who. faced with the prospect of a room full of strangers. can think of nothing more liberating than whipping her kit off. Her Tibetan Book Of The Dead (Graffiti) will make you wonder what she’s like when she’s had a few . . .

Meanwhile. keeping womankind firmly in her place the kitchen. of course we have Miss ltehv's Bastard Break/as! Show at The Gilded Balloon. But forget the oven gloves and frilly apron. This is one broad who missed the Delia Smith re-runs preferring to employ her culinary skills on puppy dogs. Her behaviour was deemed so offensive that the show was banned in he'r far- from-conscrvative Aussie homeland.

Bevvying and brawling with the best of them is Bunty The Bouncer. at The Gilded Balloon. Far from her girls” comic namesake. Bunty delights in rigorous body searches and kebabs for breakfast. and is more than willing to take on lager louts. L

Another couple of birds you wouldn’t mess with can be found strapping on their industrial- strength thongs in the freaks‘ paradise The New Jim Rose ('ireus (The Palladium). liemale sumo wrestlers. anyone‘.’

Next myth to he shot to hell: only blokes enjoy meaningless shagging. And there's plenty on offer to prove this one.

Nest myth to be shot to hell: only blokes enjoy meaningless shagging. And there‘s plenty on offer to prove this one. Kismet Theatre (‘onipany‘s Low Level l’anie (Roman iiagle Lodge) is described by performer ('lare

Molyneux as ‘a mix of Greek

tragedy and girls-on-top power". The show follows the adventures of three archetypal ‘)()s girls who know a girl‘s best friend is her middle finger and promises a heady cocktail of pints. parties and one-night-stands.

In the same vein is Nicole Bunting‘s In the Thighs of the Beholder. Here the audience is invited to leave their ‘fears and repressions at the door‘. as they enter the ‘lirogenous Zone‘ for a lesson -— historical and practical - in eroticism. Surely one which no self-respecting Don (‘riovanni or Mary .‘vlagdelene dare miss.

Shakti: has kit, will shed

But let’s not forget that sex has been around since Adam and Eve‘s orchard frolics. Demonstrating that girl-power was alive and kicking before mass bra—burning. Theater Ten Ten‘s .Ilphra Behn And Nell (in'vn (Bedlam Theatre) tell the true story of a 17th century writer and an actress whose lust for life saw them flout society's conventions.

Final confirmation if you needed it that wicked women are really nothing new comes from self-proclaimed bad girl Jenny Eclair. who invites you to share a one-night stand with her at The Palladium.

They may be fewer in number than their male counterparts. but these girls just aren‘t interested in a good clean fight. Spare a thought for Moira Knox and the PC police as they prepare to mount the moral hiin horse. Double helpings of soap and water all round. folks.

Full details of all shows can be found in the Fringe programme.

25 Jul~~7 Aug 1997 THE llST15