Last year, the Fringe virgin Arj Barker popped his cherry and regaled audiences with tales of an American abroad. This time he feels a little more at home.
’My Dad is trying to take over my body,’ observes Arj with more than a hint of worry. 'He’s manifesting himself in my waistline. He’s trying to become me. I got it under control, but I have to exercise otherwise my Dad will take over.’
Some of this paranoia could be down to the fact that Arj is speaking to The List in Amsterdam. We've heard that their cigarettes are stronger than British ones but, more likely, he’s simply suffering the usual worries that afflict the young when faced with advancing age. Arj, it would seem, is a little older and wiser than the ingénue who charmed the Fringe last year. His gentle, wide-eyed observations earned him a Perrier newcomer award, since when his life has been a bit of a whirl. Not content with touring Europe and the States, Arj has made several TV appearances and will appear in a Stephen Poliakoff drama on the BBC later this year. He’s moved from San Fran to LA and got himself a place in the home of the stars on Venice
Beach. ’lt’s almost like the whole Baywatch scene in a way. You won’t get any work done if you sit near the
window,’ he chortles, happily.
But all such bikini fun pales into insignificance next to his debut appearance on The David Letterman Show in the States. ’People aren’t so aware of the Perrier award in America,’ considers Arj. 'But if you say that you’ve been on Letterman then people offer you food
and invite you to meet their sister.’
theatre - dance - comedy
Horny devil: Arj Barker
So Letterman is more of an aphrodisiac than a Perrier
’Well, I had a pretty good time up in Scotland last
year,’ he grins. ’l was crazy about this girl (awww, sweet!) and then she dumped me (shame!) and then I met another great girl! (hurrahl)’
Pay Mr Barker a visit - your girlfriend will love you for it. (Jonathan Trew)
2:12 For details, see Hit list, right.
She's got a lot to answer for has that Kate Moss. The cameos in Primal Scream videos are pretty cool, but she can’t be forgiven for inflicting the
Fat's all folks: Gargantua
tyranny of the waifish waistline on a choc-guzzling world and making anyone who doesn’t resemble a pipecleaner with cheekbones feel like the Michelin Man on a Mars Bar bender
Thank the skies and munch the pies, then, for Grid Iron theatre, whose
Gargantua ~ ’a comedy of bodily functions’ - is set to tip the scales of foody fashion in entirely the opposite direction.
'lt's a lot to do With the way food effects Our lives, how food can form the weekend, can make you fall in love, can make you feel Iustful,’ says Grid lron's Judith Doherty.
Loosely based on the myth of Gargantua — a giant famous for his enormous appetite which Rabelais turned into a bawdy satire, Grid Iron have deVised a promenade production which celebrates indulgence, sensuality and celebration itself.
Appropriately for the company who sold-out a run of The Bloody Chamber in the spooky subterrenea of Mary King's Close at last year’s Fringe, Grid Iron are performing Gargantua in The Underbelly, seven atmospheric rooms in the bowels of the Central Library. Get on down. (Peter Ross)
g For details, see Hit list, right
Hot tips forcool shows.
Alan Davies — Urban Trauma He's on the telly, he's on the radio, he's hiorwly t‘\’f‘ly\‘.'ll(“f(‘ at once. Alan Dawes, (trll’St iew-haiied comic is Mr
Ubiquity, but you can catch him in Edinburgh See feattue, page 16. Alar: Dawes Urban Trauma (Fringe)
Observer Assembly (Vern/e 3) 226 2128, 7 HAug, 9 75pm, L lO/[9 if 9/18)
Rich Hall — The Shame Spiral Notorious for being a 'Grouchy, deadpan, comic bastard genius', the Montana comic explains why the world is on a donkey ride to hell. See prewew, page 66. Rich Hall — The Shame Spiral (Fringe) Observer Assembly (Venue 3) 226 2428, 7 ‘30 Aug, 8 30pm, [ 70/[9 ([9r'f8),
Rudy Coby The self-styled ’Coolest Magician On Earth’ is more likely to sever his own limbs With a chainsaw than pull a rabbit from a hat. Paul Daniels can often be seen running from this American phenomenon's shows gibbering incomprehenSibly. See Frontlines, page 7. Rudy Coby — The Coolest Magician On Earth (Fringe) Rudy Coby, Calder’s Gilded Balloon at the Palladium (Venue 26) 226 2 75 I, 9 Aug-5 Sep, times vary, [8 ([7)
Ar] Barker See preVIew, left. Arj Barker (Fringe) Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550, 7—37 Aug (not 70, 24), 9. 75pm, [8.50/[750 (USO/[6.50). Preview 6 Aug, 9. 75pm, [4.50. Gargantua See preview, left. Gargantua (Fringe) Grid lron, The Underbelly (Venue 61) 226 5 738, 10-37 Aug (not'9, 76, 23), 8pm, £70 ([7). Previews 6-8 Aug, 8pm, [5.
6-13 Aug 1998 THE usrss i