3pm — 6pm FESTIVAL
The Big Squeeze: a feast of mayhem
COMEDY PREVIEW The Big Squeeze
Ever fancied an afternoon of sheer devilment? A wicked alternative to a fruit scone and a pot of Tetley? Get your teeth into The Big Squeeze.
Light Lunchers Mel & Sue, Geraldine McNulty and Emma Kennedy are set to treat audiences with a filling 28 comic characters.
Betty Buchanan, paranoid and depressed, books a hair appointment fully expecting to emerge from the salon looking like Linda Evangelista, then there’s Lorraine Beige, Queen of Easy Listening. Last but certainly not least, Jan and Jim SeaSpray who run a seaside 8&8 where no guests ever dare to tread.
'We also have a sketch about the "perfect family” who are all completely dysfunctional,’ notes Emma, 'and Geraldine does this woman called Layla, who has 35 children from a stream of holiday romances in Greece.’
Sounds like a feast of mayhem. Put down that cream bun and go see The Big Squeeze. (Sarah Crawford)
I The Big Squeeze (Fringe) The Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550, 19—30 Aug, 4pm, £7/f8 (£6/f7).
THEATRE PREVIEW Eclipse
It's not often a writer can see his own play and not know the ending, but Simon Armitage’s Eclipse is a whodunnit with a difference.
'If I’ve written it well, different directors can draw different conclusions,’ says Armitage.
Eclipse is the first foray into theatre for Armitage, already a successful young poet. The play was selected by the National Theatre during a search for new plays for younger peformers. 'It was a bit like winning the FA Cup,’ he laughs.
Lucy Lime disappears on a Cornish beach on 11 August, 1999. The date is significant: an eclipse on that date will be Visible only from Cornwall. The action centres on her close friends who become suspects.
It Isn't just guessing the ending that makes watching his own play peculiar, he adds. ’It's strange to see people running off With my work. With a poem It‘s mine all mine.’ (Stephen Naysmith)
I Eclipse (Fringe) Harrogate Flying Theatre, The Laboratory (Venue 76) 6672272, 78—25 Aug, 5pm, £5 (£4.50).
A Clockwork Orange
A faithful and skilful rendering of both Anthony Burgess's cult novella and Stanley Kubrick's banned masterpiece is the achievement of Hull's Northern Theatre Company. The adrenalin rush of ultra-violence and the debate about choosing between good and evil rather than having it thrust upon society are handled brilliantly. The only minor flaw is the brace of clumsy references to Tarantino.
While lain Thompson may be no Malcolm McDowell — well, how could he be? - his performance as Alex is splendid, as is that of David Sandford as the voice-of-reason prison chaplain. Go and viddy, my droogs.
I A Clockwork Orange (Fringe) Northern Theatre Company, Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 226 2157, until 23 Aug, 3.45pm, 15 6. 50 (£5.50). Strobe lighting is used. See Freeloaders, page 5.
THEATRE PREVIEW Shadowboxing
Working out opened up a whole new world for Edinburgh-based, but Australian born, performer Dushyant Kumar, who goes the distance in this new play by fellow Aussie James Gaddes. Set in the all-male environs of the boxing world, Kumar plays a young fighter at the crossroads, squaring up to his family and lovers with an increasing awareness of his own sexuality. To make things authentic on the physical front, Kumar trained with real-life fighter Steve 'Bad Boy’ Deller.
’l'd never been into boxing before the play’ he says, with the zeal of a convert. ’But the speed, co-ordination and discipline you get from the training gives you a whole lot more focus as a performer.’
Kumar describes the piece as ’rough and ready. It’s not just about boxing. It's about awareness and possibilities, and, as men, how we fit into the modern world.’ (Neil Cooper)
I Shadowboxing (Fringe) Axis Theatre Company, Chaplaincy Centre (Venue 23) 650 8207 18—24 Aug, 4.30pm, 25—30 Aug, 8.30pm. £5 (£3).
Shadowboxing: a real knockout
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