Peepolykus: The Gold Blend threesome

COMEDY PREVIEW Peepolykus I Am A Coffee

The leap between clowns and internationally renowned scientist Stephen Hawking seems pretty galactic. However Hawking's book was one inspiration for Peepolykus Theatre Company's /Am A Coffee

'Proposals like time travel are so far- fetched that the people who suggest them can seem mad or clownish themselves,’ says John Nicholson, of the comic trio. 'We haven’t gone into any theory, we just explain that time travel is possible, and you need to use a fridge'

Peepolykus are known to those who saw last year’s Let The Donkey Go as madcap peformers who bring the art of clowning to full-length theatre.

This year's show has Nicholson as a time-travelling postman who arrives in a fridge in a fishmonger’s where he encounters Spaniards Javier Marzan and DaVId Sant who play the shopkeepers.

But audience, be warned the plot is of little importance ‘Our work always treads a thin line between bizarrely ingenious and jUVCFiIlC. It is always a gamble,’ adsz Nicholson.

(Stephen Naysmithl

I Peepolykus /Am A Coffee (Fringe) Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550, 8-30 Aug (not ll, 26) 5 15pm, USO/£8.50 (£6SO/f7 50> PreVIew shows, 7 8i 8 Aug, £5.

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In choosing to stage a play synonymous with big budgets on a relative shoestring, Red Shift Theatre Company could be dismissed for their naivete or praised for their ambition. Glancing over the company biog, one suspects the latter.

Indeed, the budgetary contrast captures the essence of Victor Hugo’s 19th century masterpiece ’the dichotomy', as director Jonathan Holloway puts it, 'between the haves and the have-nots.’

Essentially a game of cat and mouse between Jean Valjean, petty criminal turned good, and the obsessive Inspector Javert, the play provides a surprisingly pertinent social commentary on the ills of Europe today, heightened in Red Shift’s pared- down form.

Holloway concludes: ’It catches the smell and essence of our own contemporary situation, with a clear parallel to be drawn with the complete disregard for the social fabric, evident throughout the Toryism of the 805 and 905.’ (Claire Prentice)

I Les Miserables (Fringe) Red Shift Theatre Company, Fringe Club (Venue 2) 226 5138, 70—30 Aug (not 78, 25) 4pm, £8.50 (£6.50).


Previously only seen in New York and Australia, Steve Martin’s blackly comic view of the White Anglo Saxon Protestant's dream turned upside

'down makes its British premiere in

Edinburgh. In WASP, the dysfunctional family live in 505 America but the play could be about any family's dangerous middle class aspirations. ‘It's about a society where religion is golf,’ sums up director Gerard Murphy.

Murphy kept in touch With Steve Martin about his approach to WASP. ’There are a few things which are a little surreal. Because I’m approaching the play a little differently from the way it's been done before, I wanted to make sure Steve was happy, just the

, i . , fir Skull capped: The Prince Of West End Avenue

THEATRE PREVIEW The Prince Of West End Avenue

The most characters ever played by Canadian-born Kerry Shale in a single performance is 28. In The Prince Of West End Avenue, Shale’s own world- premiere adaptation of Alan lsler’s novel of the same name. he‘s halved that number. '

'I'm not impressed with myself when it comes to doing fourteen characters,’ the 45-year-old actor says. ‘To me. it’s a way to tell a story. This is a play, not a cabaret piece. I just happen to be the only actor onstage.’

Shale is best known as an award-winning radio actor/adaptor and star of previous Festival solo shows A Confederacy Of Ounces and the musical Herringbone. For the first decade of his career he was usually cast half his age. Prince. which Shale pegs as 'a very funny play about redemption with a good fart joke in it.’ helps redress the balance. The central role is Otto Korner. 83 and resident of a Jewish retirement home in Manhattan that's struggling to put on a chaotic and bitchy production of Hamlet.

Shale seems set to put on a virtuoso act. Glimpsed in rehearsal, his quicksilver changes in vocal rhythm and body language are dazzling. ‘Just because you've done one-man shows before,‘ he remarks, ‘doesn't mean you're not terrified by the next one.’ Needless worrying. Go and expect a terrific performance. (Donald Hutera) '

I The Prince Of West End Avenue (Fringe) Kerry Shale, Assembly Rooms (Venue 3) 226 2428, 8—30 Aug, 4.25pm, £7. 50/158. 50 (f 6. 50/£ 7. 50).

works before the final curtain falls on

his illustrious career. (Ed Grenby)

I / Can’t Remember Anything (Fringe) Assembly Rooms (Venue 3) 226 2428, 70—16 Aug, 5pm, f8/f 9 (£7/f8).

way any writer and director would be talking.’

Steve Martin hopes to come over to see the play himself. If he does he may well discover golf is far more important than religion here. (Gabe Stewart)

I WASP by Steve Martin (Fringe) Third Stage Productions, Assembly Rooms (3)226 2428, 8—30 Aug (not 79),

3. 75pm, [ 9/£ 8 (£8/f 7).


Intense is not the word. Audiences for Irish author/actor Mannix Flynn’s one- man show will be scraping themselves off the floor or else racing the raised roof to the heavens.

In a manic monologue, Flynn draws on his own experiences to describe a life from conception, through birth, school, Borstal and prison, right up to the present moment in the theatre. Usmg techniques from rap, stand-up comedy and poetry, he creates overwhelmingly emotional effects.

’The piece is like a fighter plane,’ explains Flynn. ’I take audiences into the air Within 60 seconds, and keep increasing altitude. After an hour, we'll feel like we’ve been in twenty dogfights.’

Talking To The Wall may bring the

THEATRE PREVIEW I Can't Remember Anything

Arthur Miller desribes the new production by Moscow's Metamorphoses XXI Century theatre company as ’unforgettable’ --but then he did write the play.

/Can’t Remember Anthing, one of the 82-year-old American dramatist's more recent works, has never been seen in the UK before, but comes direct from smash-hit success in Moscow and Kiev. Performed in Russian, It’s the story of a couple of old friends and their dinner-table conversation, and will be presented

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Streets ahead: Red Shift's Les Miserables

With a specially-prepared simultaneous translation.

Although it does sound a bit heavy director Nika Kossenkova considers the one-acter as ’a modern paraphrase of Hamlet done in Chekhovian style’ it is undoubtedly worth seeing. After all, it is hard to imagine the octogenarian playwright producmg many more

house down at The Gilded Balloon, but Flynn Will perform anywhere.

’This is the Seek and Enjoy tour. If this play couldn’t be done in a Gorbals pub, Iwouldn’t bring it to Edinbtirgh.’ (Peter Ross)

I Talking To The Wall (Fringe) Suger/oaf, The Honeycomb (Venue I39) 226 2757, 8—30 Aug, 4pm, [6 ([5).

8—14 Aug 1997 THE usns