Spin—10pm FESTIVAL

Passion play: Daniel Foley as Puccini

THEATRE PREVIEW Puccini: The Dream Of Puccini

Intense passion and exoticrsm were not only the hallmarks of Puccini’s celebrated operas, but also defined his life. Never far from scandal, he drove his wife to insane Jealousy, causing her to spy on him and even to poison an innocent yOung woman.

In Performance Exchanges The Dream of Puccini, Piers Gray explores Puccmi's final days. Haunted by the excesses of his past and struggling to finish Turandot, his life and art become intertwined as he is forced to confront his ghosts.

The play is a rich combination of drama and music and for Puccini devotees, contains some of his most famous arias. Daniel Foley, who plays Puccmi, believes the key to unlocking the role lies in the music

'What he did, he did better than anyone else,’ Foley maintains. 'Like Wagner, he had an intuitive theatrical sense and, in terms of emotion and manipulating the audience, he was the master.’ (Robin James)

I Puccini: The Dream of Pucc/ni (Fringe) Performance Exchange, The Quaker Meeting House (Venue 40) 220 6709, 77—76 Aug, 9pm, f5 (f4).

i Junior Simpson: Luton's finest


Commissioned by Scotland/Africa 97, Toby Gough's new play about Scottish medic and missionary David Livingstone, was written and researched on location in Malawi, Zambia and Tanzania, where it toured this year.

'I wanted to take the ideas from Africa,’ explains Gough, 'and our view of Livingstone is from that perspective. It’s a portrayal of the land that he travelled to and the world that he encountered. It's a story of Africa’

The play features Malawi's Kwacha National Dance Troupe and Tanzanian actors, as well as authentic music from the period. ’lt’s song and dance, carnival, burlesque,’ says Gough of his style, ’but I’m also looking at the pros and cons of Europeans coming to Africa.’

If last year's show was any indication, there won’t be a nicer way to stroll in the park than to go and see (7. Just watch out for the crocodiles.

(Marc Lambert)

I Preacherman Livingston ’5 Quest For The Source Of The Nile (Fringe) Theatrum Botanicum, Royal Botanic Gardens (West Gate) (Venue 793) 8—24 Aug, 8.30pm, [9 ([5).


Junior Simpson

Seen at Battersea Arts Centre, London,23)ul

Junior Simpson is disarmineg modest in his Edinburgh ambitions 'Forget the Perrier, forget the great reViews, forget all that,’ the comedian from Luton says. 'What I really want from Edinburgh is to meet a girlfriend'

Such frank confession from a stand- up w even in interview is rare, but it has the same honesty that marks his stage act as something a bit different. His one-liners are competent, his stories engaging and his impersonations accurate —- but it's when he turns his comic gaze onto himself that he starts to stand out.

He is great, for instance, on his bafflement at being asked as a black man to explain ragga lyrics to white friends.

But Simpson is of a generation for whom race need not be a dominant issue, only a SUbJGCl for the odd gag. Asked why Fringe audiences should see him above the rest, he says. 'It’s my first time Willi my own show . l'm funny. . and I’ve got the best tan.’ (Ed Grenby)

I junior Simpson (Fringe) Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550, 6—30 Aug (not it, 28), 9.45pm, [4 50/[750/[8 50 (£4.50/f750/f850).





Find out on page 128 W

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Boothby Graffoe: the audience was this big . . .


Boothby Graffoe

Seen at Battersea Arts Centre, London, Sun 3 Jul. He's frank about it, at least 'l reckon I must’ve been prewewmt; this show for the last twelve years,‘ says Boothby Graffoe But it doesn't matter whether one or two of Caraffoe's old lines have made it into his ’new' show, because, for the most part, they’re all sure-fire laugh-Winners. Yes All of Them

’But there's new stuff as well, don't get me wrong I mean, SUi(l(l(.’ bombers, for example, always come

.. M UIY

Limited Edition ,_ Boole/ CD

See [Murray Laehlaii Young pei'lbi'iii live at the Edinburgh FEStil’del’tml the 8th ~ 30th August in The Wildman Room at 8:15pm every night

(except Sundays)

i along at the right time, bless 'em, and

| jUSl in time to write them into the

! show.’

, With a great running gag that may or

l may not involve a plant in the audience

(hard to tell With these sophisticated

types), this is an extremely strong and

well thought-out set that takes stand-

up's flaccid arm and pumps it full of

adrenaline. A quality act that is, as

; every year before, highly, heartily

recommended. (Danny Wallace)

. I Boothby Graffoe (Fringe) P/easance

tlx’enut' 33) 556 6550, 8-30 Aug (not

25) IOp/r), {ii/[8.50 (157/0. 50). Preview show, 7 Aug, 8. 70pm, £4.


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8 l4 Aug l997 THEUSTTI