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Wounds To The Face: a theatrical vortex


Be prepared for a vortex. Theatre maverick Howard Barker’s Wounds To The Face is an intellectual adventure in non-sequential theatre.

Barker has written nineteen plays and an opera, but he’s lauded abroad and ignored at home. Since 1994, seventeen countries worldwide have staged 27 of his plays in six languages, but only three productions appeared in Britain.

'I’ve always been out of step with English theatre,’ Barker says. ’Social realism has dominated everything here for 40 years, while my work is morally speculative.

’It’s very hard to innovate in formal ways,’ he says carefully. We never wanted just to tell stories as such. The normal linear narrative bores me somewhat. Wounds To The Face is not the story of a life, it’s a number of. speculative stabs at the theme of how we invest so much in our own faces. It’s more of a swirl than a linear thing.’ (Gabe Stewart)

I Wounds To The Face (Fringe) The Wrestling School, Assembly Rooms (Venue 3) 226 2428, 77-30 Aug (not 26) 5pm, f 9/£ 70 (f 7/£ 8).

COMEDY REVIEW Marion Pashley Pulls It Off a: *

Marion Pashley is a bit pissed off with saccharine Spice Girls-type girly girls giving the sisterhood a bad name. Yep, she’s a good-time lass who does know the meaning of girl power: lager, chicken korma and shagging.

Having been a bit of a nae mates type at school she’s learnt to play tough and doesn’t care how many toes she stamps on, but still gets pathetically excited about shopping in M&S food hall.

This is one engaging Northener with a wickedly sarky streak but the boyfriend/parents/puberty gags ultimately wear a bit thin, as she fails to fulfill her pulling promise.

(Claire Prentice)

I Marion Pashley Pulls It Off (Fringe) Marion Pashley, Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) until 30 Aug, 5. 7 5pm, £6 (£5).


The Act

** t *

Had Bill Hicks and Sean Hughes ever teamed up to produce an analysis of the relationship between a couple of comics living together, it may have looked vaguely like this. Genial Irish joker Ed Byrne and defiantly un-PC Australian raver Brendon Burns play

Accidental Death of an Anarchist by DARIO F0

Superintendent on his interrogation

tediniques. “We the police were just having a

laugh with him". Paper hats? Stick the tail on the Donkey? On the stroke of midnight an

ambulance is called to the police station.

l2.060m - one anarchist {als from a second floor window. Sometime later Pissini is seen

practising his story. in short. a hilarious satire

of poke corruption.

Venue 47 Cafe Royal I7 West Register Street Edinburgh EH2 2AA Telephone: 0I3I 556 2549 from Friday 8th August to Saturday 30th August I”? at l1.l5

STAR RATINGS Byron Edwards and Bradford Barnes - ***** Unmissab'e quute Clever, that. . . “a; Very 00d Edwards IS steadfastly working his tit Wort seeing way to a Perrier award. Burns’s goals :* 33°)” 1:399 seem fixed on abusing critics and

0” ve n warned audiences alike and sliding into The Stanley Theatre Group

Ca V 0[)0rs


it list

A feisty musical

pothead hell. The writing is sharp and the delivery spot-on and they are at their most fluent when their appreciation of one another is self- evident. Shame about bloody Reef on the soundtrack, though.

(Brian Donaldson)

I The Act (Fringe) Ed Byrne And Brendan Burns, Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 226 2151, until 30 Aug (not 18, 28) 4pm, £6.50 (£5.50).

ages, he wished to die iike his father 'Iaughing at nothing in particular', although one suspects a big knob gag may have been to blame.

(Rodger Evans)

I Falstaff (Fringe) Breakwith Productions, Roman Eagle Lodge (Venue 27) 225 7226, until 30 Aug, 4.45pm, £6/f8 (£5/f6).

COMEDY REVIEW All Classical Music Explained: The Masterclass

it * Rainer Hersch’s guide to classical music has moments of great hilarity. However it drags for long periods too a problem of pacing which may well improve as the run continues.

Puncturing the pomposity of classical music makes for an interesting variation on stand-up. But the highlight, a mock opera chorus (with sub-titles) comes early in the show and the rest feels like a let-down.

A slide-show might have seemed like a good idea but fails to be more entertaining than Uncle Albert’s holiday snaps. Likewise, rather than being funny, the badly played violin is, as you would expect, painful.

(Stephen Naysmith)

I All Classical Music Explained: The Masterclass (Fringe) Rainer Hersch, Assembly Rooms (Venue 3) 226 2428, until 30 Aug, 4pm, £7. 50/158. 50 (£6.50lf750).

COMEDY REVIEW leonardo Was Right **

According to Leonardo Da Vinci, ’the only thing people will leave behind them is overflowing Iatrines’. From the start, this farce overflows with toilet humour, constituting a cross between Fresh Fields, Alan Ayckbourn and a murder mystery weekend.

The cast dice with melodrama and plummet into a storyline where the main aim is to discover who is secretly dropping faeces throughout the house. Meanwhile, on the raunchy side of things, passion is constantly being killed by the runs.

With turds on every surface, this is humour with a Sledgehammer and the joke begins to wear as thin as toilet tissue rather quickly. Don't drop everything to see this.

(Sarah Crawford)

I Leonardo Was Right (Fringe) Stephen Frost, Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 226 2151, until 24 Aug, 5. 75pm, £5. 50l£6.50.


Falstaff *it*

A man 'made of stars’ and ‘begat on the backs of giants’, Falstaff was a 15th century master of self-publicity. Half Shakespearean creation, half historical figure conjured back to life by writer Robert Nye, the boastful knight is played splendidly by RSC veteran David Weston. When not leading Prince Harry astray or loitering sensibly at the back during the battle of Agincourt, Falstaff encouraged the worship of onions. Essentially a fat man behaving badly in the middle

Treble clef chin: Rainer Hersch

for the new age Songs, dance 81 satire

F“: A. c"

. _ .0: ue Hz]? .7 g; fl°°fii§ Had-o 7 Victoria Tm Tickets 220 6109

Angelic Voices Present


World premier of a unique version of combining Shakespeare's text and Verdi's music.

Starring international dramatic soprano Marie Hayward-Segal and bass baritone Jonathan Finney.

17 - 23 August 15.45 (17.15).

Also energetic, highly acclaimed ‘Come on Everybody Sing' opera workshops for novices and experts alike.

18 - 23 August 11.15 (12.15).

C VENUE 126 St John's Hall - Princes Street 0 (Tel: 225 5105)

43 raeusr 15-21 Aug 1997