theatre - dance 0 comedy
Fool House is an haunting farce performed in mask and mime, providing enough compulsive voyeurism to put most soap opera to shame.
We're all fascinated by what goes on behind other people's net curtains. Devoid of any real excitement in our own lives we imagine the wild fantasy world's of other people. Indulging us with a vicarious glimpse into other people’s domestic tittIe-tattle, Trestle Theatre Company, in
collaboration with Dutch performers, take us into 67 Doverstraat, an Amsterdam
apartment block where all manner of strange goings-on are . . . erm . . . going on. Just beneath the seemingly respectable veneer of chaise longues and china tea-cups lurk all the ingredients of top soap opera - cross dressing, infidelity, drug abuse and an all-too-real skeleton in the closet.
Fool House is focused and enchanting, played out on the kind of large-scale wendy house most of us would have given our eye teeth for. Through one keyhole we see the archetypal middle-aged and bored couple who are barely on speaking terms desperately trying to spice up their sex lives with tubs of Haagen Dazs. Living downstairs is the Dutch equivalent of Brookie busybody Julia Brogan, and then there's the kid next door who fancies himself as a bit of a Puccini. Meanwhile, resurrected from beneath the foundations, a motley crew of horrendously deformed peat-preserved sailors are up to no good and on a mission to reclaim
Fool House: 90 through the keyhole
something they left behind in . . . the closet.
The ensuing manic farce superbly captures the feel of a bunch of mismatched folks all trying to live under one roof, with a flavour akin to the bastard lovechild of Auf Wiedersein Pet and The Likely Lads. Despite the essential anti-realism of the set, costumes and use of mime, the performers generate genuine charisma and distinct personalities. Trestle have already established themselves as an innovative company at the forefront of mask work and visual theatre and here their inventive blend of mask, mime, music and amazing sense of physicality make for an understated yet powerful piece of theatre. Forget This Life, Trestle’s dramatic and convincing work is one to watch. (Claire Prentice)
I Fool House (Fringe) Trestle Theatre Company The Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550, until 30 Aug (not 79, 26) 3.15pm, £7/f8 (£5/f6).
Hellcab: an exhilarating ride
takes this into the fast lane. The episodic scenes are explosively quick, character interaction is gripping, and comic timing impeccable. The only let-down is that the odd bit of dialogue is a little too American, and the humour doesn't always translate.
Still, Loren Lazarine is charismatic as the cabbie whose non-plussed ’whaddafuck?’ attitude is more Bruce Willis than Travis Bickle, and the supporting cast bring energy and fun to their many roles.
But it’s not all gags. issues of sex, race and social accountability are deftly treated. The cabbie's attempts to intervene in the lives of his passengers and change things for the better - on one occasion he struggles to comfort a rape victim — are doomed to failure but do not seem futile. Instead, we warmly cheer on
Jump in a tan and go see this show. it's one fare yOu'Il never regret.
Will Kern’s Hellcab finally parks in Europe after transporting audiences in
the States. This darkly comic work arrives with a bootful of US awards and is being made into a mowe With Gillian Anderson, John Cusack and members of the current cast.
The premise is simple — angsty Chicago cabbie picks up a variety of sad, psychotic and Singing passengers at Christmas, but skilful execution
the little guy who tries to make a difference.
All told, Hellcab is one exhilarating ride through American society. This is one taxi which you really have no option but to hail. (Peter Ross)
I Hellcab (Fringe) Tamarind Theatre, Traverse (Venue 75) 228 7404, until 30 Aug, times vary, [8 (£5).
H it List
Just the hits, ma’am . . .
Danny And The Deep Blue Sea Consistently excellent Scottish theatre company Oxygen House return tothe Fringe for the first time in seven years with this beautifully written love story. See review on following pages.Danny And The Deep Blue Sea (Fringe) Oxygen House/Merlin, Netherbow Theatre (Venue 30) 55 7 5918, 8—30 Aug, 4pm, £6 (£4).
Fool House Mime, mask and music combine in this haunting farce. See review, left.
Hellcab A blackly comic ride to the heart of America. See review, left. Wounds To The Face Theatre maverick Howard Barker's latest work is a formally innovative exploration of the character of the human face. See preview on following pages.Wounds To The Face (Fringe) The Wrestling School, Assembly Rooms (Venue 3) 226 2428, 17-30 Aug (not 26) 5pm, £9/£ 1 0 (f 7/£ 8).
Falstaff Shakespeare’s ultimate comic creation played masterfully by the RSC's David Weston. Expect 15th century knob gags. See review on following pages. Falstaff (Fringe) Breakwith Productions, Roman Eagle Lodge (Venue 21) 225 7226, until 30 Aug, 4.45pm, £6/f8 (£5/f6). Stung Breathtakineg beautiful daredevil ’anti-gravity’ dance from acclaimed company Momentary Fusion. You'll gasp, you'll laugh, you'll look up in the air. Stung (Fringe) Momentary Fusion, St. Bride’s (Venue 62) 346 1405, 71—30 Aug (not 17, 24) 4pm, £6/f 7 (£4/f5).
The League Of Gentlemen Those horrid Gentlemen follow last year's sell-out success with an even darker show of creepy character comedy. The League Of Gentlemen (Fringe) Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550, 8-30 Aug (not 26) 5.30pm,
1? 750/168. 50 (f 6. 50/£ 7. 50).
mm Aug i997 TllE usns