COMEDY REVIEW How to Heal Your Inner Hitler

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Somewhere in the world someone must be doing a great pastiche of New Age self-improvement techniques, because it's an obvious target for satirical attack. Sadly, it's not happening at the Pleasance, where John Dowie and Tony Haase are struggling with desperately thin jokes about confusing 'tantric' with ’frantic' sex. The umbrella theme a guide to 'Your Seven Secret Sofas' looked vaguely funny on the bits of paper they handed out to the crowd, but proved lumpish and uncomfortable in practice. Any future punters should hope that the duo will delve deep into their pan- psychic subatomic dream pouches to brutally re-assess their script.

(Chris Small)

# How to Heal Your Inner Hit/er (Fringe) John Bowie and Tony Haase, Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550, until 37 Aug (not 18, 25) 7.30pm, £7/f6 (£6/f5).



at 18: '9?

From tribal chants on the terraces to predatory glances in the pub, this is a Saturday out on the town with four people poised between carefree youth and encroaching responsibility. As the hedonism of their younger days begins to lose its allure, how satisfied are they with their respective lots?

All four performers skilfully introduce layers of meaning into apparently trivial exchanges as tension builds between friends and lovers; Tim Page particularly excels as the tightly- wound, sadistic Kev. Shame then that the dialogue occasionally rings false, and the use of music from Trainspotting highlights reference points only too clearly.

(Hannah McGill)

a Stand (Fringe) National Student Theatre Company, Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550, until 23 Aug (not 18) 2.50pm, £7/[6 (£5.50/£5).

theatre - dance - comedy 0 kids


An Immaculate Misconception


Plays exploring history, politics, religion and philosophy have been around as long as drama itself: science, however, represents virgin territory. The triumph of Carl Djerassi‘s first theatrical work - he's best known for inventing the Pill is to present the language of the laboratory in an involving, accessible fashion.

Complex explanations of infertility research are rattled off with the quickfire entertainment value of banter in romantic comedy. Pipettes and petri dishes have mythic dimensions. Lead actress Jude Allen is so compelling it's tempting to take her theories as gospel, but Djerassi questions her methods and motivation, and we are forced to do likewise. Engage your brain and see it. (Rob Fraser)

3 An Immaculate Misconception (Fringe) Djanus Theatre, C Too (Venue 4) 225 5105, unti/3l Aug (not 76) 1.50pm, £6 (£5).

THEATRE REVIEW Easy Access (Solo Remix) tfikt

Claire Dowie's solo version of her most recent play could be subtitled 'Sex, Denial and Videotape'. In a perfectly plausible feat of gender- bending, the author herself takes on the role of Michael, a rent-boy with a troubled history of paternal sexual abuse. Thanks to his video diary, we meet Michael's parents, current bisexual lover, best mate and dad’s new girlfriend. Dowie maintains that her subtle, complex text is actually more about emotional betrayal than sexual abuse. She is a poignant figure of fierce charm, and a damn fine writer. The piece builds beautifully to a devastating, ambiguous sadness. (Donald Hutera)

n Easy Access (Solo Remix) Claire Dowie, Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550, until 31 Aug (not 24) 2pm,

f 7. 50/f6. 50 (£6/f 5).

Beggar's Belief: see what too much Fringe partying will do to you

42 ‘I’llElls‘l’ 13-20 Aug 1998

THEATRE REVIEW Krapp's Last Tape *‘k'k‘k

Edward Petherbridge is perfect Krapp

Beckett was not renowned for his jovial nature. yet this play shows a lighter side to the sombre one. combining the solitude of old age with slapstick tricits as elementary as slipping on a banana skin.

The set is simple: one man. one table and one tape recorder; his only birthday companion. The machine is a reminder of his self-aggrandising past and the sole heir of his thoughts and dreams.

Edward Petherbrige is perfect as Krapp, a suitably haggard tragic clown. He is at once amusing and whimsical, lonely and intense.

This is a haunting play, the poignancy made bearable by injections of

humour. And bananas. (Nicky Agate)

n Krapp's Last Tape (Fringe) Royal Shakespeare Company Observer Assembly (Venue 3) 226 2428, 14-15 Aug, 2.30pm; 7 7-30 Aug, noon; 31 Aug, 2‘5 Sep,

8.30pm, f l 0/£ 9 (£9/f8).

DANCE PREVIEW Shine Of Sincerity

On their third visit to the Fringe, Dance Theatre Impuls from the Ukraine will certainly be shining with sequins as well as unquestioned sincerity. When a group of young dancers so enthusiastically enter into their routines, however kitsch, it's hard not to be swept away by the energy and sheer enjoyment. The company has won quite a high profile at home, appearing on national televrsion, but this compact endeavour just eight dancers glows brightest when seen in close proximity, every snarling bit of 'Come Dancing' attitude visible amid the swirling polyester. The music repertoire this year promises everything from blues-rock through Latin American to Oriental spice. If you've ever swooned in admiration or disbelief to the strictly ballroom look, you’ll get a kick out of the Ukrainians, the ideal of Demarco programming: small, obscure and inexplicably delightful. (Don Morris)

n Shine Of Sincerity (Fringe) until 16 Aug, Famous Grouse House, (Venue 34), 220 5606, 2pm I 7 (E 5) From 77—22 Aug Demarco European Art Foundation, New Parliament House

(Venue 164) 661 3088, 7.30pm, £5 '

(£3). " '


Beggar's Belief

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All is not what it seems in Trestle Theatre Company's new moral fable

about the plight of the powerless,

where size really does matter.

In collaboration wrth Ukrainian Kherson Theatre, this dark, poignant, funny story - based on the paintings of Peter Breugel, creates a new vocabulary consisting of just eight words, which communicates through inflection, tone and body language alone.

The set, puppets and masks are stars, and the actors convey pathos superbly. But you can have too much of a good thing, and some ’dialogue' scenes drag. After last year's huge hit, Fool’s House, Beggar’s Belief although excellent in parts, is frankly a little disappointing. (Gabe Stewart)

3 Beggar’s Belief (Fringe) Trestle Theatre Company, Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550, anti/37 Aug (not 18, 25) 2.30pm, £8/f 7 (£6/f5).

STAR RATINGS innit UllllllS‘rlmt.‘ *«ktt Very good Worth SH’IIH) Below average

* t t t t it You've tier-II warned