9am 1pm FESTIVAL

THEATRE REVIEW The Ballad Of Jimmy Costello

* * 1k

Ballad is based on the true may of a petty criminal who gave the New Zealand police the run-around during the 19605. Writer/performer Kiwi Tim Balme dazzles as he effortlessly conveys Costello's charismatically roguish nature.

However the writing disappoints a little. This is an enthralling, poignant tale of a naive country boy who falls foul of the law and vindictive sentencing. But playing up the knockabout humour of life on the run threatens to smother the more thoughtful moments.

(Stephen Naysmith)

I The Ballad Of jimmy Costello (Fringe) Tim Balme, Assembly Rooms (Venue 3) 226 5992, until 30 Aug (not 79) noon, [7. 50/f8. 50 (£6. 50/f7. 50).

THEATRE REVIEW The Corridor * it 4r

Edinburgh's Benchtours is an audacious, ambitious company which delights in setting itself insurmountable tasks. An adaptation of Iain Banks's multi-levelled novel The Bridge proved incomprehensible; yet other improbable ideas have borne handsome fruits.

Here, the plan is to fuse monologues by three disparate writers on themes of displacement and bereavment Into a unified piece, set in a shabby rooming house.

Although writing, staging and performances sparkle at times, and Pete Livingstone's haunting score fosters a poignant atmosphere, the different strands veer too close to the abstract and poetic to navigate the audience effectively through the shifts in mood and narrative. An intriguing piece, nonetheless. (Andrew Burnet) I The Corridor (Fringe) Bench tours, Traverse Theatre (Venue 75) 228 7404, until 77Aug, times vary, £8 (£5).

THEATRE REVIEW It's Uncanny ‘k ‘k i'

Coming on like a pair of over—excited school-girls The Weird Sisters have that exclusive kind of friendship every girl grows up With. They shared their first tab, bought their grow-bras, lost their cherries, fell in love and got chucked together.

Sharing such sweet and sour memories and getting the audience to spill the beans on blow-jobs, they combine theatre and stand—up through their highly inventive use of masks and movement,

Framed by the witterings of two meddling old hags who stick their tuppence worth into the plot Willy-nilly, the piece is fast—paced, sharply observed and at times surreal. Not all of the sketches hit the g-spot but all- in-all these sisters know how to

bewitch. (Claire Prentice)

I It’s Uncanny (Fringe) The Weird Sisters, Gilded Balloon 2 ( Venue 36) 226 2757, until 30 Aug (not 26) noon, £6 ([5).

KIDS REVIEW It Came From Planet Rimelle

at *ir

Every girl spent her childhood nicking mum's make-up and tottering in hopelessly high, five sizes too big, heels. But turning this premature ageing malarky on its head, Fox Youth Theatre has a laugh at the expense of the fickle world of supermodels, Biactol and blush.

When Maxine Factor gets a spot and loses her man she reaps revenge by turning every female on earth into a brain-dead bimbo. But she hadn’t reckoned on the all-singing, high- kicking Nice Girls as opposition.

Full of pop-culture references and tongue-in-cheek wit, an enthusiastic cast approach the piece with gusto. At times a tad vocal and cluttered, they get the message across, though chances are you'll still be playing hunt

the lippy. (Claire Prentice) I It Came From Planet Rimelle (Fringe)

Fox Youth Theatre, Roman Eagle Lodge

(Venue 27) 225 7226, until 76 Aug, 72.55pm, [5 (£3. 50).

COMEDY REVIEW Jerry Sadowitz ****

If it’s the hard-hitting and vitriol- fuelled, me-against-the—world Jerry Sadownz you're after, then you’ll have to make do with card tricks and (diluted) anger-banter in this time slot. That's not to pass his tricks off as mere bloke-in-a-pub stuff; Sadowitz is a truly gifted magician. His sleight-of- hand is faultless, and his material is presented in a highly entertaining way. He’s at his best, though, when the acid-spitting devil-boy grudgingly pushed to the back of his act is allowed brief access to Sadowitz’s unpredictable and very funny mind. Close-up magic has never been so angry. (Danny Wallace) I Jerry Sadowitz (Fringe) Assembly Rooms (Venue 3) 226 2428, until 24 Aug, 70.45am, 25 —30 Aug, 70pm, 81f 9 (f7/f8)


Seen at the Everyman Theatre, Liverpool, Sat 9 Aug **

I Beoff may disappoint devotees

There are those who believe that Steven Berkoff reading the telephone directory would have the ticket touts salivating. Massage, regrettably, suggests the opposite. Self-indulgent, verbose, over-long and only mildly diverting, Massage is the product of someone firing on only three cylinders. In a sleazy massage parlour, camped-up Berkoff in drag is the self- proclaimed 'Virtuoso of the wank who squeezes out the nectar and whooshl’ He administers hand-relief and sundry other treats to a succession of stiff English gentlemen too sheepish, sexually frustrated, or emotionally inadequate to ask their womenfolk to do the necessary. Drenched in over-bearing simile and metaphor, Massage suggests that Berkoff wishes to demystify the battle of the sexes. But such is the unweildy nature of the piece that any pertinent message is hidden in the surrounding fog. Berkoff's co-performer. uncredited at the Liverpool preview at least, drones on interminany at one point in a dreary monolgue

which could easily double as a fire drill.

Yet the show, performed largely in rhyming couplets, is not without merit, the highlight being Berkoff's inventive simulation of blow-jobs and hand- jobs to a procession of classical music pieces, all of which appear perfectly suited to the job in hand. But in the end, in aiming for controversy, Berkoff fails to engage the mind. Hardly a crime. but devotees have come to expect

more. (Mike Barnett)

I Massage (Fringe) Steven Berkoff, Assembly Rooms (Venue 3) 226 2428, 79—30 Aug (not 26 Aug) 77.30am, £9.50/f 10.50 (£8.50/f9. 50).

Ill'flllfllllf HIE lilllllillfllll ills“ illlllllllfl Al:

The Kitchen

Friday 15 Aug

1 0.00pm -1 .00pm } 235 Cowgate Edinburgh


Living Room

Saturday 16 Aug 9.00pm -1 2.00pm > 237 Cowgate Edinburgh


Auberge l Friday 15 Aug 7.00pm-10.00pm f 161 West Nile Street


is—zi Aug 1997 Tnsusnr