theatre - dance 0 comedy


our thwarted philanthropist kicks


Rich pickings He writes for the papers. He’s been on the telly. Now, Rich Hall hands us a ticket to hayride with the hope of making an ass of him. You decide.

'We had planned to give hayrides to children,’ explains Rich Hall. ’But the donkey succumbed to influenza and unless I can come up with a Shetland pony and circumvent some city ordinances . . . There might be hay, there could be a ride, but the donkey is definitely out.’ Overcoming this disappointment,

into medicine-man sales shtick. ’The Louisiana Hayride is basically a free show. That doesn’t mean it's free to get in, but once you're in, it's a free for all. Look out for my Perrier Losers’ Song.’

No point crying over spilt mineral water. Besides, Hall already boasts an Emmy, a quintet of ACEs and a pair of Edinburgh Critics’ Awards. Where does he store all his trophies? ’l have a pick-up truck back in Montana and I weld them to the hood. Kids keep snapping them off, damn it! I just stick them back on.’

In between collecting awards, Hall finds the time to pen columns for Scotland On Sunday and The Guardian. The humour is of the calibre you'd expect from one who's written for and appeared on such Stateside

i TV shows as Saturday Night Live and Johnny Carson's


Tonight Show. What is perhaps surprising is his sharp insight into our un-American ways. ’They're a constant source of entertainment,’ he says. 'l’m currently at the helm of a project to snap Scotland right off from England and send you down to the Caribbean. To hell

Venus Productions: putting the tab in tabloid

That's Hall, folks

with devolution, I’m for total detachment.’

Does he have a preference between writing and performing? ’I love performing. Writing is alright. Tracing is my favourite . . . I’m currently putting together a book of essays with the Scotland On Sunday articles and some Cajun seafood recipes for no good reason whatsoever.

‘But right now the main thing is getting my donkey back on its feet so i can live up to the title of the show. Then I plan to do an art installation. I want some money from the Lottery Commission to plant an acre of tree-shaped car air freshners.’ That’s Rich. (Rodger Evans)

I See Hit list, right for details

for something in life. We're neither advocating nor conderiinrng the use of Ecstasy, we're just using it as. an avenue to explore larger issues of human happiness

Beyond Ec‘s‘taSy follows twenty-year- old prostitute Jo as she seeks to escape her possessive prrnp b0yfrrend Deano, by heading for London and the club scene. ’1 see rt as my got) to raise questions rather than packaging answers,’ argues Hughes ‘The play is called Beyond Ecstasy and it's saying that what's beyond the realm of drug- induced happiness is the real thing. It's asking "are there any practical ways by which we can add to the happiness in our lives wrthout taking pharmeceuticals?“ '

Of the controversy, Hughes says -— ’We felt that if we were to do a play about Ecstasy culture, there was no

Beyond Ecstasy

Playwrights Colette Dolan and John

j that there’s no such thino as

Osbourne Hughes are probably hoping ’bad press' following the media contoversy

which has engulfed Beyond Ecstasy. The furore, sparked by an admiSSIon that actors took 'E’ during rehearsals has threatened to overshadow the production something Osbourne Hughes is concerned about

'The play isn’t really about drugs even if the characters do take them,’ he maintains. 'It's more about looking

way which we could recreate the effects of Ecstasy Without trying rt for ourselves. It's been said that we're being irresponsible, but we're opening up a debate. The arm of any piece of theatre, or any work of art, should be to raise the level of consciousness.’ (Jim Byers)

I See Hit list, right for details

midnight, f 12 (£10).

H it list

Six of the best for the graveyard: ' slot. I Seizer Boilerhouse’s latest assault on the senses comes from the pen of Spencer Hazel, tackling issues of entertainment, society and exploitation. See feature, page 14 and Freeloaders, page 29 Seizer (Fringe) Boilerhouse, Scottish International (Venue 192) 220 5606, 9-25 Aug (not 15, i6, 23), 10pm, £8 (f 6).

Rich Hall See preview left. Rich Hall’s Louisiana Hayride (Fringe),

Rich Hall, Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 226 2151, 8~30 Aug (not 12, 24), 10pm, f 7.50 (f 6. 50).

Beyond Ecstasy See preview, left. Beyond Ecstasy (Fringe) Venus Productions, The Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550, 8—30 Aug (not 1 1) 10.40pm, f 7/£ 6 (£6/f5). Previews 8, 9 Aug, 155.

'Just A ‘l’ickle’ From Amnesty ' International Comedy with a conscience as messrs Proops, Capurro, Moran, Lock, Hegley and Byrne raise chuckles and cheques for Amnesty. Mark Little comperes. ’Just A Tickle’ From Amnesty International (Fringe) Amnesty International, Assembly Rooms (Venue 3) 226 2428, 10 Aug,

Kamikaze Freak Show Circus sideshow meets shock 'n' roll kabaret with Power Tool and his amazingly tough member, the Master of Macabre, Darwin the Pinhead and the Prince of Pain. For heaven’s sake, leave your parents and pets well away. Kamikaze Freak Show (Fringe) Gilded Balloon (Venue 36) 226 2151, 8-30 Aug (not Tue),

1 1.30pm, f 7 (£6).

The Johnny Vegas Show 705 superstar and drunken donkey, Vegas sets out to trash comedic conventions and contemplate sex, drugs and booze. And pottery. See feature, page 19. The Johnny Vegas Show (Fringe) Johnny Vegas, Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 226 2151, 8—30 Aug (not 11, 18, 28), 10.45pm, £7.50 (£6. 50).

8-14 Aug 1997 THE Lisns