'35-: :1, /

Spectacle is everything for te POOKa. Having made their name through Beltane Fire type goings- on, it is less than a surprise to discover that blinding light and blazing pyrotechnics play a major part in a show with the tag line ’Violate. Subjugate. lncinerate.’

The story, such as it is, goes something like this in some unspecified pagan past or a scorched-earth apocalyptic future mayhem, anarchy and oppression reigns. No one can be trusted, everyone is prey to victimisation and the threat from an auto- dragon which roams the wasteland is constant. And that's aboutthat

Fairly ordinary, really. What is extraordinary is the use of space and the gravelly Quad has plenty of that and the way in which the audience is manipulated into moving with the action, all the time being sucked in closer before all hell breaks loose. Then, you are likely to be confronted by a torch or fire-wielder, or someone crashing around with corrugated trolleys which subsequently double up as savage cages. These moments are where the full effect of disorientation, and not a little fear, come in where the identities of performer and punter become less distinct is that person in the red mac 3 sensibly dressed spectator or an extra with a Don’t Look Now fixation? The soundtrack, too, leaves an indelible mark

thumping techno terror making way for a mournful


There are plenty of faults with the performance a bit too much repetition of action and lulls when the speech-making from the podium add little to the experience - asides from making you yearn for the

next break-out of action. At times, closer to an endurance test and rammed to the sky with limitations, but filled with enough moments of raw excitement to more than make up for it. (Brian Donaldson)

as: For details, see Hit list, right.

theatre 0 dance - comedy

te POOKa: slaying with fire

Bill Bailey: talking skiffle


Bill Bailey

Bill Bailey has just got in from walking his two Lakeland Terriers. Though don’t conjure up images of an idyllic rural setting. ’I just put them on a treadmill,’ he insists. ’And I paint images of rolling hillside and sheep behind them to give them the impression of a walk.’

An unremittingly constant comic outlook on life, combined with a classical musm background, has resulted in a fairly unique hybrid, whose closest comparison is Tom Lehrer or Victor Borge. Only, Bailey is more expansive. For example, he describes his final music exam as an advanced musical driving test. 'They play a piece of music with one note wrong and you have to guess what it

is,’ he recalls. ’You have to play with one hand tied behind your back. You’re tested to see if you can sing and hop at the same time. You have to compose a Bach choral in a simulated battle environment.’ Left to his own devices, one suspects Bill Bailey would make even the most innocent subject matter spontaneously combust of its own free will.

His all-new show revolves around themes of reincarnation, paranoia and skiffle, that folk-inspired guitar and improvised percussion phenomenon of the fifties. Skiffle’s post-war, innocent, naive optimism appeals to him ’Hey, let's make a band out of jugs and kazoos.’ Of course, Bill Bailey’s hi-tech version features a washboard interfaced with synthesiser. Let's just hope he doesn't start a revival.

(Gabe Stewart) a For details, see Hit list, right.


Johnny Vegas: selling Out Critics, promoters, Perrier judges, the front row no one is safe from Johnny and his craft work. See review, following pages. Johnny Vegas: Selling Out (Fringe) Johnny Vegas, Calder’s Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 226 2757, until 37 Aug (not Tue) 70.45pm, £8 ([7). Johnny Vegas At The Palladium (Fringe) Calder’s Gilded Balloon at the Palladium (Venue 26) 226 2 75 7, 28—30 Aug. 8.75pm, £70 (£8),

Autocrat See main reView, left. Autocrat (Fringe) Scottish International Presents te POOKa, The Quad (Venue 792) 220 5606, until Aug 20 (not 77) 70pm, £8 (£5).

Ed Byme: A Night At The Opera The utterly charming Dubliner’s new show details sacrifice, love and arias. Ed Byrne: A Night At The Opera (Fringe) Ed Byrne, Calder’s Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 226 2 75 7, until 37 Aug (not 77, 30) 70pm, £8 ([7). Ed Byrne: A Night At The Queen’s Hall (Fringe) Queen’s Hall (Venue 72) 668 2079/667 7776, 30 Aug, 70.45pm, £70/f8.

Once Those magical Russian anti- clowns Derevo follow up last year’s Red Zone success with a tale of love, tears and broken hearts. Once (Fringe) Derevo, Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550, 76-37 Aug (not Tue)

77. 75pm, f8.50/£7.50 (£7.50/£6.50). Preview 73 Aug, 77. 75pm, £5.

Bill Bailey See preview, left. Bill Bailey (Fringe) Calder’s Gilded Balloon at the Palladium (Venue 26) 226 2 7 5 7, 75—23 Aug, 70pm, £9 ([8).

Car Maintenance, Explosions And love Auto-eroticism, big bangs and butch-dyke swagger from the Melbourne Women’s Circus director. Car Maintenance, Explosives And Love (Fringe) Donna Jackson, Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550, until 37 Aug (not 25) 77pm, £7.50/f650 (f6/f5).

13—20 Aug 1998 Inmates