Ascending the throne in his bouncy castle. Richard III as you've never seen it before

Richard III in a romper-suit? Yes it's true. This is Shakespeare as you've never seen it before. Set in a nursery, all the characters are under five years old, and some aren't even human; furry toys have their own roles to play in this very physical adaptation. But fear not, this is not an hour and a half of goo goo ga ga. Out of the mouths of babes it may be, but the original

Shakespearian language is used.

The concept of a baby Richard killing off his kindergarten playmates in order to ascend his bouncy castle throne is a very comedic one, but it does have macabre undertones. 'The metaphor of the nursery lends itself very well to this play. Kids are a lot more visual, and their actions are bigger. It makes it a lot more accessible,’ director Malachi Bogdanov explains. 'Although the potential for comedy is there, it does bring into focus incidents like the Jamie Bulger scenario, so it is very poignant.’ (Kirsty Knaggs)

Richard III (Fringe) English Shakespeare Company, Pleasance, (Venue 33) 556 6550, 9—23 Aug, 12.30pm, £8/f 7 (£6/f5). Preview 8 Aug, £5.

KIDS PREVIEW Professor Branestawm

Professor Branestawm is the archetypal British mad professor, equipped with grubby lab coat, multiple pairs of specs and an explosive hairstyle. He also has an accidental knack for time travel, which has apparently served well a creation that originated in 19305 radio short stories and survived in illustrated books until the mid-seventies. Now, on the eve of his revival in print by Puffin, London school teacher Toby Hulse has selected a particularly inventive episode from the character's back catalogue to bring to the Fringe.

'The style is very visual and slapstick- based, but there are some quite involved jokes about science and time travel,’ he says. 'One of the pomts of the show is to get children thinking about science in a serious way, but overall it's pure entertainment.’ Hulse tested the stories on his own pupils to help clarify the plot and check If the appeal of Branestawm and his cohorts Mrs Flittersnoop and Colonel Dreadshott had waned after 60 years.

Hulse himself will be appearing as the prof‘s evil foe, Twidley. who IS promised to be more menacing than his name suggests. (Chris Small)

a Professor Branestawm (Fringe) Turning Heads, Pleasance (Venue 33) 558 6550, 7—23 Aug, 11am, £5.50/f5 (£4.50/f4). Preview 6 Aug, [4.


could represent a reaction to shifting political tensions. 'l hape it won't be

Angelic Voices presents...


Uplifting music & dramatised love story of daring wartime exploits and tales of Vienna & Hollywood.

6-3I August, l0.4S (I I.SS) (not Sun)

Also energetic. highly acclaimed ‘COME ON EVERYBODY SING'. voice and singing workshops for novices & experts alike.

'Life enhancing‘ -The Scotsman. 6-3I August, 9.45 (I0.35) (not Sun) Starring international dramatic soprano Marie Hayward and Scottish saxophonist Andrew McNeill. As seen on Austrian TV.

CToo St Columba’s by the Castle - johnston Terrace 0 Tel: 225 S l 05

hos PREVIEW Who's Afraid of Monsters?

Hong Kong Youth not afraid of monsters

A funky, familyoorientated escapade set in a forest peopled by fairyofollt. terrorised by a monster. Sounds innocent enough, but when you learn the company is Hong Kong~based, the allegorical-minded may sniff a modern- day moral fable in the air.

indeed Who's Afraid of Monsters is one of several controversial works in Hong Kong which are challenging concepts of artistic expression. However, director Linsday McAlister is quick to deny that the monster of the title

construed that way, but if people see the monster as a composite of all fears then let them.‘

indeed, despite being uniquely a product of Hong Kong with its young cast and bi-lingual script in English and Cantonese. the work operates on a universal level using multi-media to dramatise general fears and human responses.

The show might be about fear but the Hong Kong Youth 'Arts Festival certainly isn't afraid of staging a provocative piece of musical theatre to thrill the young and old alike. (Caroline Brown)

a Who's Afraid of Monsters? (Fringe) Hong Kong Youth Arts Festival, Famous Grouse House (Venue 34) 220 5606, 7-14 Aug, 71.45am, [5 (£3).

so must 5-13 Aug 1998


But doesn’t Michael's sexuality give him the best of both worlds In our supposedly super sexually tolerant 905? Not according to Woodhall. 'Bisexuals suffer a double whammy because they're not accepted by either heterosexuals or homosexuals. Individuals are just as closed-minded as they ever were.’

By questioning the reality of sexual

identity ARTTS International hope to make audiences laugh and think. At the same time. After all, why settle for a bun when you can have the keys to the cake shop? (Graham Dickson) a: Bi Now, Pay Later (Fringe) ARTTS International, Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550, 6—13 Aug, 72.40pm, £4 (£3.50).

Alex Woodhall, one of the authors of Bi Now, Pay Later, says he wants to smash any preconceptions about bisexuals being sexually indecisive, commitment shy, or just plain greedy when it comes to getting more than their fair share of nooky. Visually, he describes the play as ’weird.’ But I want to be vague so that everyone will come and see it.’ So much for being decisive.

It’s a black comedy in which Michael finds himself in purgatory after dying in a fire. And if that isn't bad enoUgh, he then encounters just as much suspicion in the afterlife as he did on earth.