6pm—8pm FESTIVAL


The Cub **** w.

Daring and harrowing: Benedick Bates and Linda Marlowe in The Cub

You might think you had walked into a Habitat showroom at the opening of this immaculately staged play, but the veneer of perfection is exactly what is so disturbing about The Cub.

Reb the model housewife and mum is in for the surprise of her life as her family's middle class propriety is turned on its head. Performed with depth and precision by a strong cast led by the endearing Linda Marlowe, this is a daring and harrowing new play which confronts us with society’s most entrenched taboos.

No giveaways about the twist in the plot, but be prepared for an emotional rollercoaster. (Tanya Stephan)

I The Cub (Fringe) JFK (UK) Traverse Theatre (Venue 75) 228 7404, until 77 Aug, times vary, £8 (£5)

COMEDY REVIEW Miss ltchy's Bastard Breakfast Show

it 1' t *

If you like gross-outs, you’ll love this otherwrse avoid it like the plague It is. In a loosely defined chat-show format, two misbegotten, boil-ridden inbreds from the Australian Outback spew out

j ’1 . {4%. a 4 (’1' f

a torrent of gut-churning skits, all in the name of entertainment.

Laugh as they club seals, giggle as they skewer rats and guffaw hilariously as they brick kittens. Comedy can be cruel but Miss ltchy's show makes the Marquis de Sade look like a big pussy. It's worth going just for the hard core prawn movie. Honest. (Jonathan Trew) I Miss ltchy's Bastard Breakfast Show (Fringe) Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 226 2751, until 30 Aug, 6.30pm, £6.50 (£5.50).


Stand Up Straight

1k * Dave Williams and Gordon Brunton are the Edinburgh-based performers in this mildly diverting hour. Williams’s winnineg self-mocking act uses the audience as test ground for new material which tends to fail, prompting endearing excuses. His random tales seem to take you to places where there can be no laughs, and when there aren't, it’s quite funny. Brunton's anecdotal routine is hackneyed by comparison sporrans and ceilidhs should be put on the blacklist of stand-up fodder. The pair thank the audience for attending, and you leave with the feeling that this would be a good place to meet some pleasant people rather than split your sides. (Chris Small) I Stand Up Straight (Fringe) Southside (Venue 82) 667 2272, until 23 Aug, 7.05pm, £5 (£4).

THEATRE REVlEW Still Game ****

’Pissing's all it's good for now,’ laments one of the three old men in Still Game, ’and even that’s a fucking chore.’ Such pithy one-liners are scattered liberally throughout this new comedy by Ford Kiernan and Greg Hemphill: indeed, it's more of an extended sketch than a play. Think of French & Saunders’s dirty old men characters fleshed out into real people and stuck in a Glasgow flat together now sit back and enjoy the bickering.

Sometimes the blokes do sink into cartoon cliche, but plenty of times too

If A M g I x. I I

You want sick. they got it: Miss ltchy's Bastard Breakfast Show

THEATRE REVIEW Measure For Measure

* ‘k ‘k i:

Shakespeare‘s 'problematic' late comedy is a play of contrasts. The balanced counterpoint implied in the title. and the dominant themes - ‘justice and iniquity'. damnation and salvation, virgin and harlot. ruler and surrogate - are played to the hilt in this flamboyant version by French director/designer Stéphane Braunschweig. One backdrop is Masaccio’s painting 'Adam And Eve Banished From Paradise’; devil's horns and angel's wings also appear. It even begins with a set of scales.

Braunschwieg's ingenious Rubik's tube of rotating staircases uses varying levels to imply changes in status and moral elevation. often hinting that the characters' words are at odds with Shakespeare's meaning.

Pace and humour are the keynotes of this production. which studiously balances the play’s comic and tragic

In the balance: Lise Stevenson and Paul Brennan in Measure For Measure

elements. The cast. (who are dressed literally, but without reference to period - Pompey wears a toga; constable Elbow is a London bobby) bring poise, vigour and intelligence to all roles. I

What actually makes this a problem play (and someone really should have

told Shakespeare this) is the interminable final scene, in which Jim Hooper's increasingly camp Duke wrings the maximum discomfort from everyone (including the aching-buttocked audience) before bestowing his own warped vision of justice. Little wonder that when he proposes marriage to Lisé Stevenson's traumatised Isabella she doesn’t bat an eyelid.

(Andrew Burnet)

I Measure For Measure (International Festival) Nottingham Playhouse Company Royal Lyceum Theatre, 473 2000, until 26 Aug (not Sun) 7.30pm; mats Thu, Sat 8

Tue 26, 2.30pm, £6—f22.

the script surpasses itself with moments of real poignancy or brilliant observation. And It's consistently funny. (Ed Grenby)

I Still Game (Fringe) Gilded Balloon // (Venue 36) 226 2 75 7, until 30 Aug, 6.45pm, £6.50 (£5.50).

THEATRE REVIEW Truckstop Goddess fir * it

It ain’t easy being The Creator, especially when you also happen to be 'Flow' (as in go with the . _ .) the waitress in a cosmic diner located somewhere in America's Deep South. With two rowdy children the sun and the moon and a rebellious, cigar- smoking, wisecracking, beer-swilling fridge on your hands, trouble can never be far away, even if you are the Great Goddess herself.

Cleverly mixing in storylines from creation myths around the world, the four women of San Francisco's Spellbound Productions use music, dance, projection and some confident acting to bring a fresh but slightly overlong take on a very old story. (Marc Lambert)

I Truckstop Goddess (Fringe) Spellbound Productions, Viewforth Centre (Venue 177) 229 7659, until 30 Aug (not 77, 24) 6pm/7pm, £6 (£4).


Uncle Ron Explains it All

* * 1?

Logan Murray's latest manifestation is Uncle Ron, a showbiz veteran who initially plies the audience with revelations about Mystic Meg's pre- Lottery career and the real reason why Liza Minnelli had to issue a restraining order against him.

But Logan’s commitment to the Uncle Ron character isn't strong enough to prevent it being consumed in a far more interesting and brilliantly sustained rant on the arbitrary pitfalls of life and love.

Such is Logan’s obvious intelligence and fluent command of language that if he retired the irrelevant Uncle Ron and fleshed out his charmingly skewed view of the world, he might turn out to be an inspiring comic philosopher. (Chris Small)

I Uncle Ron Explains it All (Fringe), Gilded Balloon l/ (Venue 36) 226 2757, until 30 Aug, (not 79, 28) 7.30pm, £6 (£5).

STAR RATINGS i t e t * Unmissable * * * * Very cod 1 t it * Wort seeing it ir Below average * You’ve been warned

15—21 Aug I997 TllElJ81’55