Phil Nichol: let us spray

'Wired' doesn't really do Phil Nichol’s act justice. Maybe 'rabid’ is a better word. The former axeman for Fringe legends Corky And The Juice Pigs spends much of his time onstage foaming at the mouth, and the audience in the first few rows can expect to be showered with saliva along with torrents of inspired comic vitriol.

Characters such as Bible belt preachers and redneck dads constantly interrupt Nichol's true-life accounts of molestation by well endowed Vikings and there is a strangely moving appearance by an ageing member of the Von Trapp family singers.

Go now. Demand admittance, and don't take any shit from the giant rabbit. (Rob Fraser)

m Phil Nichol (Fringe) Phil Nichol, Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550, until 31 Aug, 7pm, £8.50/£7. 50

7.50/£ 6.50).


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When a woman in high heels and a short mac leans right into the front row and asks if you want it ’french' or 'straight', you can't help but worry that this is going to be the ultimate in audience participation.

Sarah Brignall performs a monologue on the ordinarily desperate night of a London prostitute that pulls the audience along a rollercoaster ride. At times shocking, compelling and very funny, she works the small stage back and forth bringing to spellbinding life the knife-wielding pimps, dodgy police, and punters who could beat her or demand a pensioners’ discount. These are a woman's hopes clinging to life out on the front-line of the dark world of male sexuality.

Any monologue that is marking its tenth anniversary at the Fringe is either very persistent or very, very good. David Hines' brilliantly observed night

so rue usr 13—20 Aug 1998

theatre - dance 0 comedy

in the life of a Kings Cross prostitute is both. (Graham Dickson)

a Bondage (Fringe) The Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550, 13, 16—20, 23—27 Aug, 6.15pm, £8 (£7) 14, 15, 21, 22, 28-31 Aug, 6.15 pm, £9 (£8).


Five By Ives

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This is a blast. Five beautifully structured short comedies performed in high style by an ensemble of American teens, deftly avoiding several potential pitfalls. The cast could easily come across as either overly cute or precocious: instead they are assured and charming.

Highlights include 'Sure Thing’ - a romantic comedy which renders the entire screen output of Nora Ephron redundant in eight minutes - and 'Words, Words, Words', an inspired take on the monkey/typewriter/Hamlet philosophical chin-stroker.

It may be unfair to single out individual performances, but Betsy Sykes and Tina Prout are too good to ignore, totally at home with the ultra- sophisticated dialogue. Small but perfectly formed, this is a genuinely happy hour. (Rob Fraser)

a Five By Ives (Fringe) Red Chair Players, C Venue (Venue 19) 225 5105, until 15 Aug, 6.05pm, £5.50 (£4.50).

COMEDY REVIEW The Mighty Boosh w***

Two men find themselves in a forest with no idea how they got there. Cue a flashback to a zoo and that's your lot for plot. Don't walk in expecting a comedy play, a sketch show or anything else so tediously conventional. This is as surreally self-indulgent as anything you’re ever likely to see and it's a treat. Julian Barratt and 'Iittle squashed Elvis' Noel Fielding are ably assisted by a clearly demented Rich Fulcher.

It’s a jazz-like riff built around idiotic

Boosh whackers: Julian Barratt and Noel Fielding

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g The Kaos Master Arid Margarita (Fringe) Kaos, Theatre, Workshopll/enue 20) 226 5425, 17-29 Aug (not 23) 7.30pm-(17~22)'9.3opm_(244291050 (£4.50).

Alba, Netherbow Theatre (Venue 30) 556 9579, until 30 Aug, 7.45pm, £7 (£5).

ideas and a vast array of props, with laughs seemingly pulled out of thin air. Don't worry, for as Barratt will explain, 'lt’s not that you don't like jazz, you fear it. You fear its lack of rules.’ Go confront your fears. (Rory Ford)

a The Mighty Boosh (Fringe) Julian Barratt & Noel Fielding, Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550, until 31 Aug (not 25) 6. 15pm, £ 9/£ 8. 50/£ 8 (£8/£ 7. 50/£ 7).


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Fringe groups of young dancers don’t come much more enjoyable than this bouncy bunch from South Africa, -

THEATRE REVIEW exuding energy and enthusiasm as

Wallace's women they fly through ten varied numbers in an hour.


Good costumes, sassy jazz dance and a range of musical styles from Hugh Masekela to Mendelssohn all ensure there's something of interest for everyone. The two boys are particularly strong performers - and it’s encouraging to see a racial mix in the company now but they're all good, full of concentration and commitment. The choreography is well within the range of their ability without being banal, allowing them to look sweet but never sickly. (Don Morris)

3 Cape Youth Dance Company (Fringe) Youth International at St Oswald’s (Venue 128) 346 1405/229 5562, until 22 Aug (not Sun) 6.30pm, £5 (£3).

Thirteenth century hero. Protector of Scotland. William Wallace was a real ladies' man.

The first night of Theatre Alba’s hilarious new production brings a deservedly full house. The play which proves that behind every good man there’s at least one great woman - is a dynamic masterpiece of Scottish theatre; simultaneously tragic, comic and downright dirty.

The cast is undeniably strong, with Sarah Gudgeon's portrayal of Marion Braidfut particularly of note. Renowned maverick Charles Nowosielski directs, bringing cleverly constructed pagan ritual and romance to the contemporary stage.

Wallace’s Women: even those .. uninspired by Braveheart will be t t t t w : ~49 examining their ancestry in search of * Scottish roots. (Nicky Agate) i, E Wallace ’5 Women (Fringe) Theatre -


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