theatre - dance -
Genial jester or feckless fool? We feel it's time for Phil Kay to experience the strength of a very powerful microscope.
There exists a widely-held opinion that ’comedian’ Phil Kay is a wildly overrated and talentless performer whose only justified claim to fame is a half-hearted and, at best, mildly lukewarm television appearance on some charity show or other two years ago.
He is a man whose concept of humour begins and ends with talking nonsense, waving his arms about and whose crimes against comedy rank alongside those of Hale and Pace. His jokes are pointless, his 'routines' of little comic worth, and while he was probably terribly amusing at school, he struggles these days to say anything even remotely pleasurable to those he so cynically claims to 'entertain.’
Devoid of any sense of timing, he spits his mediocrity out with a mixture of lager and spittle, rarely, if indeed ever, hitting the mark. He is a dark lord satan of comedy, a messy turd spread unevenly over the beautifully-cut lawn of British comedy, an infuriating mountain of anti- humour, and a wretched waste of hair.
We at The List, however, do not subscribe to this opinion. We think he's a genius. Local boy done good, he’s a man whose impulsive brand of stand-up, sit- down, runaround tomfoolery shuns traditionalism and takes art into shinier, happier territory. Audiences react to him with glee and are quite happy to ride with any
Phil Kay: Clown prince or total mince?
concept that might pour from Kay’s childlike imagination. If he wants to tell you about his bumble- bee, that's exactly what he'll do — the thing is, though, he'll tell you about it with such enthusiasm and energy that it‘s hard not to find yourself enthralled by any of the tales he'll seem to be making up in front of you.
He's happy to go with any idea, happy to hear what the people in front of him want to see, and just generally happy. He'll also gladly get his kit off, should an audience harness that desire. And many of them do.
So don't listen to those other people and their ill- informed, hastily-made opinions. They are idiots. (Danny Wallace)
I Phil Kay Fee/s . . . Like Playing With His Friends At The Playhouse (Fringe) Edinburgh Playhouse (Venue 59) 557 2590, 20 Aug, 11.30pm, £8.50 (£7.50).
chaotic cabaret, maniacal laughter and comic violence. The clowns appear both ridiculous and deeply shocking — shaven-headed, heavily made-up, semi-nude or costumed with an anti-style attitude reminiscent of Jeunet and Caro. The first scene concludes with a defiantly hilarious strip-show and arse-kicking competition.
The mood switches drastically, moving through astonishing scenes of mime, physical theatre, human sculpture, dance and acrobatics, all punctuated by a gripping, trippy soundtrack. Many pieces are achingly beautiful; others hint at dark psychosis with at least one being horribly violent and likely to induce pain in the viewer.
in the anti-clowns
If you want to shoot over the edge of theatre, tear down the fourth wall, create a spectacle that is beautiful but repellent, puerile yet profound, you Will need to send in the shock-troops of the stage, the anarchists of the auditorium, the Violent vaudeVIllains.
Send in the clowns.
Red Zone is the astounding achievement of Russran ’anti-clown’ group Derevo, the company led by Anton Adassinsky, one-time colleague of Slava Polunin, whose Snowshow was the hit of the Fringe last year. But while Snowshow was a magical feelgood exerCIse in gentle melancholy, Red Zone is much darker.
Derevo creates an opening sequence of discordant brass and drumming,
Imagine the id live on stage and you might be close.
It is the razor-edged contrast in tone that makes Red Zone so extraordinary. Intelligent but irrational, poised between structure and the void, it is a must-see in the truest sense. Apocalypse wow. (Peter Ross)
I Red Zone (Fringe) Derevo, The Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550, until 27 Aug (not 18) 11.30pm, £6.50/£7.50 (£5/£6).
I ._ iv t H It illst . . ,. \ late ‘ Asides hum the always this lot. ‘ . T ' Phil Kay The hirsuted helltaisger ‘- t teams up with Bill Bailey, Phil Nicholj and Rich Hall for a night of inspired madness. See preview, left. ‘ Selzer Scots' theatrical revolutionary Tam Dean Burn leads Boilerhouse into another assault on the senses via the pen of Spencer Hazel. Essential if sex, mind games and exploitation are l your thing. See review, following pages. Seizer (Fringe) Boilerhouse, Scottish International (Venue 192) 220 5606, until 25 Aug (not 15, 16, 23), 10pm, £8 (£6).
Rich Hall Hitch a ride with the laconically sardonic Yank whose feel for things Celtic makes his Edinburgh shows a cross-cultural extravaganza. And brilliantly funny. See him now before Channel 5 kidnap' him. Rich Hall '5 Louisiana Hayride. (Fringe), Rich Hall, Gilded Balloonivehue 38) 226 . 2151, until 30 Aug (not 24), 10pm, £7.50 (£6.50).
Red Zone Anti~clown clowns Derevo terrify and tantalise with grotesque imagery, metaphysics and bloody loud noises. See review, left.
The Johnny Vegas Show Yeah, OK. Pottery and pot may not seem the perfect combination but 705 superstar and drunken donkey, Vegas makes them very, very funny. Actually, almost everything he says is funny as he sets out to trash comedic conventions, bar none. See review, following pages. The Johnny Vegas Show (Fringe) Johnny Vegas, Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 226 2151, until 30 Aug (not 18, 28), 10.45pm, £7.50 (£6.50).
The Coat Credo Theatre make most of a few props in their version of Gogol's The dyercoat. Exquisite and dreamlike. The Coat (Fringe) Credo Theatre, Demarco European Art' Foundation (Venue 22) 558 7330, until 16 Aug 10pm, 18-23 Aug 7.45pm, £5 (£3).
The BRITCOM Benefit A showcase of some of the finest talent on the circuit with incomparable Lenny Beige compering the likes of Dylan , Moran, Scott Capurro and Matt Lucas. All proceeds go to Cruisaid. The Paramount Comedy Channel (Fringe) Assembly Rooms (Venue 3) 226 2428, 20 Aug, 10pm, £10 (£8).
15-21 Aug 1997 rususrrr