I L I A theatre - dance 0 comedy



Mancunian comic and pottery

vengeance after his Perrier defeat last year. Show us your class, Vegas.

Johnny Vegas is unhappy. Last year's Perrier nominee is back in town after being beaten for the top comedy prize, and he has the air of a man out to settle scores. ’Johnny is miffed about it,’ mutters the rotund Mancunian. But this isn't the real Johnny Vegas speaking. Or is it? Last year's must- see show was a triumph of originality, combining singalongs with live pottery demos and a finishing flourish of wounded personal tales that made the audience shift in their seats.

’Everyone said it had to be a character I’d made up,’ says Vegas of his embittered onstage persona. ‘Of course there’s a few white lies. But to be honest I'm not that clever. I just write about what I know.’ As it turns out, the pottery graduate turned comic got engaged at last year’s Perrier Awards ceremony so he can't have been that miffed. But expect to see those bad loser demons emerge in a show that sees Vegas coming to terms with the events of the past year with a bit of pot-making thrown in for good measure.

’Pottery is still a strong theme,’ explains Vegas. ’There is that

graduate, Johnny Vegas is out for I

danger of it becoming a gimmick, so I'm branching out into crafts.‘ If this doesn't sound like a barrel of laughs. then you obviously haven’t experienced the Vegas touch. Expect to fight for tickets for what is shaping up to be the funniest macramé exhibition in town this year.

Despite coming within spitting distance of the fizzy water prize and landing a Channel 4 TV deal in the past year, Vegas remains unconvinced that his comedy pot

(Ellie Carr)

Johnny Vegas: crafty bugger

has landed. 'lt's not time to dress up as someone else and go wandering round Disneyland yet,’ says the professional loser. ‘l was on Win, Lose Or Draw a couple of years back and I get more from that than I ever did from comedy. I’ll be the only person that ever goes back on as a celeb.‘ One can only dream, Johnny.

For details, see Hit list, right

Ed Byrne: mercurial


Ed Byrne: A Night At The Opera

To look at comedian Ed Byrne, you wouldn't mark him down as a big opera fan. You'd more likely imagine this skinny little Irish fella dealing craic over a few pints of the ebony nectar -- or perhaps even pottering about in a flower bed,

Not as unlikely as you might think. Byrne studied horticulture at Glasgow University, and planned to forge a career in landscape gardening before straying down the floral path of comedy. 'I could do you a lawn or a patio,’ he offers, but he'd sooner pass on a pair of tickets to see Scottish Opera.

’The show’s ba5ically for people who’ve been to the theatre and didn’t enjoy the

experience,’ he explains. 'lt's for anybody who ever had to make any kind of sacrifice for the person they love ' Byrne’s particular sacrifice was a trip to see Cosi Fan Tutte With his girlfriend, to celebrate the anniversary of their relationship. ’lt's about the things that occmred to me While Sitting there, watching the opera.‘

He's no opera fan, Byrne, but it turns out he's a big Queen fan. So is this show named after a Freddie MerCUry record? 'Believe it or not yesl’ he admits. ’lt's partly Queen but it’s also the name of a Marx Brothers film. l-thought, I'm followmg in a good pedigree there, because it was one of Queen's landmark albums, and also held as the Marx Brothers’ greatest films so maybe it'll work for me.’

Judging from a preView performance last month, the show Will be funnier than a fat-bottomed girl full of duck soup. (Andrew Burnet)

Q For details, see Hit list, right.

Once Total Theatre Award Winners



A quality quintet to keep the cocoa at bay.

Johnny Vegas: Selling Out See main preview, left. Johnny Vegas Selling Out (Fringe) Johnny Vegas, (Ta/der’s Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 226 2157, 7-37 Aug (not Tue) 10 45pm, £8 ([7) johnny Vegas At The Palladium (Fringe) Calder’s Gilded Balloon at the Palladium (Venue 26‘ 226 2/5 7, 28—30 Aug, 8 75pm, {70 ([8)

Ed Byrne: A Night At The Opera See preVIew, left. Ed Byrne A Night At The Opera (Fringe) Ed Byrne, Calder’s Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 226 2 l 5 T, 7-3] Aug (not 77, 30) IOU/n, [8 ([7,) Ed Byrne A Night At The Queen’s Hall (Fringe) Oueen’s Hall (Venue 72) 668 2079/667 7776, 30 Aug, lOdSp/ii, [TO/[8

Derevo return With another feast for the eyes, ears and any other sensory inlets you care to mention ln Derevo’s hands a fairy tale about love, tears and broken heaits equals astonishing art, See feature, page 20. Once (Fringe) Derevo, P/easance (Venue 33) 556 6550, 76—37 Aug (not Tue) 77 75pm, [8 50/1750

([7 50/[6 50). Prewew 73 Aug, 17.75pm, [5.

Amnesty International: Just A Tickle Feed your laughing glands and prick your conscience With stand-up in aid of Al courtesy of pranksters such as Alan Dawes, Jenny Eclair and Sean Lock. See Frontlines, page 7. Amnesty International: Just A Tick/e (Fringe) Observer Assembly (Venue 3) 226 2428/55? 8279, 70 Aug, 77.30pm, [1250(f70).

Car Maintenance, Explosions And Love Auto-eroticism, big bangs and butch-dyke swagger from the Melbourne Women’s Circus director. See preView on followmg pages. Car Maintenance, Explosives And Love (Fringe) Donna Jackson, Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550, 8—31 Aug (not 77, 25) 77pm, £7.50/f650 (f6/f5). Preview 7 Aug, 7 7pm, [4.

6—13 Aug 1998 rue usr 71