COMEDY REVIEW Umbilical Brothers - Don't Explain

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Back with their debut show from 1995. this Australian duo tackle comedy from f an angle that is completely different to I the vast majority of comedians on the i

Fringe. By mixing innocent slapstick with a cruelly subversive humour, the Umbilicals mine a rich seam of comic creativity that’s loosely based on the animated capers of cartoon characters.

cult films and children's puppet shows. * Their unique selling point is that they use a paradoxical marriage of acrobatic ;

mime and amazing, voice-produced

sound effects to tickle the funny bone. 5. Until you've heard them, you wouldn't I

believe that the human voice could reproduce the sounds of galloping

horses. machine gun salvos and boxing

matches so faithfully. Like two overactive kids who never grew up,

i I f; I i I

Y .

lift .

Umbilical Brothers: slapstick meets subversive humour

they use the stage like a playground for their oft-violent games of make. believe. The beauty of their show is that it is so well rehearsed. and performed so slickly that the audience are caught up completely in their

imaginary world.

If you manage to stop laughing long enough, then you'll admire the twosome’s incredible synchronicity and technical expertise. You won't

manage though. (Jonathan Trew)

I Don’t Explain (Fringe) Umbilical Brothers, George Square Theatre (Venue 37) 650 2007, until 77 Aug, £8. 50 (f 7. 50). See Froeloaders, page 5 8i 7

COMEDY REVIEW Gregg Fleet's Undenrvater World

** *

Confessional humour can make compulsive listening if it is handled well. Australian comic Gregg Fleet has built his reputation on divulging his experiences as a former drug addict and kidnap Victim making for two brilliant Fringe shows. This year, he has either run out of anecdotes or tired of baring his soul. Whatever the reason, he has discovered surrealism. The binding theme in this patchy show is water body moisture, lakes, floods, mermaids. There are still flashes of something great, but the best parts veer away from character sketches, back towards

real life. Forget surrealism, Fleety. If you’ve run out of true stories, get some quickly. Just keep the confessions coming. (Kathleen Morgan)

I Gregg Fleet's Underwater World (Fringe) Gregg Fleet, Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 226 2 75 7, until 30 Aug (not Sun) 8.45pm, £7 (£6).


Hello - We're The Nualas ****

Never mind the Spice Girls, it's time to brace yourself for the true definition of Girl Power! They're feisty, funky, unrelentingly naughty and if there's any showbiz justice, these queens of charisma are on their way to the top. Yes, it’s The Nualas, the hilarious, harmonious IriSh singing trio

Wet dreams: Fleety takes a fantasy trip underwater


guaranteed to render you hysterical with laughter whether it be with their sparkling rendition of Love ls In The Air, 'Iook at Cherie and Tony Blair’ or with the Bewley's love story in the rain where you will be urged to remember - 'No-one would be single if we were all multi-Iingual’. Not to be missed. (Sarah Crawford)

I Hello We ’re The Nua/as (Fringe) The Nualas, Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 226 2757, until30 Aug, 8. 75pm, £5.50/f6.50.

COMEDY REVIEW Smiley In Confessions Of A Catholic Buddhist

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If you bumped into Smiley on the Meadows after dark, you’d run; he’s huge, shaven-headed and pierced. In his new show however, he reveals himself as the most amiable bletherer.

He doesn’t tell actual gags, but instead gives an intimate picture of his life in Ulster, Eire and London: affectionate reminiscences of his ma and da, examples of Belfast humour from his wee daughter, even serious bits about the Troubles.

Smiley tells some stories from the comfort of his own on-stage armchair, and although this ’sit—down comedy’ provrdes few belly-laughs, it’s a pleasant enough way to pass an hour. (Ed Grenby)

I Smiley In Confessions Of A Catholic Buddhist (Fringe) Smiley La Belle Ange/e (Venue 707) 226 2757, until 30 Aug (not Suns) 9pm, £7 (f 6).


Tommy Tiernan And Jason Byrne

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Just what do they put into Jason Byrne’s water? Like a demonic Phil Kay on speed, he whips around, off and behind the stage stopping off only to pretend to melt into the ground. For props he uses people‘s heads, hair - fake and real and toy hands. If you’re not laughing, you're dead.

Tommy Tiernan is positively comatose in comparison but his lilting comedy is no less arresting. His theme is the relationship early, open, casual, tricky. Sometimes he whispers. Sometimes he shouts. Either way, he’s good. If the Irish really are coming, these two are the heads of the pack. (Brian Donaldson)

I Tommy Tiernan And Jason Byrne (Fringe) Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 226 2 75 7, until 30 Aug (not 28) 9.75pm, £7.50 (£6.50)

STAR RATINGS * 1r * * * Unmissable tr * it * Very * ‘k t Wort seeing * it Below average ' * You've been warned I

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IO 22 August ii- 8.:Sflf'flll 232) August ii 2.15llpiii

Box Office: 557 8330

15-21 Aug i997 rususrn