The Rich Fulcher Show
The bumbling professor of entertainment science which Rich Fulcher has taken as his persona is beautifully realised. As he opens this seminar with his pipe, tweed jacket and eager demeanour, he is every inch the amiable academic.
However, the clownish nature of much of his material makes the whole strangely unsatisfying. Ranging from a jokey etymology of the word ’entertainment' to softish gags about film stars, it is all rather unfocussed.
The performance is slick and the surreal improvisations occasionally inspired, but if it is biting satire you’re looking for, you'd be better off elsewhere. (Stephen Naysmith)
I The Rich Fulcher Show (Fringe) Rich Fulcher, The Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550, unti/30 Aug, 4.10pm, £7/f8 (£6/f7).
THEATRE REVIEW Shooting An Elephant * * a:
Two of George Orwell's tales of life in Burma, in the dying days of the British Empire are adapted for this one-man show. The story of the hanging of a local criminal is paired with the killing of a rogue elephant.
The combination is telling — the slaying of the animal provokes more soul-searching and repercussions than that of the man.
The real target though is a decaying system which trapped the British abroad into needless brutality to maintain their control.
Dermot Jones does well as Orwell and the simple staging conveys the atmosphere required — unintentionally a35isted by the sweltering heat of the Pleasance Attic. (Stephen Naysmith) I Shooting An Elephant (Fringe) HH Productions, Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550, until Aug 30 (not 26) 3.35pm, £5/£6 (EA/£5).
COMEDY REVIEW Adam Hills - Stand Up And
Adam Hills: Fa-diddly-qua-qua! 38 THE UST 22—28 Aug I997
While it may not be fair to say that daylight robbery is committed here, Adelaide’s Adam Hills does leave the audience a mite short-changed. Amiable and able, Hills spends much of the set chatting to the crowd without delivering very much in the way of gut- busting punchlines.
Yet his material is far from flat, even
if much of it is in the 'isn’t it amazing the things men/women/parents/kids/ kangaroos say?’ mode. His trick of matching the lyrics of the Australian national anthem to popular TV theme tunes worked, but being a nice guy isn’t really enough, is It? (Brian Donaldson) I Adam Hills — Stand Up And Deliver (Fringe) Adam Hills, The Honeycomb (Venue 739) 226 2751, until 30 Aug (not 26) 5. 75pm, £6 (£5).
Have You Seen This Girl? **
Peter Terson’s verse play for the National Youth Theatre follows the investigation into the disappearance of a teenager. Upset about her brother’s premature death and her mum's new boyfriend, Lisa runs away. The slender trail of clues to her whereabouts highlights the anonymity of modern society. Sadly this gives the play a shrill, sanctimonious feel.
It is cliched, too. Two male detectives are portrayed as single-minded bully boys, while their female colleague is Sympathetic and Intuitive.
Though the company helped to devise the play, it somehow comes across as an adult’s version of what young people think. Several strong performances never overcome these limitations. (Stephen Naysmith)
I Have You Seen This Girl? (Fringe) National Youth Theatre, The Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550, until 30 Aug (not 22, 23, 26) 5.45pm, £8 (£6)
COMEDY REVIEW Rodney Bewes: Three Men In A Boat
There are off days and there are stinkers. Rodney Bewes’ one-man (and a stuffed dog) adaptation of Jerome’s book comes worryingly close to the clothes peg category. Fluffing lines aft, port and starboard, the other Likely Lad outperforms Montmorency (said lifeless canine), but at times it’s a close call.
The story contains ample amusement, recounting the adventures of three friends as they do battle along the Thames With Vigilante swans, uncooperative tin cans and pesky steamboats. Between blunders, Bewes' delivery is engaging, but . hell, blame the weather or blame the Jazz band practising upstairs Trouble is, the buck stops With Bewes.
I Rodney Bewes Three Men In A Boat (Fringe) Rodney Bewes, Assembly Rooms (Venue 3) 226 2428, until 30 Aug, 4pm, USO/[8.50 (f6. 50/[7.50).
Big hearted and energetic: Diriamba!
THEATRE REVIEW Diriamba!
‘k ‘k t *
Take your castanets and don't forget your banners. Diriamba!, a collaboration between Edinburgh's Theatre Workshop and leading Nicaraguan company Teatro Nixtayolero, is as much of a sassy musical as it is a subtle political drama.
When a Scottish representative of a wildlife conservation organisation offers financial aid to the Nicaraguan town of Diriamba, in return for a cessation of the harvesting of endangered turtle eggs, she stirs up no end of trouble. Issues of patriarchy and colonialism are raised, not to mention the small matter of a murder, as the first world collides with the third.
That collision takes place in glorious Technicolor, the vibrant costumes and vivacious Spanish music adding up to a complete package which is constantly thrilling, even at its most tragic.
The close-knit Diriambians need the aid money to put on an ancient Hispanic American drama - the Giiegiience, an important community tradition. This is apt for a production by Theatre Workshop, who have always striven to forge links with the local community. Indeed, the streets of Stockbridge will soon be reverberating to the sounds of a Nicaraguan- style carnival.
Diriamba! is ultimately a big-hearted, energetic show with a message and some great tunes. Arrrrriba! (Peter Ross)
I Diriamba! (Fringe) Nixtayo/eros/Theatre Workshop, Theatre Workshop (Venue 20) 226 5425, until 25 Aug, 5.30pm, £3/£6.50. Diriamba! Nicaraguan Carnival, Stockbridge, 24 Aug, 2-5.30pm, free.
A Life In The Theatre
* * iv This early comedy of thespian life by DaVId lvlamet exhibits many of the characteristics for which he has since become famous. But In this 1976 two- hander, the Jarring brittleness of the script is mostly Iust irritating: 27 costume changes really slow things up, and the circular structure Is wearing. Which is a shame, because this is a highly competent production, Successfully uncovering both the humour and pathos of the play. 72- year-old lead, Robert Lehrer, finds IUST the right tone, wavering skilfully between pitiful and Infuriating; and the rest of the production holds tight around him An interesting show, rather than a great one (Ed Grenby) I A life In The Theatre (Fringe) Menagerie Theatre Company, Soutliside Courtyard (Venue 16) 667 2272, until 30 Aug, 5pm, [6 50 ([5 50)
to storytelling — such as the two works on offer this year.
Acclaimed in twenty countries from Scotland to Lithuania, Shameless! sets new words to Verdi, Puccini and Handel, adapting two Brecht stories of lust and greed.
Meanwhile King Stag, in the tradition of commedia dell’arte, blends political intrigue with transformation and horror in an East European state on the edge of collapse. Director David Glass describes it as ’Doctor Seuss meets the Addams Family'.
’Pop Opera’ could sound dismissive, but Glass is content With the tag. ‘We're aiming for broad appeal Without being vulgar.’
Both shows are classic Fringe fare. ’It is very much from that background, inventive yet accessible,’ he adds. 'You should come away feeling as if you’ve had a meal rather than a snack.’ (Stephen Naysmith)
I Shameless! (Fringe) Opera Circus, Assembly (Venue 3) 226 2428, 26-28 Aug, 5pm, £8.50 (£7.50).
King Stag (Fringe) Opera Circus, Assembly (Venue 3) 226 2428, 29—30 Aug, 4.40pm, £9.50 (£8.50).
THEATRE PREVIEW Opera Circus — Shameless!
& King Stag STAR RATINGS
Opera Circus successfully transcend * * * * * Unm'ssab'e
lcl t>|t It »-It I 'l “” very 00d-
“) T (if E I l3” 0 cipchl () (l )r()(]( * * ck audience They are renowned for at * Below average modern operatic works geared firmly * YOU'VE? been warm-’d