COMEDY REVIEW Rich Hall's Louisiana Hayride

* it t it * 'People have paid money to watch me flirt with you, Donna.’ Donna, Philadelphia born but now Cologne based, is tonight's object of lust for the funniest man from Montana. Rich Hall is on fire, in more ways than one - someone really should put sprinkler systems or something into the less airy Festival venues. Coming on like George Burns’s wayward step-grandson, Hall utilises a map of the world which he rearranges, a keyboard upon which he serenades the raven-haired Donna, a conveyor belt of bitterness and a mind jam-packed with supremely sublime nonsense. His surrogate Scottishness - which other North American comic would place-drop Prestonpans? - allows him to shamelessly ingratiate himself upon his entranced, if steadily dehydrating, audience with attacks on England, America and Wales. And his comparisons

Rich Hall: hot surrogate Scot

between the Brits and the Yanks - army recruitment ads, the press and

terrorism - are frequently inspired.

Rich Hall on this form is, in fact, unstoppable. Except when he realises he's reached the point where he should stop himself from taking his mental meanderings into territory from which he may not escape. Another in a long line of comedy geniuses to fail to slug the fizzy water. Simply

masterful. (Brian Donaldson)

I Rich Hall’s Louisiana Hayride (Fringe) Rich Hall, Gilded Balloon (Venue 36) 226 2757, until 30 Aug (not 24) 70pm, £7.50 (£6.50).

THEATRE REVIEW . Here I Paint Myself, Frida Kahlo

* 1k *

Overshadowed by the fame of her artist husband, Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo has only recently been resurrected from footnote status Born in MeXico, her life was punctuated by disaster, miscarriages and run-ins With the philandering Rivera She was also a very talented artist.

Jillian Tipene's one-woman show cruises through these highs and lows -~ the road aCCident that leaves her wheelchair-bound, the sex With Rivera and her enCOunter With the Surrealists in Paris, all played against a backdrop of an on-stage screen show of her paintings. As passionate as Tipene's performance is, the result is more a series of Vignettes than deep probing and revelation. (Susanna Beaumont)

I Here / Paint Myself, Frida Kahlo (Fringe) Corazon Productions With Paradise By Way Of Kensal Green, C, Over-Seas House (Venue 79) 225 5705, until 30 Aug (not 28) 70 30pm,

£5 50 (£4.50)


The Bloody Chamber


Putting this play on Within the walled-up catacombs of Mary King's Close was a stroke of genius. There is instant atmosphere, and the audience is

spooked before the show even starts.

In fact, this play is a little too atmospheric. Angela Carter's gothic horror story quickly reaches an unsustainable pitch of weirdness, and after a while there is nowhere for it to go but into Hammer House territory.

Having two people play the central role works very well and the acting is

I excellent throughout while the

designer’s gift for striking tableaux ensures a memorable production.

(Ed Grenby)

I The Bloody Chamber (Fringe) Grid Iron Theatre Company, The Haunted Vaults meet outside The City Chambers (Venue 67) until 30 Aug (not 24) 70.45pm, £9 (£6).

DANCE REVIEW Acrobat ***** Trampolines, tightropes and ropes swing from the rafters in this thrilling show which Will blow the socks off anyone expecting to see rOutine acrobatics. Like school kids taking their dares too far, this is high octane kamikaze careering into camp punk rock. The variety in Acrobat's act is as crucral to their success as much as their skill, wacky inventiveness and reckless bravado. One minute, all seven are flipping across the stage and onto each other's shoulders. The next, a pink 58M queen performs his slick solo suspended from the ceiling. Leavmg aside the enchantingly innocent clowning sketches, this is acrobatics for

grown ups. (Tanya Stephan)

I Acrobat (Fringe) Assembly Rooms (Venue 3) 226 2428, until 25 Aug, 70pm, £9/£ 70 (£7/£8).


Die On Stage, Loud American Bastard *t‘k

Edgy yet laid-back, New York stand-up and self-professed showbiz addict Steven Alan Green, claims to have executed over 5,000 farewell stand-up performances since 1986. Despite some undeservedly poor attendances, his Fringe gigs won’t be his last. Green’s desperation is, of course, bogus. For somebody supposedly ‘fuckin’ angry’ enough to top himself onstage, this guitar-player in a suit is an unpretentious and likeable comic thinker, and a quick-witted improviser. He’s crude, corny and surprisingly disarming, whether offering throwaway impersonations of Al Pacino as Forrest Gump, singing the masturbation ditty he wrote single- handedly, or engaging the front row in insults. (Donald Hutera) I Die On Stage, Loud American Bastard (Fringe) Steven Alan Green, Southside (Venue 76) 667 2272, until 30 Aug, 70.50pm, £5/£5.50 (£4. 50/135).


PaulZenon *****

I've seen the future of magic ’n’ mirth- making. And his name is Paul Zenon. The things he can do with a triangle, a rope and a pint of lager - or a mirror and a bin bag or a pretend bunny rabbit wrll bring tears to your eyes.

His comedy, meanwhile, is of the gentle mocking variety. He teases his audience, the venue, the Tattoo, himself and his 'iob.' And in particular, the forebearers of his art. And when was the last time you saw Paul Daniels indulge in a spot of yogic flying? Or David Copperfield explode a fake Zit? Marvellous.

(Brian Donaldson)

I Paul Zenon (Fringe) Spiegeltent (Venue 87) 558 8070, until 30 Aug (not 23, 28) 70pm, £7.50 (£6.50).

THEATRE REVIEW Beckettland * ‘k ‘k *

Samuel Beckett wasn’t of the beginning, middle and end school of writing. But if you thought Godot was obscure you ain’t seen nothing yet. Placing six of his lesser-known short works in the context of a ghost carnival, Action Theater evoke superbly his Sisyphean preoccupations and the ghosts of consoousness who inhabit his work. These spirits continue to must Without the power to reach their phySical or emotional destinations.

Haunting v0ice-overs, grotesque make- up and costumes and stark lighting are chillineg evocative, complimented by wonderfully focused performances. Not one for the mainstream but this is an original conception that's well worth its demands. (Claire Prentice)

I BeckettLand (Fringe) Action Theater, Marcos (Venue 98) 228 97 76, until 30 Aug, 77pm, £5 (£4).


Slavs! *****

March 1985 and Mikhail Gorbachev is set to enter the Kremlin. Raisa, it is claimed, is a Jew just like Trotsky and God is revealed to be a bourgeois Menshevik. The old order is dying at the hands of vicious metaphors while elicit lovers meet in the shadow of Lenin's pickled brain. How does this effect the yellow children of Siberia? And how do old socialists fare in heaven?

Tony Kushner’s follow-up to his Pulitzer prize winner Ange/s In America is performed for the first time in Scotland by Edinburgh University Theatre Company. Vivid performances, and imaginative presentation make this tragic, moving and viciously satirical play totally unmissable. (Ross Holloway)

I Slavs! (Fringe) Edinburgh University Theatre Company, Bed/am Theatre (Venue 49) 225 9893, 70.75pm, until 23 Aug, £5 (£3).

STAR RATINGS * t t i * Unmissable it t t it Very 00d * 1k * Wort seeing it it Below average . .3 it You’ve been warned

The incomparable


sings German Cabaret songs from Brecht/Weill to

Peer Raben

“Eva Meier ranks amongst the best German Cabaret singers”

The Munich Merkur


Corner Lineman English words: Mary hogan

, CHAPLAINCY CENTRE venue 23: Bristo Square

Aug 21 - 30 10.00pm

Box Office 0131 650 8201

22—28 Aug 1997 THE usm