FESTIVAL 8pm —lOpm
COMEDY REVIEW Boothby Graffoe ****
Boothby Graffoe: warm. witty and slightly skew-wiff
Good comedians are like good Field Marshals, they can deal as admirably with routine tactics as they can with qwcksilver changes of posmon. lf Graffoe had been in charge of World War I then the troops would have been home for Christmas. More likely, they would have stayed in Blighty and had a good laugh instead. A natural comic, Graffoe is warm, witty and has that
slightly skew-whiff perception of the
world that renders the banal ridiculous.
Better still, his observations aren’t forced but entirely credible, it’s just that you would never have thought of them yourself. Book now. (Jonathan Trew)
I Boothby Graffoe (Fringe) P/easance (Venue 33) 556 6550, until 30 Aug (not 26) 8. 70pm, £8/f8.50 (£7/f7. 50).
Ed Byrne: Psychobabble ti * *
Fresh-faced, studenty-looking, 25-year-
old stand-up Ed Byrne has an infectious enthusiasm about being on stage that would make even bad jokes appealing. His new 60-minute show though, is stuffed full of excellent jokes, and is a rare example of a themed set that works.
The subject of psychology is a rich seam: plenty of opportunities for cruel humour (how to mess your kids up), and plenty of opportunities for sceptical piss-taking (how the Oedipus complex works if you’ve got an ugly mum). Byrne takes every one of these opportunities, and the audience is in stitches from start to finish. (Ed Grenby)
I Ed Byrne: Psychobabb/e (Fringe) Ed Byrne, Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 226 2757, until 30 Aug (not 28) £7.50 (£6.50).
o argentiRoSexteto Canyengue
21-24 25-30 August August 11.15pm G F F I 8.00pm
‘Tan ; 0 Palace ’
.o ‘ ‘ "l “ x5 The highly acclaimed sexte their fantastic sound where tango takes on the world. Come and hear the passionate side of The Fringe!
Café Graffiti, Venue 90, corner of Broughton and East London Street. Info: 557 8330.
0‘ I i ‘I I rrive in Edinburgh with
52 THE lIST 22—28 Aug 1997
Preacherman: invigorating odyessy
Preacherman is much the same as previous efforts from Theatrum Botanicum - and that’s very good news. Once again. they have brought an international open-air extravaganza to the Botanic Gardens, and once again it is so invigorating that almost everything else on the Fringe looks tired.
This time the subject is 19th Century Scottish explorer David Livingstone - although of course Botanicum are not content to leave it there. We also see Livingstone the missionary, doctor, cartographer, husband and opponent of slavery; and we also learn about Egypt, Scotland, history, geography and the customs of South-East Africa. Director Toby Gough has had a tendency in previous shows to bite off more than he can chew, but this year - although he crams an enormous amount into a hundred minutes - things feel a little more disciplined. it’s still a sprawling global carnival of a show, but careful scripting, choreography and staging have made it effective, as well as fun.
The original songs are brilliantly inventive; the African music and dance is spectacular (without ever being mere spectacle); and the acting is a first-rate mixture of good speaking and imaginative physical theatre.
This crazy odyssey is as provocative as it is enjoyable. It’s everything the
Fringe should be. (Ed Grenby)
I Preacherman — Livingstone’s Quest For The Source Of The Nile (Fringe) Thea trum Botanicum, Royal Botanic Gardens (Venue 793) until 24 Aug, 8.30pm, £9 (£5).
Milton Jones: Joyrider
* 1% t * lvlilton Jones should get out more. Taking a stamp-collector's interest in biscuit varieties and endlessly pondering the infinite pOSSibilities of the letter T can’t be healthy for any lad. But, havmg scooped a Perrier Best Newcomer award last year, this man displays a serious knack for ekeing endless humour out of word plays and exqwsite puns, in the process creating an original hotch-potch of characters. While laborious costume changes and
2 excellent veggie coffee houses (& booze at Stockbridge) also an interesting shop on the Grassmarket.
Helios Fountain at The Theatre Workshop 34 Hamilton Place 0131-225 8802 Open Mon - Sat 10 ~12 midnight Open late on show nights.
Helios Fountain 7 Grassmarket 0131-229 7884 Open Mon - Sat 10 - 8.30
multiple blackouts undermine the strength and apparent spontaneity of his material, Jones is a master of off- kilter antics. Goon, let the boy take you for a ride (Claire Prentice)
I Milton Jones Joyri'der (Fringe) The P/easance (Venue 33) 556 6550, until
30 Aug (not 26) 8pm, [7/[8 (Io/[7).
Al Murray The Pub Landlord — The King Of Beers
There's one in every bar throughout
the land — a loud, boorish drunk who is i desperate to share his unsavoury
thoughts With all and sundry. If only
they were all as hilarious as Murray
then meeting the pub bore would be a pleasure rather than a pain. Rib- splittingly funny as Murray's parody of bar culture is, there's also an underlying and very faint tinge of regret about Murray's character which
5 makes the laughs so much more : pOignant, Drink deep from Murray's
lager of life but remember that it‘s just the beer talking. (Jonathan Trew)
I Al Murray The Pub Landlord ~ The King Of Beers (Fringe) A/ Murray, Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550, until 30 Aug (not 26) [8/[8 50 (£7/f7 50)
STAR RATINGS *mni w unmissable * it t * Very good i * it Worth seeing a it Below average it You've been warned
I I j.