Paul Capsis: Wizard from 02

COMEDY REVIEW Paul Capsis Returns In Cabaret

* 'k * *

Prepare to have your flabber ghasted and your ass tonished from the moment Paul Capsis opens those red, red lips. The Australian glamour puss passes With absolute ease from Billie Holliday straight into Led Zeppelin. A Whole Lotta Love and a whole lotta hair action.

He doesn't just play the part, he is every diva he adores, and With spooky conviction. From Kate Bush to Shirley Bassey Via Janis Joplin not to mention a surreal mother-daughter exchange between Judy Garland and Liza Minelli. Never mind the crap parody of Nirvana, Capsis Is a star. Quite which star is tip to him. (Rodger Evans)

I Paul Capsis Returns In Cabaret (Fringe) Paul Capsis, Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 226 2 757, until 26 Aug (not 78, 22) 77.30pm, [7 (£6).


Charlie Cheese * iv * 11

Perhaps it's the Super smashing set of teeth or maybe even his snappy line in dance moves, but there’s a distinct whiff of the Tommy Steele about old Charlie Cheese.

Akzii to something you might find on the pier at Scarborough, Charlie is far more than just the cheeky chappy from Chorley, In fact he’s more of a


chocolate layer cake waiting to be unwrapped.

Be prepared for his squirmingly accurate profile of William H Benator the American Senator who lends a political slant to Kylie Minogue and observe Edmund Smug, wiping the floor with Toytown criminals. A character chameleon, expect more than just cheese. (Sarah Crawford) I lBeg Your Pardon? (Fringe) Charlie Cheese, The Cafe Royal (Venue 47) 556 2549, until 30 Aug (not 28)

7 0.45pm, £5.


Young, Gifted and Green it * ir

Begorrah, begorrah . . . I don’t have a

clue what that means but it's friendly and Irish, just like Eddie Bannen, Mark Doherty and John Henderson. Sailing over from Dublin to amuse us, they’re the next best thing since the last funny thing from over there.

Almost without exception, Doherty’s bathetic let-downs are gems, and his awkward 'why am I here?‘ delivery is just grand. Henderson is all rapid-fire anecdote mixed with worldly observation beggar rates, mum’s influence and make-up girls.

Forming the rear-guard, Bannen is confident but harder-edged. Maybe he should be on first but who am I? The freakin' tour manager? (Paul Welsh) I Young, Gifted & Green (Fringe) Gilded Balloon (Venue 36) 226 2751, until 30 Aug (not28) 10pm, f 7. 50 (£6.50).

THEATRE REVIEW Shadow Boxing ****

Ever had a knockback from a short-arse hardman in a monkey suit at the nightclub of your choice? Simon Macallum's first play will take you back there with a swift left hook to the pleasure-centres of the brain. Based in former boxer and nightclub manager Macallum’s native Dundee, this tightly- crafted two-hander paints the wideboy worlds of boxing and bouncing in smalltown 80s Scotland in vivid colours.

With streetwise banter that spars to and fro, and teases with just a glimpse of a soft underbelly to all the macho

78 THE US? 15-21 Aug I997

Charlie Cheese: Edam fine comedy

Shattered Windscreen: Poe pick ‘n' mix

THEATRE PREVIEW The Pit And The Pendulum

Adapting to change is something Shattered Windscreen is becoming accustomed to. Having been forced to ditch the buggery and blasphemy when they previewed this show in a church back home, the Hertfordshire— based company are now ready to let rip in their Fringe debut.

Using a pick ‘n' mix approach to the Poe classic. they combine bits of the Corman film version with a dash of improvisation, a couple of Poe’s short stories and inspiration gained from Berkoff's stage-adaptation of The Fall Of The House Of Usher.

The end result sees dapper young Englishman Francis Barnard journey to Spain after his sister's latino love-affair ends in her death. Upon meeting her sadistic in-laws, he gleans an insight into her final hours and the family's penchant for after-dinner games in the castle catacombs.

'lt's not a very fashionable genre right now,’ admits director Jan Palmer but it's basically a good old-fashioned horror story.’ Rather than the grotesque excesses and creeky set approach, however, the company have opted for physicality, a live score and. minimal props.

'We're going for a Berkoff-style actor-centred approach,’ claims Palmer. 'Mind you, he'd probably be horrified with that description if he came to see it.’ Quite. (Claire Prentice)

I The Pit And The Pendulum (Fringe) Shattered Windscreen Theatre Company, Marcos (Venue 98) 228 97 76, 77—23 Aug, 10.30pm, £5 (£4).

COMEDY REVIEW Owen O'Neill - Off My Face it ** *

Owen O'Neill's Off My Face Is a painfully well-observed account of one man's struggle against alcoholism.

Therapy seSSIons, relationship

posturing, this first shot from Macallum has all the makings of a knockout.

(Ellie Carr)

I Shadow Boxing (Fringe) In Company, Theatre Workshop (Venue 20) 226 5425, until 25 Aug (not 17) 70.45pm, [7 (£4).



Parodying the fickle world of the music biz, Hysteric Studs sees four pretty boys with high hopes, pert buttocks and a smidgen of talent being groomed for superstardom.

Somewhat predictably, one of them’s shagging the sassy ball-breaking bitch who hired them, there’s a stalker and a rock star death, and much bumping and grinding along the way.

It’s more engaging than an hour's fly- on-the-wall with Boyzone, but the script's more subtle nuances are bulldozed by over-acting and seem a tad out of place in what’s essentially a flimsy piece of fun. Sorry girls, but they’re unlikely to light your fire. (Claire Prentice)

I Hysteric Studs (Fringe) Waxen Patience Theatre, St John’s Hall (Venue 126) 225 5105, until 30 Aug (not 74, 28) 10.30pm, £5 (£4).

trauma and mad anecdotes about sheep are part and parcel of this entertaining concept comedy delvmg into the psychology of addiction. Drunks and sheep may be somewhat tired staples of stand-up comedy but O'Neill Is doing something genuinely different. lvly reservation is that out and out laughs are thin on the ground, so if that’s what you’re after, look elsewhere. (Stephen Naysrnith) I Owen O’Neill Off My Face (Fringe) Owen O’Neill, Assembly Rooms (Venue 3) 226 2428, until 24 Aug, 70pm, USO/[8.50 (£6.50/f750).

STAR RATINGS *** it it Unmissable * it t it Very good i t it Worth seeing * * Below average it You’ve been warned