‘r .. ‘3‘" Compere and contrast: Lynn Ferguson in Frank

Lynn Ferguson hasn’t put together a new set for 1998. She’s put together eight. In one hour, she runs the gamut Of stand-up standards, pillorying among others the nervy first-timer, the loud-mouthed American dyke, the fey Irish poet and the bolshy student.

Conventional stand-up meets theatre in a feat Of characterisation by the highly acclaimed Scottish writer and performer. ’In a sense it's a play, but without a concrete narrative,’ she says. 'It’s interactive and I hope it will evolve as I go on. Each act has to work independently, but I have to avoid letting my own ego get in the way. The idea is that each character reveals a little bit more than they mean to about themselves.’

How audiences Will respond to all this remains to be seen, but hecklers will no doubt be firmly handled by the compere who is, of course, Lynn Ferguson. (Hannah MCGill)

a Frank (Fringe) Lynn Ferguson, Calder’s Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 226 2757, 8—37 Aug, 7pm, £7.50 (£6.50).

COMEDY PREVIEW The Last Big Iguana Competion

Never mind the Barrymores and the Redgrave/Richardsons there's a new theatrical dynasty in town. Sketch trio Chunky Nimfot count among their ranks a dentist called Paddy whose aunt was the woman in the Shake ’n' Vac advert.

’Show business is in our blood,‘ says the threepiece's mouthpiece Tom Ingall. 'We're here to be clever and stupid, silly and funny. That's what sketch shows are about. With a stand- up, you're listening to one person share their views on sex or politics. The scope for us is so much wider. And the audience can either laugh at the stupidity on display or engage their brains and enioy it on a different level.’

Those attending should be warned about uninvited contributions. 'If you heckle, Paddy will extract your teeth,’ cautions Ingall. ’Never mess with a dentist.’ Showbiz in their blood, and

blood in their showbiz could be a heady cocktail. (Rob Fraser)

a The Last Big Iguana Competition (Fringe) Chunky Nimfot, Southside Courtyard (Venue 76) 667 22 72, 23—37 Aug, 6pm, £5 (£4).

COMEDY PREVIEW Boothby Graffoe

The man named after a small Lincolnshire village has this to say of his new show: ’It's a terribly funny pastiche Of biting social comment and searing political satire.’

He could be lying. This is his fifth trip to the Edinburgh Fringe, and he brings a new set of the internationally acclaimed stand-up that has seen him nominated for the Perrier Award and winning the Time Out Comedy Award for Best Stand-Up.

Is it true he is working on his own show for Channel 4? ’I keep reading that,’ he concurs. So it must be true.’ And that there's a sitcom in the pipeline for the Anglophile transatlantic market? 'Americans have too much money.’ And that a sheep is involved somewhere along the line? 'Not so. Think about it: Geri Spice is on the posters, but she’s not in the band.’

Graffoe's sweetly skewed world view is as baffling as it is enchanting. (Hannah MCGill)

m Boothby Graffoe (Fringe) Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550, 7—37 Aug (not 7 7) 7.45pm, £9/f8.50/f8/f4

(f 8/15 7. 50/f 7).

COMEDY PREVIEW There's More To Life Than Meaty Eyes

Christie's Comedy Cellar is the smallest of the worthy comedy institutions that keep Edinburghers giggling all year round. So at a time of year when many people are claiming to present the best of Scottish comedy, Christie’s is determined to get its fair share of the limelight.

More to Life than Meaty Eyes is a grassroots showcase featuring the talents of three up-and-coming Scottish comedians. Glaswegian Sandy Nelson inteniveaves his trademark hit- parade spoofs with satirical stand-up. Benni Esposito draws on playing in a rock band and student life, while Graham Phillips is worth it for the one- liners and the Cluedo jokes.

’The comedy that we do reflects the fact that we come from different walks of life,' Phillips explains. ’We’ve all got different ideas of what life is. We hope that we’re giving Christie’s a great show. We all do gigs there and it’s been inspirational in Scottish comedy.’ (Stephanie Noblett)

& There ’s More To Life Than Meaty Eyes (Fringe) Christie ’5 Comedy Cellar (Venue 706) 228 3765, 8—75 Aug, 7pm, £5 (£4).


The Kissing-Dance

Combining the youth of today with a sparkling comedy originally written

theatre - dance - comedy


A woman's life is so dreary that she only lives on for the sake of her child. Then she stands accused of killing him. it may sound like a caustic parody of contemporary hysteria, but Jordan, the powerful creation of Moira Buffini and Anna Reynolds. mirrors a reaHife tragedy too poignant to be ignored. Anna Reynolds met the woman who inspired this haunting tale while doing time at Holloway, around the same time that actress Moira Buffini was looking to work with female prisoners. Together they scripted this harrowing one-woman play, directed by Buffini's sister, Fiona. i ‘Audiences are moved enormously by the play,’ explains the director. ’1’ hey grow to love the character and are with her all the way. It destroys our preconceptions of women in prison and media images of inianticide. it’s a

true tragedy. a desperate love story.’

Jordan aside, Moira Buffini’s writing has taken precedence of late. winning her such accolades as the Meyer Whitworth Award and the Susan Blackburn Award. You might imagine that directing such an acclaimed sibling could prove difficult. ’Not at all,’ claims Fiona, 'I can be honest with her, I don't treat her like glass. it's a very liberating experience.’ And a family affair.

(Nicky Agate)

a Jordan (Fringe) Moira Buffini, Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550, 8~37 Aug (not

Tue) 7.50pm, {SJ/£8 (£8/f7).

Sister act: Moira Buffini in Jordan

over 200 years ago is a provocative proposal. Particularly when the company In question is the Illustrious National Youth Music Theatre, the comedy of manners Is She Stoops To Conquer by Oliver Goldsmith, and the musical production Is undertaken by Charles Hart and Howard Goodall.

The result should be pantomimic in quality confusions and hilarity mount as love affairs become entangled, plots are hatched and fortunes, suitors and jewels are lost and found. Riotous behaviour ensues, Spiced with a little 18th century girl power. 'It shows women to be powerful,’ says

Sheridan Smith, who plays the I manipulative battleaxe Mrs

Hardcastle. 'The audience know that it's really the girls who are In


The members of NYMT have taken this CiaSSIC comedy and stamped it with their own forthright style, generating a frothy concoction of shenanigans that should conquer young and Old. (Caroline Brown)

3% The Kissing-Dance or She Stoops To Conquer (Fringe) National Youth Music Theatre, Observer. Assembly (Venue 3) 226 2428, 9—75 Aug, 6pm, £70.50/f950 (£8/f7).

6—13 Aug 1998 THE usr 55