The liberties some people take with Shakespeare.
Those who studied A Midsummer Night’s Dream at school may be surprised by a Fringe production at The Laboratory billed as ’A Mermaids & Larger than Fyfe Egyptian Dance Extravaganza!’ — but such is the company’s description of their interpretation. ‘
Purists WIII not be happy, of course — and to be fair, there is no eVidence that Shakespeare wanted an Egyptian Dance Extravaganza in his Dream — but then the Fringe has never been a place for purists (who may of course seek succour in the top-notch, original-text Measure For Measure, performed by Nottingham Playhouse at the Royal Lyceum as part of the International Festival).
Schhh! Theatre Company’s production at Old St Paul’s Church of Romeo And Juliet — With ten Juliets — is also likely to have them muttering; while the riot police may be called in if they attend Oddbodies' 'physical, Visual, musical' two-person Richard III (Pleasance),
And these are Just the productions that retain Shakespeare’s original titles. Anything called Macbeth Pruned And Henry V Pu/ped (Flying Pig Theatre Company at South Bridge Resource Centre) or Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) (The Totally Portable Theatre Company at the Garage Theatre) should arouse
suspicion — and sure enough, the former promises ‘Bard meets Tarantino’, while the latter offers an anarchic feminist time-travel comedy.
If all this has the Swan of Avon turning in his grave, then this year’s crop of Macbeths will cause cartwheels beneath Stratford’s fertile soil. Denied a writing credit on Elsie And Norm’s Macbeth (Company Theatre at the Cafe Royal) and Betty And Bobby’s Macbeth (Queen Margaret College Drama Department), he has his historical veracity questioned by one of his own characters in Macbeth Speaks (The Touring Company at the Netherbow Theatre), while Elsie and Norm shed doubt on his artistic competence, asserting that ’Macbeth is too long, it’s got too many characters, the poetry doesn’t rhyme and there aren’t enough iokes’ (all of which they endeavour to put right).
Falstaff is one of Bill’s biggest hits, in every sense. With leading roles in three plays, and a substantial personal stature, he can certainly occupy the stage on his own. But an entire play? RSC actor David Weston plans to prove he’s big enough to go it alone in Breakwith Productions’ Falstaff at the Roman Eagle Lodge.
Even the Greatest Hits packages get a twist this year. Venue C's long- running Shakespeare For Breakfast now has plenty to compete with: Disintegration, Dze-Ya? Belarus State Theatre’s fu5ion of the tragedies and sonnets (Demarco European Art Foundation); Nottinghamshire Education Theatre Company’s Roman
preview EDINBURGH FESTIVAL
Largeing it: David Weston in Falstaff
Rape Of Lucrece (Marco’s).
The backlash was ineVitable. Enter Cygnet Theatre and their Romeo And lu/iet at Moray House Theatre, whose proudest boast is its rigorous adherence to a traditional and staunchly unadventurous textual base. How very iadicall (Ed Grenby)
Scandals (Julius Caesar + Antony And Cleopatra) at C Cubed; Z Theatre Company’s The Mechanica/s, a compilation of Shakespearian soundbites as performed by Bottom, Snout et al (also at C Cubed); and Looking Glass Productions’ conflation of the Bard’s female characters, The
It's a knockout!
Three shows slug it out for a much-coveted title.
Some people are JUSI born lucky. You've got a show coming to the Fringe. You wanted to be a bit different and do a play about boxmg Then you discovered y0u weren’t alone . , and then KAPOWW/l/ Free publicity Via a subject that's hit the headlines. Just when you feared you may have bitten off more than you c0uld chew — along comes Mike Tyson's unhealthy appetite and you're off the ropes.
Hardly a week passes, then boxrng knocks the Mars landings from the front pages again when Lennox LeWis’ opponent is disqualified for too much ’holding' The promoters of three Fringe shows rub their hands With glee and prepare speeches in acceptance of the Fringe First for Spawniness.
The beneficiaries of this jar of Jamminess are In Company, Axis and Straight Up Theatre Company. In Company present the world premiere of Shadow Boxrng, a tough new play
by a man who should know what he's ‘
talking about Simon MacCallum has taken part in his fair share of pugilistic actiwty, and has now Chosen to get those thoughts and uppercuts down on paper. The shady world of nightclubs and the boxmg ring is the setting for this Theatre Workshop show Meanwhile, Axis presents a similarly named play With Scorsesean overtones. Similar in that it is exactly the same With
Boxing clever: Axis Theatre Company's Shadowboxing
just a space deleted. Shadowboxing (Chaplaincy Centre) is a one-man play about a boxer confronting his masculinity as both character and actor are pushed to the limit through an emotional and physical Journey.
The final round goes to Straight Up Theatre Company With One Of The Boys (Greyfriars Kirk House). Boxing legend Freddie Mills made the crucial error of staying loyal to both friend and” foe, but who fired the final shot? A boxing play which takes a look at an unsolved mystery. And With songs. (Brian ’Slugger’ Donaldson)
...TEMPTATION...COME LIVE WITH ME... :3 ‘ (WE DON’T NEED THIS) FASCIST GROOVE THANG...LET ME GO... PENTHOUSE & PAVEMENT...LET’S ALL MAKE A BOMB... CRUSHED BY THE WHEELS OF INDUSTRY...
“songs to die for”
MELODY MAKER 1997 _
800K EARLY FOR THIS UNIQUE EVENT ~ FIRST EVER LIVE PERFORMANCES IN EDINBURGH
TICKETS AVAILABLE AT THE FRINGE BOX OFFICE ON 0131 226 5138
OR IN PERSON FROM THE VENUE AFTER 6PM
24TH & 25TH JAFFA CAKE
2333:: éé‘x'll’iés’ )srAsLES
THE EDINBURGH NEW MUSIC FESTIVAL
2‘) Ju|~/ Aug 1997 THELISTTT