[—1 theatre 0 dance 0 comedy

COMEDY REVIEW performance comprises three pieces: ABBArration Fantasy for Cello and Percussion, a THEATRE pREwEW . discordant and disturbing musical i‘ 3’“ masterpiece; Orpheus. Eurydice. Love Upon The Throne Hermes by Rainer Maria Rilke, an The National Theatre of Brent has intensely compelling account of been around for almost twenty Orpheus' descent into the Underworld years as the brainchild of to rescue his wife Eurydice; and Edgar actor/writer Patrick Barlow. The Allan Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart. Oliver starting point is constant two men Senton is chillingly convincing as the attempting to stage impossibly madman in this classic tale. His ambitious theatrical epics. in this unnerving practice of directing his way, the National Theatre of Brent speech to individuals in the audience have taken on various major made every moment one of exquisite conflicts ~ the Zulu wars, the charge fear. (Kirsty Knaggs) of the Light Brigade - and have m The Tell- Tale Heart (Fringe) Iroquim, even managed to condense The P/easance (Venue 33) 556 6550, Wagner's Ring (we into an hour until 37 Aug (not 77, 24) 3.40pm, and fifteen minutes. All this while f 7/f 6 (f 6/f 5). their stage personae argue tooth and nail. THEATRE REVIEW ‘So, basically,‘ explains Barlow. , . . . who plays Desmond Din le, the Baby, you re a kitsch man. ABBAration Myra And Me pompous amfiic di'eaogof the As anyone With any taste'knows, if ‘fir at company. 'it's two men battling you’re’into ABBA for the kitsch value With this play, author Diane Dubois IS aganst the odds doing subjects that yOu’ie missing the point. Chris Green attempting to chronicle the state of are too big for them and too loves ABBA more than the air he the nation. Unfortunately, the simple complicated for them with a paucity breathes, and spends a very watchable naturalistic structure of the piece of resources. it's like a play within a hour exploring his love of the group, cannot support the dizzying array of play.‘ both as himself and as characters like issues it confronts, and the production This time, rather than warfare per nob-fixated alternative comedian Dave collapses under the weight of its own se. Barlow has turned his eye and a brilliantly spot-on Camille Paglia- ambition. towards the battle of the sexes esque p0p culture academic. The Of course, there are many worse through the relationship between depth of Green’s obsession, and the theatrical crimes than havrng too many Charles and Diana. ‘lt‘s basicain the way it seems to sum up his childhood ideas, and the play is certainly never story of the romance and marriage alienation, means that a serious point dull. The cast invest their stereotypical and the subsequent collapse of g is never far from the surface, even twentysomething fuck-ups with their relationship up until the end.’ 7 during a hilarious semiotic anaIySis of considerable dynamism, even if it's says Barlow cheerily. ‘I see their The gems from am": to“ - Frida’s changing hairstyle. And though inconceivable that these people would relationship as a metaphor for _' bladder-weakening belly laughs are ever live under the same roof. As a modern marriage in its kind of ill~conceived, disastrous way. lt‘stwo men in thin on the ground, the chuckle-o- melting pot of pre-millennial trauma, a suits trying with great humility to play the parts and then failing rather meter ticks over nicely throughout. shared terrace in Hull fails to convince: dismaily. That's where the comedy lies.‘ " Green is far more engaging company this is the play’s greatest flaw, and The respected Nottingham Playhouse director Martin Duncan brings his than his unlikeable Tina C persona, ultimately it's fatal. (Rob Fraser) impeccable credentials to this production. This, plus the reputation of the and has no difficulty at all in working a Myra And Me (Fringe) Northern company, make it a safe bet for a good laugh. (Stephanie Nobiett) up an atmosphere of confessional Theatre Company, Observer Assembly Love Upon The Throne (Fringe) National Theatre of Brent. Observer intimacy. (Alastair Mabbott) (Venue 3) 226 2428, until 37 Aug (not (Venue 3) 226 2428, 12 Aug~5 Sep (not 77, 24, 31) 4.30pm, f9.50/£8.50V ABBArration (Fringe) The Stand 25) 6.35pm, £8.50 (£7.50). (£8.50/f7.50). " (Venue 5) 558 7272, until 30 Aug (not 77, 24) 5,40pm, [5 ([4). THEATRE REVIEW unleashed As the characters successively characters often lack conviction or THEATRE REVIEW succumb to pressure, the audience is colour, leaving an air of unresolved g, it. '3’ is” forced to question Godber’s intention. mediocrity about the whole affair. Monogamy and a beer in the hotel Every mention of their home life is (Nicky Agate) The Ten-Tale Heart bar? Or living out your fantasies with a laced with bitterness and boredom, yet a Unleashed (Fringe) Hull Truck The feeling of sheer terror you get Bulgarian prostitute? In John Godber's the men resort to name-calling and Theatre Company Assembly Rooms when you're in a nightmare you can’t latest work, four Leeds businessmen in fist-fights when forced to consider the (Venue 3) 226 2428, until 75 Aug, wake up from IS exactly what this Amsterdam have to choose between consequences of their actions abroad. 3.30pm, 76—29 Aug (not 17, 24) production instills in its audience. The loyalty and saving face with the lads. Dicken Ashworth's Dennis aside, the 4.20pm, £9.50/f8.50 (£8.50/f7.50).


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The Tell-Tale Heart: chilling and compelling 13—20 Aug 1998 THEUS‘HS