Edinburgh Season 98
Sponsored by R GIiggs GIOIIII LItl
w -« .1
by Daragh Carville
5-16 August 6.15pm Pleasance Two 0131 556 6550
Dancing at Lughnasa
by Brian Friel
8-30 August 3pm George Square Theatre 0131 662 8740
devised by Maggie Kinloch, Peter Collins and the
21-31 August 6.30pm
Chaplaincy Centre 0131 662 8882
I ) THE ENER I GY
48 THE lIST 6—13 Aug 1998
I Don’t Know If You're Familiar With The Voodoo Phenomenon Of Zombie, But . . .
High tea in Haiti: Universal Grinding Wheel
James O’Neill is one quarter of Universal Grinding Wheel, and even he is unsure how to describe their show. 'I'm reluctant to describe it as a sketch show, when you see it you'll understand. A sketch is just one idea unravelling, all our stuff has about 24 different subplots. It's more like a military operation . . . an extravaganza.’
He may not be exaggerating. The show allegedly crams 112 sound cues and 77 costume changes into 55 minutes. ’Actually, there may only be 76 costume changes — we can't find a mermaid outfit.‘ Described as ’Iike nothing else you've ever seen — only more so', this comedy quartet defy description but can boast high-profile fans such as Stewart Lee. Two years ago, they mystified Edinburgh audiences with A Celebration Of The World’s Teas. This show, O'Neill assures, is ’much more accessible. Imagine terrible, two-hour B-movies, squashed into six minutes at 60 miles an hour.’ (Rory Ford)
a lDont Know If You 're Familiar With The Voodoo Phenomenon Of Zombie, But. . . (Fringe) Universal Grinding Wheel, The Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550, 6—31 Aug, 5.55pm,
£6. 50/£6/£3.50 (£5.50/£5).
COMEDY PREVIEW Conversations With My Agent
We love peeking behind the scenes of Hollywood, as shown by the success of books like You'll Never Eat Lunch In This Town Again. And, as we've come to realise, the world of sitcom-writing is a particularly ruthless place. Writer Rob Long started at the top, wangling a post on Cheers early in his career, and his bestseller Conversations With My Agent documented what happened when he tried to get his own projects off the ground afterwards. ’I think various people are trying to adapt it for TV,’ says Gary Parker, who stars in this production, amused by the irony. 'Also, dealing with his English literary agent to try to get the rights to the book was quite a laugh. She rang us up a couple of days before the preview, saying "I haven't
theatre ° dance 0 comedy
got a contract yet, and I don't think you'll be doing any previews until I get a contract, will you?"' Agents, eh? Can't live with 'em . . . (Alastair Mabbott)
a Conversations With My Agent (Fringe) Conversations With My Agent, P/easance (Venue 33) 556 6550, 5, 6 Aug, 3.05pm, £4.50; 7-9, 11—13, 16-20, 23, 25—27 Aug, 3.05pm, £7.50 (£6.50); 14, 15, 21, 22, 28-31 Aug,
3. 05pm, £8.50 (£7.50).
THEATRE PREVIEW Airbase
It seems like another world now, but when the BBC originally transmitted this play about British~based USAF pilots in 1988, all hell broke loose. Questions were asked in the House and the Beeb was condemned for pandering to the Greenham Common protesters' paranoia. The use of heroin to represent the pilots' patriotism was a risky piece of symbolism destined to go way over most people’s heads.
In the cold light of 1998, we’re invited to take a more dispassionate look at the play itself. Andrew Brown, director and producer of the Durham- based company insists it wasn't chosen for its controversy potential. ’In the 805, it was a very controversial play, but one of the girls who's part of the theatre company is the daughter of the writer, Malcolm McKay, and she said he’s got a couple of plays we could use for free. It's just the way things progressed.’ (Alastair Mabbott)
a Airbase (Fringe) The Society Theatre
Co, St John’s Church Hall (Venue 126)
668 2019/667 7776, 10—15 Aug, 3pm, £5 (£3).
THEATRE PREVIEW Krapp’s Last Tape
A lone, elderly man whose impressions of life are registered on annual tape- recordings. Withered and decrepit, haunted by dwindling memories, addicted to hooch and bananas, Krapp could only have sprung from the mind of Samuel Beckett.
Krapp is brought to life this Festival by Royal Shakespeare Company actor Edward Petherbridge, who has performed the show in Stratford, London, New York and Washington. Although this is his first Beckett role, his credentials are good: he saw the first British production of Waiting For Godot in 1955.
’lt's nowhere near as arid and minimalIst as the later work, is it?’ says Petherbridge of Krapp’s Last Tape. ’I feel this play is most extraordinarily, complicatedly resonant . . . intrinsically dramatic and fascinating.’
Despite his increasing (if posthumous) acceptance into the mainstream, Beckett still proves a bit elusive to some audiences. Petherbridge, however, has no truck with that. ’It seems to me to be as plain as day,‘ he says. (Andrew Burnet)
m Krapp's Last Tape (Fringe) RSC, Observer Assembly, 226 2428, 7 Aug-5 Sep (not 16 Aug) times vary,
£ 1 0/£ 9 (f 9/£ 8). Edward Petherbridge gives a talk at James Thin Bookseller, George Street, 24 Aug, 7pm.
DANCE PREVIEW Sadie Potter
Sadie Potter: bin there. done that
Described as a cross between Marilyn Monroe and Les Dawson, Sadie Potter is one crazy and colourful girl. Part misfit, part effervescent explorer, her expressive movements rebound and explode in sequences which carry a flavour of old-time variety to appeal to all. The show features Sian Williams of The Kosh in a solo effort that fuses the chatty character of a comedienne with elastic and eccentric routines. According to Williams, her alter-ego is 'funny and flamboyant, with a good imagination', which she expresses through speech, music and an extensive dance vocabulary. A blend of hyperactive comic and chatty wit, Sadie Potter thus emerges as a character-driven piece of dance theatre that promises to combine everything people enjoy about The Kosh with a move towards a new kind of expression. As Sadie herself declares, ’Who knows what’s arty or tarty?’ Well, Sadie Potter is about to show you. (Caroline Brown)
a Sadie Potter (Fringe) The Kosh, Calder’s Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 226 2151, 7—31 Aug, 5pm, £5.
THEATRE PREVIEW Honestly
The story of a man arriving in a town, and becoming lost in his new apartment building, unable to find his home, has a suggestion of Kafka about it; but director Shon Dale-Jones sees this as only one side of this successful London production at the Young Vic: ’There's an element of Kafka, but that's the underbelly - we play it light, since we’ve always done comedy. People are laughing all the way through, but there’s a kind of dark side. The main character meets a woman who lost her husband in a war, and she dresses like him to compensate, so the violence of