For Stewart Lee, things started to go wrong a few months ago. With his brand-new show King Dong vs Moby Dick ready to go, he tested his material at Liverpool University. ’It went very, very badly,’ admits the seasoned stand-
’Then the Fringe sent me a lawyer- letter, saying my poster featured the last taboo known to society — an erect penis — and it had to be censored. So,’ he says, taking a deep breath, ’l’m going to do a show about how I can’t do the show I was going to do.’
He’s a clever man, Lee, and it shows in his remarkable stand-up. Teetering on the fine line between childish idiocy and alarming intellect, his solo stuff is tantalisineg sharp and never lacks edge, and, as the ideas behind this new show demonstrate, he's not afraid to experiment.
’I thought it'd be funny to have a giant penis fighting a whale on the poster,’ Lee says. Idiocy or intellect? Find out for yourself. (Danny Wallace) I Stewart Lee — King Dong vs Moby Dick (Fringe) Stewart Lee, Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550, 8—30 Aug (not 72, 26) 8pm, [8.50/f8 (£7.50/f7). Preview show 7 Aug, 8pm, f 4.
THEATRE PREVIEW Romeo And Juliet
Craigmillar may not seem the most likely place for a rendezvous with Shakespeare, but Box Hedge Theatre Company intends to prove otherwise by staging the romantic tragedy Romeo And Juliet in a local community not usually on the tourist trail.
The anCient love story wrll unfold in the open-air setting of Craigmillar Castle in true classical style, with period costume, recorded guitar music and Gregorian chanting.
’I wanted to focus on the love affair and immense tragedy of humans who get things wrong,’ explains director Anthony Lilly.
’lt's tragic in the old-fashioned catharsis mode, but still has lots of bawdy humour',
Box Hedge's venue host, Richard Demarco expresses admiration for the company. ’They can bring life to a very important venue, create a new kind of energy,’ he says ’Theatre like this is important, site-specific theatre - you get a sense of place, an idea that this show is unique.’ (Sarah Crawford)
I Romeo and Juliet (Fringe) Box Hedge Theatre Company, Craigmi/lar Castle (Venue 709) 558 7330, 74—I7Aug, 8pm, [ i 2 (£8).
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Squat thruster: Ian Stone
Ian Stone - Bit Of Didley Squat ’Woody Allen filtered through a 905 sensibility,’ is how one wag described
'Anything that compares with Woody Allen is fine by me,’ he admits. ’That scene in Play It Again Sam where he smashes up the flat waiting for a woman to come round — I watch it and I cringe. Then I piss myself.’
Stone may don no specs but his hypochondria must lend further weight to the comparisons. So what's up today then, Ian? 'l‘ve been indoors too long,‘ he says wearily. ‘l'm a bit peaky, and l banged my leg earlier.’
Perhaps he should have a Didley Squat. Which is the name of his show.
And which is what exactly?
’The dictionary definition is of "a bit of very little,” - fluff or something. The show is anything but, but I thought "what else am I going to call it? Ian Stone makes jokes for an hour." It's me talking about my anxieties and
general worries for an hour.’
Maybe he should drown those worries in the pub. Or in compiling a book of pub jokes. Which he has. ‘I asked anybody and everybody, basically. Except cab drivers.’ Wise move. (Brian Donaldson)
II Ian Stone — Bit Of Didley Squat (Fringe) Ian Stone, Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 226 2757, 9—30 Aug (not 73, 28) 9. 15pm, £7 ([6). Preview show, 8Aug,
9 15pm, £3.50.
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THEATRE PREVIEW Lush
How to act in the tragi-comedy of life when your dreams eXit stage left and your love interest is killed off in scene two? Have a drink. SOphie is a wannabe actress who has turned her hand to massage, so to speak. Phil is a local radio DJ who has a starring role in a TV carpet advert, but really wants to step into Dale Winton’s size tens. Better make it a large one.
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who wrote last year’s well received double measure of White Rabbit Cowboys and The Scooby-Doo Generation.
‘Friends on pharmaceuticals,’ was one wiseacre’s take on the latter. ’Lush is a little darker,’ says Len, who also plays Phil. ‘Taking bits of folk we know and putting them on stage is what gives us a real kick. Hopefully it’s funny and truthful.’ Chin chin. (Rodger Evans) I Lush (Fringe) White Rabbit Cowboy Productions, The City Cafe (Venue 750) 229 5600, 7 7-28 Aug (not Suns) 8pm, [5 (£4).
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