THEATRE PREVIEW Hymn To Love: Homage To Piaf

Elizabeth Mansfield: urbane hymns

The halls of fame are littered with washed-out, boozed-up, drug-addled shaggers. Fitting firmly into this category, Edith Piaf continues to fascinate us 35 years after her death. Combining the dialogue with the narrative of the songs all newly translated for this production Elizabeth Mansfield as Piaf delves into the modem and colour which filled the life of the tragic singer.

Set on the day of the death of her then lover Marcel Cerdan in a plane crash, we see Piaf, determined that the show must go on, but suddenly forced to confront the demons of her past. As she takes to the stage, film footage of the star's last ever concert in 1960 shows a broken Piaf looking much older than her 44 years.

‘Her life was suffused with tragedy,’ says Mansfield. 'She could be really awful to people but she'd been dealt such a shitty hand and yet she was this great spirit who really lived life to the full.’ (Claire Prentice) as Hymn To Love: Homage To Piaf (Fringe) The Drill Hall, Traverse Theatre (Venue 75) 228 7404, 78—30 Aug (not Mon) 17pm, £72 (£7.50).

Miss Lou Lou And Mr Steve: heels of approval

as THE usr 13—20 Aug 1998

theatre - dance 0 comedy

DANCE PREVIEW Splendid Isolation

ls the title a reference to Richard Demarco's perception of his place in the Edinburgh Festival world? No, but it is a comment on the withdrawn and secretive practices of the old Communist bloc countries in producing superhuman athletes during the cold war era. Physical theatre group Laboratorium 33 explores the bizarre days when athletics were more about ideology than sport, prior to the reunification of Germany.

Now, according to a company member, 'athletics are an instrument of socialist education, promoted and developed in the interests of all working pe0p|e.' Translating insights on these contrasting viewpoints into an hour-long performance is hardly your stereotyped fluffy Fringe effort, but a chance to see a small group tackle weighty material in a compact venue. (Don Morris)

3 Splendid Isolation (Fringe) Laboratorium 33, Demarco European Art Foundation, St Mary’s School (Venue 22) 556 8409, 17—22 Aug, 10pm, £5 (£3).

THEATRE REVIEW Kvetch e as: e-

To be married is to kvetch, and Manchester’s Artcore are here to prove it. Donna and Frank are dysfunctionally married when Hal and George enter their lives. All four kvetch incessantly they complain, they demur, they voice their private neuroses to a tolerant audience until the social sheen between them disappears and reality kicks in.

Charlotte Pyke is excellent as the sexually frustrated, browbeaten housewife, whining and fantasising her way through a life of dishes and dustbinmen. Also memorable is Ben Thomas as the unstable Hal. A little too close to home to be hilarious, yet far enough removed to amuse, Kvetch is undeniably clever. (Nicky Agate)

a Kvetch (Fringe) Artcore, C, Over-Seas House (Venue 79) 225 5 705, until 31 Aug, 10.25pm, £6 (£5).




Jeff Green: an innocent man

in 1991, you could see Jeff Green and Lee Evans together on the same bill for £4. 'People were saying 'no thanks. that's overpriced,“ claims the former. 'So we were playing to twos and threes. which is quite ironic considering Lee now plays to 4000. Huh, I'm glad I left that loser behind.‘ Deploying his trademark wide-eyed look of innocence, Green succeeds once again in sailing just the cheeky side of rude. In fact. he’s made an entire career out of the most stinging observations accompanied by the most cherubic delivery. The result being that it's very hard to believe his

tales of Festival revelry.

‘That's the thing l most look forward to, the debauchery,’ Green claims. 'T he drinking 'til four or seven or nine in the morning and thinking “thank God it was in another country!" And “have l got any friends left?" Clearly he has though. as he's sharing his Edinburgh residencewith comics lan Cognito and Ivor Dembina. "They're camping in my garden this year. I did invite them inside. but they wanted to sleep under canvas. I must have

some unsavoury habits.’

Not least immodesty. 'People should see my show 'cos it's funnier than anyone else's,’ he says - but so cutely. that you can't really mind. (Ed

Grenby) m Jeff Green (Fringe) Observer Assembly (Venue 3) 226 2428, 7 6-30 Aug, 10pm, £10I£9 (£9/£ 8). COMEDY REVIEW COMEDY REVIEW Miss Lou Lou's Tap Dancing The Bert Fershners sir-4r it.

Extravaganza With Mr Steve e s: s-

An offbeat all-singing, all-dancing, and all-talking romp of an evening is to be had with Oz-born and LA-based duo, Miss Lou Lou and the hilarious Mr Steve. While taking time out from bread juggling and cracker-stuffing, the latter has a knack for a bit of good old audience participation and this is where the humour of the show really lies.

Between his onslaughts we are dazzled by Miss Lou Lou's sparkling tap shoes, her wig collection and her ability to tap in flippers. Worth a visit, if only to witness Mr Steve's stupendous finale. (Robin James)

a Miss Lou Lou’s Tap Dancing Extravaganza With Mr Steve (Fringe) Observer Assembly 226 2428,

until 22 Aug, 17. 15pm, £9/£8 (£8/£ 7).

The Bert Fershners are six smalltown North American slacker dudes in uniform baggy pants and ill-fitting T-shirts. They deliver the familiar comedy ensemble fare of satirical songs and sketches and, with some flair, draw flavour from the warped psyche of American TV culture. 'Wacky' is the most suitable word to describe their adolescent Sesame Street style expect the cheap laugh that is grown men in nothing more than white Y-fronts more than once. The Bert Fershners are the comic equivalent of a jelly in a sandwich quite edible but little to get your teeth into. (Ross Holloway) % The Bert Fershners (Fringe) Calder’s Gilded Balloon 2 (Venue 36) 226 2151, until 37 Aug, 70pm, £8 (£7). STAR RATINGS *‘kt‘kt UrtrInwth' *itt ".".(l t t *

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