THEATRE REVIEW Latin!
Stephen Fry is a mean and mellifluous stylist of the English language. and this early comedy of his prefigures the theme that came to dominate his career: the great British traditions of stiff upper lips, buggery and fair play
on the cricket field.
It's a two-hander, and the actors slip easily into Fry and Laurie-like roles: Robert Webb as the slightly dishevelled Latin teacher, carelessly blase about his relationship with a fifteen-year-old pupil. and David Mitchell perfect as the smug, oily prep-school master with a fondness for dishing out - and
taking - a heating.
The script shows its age a bit. The opening scene is a little too close to Rowan Atkinson’s headmaster routine, some of the gags could have come direct from Not The Nine 0’ Clock News and as a whole it suggests an undergraduate infatuation with Joe Orton. Obviously a tentative, early work rather than a full-fledged assault on the West End, Latin! is actually very slight. However, if it’s possible to stretch out a single comedy sketch to an hour's length without being remotely boring, this show is the one. Like Fry himself, it could charm its way to Belgium and back, and Counterweight draw out every nuance of its humour. (Alastair Mabbott)
I Latin! (Fringe) Counterweight Productions, The P/easance (Venue 33) 556
6550, 1.30pm, f6/f7 (£5/f6).
THEATRE PREVIEW Lemon Sisters
Sisterly feelings have long been a source of dramatic fascination. Despite often violent contrasts between siblings, an umbilical shared histOry is inevitable. This new devised show from the bizarrely named, but accurate enough, Icelandic Takeaway Theatre explores exactly that, comparing and contrasting the lives of one who lives in hope for everything now, and the other, who lost hope In everything long ago.
Director and devrser of the piece is John Wright, well known for his physical trickery with Trestle Theatre Company and more recently wrth Told By An Idiot. Wright travelled to Iceland to work with the company, who av0id any language barriers by concentrating on the visual rather than the wordy. The company describe the piece as a story of love, betrayal and surVIval in a savage and beautiful world where past is as real as present. Where lemons come into play is anybody’s guess, though methinks proceedings Will be bittersweet as well as sour.
I Lemon Sisters (Fringe) The Icelandic Takeaway Theatre, Demarco European Art Foundation (Venue 22) 558 7330, 78—23 Aug, 7.30pm, £5 (£3).
THEATRE REVIEW Unidentified Human Remains And The True Nature Of Love
‘k at it
Looking for love but settling for a string of one-night stands, Unidentified Human Remains introduces us to a group of hung-up thirtysomethings trying to make some sense of it all. But, unlike their TV counterparts, they‘re a particularly repellent bunch. Questioning their sexuality as a way of widening their potential scoring possibilities, blokes and lasses experiment wrth same-sex shenanigans. But it all gets a bit messy when they discover a particularly menacing misogynist in their midst. A somewhat bleak commentary on the debris and decay of life approaching the millennium, the gloom is punctured only by dark humour. The episodic nature of the play, while energetic, creates a fragmented, overloaded feel which ultimately dilutes its power.
I Unidentified Human Remains And The True Nature Of Love (Fringe) Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 226 2 IS 7, 8—23 Aug, 7 30pm, £6.50 (£5.50).
THEATRE PREVIEW The Tie
Tagus Theatre, a Lisbon-based company with a commitment to Portuguese theatre in English, and vice versa, return to the Fringe with the world premiere of Jaime Salazar Sampaio's The Tie. Tagus made something of a splash with last year’s Pessoa Personae, and Sampaio’s work has proven controversial in the past, having incurred the wrath of the censors from as early as 1962, when his Nos lard/n5 Do Alto Maior was banned for 23 years. His new play, performed by Jonathan Weightman and directed by Keith Esher Davis tells the story of a failed musician alone in a room, who has nothing to talk to but his tie, which talks back. (Steve
I The Tie (Fringe) Tagus, Quaker Meeting House (Venue 40) 220 6709, 18—23 Aug, 7.30pm, £5 (£3.50).
COMEDY REVIEW Posh Spice Nude iii
The idea of comparing a couple of bits of liver in a jam jar to the image of our beloved Spice Girl Victoria nude, may seem slightly surreal at first, but then the Nimmo Twins are full of surprises. Teetering on the edge of absurdity, this show is packed with quirky characters, a punchy style and a razor-sharp technique for cheeky plot twists. Expect Macbeth to be scoring on the pitch at Dunsinane and marriage break-ups to be discussed In the style of a House Of Lords debate. No prudes, Posh Spice Nude is gloriously wicked! (Sarah Crawford)
I Posh Spice Nude (Fringe) The Nimmo Twins, Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 226 2757 until 30 Aug, 7.30pm, £6 (£5).
THEATRE REVIEW Re-Tune To Murder at at
There are, I believe, a select handful of people who have access to a fifth terrestrial TV channel known as Channel 5. Most of this occult and arguably mythical group live in London, so it is no surprise that London's Punchline should present the first satire of Five, along with the media in general. Dan Fenton’s new play deals with the homicidally-assisted rise of Madeleine Richards, an unbalanced media darling with the F factor. There were a few first- performance cobwebs to be cleared, and a few misogynistic assumptions going unquestioned, but the script can boast a bleakly ironic final number and some sharp observations along the way. (Steve Cramer)
I Re- Tune To Murder (Fringe) Punchline, P/easance (Venue 33) 556 6550, anti/23 Aug, 1.20pm, £5.50/£6.50 (£4.50/f550)
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