society is always underneath, but as a company, HOIpolloi try not to point too heavily at it.’ Four actors, all from different European countries, contribute to the performance, making the play’s location no particular place and adding to its sense of existential whimsy. (Steve Cramer)

% Hones t/y (Fringe) Hoipo/loi, Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550, 8—37 Aug (not 25) 3.25pm, £7/f6) (£6/f5). Previews 8, 9 Aug, £4.

THEATRE PREVIEW The Sinking Of The Titanic

Okay, so Leo and Kate helped make it sexy, but the Titanic disaster has always held a mysterious allure. Cutting through the Hollywood hype to get to the heart of the story, here the play- within-a-play sees a couple of inept actors attempting to put on a stage version.

Switching between farce and serious drama as rehearsals progress, the two- man show looks dangerously like being cursed with the same fate as the ocean liner. Meanwhile, Increasingly touched by the true tragedy of their subject matter, the two actors squabble over whether to make it a swashbuckling epic or a damning expose of bourgeois oppression.

’We all use humour to cope with tragedy,’ says performer Paul Kessel. 'And we were keen to explore the boundary between what is considered funny and when something is simply tasteless.’

Cabin fever looks set to run and run. (Claire Prentice)

33% The Sinking Of The Titanic (Fringe) Kesse/ofski & Fiske, Assembly Rooms (Venue 3) 226 2428, 7—73, 76—20 Aug, 3.20pm, £8 (£7); 74, 15, 21, 22 Aug, 3.20pm, f 9 (£8).


Roger is a bastard. Jenny is smitten. He is a famous actor. She is grateful to be working again after a particularly dry spell. They both land roles in a new musical, only to find there is no script. Much laughter, love and loathing ensue in this musical-wrthin-a musical

collaboration between Alan Ayckbourne and Paul Todd.

The cast comprises two actors, who play a variety of characters each, and a pianist, who stays constant throughout. 'It’s based on the philosophy that small-scale musical theatre is the way to go,’ explains director Paul Todd. ’Musicals don’t always have to have an orchestra. This way throws the focus on the lyrics rather than the music.’

Based loosely on the working lives of Todd and Ayckbourne, Between The Lines is a witty, romantic comedy which is guaranteed to restore your faith in human nature. ’You Will walk away feeling good,’ assures Richard Shelton, who plays Roger. 'lt's that kind of show.’ (Kirsty Knaggs)

a Between The Lines (Fringe) Calder’s Gilded Balloon Theatre (Venue 38) 226 2151, 7—37 Aug, 3.45pm, £7 (£6).


’We’re going to hire a pig and walk it down the Royal Mile,’ states Zachary Dunbar. He’s the writer and director of Haileybury School’s first Festival show, a modern parable combining physical theatre, Chinese opera, flying swme and tai chi.

It’s 1911, the year of the Chinese Revolution and of the pig. A swine arrives at the Imperial court, falls in love with the princess and then, rejected, is cast into the palace menagerie. Ridiculed and lovesick, he is tricked into taking a forbidden picture of the princess, resulting in tragedy and recrimination as revolution ensues.

Dunbar wrote the work last summer, influenced by the Hong Kong takeover and a love of Chinese horoscopes. 'Although it’s set in China, it’s a very British story,’ he says. 'The princess has a car accident . . .' Just another Diana cash-in, then? 'No,‘ he insists. 'It was written a fortnight before all that. It’s a true case of life imitating art.’ (Nicky Agate)

a The Year Of The Pig (Fringe) Haileybury, Moray House Theatre (Venue 167) 667 2212, 9-75 Aug, 4pm, £5.50 (£4.50).

Hog in the limelight: The Year Of The Pig

theatre ° dance - comedy

iiiEArRE PREVIEW Emma, By Jane Austen

. . -' ~ i '1. Doon MacKichan: appearing once Knightly at the Gilded Balloon

if he had a pound for every time he was described as a 'cult', Martin Millar would have . . . well, enough so that co-writer Doon MacKichan didn't have to swim the Channel to raise funds for their adaptation of Emma.

’She is a strong swimmer,’ says the author, supportively. 'l'm not, but I might have walked around the park if anyone asked.’ Millar met MacKichan in the mid-80s at a prochoice rally against the Alton Bill. They lived on the same Brixton estate and shared a love of Jane Austen. ‘Such perfect language and that gift for getting inside everybody‘s mind. Only a genius can do that.

'We did it,’ he adds simply, 'because we love the book so much and thought it would be fun. And Doon is by far the funniest person I know.‘ MacKichan certainly boasts an impressive comedy CV including The Comic Strip, Harry Enfield and The Day Today. Millar worked with her for a radio show puntasticly titled Doon Your Way before their idea for giving Emma a radical make-over. ’T hat book is full of sexual tension,’ he says, ‘like all Austen’s work. It’s quite tightly controlled, but it’s there.’ (Rodger Evans)

e Emma, By Jane Austen (Fringe) Gilded Balloon Productions, Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 226 275 7, 7-27 Aug, 5pm, £9. 50 (£8. 50).

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6-13 Aug i997 THE List 49