THEATRE REVIEW Shopping And St* * *-Up

That the content of this comic play has nothing to do wrth either of the actrvrties mentioned In its title should give a clue that there's some crucial work still to be done to It. DaVId Mitchell and Robert Webb both have BBC credits under their belts, and the team’s enjoyable production of Stephen Fry's Latin! in this very room last year showed that there’s no shortage of talent in the company. Indeed, It has some funny lines, good interplay and the occasional burst of sharp writing. But with the duo playing four roles each, in what ultimately reveals itself to be a sci-fr comedy, the two-hander format seems to work against them at every turn, and perhaps only some radical reworking of the script and staging could unlock Its full potential. (Alastair Mabbott)

a Shopping And St‘ ' '-Up (Fringe) Mitchell & Webb, P/easance (Venue 33) 556 6550, until 37 Aug (not 77) 5.35pm, USO/£6.50 (£6.50/f550).

THEATRE REVIEW Tamagotchi Heaven

Tarriagotc'hi Heaven is unadulterated pre-mrllennium hell, The initial idea was promising: a lonely single woman,

theatre ° dance - comedy

desperate for love, procures a cyber- pet and watches as it takes over her social life, her heart and her libido It's probably a biting socral satire really, but the painstakingly obvrous c0ntemporary references (Lady Di, Friends . . ) and Amanda Drew’s overly zealous performance overshadow any clandestine genius. The show Is redeemed somewhat through Its innovative use of multimedia, but even this original gimmickry fails to lift the play from its quagmire of rTiedIociIty. Tamagotchi Heaven is the poor man's Bridget Jones: irritating, lifeless and acutely self aware. (Nicky Agate)

ea Tamagotchi Heaven (Fringe) A-Bi't—ol-

Rough Theatre Company P/easance (Venue 33) 556 6550, until 37 Aug (not 73) 4,35pm, f7.50/’f6.50 (£6.50/f550).

THEATRE REVIEW 3%: '-;'-;~ 41’ f'ic The Dumb Waiter

Two hItmen awaiting Instruction, tension burlding In a shabby rented room Pinter‘s classic is played by the highly acclaimed Arches Theatre Company as a Tarantino subplot In a Steptoe And Son setting. In an economical, tersely funny production, the two actors skilfully balance frailty wrth rnachismo and raw emotion wrth restraint. Andrew Dallmeyer gives a

' partICLIlarly Irnpresswe and oddly

'l‘raditiunal Japanese Drums "\Vadaiko"


Sl’l RI'I‘ ()F T” IC EARTH

The Garage theatre

Venue 81 9-31 Augus 16.0



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46 THE usr 13—20 Aug 1998


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touching performance as the troubled,

: Suspicious Gus, lending a vulnerability

to the character that Increases as chaos Intrudes on his ordered regime. The atmosphere Is stifling, the humour

tense and dark, the Visual detail

precise. (Hannah MrCsIll) 553 The Dumb l/Vaiti'v (Fringe) Arches

Theatre C ornpanI; Calder’s Gilded

Balloon // (Venue 36) 226 2 75 I, until 29 Aug (not l7) 3 45 pm, [6 50



Hovis Presley: Mutiny 0n

§ The Bontempi

Hovrs Presley's dense wordplay and sophistic ated poetic observation of the

banal anrl IaInsWept \.'.Ior'ld of his Irnpoverished origins In Bolton offer something not always eVIdent in contemporary stand-up wit Close

observation of such Issues as

“Company ' Present:


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The Dumb Waiter: Tarantino directing Steptoe And Son

relationships (particularly those he Imagines With women who don’t fancy him) provrde the audience with opportunities to sympathise With this lat geezer, who breaks tip his deadpan poetry delivery With the odd bit of pithy punmanship, This year, hers accompanied by a guitarist, though this may be a little gratuitous to the act, pushing him closer to John Cooper Clarke than he strictly needs to be For all that, the wordplay Is still there to be listened to and giggled at,

(Steve Cramer)

55553. HOV/S Presley. Mutiny On The Bontempi (Fringe) Hows Presley The Stand (Venue 5) 558 7272, until 30 Aug (not 77) 4 05pm, [5 (f4),

Hovis Presley: as good today as he’s always been