THEATRE REVlEW Nothing But Pleasure

**** After last year‘s phenomenal hit,

Think No Evil of Us - My Life With Kenneth Williams. David Benson has kept hisnew show very much under wraps. 'A wise ploy.

Benson starts off with an oddly macabre rendition of Stardust Memories before embarking an intimate. ramshackle, sidetraclo ambling monblogue. Some anecdotes are tear-inducingly comic, others painfully poignant. These innocent enough bits and bobs . make full useof his incisive skills as an impersonator along the way. He muses upon the healing nature of laughter before embarking on an achingly funny re-enactment of Diana's death and funeral.

It's an unnervineg brave. knife.

- David gem -' painfully poignant and cruelly comic

edge walk between voicing the vexedthoughts of a silent majlrninority, and tottering into the abyss of taboo. At turns cruel and tender. Benson entices his prey into laughing at a subject many would never have dreamt

they could laugh at.

For sheer bravado, never mind virtuoso performing, a luscious voice and a finely tuned script. David Benson deserves a big hit. I just hope the Daily Record doesn't take that literally and put out a contract on him.

(Gabe Stewart)

a Nothing But Pleasure (Fringe) David Benson, Observer Assembly (Venue 3) 226

2428, untilS Sep, 7.40pm, £9/f8 (158/25 7).

THEATRE REVIEW All Strange Away ease

You won't have seen Samuel Beckett’s 1964 monologue before (it’s a European premiere) - but if you can imagine a parody of the playwrights later plays, you’re most of the way there. A sandpit; a lone man; a cycle of despair and atrophy; and the same words repeated over and over again.

What's different about this one is that it’s about love. Obsessional, imprisoning, macabre, obscenely phrased love, certainly but love nonetheless. Actor Mark Stuart Currie gets both the tender and the violently sexual from the script, and A// Strange Away IS ten times more interesting than it might have been. (Ed Grenby) E? A// Strange Away (Fringe) Asylum Theatre Company, Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550, 74—37 Aug, 7pm, £7.50/f650/[5 (£6.50/f550); Observer Assembly (Venue 3) 226 2428, 30 Aug—5 Sep 8pm, £7. 50 (£6.50).

THEATRE REVIEW Fuck the State . . . Easy Lessons it it “fir There are worse ways to fuck the system than via anarcho crusty soap opera. Hungry Horse know this, and have a manifesto for you: five step sedition, streaked liberally with black comedic parody, tongue-in-cheek polemic and a novel means of getting shot of dead WPC s.

Result? Pointed, acerbic farce whose squat punk critique skewers many a contemporary target, including,

in Five

commendably, itself. And it’s funny.

Sick, bitter, and wholly nihilistic, but very very funny. They swear a lot too. And dance. And shriek, pretend to smoke hash and generally all look like The Levellers. There’s even a didgeredoo. Stand assured, this revolution will not be televrsed (Barry Mcpherson)

a Fuck the State . . . in Five Easy Lessons (Fringe) Hungry Horse Productions, P/easance (Venue 33) 556 6550, until 37 Aug (not 24) 2.25pm,

f 7/f 6 (f 6/£ 5).


Beautiful Thing

it are it w

Coming out is so hard to do. Especrally when you live on a hard London council estate. Jonathan Harvey’s play (later made into a film) follows Jamie and Ste, sweet sixteen and in love. Benjamin Trumper and Jamie Forshaw give outstanding performances as the two boys who come to terms with their feelings while avoiding Ste's alcoholic father and the homophobic assholes at school. Jo Larkin, too, is excellent as their Mama Cass obsessed neighbour a true tart with a heart Beautiful Thing is an expertly scripted, hilarious, heartwarming beast of a play; a little idealistic perhaps, but it’ll make you feel warm inside. (Nicky Agate)

a Beautiful Thing(Fringe) Absolute Banana Theatre Company South Bridge Resource Centre (Venue 723) 558 9997, until 22 Aug (not 76) 7. 75pm, £6 ([4).


***** *itt

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Produced by Unique Events

13—20 Aug 1998 THE List 41