theatre - dance - comedy .


Tunnel vision

As the nation is gripped by Swampy fever; a hot new drama tackles eco-warriors.

Swampy has his own column, Martin Bell has a pow-wow with Manchester Airport protesters, Muppet Dave has. . . a silly name. A play about eco-warriors is an idea whose time has come.

A tale of sex, drugs, ropes 'n' holes, Road Rage is a modern tragedy which locks together the topicality and confrontational politics of anti-road protesting with the Oedipus myth.

Footie leaves his adopted family, drops out of society for a travelling life and ends up on a road protest. As the camp is beseiged by heavy security, Footie literally goes underground where he digs up some equally heavy facts about his relationship with his biological parents. He may be closer to his real mum than he would have liked.

Road Rage writer Andrew Loudon, an Edinburgh University graduate and veteran of the student-run Bedlam theatre, has been inspired by the iron principles and daredevil tactics of Britain’s eco-warriors, who lock themselves onto gigantic trees and sit for weeks in collapsing tunnels.

’These people put their lives on the line for their cause - you get the feeling that there is a tragedy just waiting to happen,’ he says. ‘I have the most incredible admiration for that level of dedication.’

it is this kind of commitment which Loudon and his company K & 8 Productions are devoting to Road Rage. Method acting is the order of the day, with a strict no- baths rule enforced for the run. The show has been meticulously researched - most of the cast have a

Road Rage: Eco-maniacs

history of direct-action, and have been working at the protest village in Lyminge Forest in Kent, where they are trying to prevent a forest clearance.

’I helped build a rope causeway and did some digging,’ Loudon says. ’I thought the actual tunnelling was quite easy, but I suppose the real trick is just sitting there waiting for your air supply to be cut off and for all that earth to come down on your head.’

Road Rage is a play about now. Dig it.(Peter Ross)

I For details, see Hit list, right. See Free/oaders.



Seen at the Pegasus Theatre, Oxford, HHBMn*****

Aerial ballet With a stunning difference. Momentary Fu3ion's mesmerismg anti- graVity dance-theatre lends gorgeous, graceful intimacy to skills normally associated With big-top thrills. Company founders Isabel Rocamora and Sophy Griffiths team up with dancer Lindsey Butcher and rock percussionist Neil Conti (ex-Prefab Sprout) to investigate control, trust, strength, solitude, fear and fun.

The performance is a remarkable and sensually suggestive expresSion of what the human form can do when liberated from the ground. Sudden shifts into and out of sta5is, the foetus- like curlings and elegant amoeba moves, the blend of musculature and metaphysicality -- we observe it all With the kind of fascmation usually

observed for web-spinning spiders.

Butcher is spot-on in her solo and mo work. We done little bits of traditional Circus training where the emphasis is on tricks and the presentation of posrtions,’ she says. 'With us, the transitions are more important than the final posrtion. It's about getting beyond the tricks.’

Stung bUIlds beautifully to a literally gripping double-act. Clad in Tudor: intergalactic leotards, Rocamora and Griffiths share a miked trapeze that transmits their every intake of breath, each whimper and moan, and the slide of hands on ropes. The aim of this climactic section, is to create a piece where two humans merge and fall apart, to explore the lemon between fusion and separation.

They succeed brilliantly. To borrow the title of their next show, seeing Momentary Fusion is sheer Bliss. (Paulo POST)

I For details, see Hit list, right.

Stung: remarkable and sensually suggestive

I I H It list Ahit. averypalpeblehit... The Prince OIWest End Avenue ' Character genius Kerry Shale plays fourteen roles as the residents of a Jewish retirement home trying to put on Hamlet. See preview on following pages. The Prince Of west End Avenue (Fringe) Kenry Shale, Assembly Rooms (Venue 3).226 2428, 8-30 Aug (not 12, 19, 26) 4.25pm, £ 7.50/£8. 50 (£6.50/f7. 50). Road Rage See preview, left. Road Rage (Fringe) K & 8 Productions, Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 226 6522, 8-30 Aug, 5.45pm, £7 (£6). Stung See preview, left. Stung (Fringe) Momentary Fusion, St Bride’s (Venue 62) 346 1405, 1 1-30 Aug (not 17, 24) 4pm, £6/£7 (£4/£5). ' The league 01‘ Gentlemen Those horrid Gentlemen follow last year's sell-out success with an even darker show of creepy character comedy. See review on following pages. The League Of Gentlemen (Fringe) Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550, 8—30 Aug (not 1 1, 26) 5.30pm, £7. 50/f8. 50 (£6. 50/15 7.50). Preview show, 7Aug, 5.30pm, £4.50.

Talking To The Wall Intense poetic monologue from Irish writer/actor Mannix Flynn. Sean Hughes raves about it. Talking To The Wall (Fringe) $ugerloaf, The Honeycomb (Venue 139) 226 2151, 8-30 Aug, 4pm, £6 (£5).

fecund Theatre's 27 Mum-media techniques combine with traditional narrative in this personal retrospective of 1968 to 1996. fecund Theatre’s 27 (Fringe) fecund Theatre, Theatre Workshop (Venue 20) 226 5425, 11—25 Aug (not 17) 3.45pm, £6 (£5).

8-14 Aug 1997 THE usns