a we ~2-

.;".“:“-' 1.’ , Good fun in The Good Fight

Family life In Neil Monaghan’s new script IS rife with repressmn, tenSIon and crisis. Fairly ideal conditions for comedy. Here English domesticity IS impaled on the opposmg poles of politics and religion, Dad's a rising star on the local scene. Mum's a newly- converted Christian. Toss In a smart- mouthed son who mockineg says his church Is Est, a daughter who’s fallen for a Muslim, a busybody fanatic, and a sexy colleague to lure Dad back to infidelity. ls faith possible and, if so, In what? Monaghan, director Gary Drabwell and a sharp cast try to find answers in a piece of smartly-crafted fun. (Denis O'Toole)

The Good Fight (Fringe) Calder’s Gilded Balloon (Venue 36) 226 2 75 7, until 37 Aug, 2pm, £7.50 ([6).


Kevin Hayes: Beyond the Pale

Aided only by a plastic Viking helmet and a map of Ireland, KeVIn Hayes valiantly battles against the full blast Abba pumping In from next door’s show to take his audience on a comic Journey through the Emerald Isle's history.

Like many of his countrymen Hayes trades on being Irish, but he does It very well. The show Is a strange hybrid, part stand-up, part Irish history lecture.

But even when the sheer volume of information causes your attention to wander, it’s a pleasure to be lulled along by his very soft VOIce

There are some great Catholic Jokes, some startling revelations about King Billy and WliiT any luck you’ll learn a thing or two about history (Stephanie Noblett) % Kevin Hayes: Beyond the Pale (Fringe) The Stand (Venue 5) 558 7272, until 30 Aug, 2 30pm, [5 (f4),

THEATRE REVIEW 150 Cigarettes


Death Row Is an Ideal setting for drama: it’s a place where the Big Issues are confronted head on, Unfortunately, while this Flying Machine production includes three fine performances, it's let down by weak character development and some truly shoddy staging.

And so we have a redneck white trash murderer who makes references to ancient Greece, but is entirely ignorant of the content of the Bible; his Scottish do gooder pen pal whose trip to the deep South big house is never satisfactorily explained; and a

psychotic guard wrth an off the peg

Country & Western f.xation Add to this two horribly botched climactic scenes, and it amounts to a wasted Opportunity. (Rob Fraser)

750 Cigarettes (Fringe) Flying Machine, Gilded Balloon (Venue 38)

i 226 2757, untI/37 Aug, 7pm, [7 (f6).


Not a Game for Boys :52: ‘9:

’It's a dog eat dog turd world,’ opines

one of the table tennis-playing cabbies ; in writer/director Simon Block's ' seriously comic look at masculine

crises. It’s a very neatly constructed study In ageing Mametian laddishness,

g in which a trio of team-mates teeters on the verge of indIVIdual and

i collective dISIntegratIon Shifting

i loyalties, glimpses of mortality,

‘. persOnaI respOnsibilIty, Infidelity and

physical abuse Block packs a lot in

: Without buckling under the v-ieight or

losing touch with the (painful)

; funnybone. He's helped no end by

Flying machine should consider giving up 150 Cigarrettes

InCISIVe performances from ChristOpher

kids - theatre ° dance - comedy


Taihen expresses the disabied body's own peculiar beauty

Taihen returns to the fringe with founder director Manri Kim's latest creation, My Mother. Essentially, it is a tribute to her Korean mother who lived in Japan during the Second World War and dedicated her life to fighting oppression by singing and dancing ’with full ethnic soul'. Her fighting spirit lives on in her daughter Manri, who is extremely disabled as a result of polio yet, nevertheless, has forged her own mode of physical expression. She believes her style of dance represents a new genre, neither Butch nor dance; it is a form of physical theatre that only the disabled body can express ~ an expression that has its own 'peculiar beauty‘.

In My Mother. Manri explores the loss of her mother through the spirit of Korean classical arts, through Butoh and through her own unique style.

(Robin James)

My Mother (Fringe) Taihen, Theatre Workshop (Venue 20) 226 5425, 2:7»29

Aug, 7 .30pm, £5 (£3).

Driscoll, Jim Barclay and Nicolas Tennant (Donald Hutera)

Not a Game for Boys (Fringe) Assembly Rooms (Venue 3) 226 2428, until 5 Sep, 2pm, [9.50/[850

(f8 50/[7 50).


'25 ';:-,' 1:1: '.-:;'

When first performed in Stalinist Russia this critique of totalitarianism met with a hostile reception. there is no danger of a similar fate befalling this production. As With most avant garde pieces, there are Iongeurs, but these are far outweighed by sequences which verge on the magical as music, acting and above all design come together to create a spellbinding experience.

Most impressively of all, the play never becomes a cerebral exercise, and is given an emotional core thanks to a soulful performance by Alenka Juric as the doomed herome Elizabeth Barn. At times, she and the play as a whole Will take your breath away. (Rob Fraser)

Three Left Hours (Fringe) Daska, New Parliament House (Venue 764) 667 3088, until 22 Aug, 7.30pm; until 79 Aug, 7.30pm; £5 (£3).

THEATRE REVIEW Monkey Business

Activate Theatre Company believe that ‘theatre should be an active and creative experience for the audience as well as the cast'. That explains why an innocent audience were dragooned into proVIding sound effects during this makeshift recreation of a (thankfully) fic‘tional play about the making of King Kong.

This Is never fast, nor nearly funny enough to work as a backstage farce All the Jokes are appallineg lame. As theatre, It’s merely one dumb Idea stretched far beyond the pomt of banality and the tolerance of the audience. The panto-style partICIpatIon succeeded in stopping us from succumbing to sleep, but only just. (Rory Ford)

Monkey Business (Fringe) Ar tit/ate Theatre Co, Theatre Workshop (Venue 20) 226 5425, until 22 Aug, 730/)m, [5 (3).

STAR RATINGS ***** Uiiiiiissable tint Very good Worth seeing Below average

t i i i t * You've been warned

20-27 Aug 1998 Tue usr 59