Jackie Clune: love Burts

Fab! Groovy! Gear! And other such mid-60$ epithets go out to Jackie Clune, star of the frothily light pastiche It’s Jackief. To be said with the showbiz presenter’s emphasis on the first syllable. Taking her cue from such unwittingly kitsch, TV variety classics as It’s Lqu and It’s Cilla, Clune is presenting an evening of the songs of Burt Bacharach.

’I always liked Bacharach’s music and there has been a big revival in recent years,’ says Clune. ’But it is also a comedy show, which goes off in quite odd directions and can be rather dark and cruel as well.’ Dark? Cruel? Well yes, actually. Think of the stories in songs like Twenty Four Hours from Tulsa. And Clune’s favourite? ’It has to be Alfie but with Cilla knocked out, because she belts the knackers out of it and ruins it.’ (Thom Dibdin)

a It’s Jackie (Fringe) Jackie Clune, Observer Assembly (Venue 3) 226 2428, 7Aug-5 Sep (not 70, 79 Aug, 1 Sep) 70.25pm, £9/£8 (£8/£ 7).

COMEDY PREVIEW What Lesbians Do . . . On Stage

The market for gay and lesbian comedy has expanded over the last decade, but Clare Summerskill describes humour from the latter orientation as ’still slightly ghettoised.’ For her, the next step is ’taking lesbian comedy to straight audiences, or mixed - it seems that there’s a real interest. Up until now peOple thought there was nothing amusing about lesbians, and even if they told a joke, it wouldn’t be funny.’

Her own performance style is anecdotal, with the monologues broken up by songs such as Why Can't /Find Someone Normal? and Dyke Spotting and rather than intimidating straight male audience members, she feels a bond with them. 'Lesbians don't look like lesbians anymore, so you can’t identify them - me and the straight men in the audience are in the

same boat, we don’t know who to cruise.’ (Steve Cramer)

& What Lesbians Do. . . On Stage (Fringe) Clare Summerski/I, Theatre Workshop (Venue 20) 226 5425, 10—31 Aug (not Sun) 10pm, £6.50 (£4.50).


Do you feel jaded? Tense, nervous headache and waning belief in the relevance of art? Talk to Adam Barnard. The eighteen-year-old artistic director of Activated Image's production of The Tempest is making it his business to bring Shakespeare right up to date. That means a dizzying multi-media assault, a drum ’n’ bass soundtrack and characters who may seem familiar - Alonso as a once- popular leader struggling to keep his smile above water, Antonio and Sebastian as sinister spin-doctors, and a Prospero who watches the proceedings on close-circuit TV.

’Shakespeare pushed 17th century theatre to its limit we're doing the same for 90s theatre,’ enthuses Barnard. 'The play is about magic and spectacle, and technology is the alchemy of the 90s.’ The isle is full of noises purists have been warned. (Hannah McGill)

a The Tempest (Fringe) Activated Image, Bedlam Theatre (Venue 49) 225 9893, 10-22 Aug (not 16) 72.20am, £5 (£4).

COMEDY PREVIEW Jongleurs Comedy Clubs

For many, eternal damnation would be preferable to doing a stand~up comedy spot but for those who dare, Maria Kempinska is a veritable fairy god- mother. Founder of London’s hot spot comedy club, Jongleurs, she has offered many up-and-comings the opportunity for fame. This year, her menu includes Paul Tonkinson, Matt Welcome, Terry Alderton and compere Mark Billingham.

She has sound advice for all comedic wannabes. ’lust do it, do it, do it, do it, do, it!’ she exclaims. ‘You don’t have to come from the Cambridge Footlights or from a university where you’ve had practice of getting up and doing a spot. That’s what’s so fantastic - just anybody can do it.’

For those who care to combat the forces of nature, keep a look out for the longleurs open-air bus, which offers free rides as well as tasters of what’s to come. (Robin James)

ll Jong/eurs Comedy Clubs (Fringe) Jong/eurs, Observer Assembly (Venue 3) 226 2428, 7-75 Aug (not 10)

ll. 75pm, £10/£9(£9/£8).


'l'm going back to my roots with this show,’ announces Phil Kay. 'I like performing in a small room.’ It is certainly more conducive to his style of comedy, which is, in his own words, ’me spouting reams of nonsense.‘

theatre - dance 0 comedy



Mike ~AhiAtaahualBeautifuiFire) -

'. i g 14:. Mike: Kiwi fruit

A gorgeous glamourpuss with buns of steel. Kiwi cabaret queen Mika doesn't believe in making life easy on himself. On his virgin outing at last year's Fringe he was one of the undisputed darlings, but rather than stick to the triedoand-tested, the hyperactive bundle of fun is back with a brand new show. And his musical tastes prove as extensive and fickle as his


As such. expect a tracklist featuring ultra-kitsch cover versions of Prince and Cole Perter, alongside a very sexy little breakdance haka, dark opera and a lament to a former lover pickedoup in a fast food restaurant. Moving away from the frock 'n' shock school of cabaret. Mike has purposely. added a darker edge and more Maori culture. He has also greatly upped the quota of his own material and is accompanied by Gareth Farr, composer. drag artiste and enfant terrible of the New Zealand National Orchestra.

’There’s still plenty of gratuitous sex,’ he offers in reassurance. ‘But i wanted to do something a bit more substantial than just high-kicking my way through a camp cabaret extravaganza. This year it's just like being back at the Olympics. Last time i won gold and I'm wondering if l can do it

again.’ (Claire Prentice)

a Mika - Ahi Ataahua (Beautiful Fire) (Fringe) Mika, Observer Assembly (Venue 3) 226 2428, 7 Aug-6 Sep (not 10, T7, 24, 7) times and prices vary.

With no particular plan in mind, Phil draws his inspiration from his crowd. 'Festival audiences are so smart,’ he explains. ’The show evolves from them which means the show is different every time. There were these two boys at a show recently who looked just like Romanian circus twins, so I got them up on stage and we did a little circus act - a human pyramid thing. You can’t plan something like that.’

Kitted out with a radio microphone, Phil will have the freedom to run around the venue like an Andrex puppy on speed, and get closer to the audience. Be afraid, be very afraid. (Kirsty Knaggs)

n Phil Kay (Fringe) Calder's Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 226 2 15 7, 7—31 Aug, midnight, £9 (£8).

THEATRE PREVIEW Blood Below The Window

Glaswegian comic Bruce Morton has gained favour at the Fringe over the years for his ability to present life’s

less inherently amusing subjects. 'I’ve been doing stand-up for ten years now and I find it hard to do routines about wonderbras and shredded wheat,’ he says. Blood Below The Window is not y0ur regular stand-up show. There is more of a narrative thread to the material and Morton will use lighting and props to create a more theatrical presentation of the themes.

'If there’s a broad theme, it’s about leaving the nest the hard way,’ he says. 'It centres round an incident when I was eighteen and I had not long lost my virginity. My parents were off on holiday and I had the house to myself and l was responsible and having sex and I was a man . . . and I fell out a window. It’s about finding out life is tougher than you anticipated.’

(Fiona Shepherd)

a Blood Below The Window (Fringe) Bruce Morton, Traverse Theatre (Venue 15) 228 1404, 11-23 Aug (not Mon) 10.30pm, £9 (£6).

6-13 Aug 1998 TIIE usTn