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THEATRE REVIEW Mad
Mad: still powerful theatre, five years on
The taboo was broken thn Tory ’care in the community' policies thrust the issue of mental health literally out onto the street But kid-gloves and misconceptions about the mentally ill are still very much in evidence, as can be seen in this 1992 Fringe First winner, Set in the casting room for a play about
women's experience of mental illness, it
throws us into a head-on collision with turbulent, out-wrenching emotion. The audience's empathy is engaged by the
1 growing tenSion and frustration of this ? disparate bunch, and moments of deep
m a z = c or: :5 z c E E c c:
poignancy are defused by liberal
injections of comedy. While it may be a bit tatty around the edges, this is blistering and life-affirming theatre. (Claire Prentice)
I Mad (Fringe) Grassmarket Project, Famous Grouse House (Venue 34) 220 5606, until 30 Aug (not 26) 2pm, [7 (£5).
THEATRE REVIEW I'm 0K You’re 0K Hz air
Anyone who spouts hippy-dippy bollocks about the inner-child and comes out with quacks' catchphiases like I’m OK You’re OK deserves to be left in a corner holding the elderflower wine. And that's pretty much what happens when weave-your-own- yoghurt 'partners’ move into a traditional mining community and start trying to inflict their grand schemes on all the neighbours.
Juxtaposmg the farting, belching, beer-SWilling, common-as-rnuck household next to the patronising self- improvement Junkies brings out Corrie- style humour which plays heaVily on stereotype. It all gets a bit predictable but originality was never a requiremei‘it for the Neighbours scenario (Claire Prentice)
I I’m OK You’re OK .’Fringel PMT Theatre Company, Gilded Balloon (Venue 36) 226 215 7, until 30 Aug, 7pm, [6 ([5,)
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34 THE LIST 2/ 281w; ilili/
Forkbeard Fantasy: a celluloid celebration
Fall Of The House Of Usherettes
The cult masters of comic theatre and film wizardry are gracing the Fringe this year with their latest alchemical concoction. Devised in celebration of 100 years of cinema, Chris and Tim Britton of Forkbeard Fantasy derived their idea from Edgar Allan Poe’s The Fall Of The House Of Usher. In this incarnation, it is not a gothic castle which is sinking into the mire but a cinema, the last remaining edifice on this turn-of—the-century bog.
Three sisters, reminiscent of Macbeth's witches, are the Usherettes, sisters of poor Roderick Usherette, the cinema manager, whom they imprison in a drug-induced fantasy world. All is under their control until the appearance
of Roderick's friend Bernard Von Earlobe, a film archivist who discovers that
the rarest and most priceless of film material called Liquid Film is stored in the bowels of the Usherettes' Empire Cinema. The battle which ensues is a theatrical filmic fantasy in which the sisters trap the intruder in cinematic
loops and celluloid nightmares.
The Britton brothers, who have been integrating film into their theatrical creations for over ten years, make use of nine film projectors on a revolving stage, splicing the live production together with film and even piecing several projections together at a time. As Chris Britton describes it, ’All our work has a lot of film mixed with live action, people popping in and out of the screen, crossing the celluloid divide.‘ Abundant with film references, gothic humour and ingenious technical games, Forkbeard are renowned for their theatrical extravaganzas. (Tanya Stephan)
I Fall Of The House Of Usherettes i'Fri'nge) Forkbeard Fantasy GeOrge Square Theatre (Venue 37) 650 2007, 20—29 Aug, 2.30pm, [7.50 (£5).
1 The Merchant 0f Venice
’This is a way for professional actors to entertain \‘Jltll Shakespeare that hasn’t
been seen for (100 years,’ ilaiins at tor
tes‘xis Hancock of Prime Plitlhlt tions'
The Merchant Of Venice He's talking
I about reseait h whit it apparently uncovers stage directions i.” the First . Folio editions of the plays
Bet ause Globe at tors had no time to-
rehearse, and learnt fiom rue-st iipts 3 containing only their own lines and the
last few words of the pievii.>iis at toi‘s
speech, they had to draw as “Hit it as
they could from the text itself - capitals
and strange spellings indicated how
words should lie stressed, the seeming inteit haiigabilitv <~l 'thee' and 'you' :ould have been directions of whether or not the actor should approach the person has talking to — and from the other at tws' speeches In its pure torm, .irizls Hancock, ‘there's a ‘reshnew. v ‘tl tlr‘n't get in other ways, because people are standing on stage heariiti; the ether actors for the first time We‘ve solved that age-old problem of what to do when you're not talkinri you listen '
I The Merl hant Of ten/(e (Fringe)
Prime Productions, Famous Grouse House ilr’enue 5‘4) 220 5606, 27 -30 Aug, 2 75pm, [6 ([4l