COMEDY REVIEW John Butler Drives The Full Montego

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He's an affable chap, this John Butler from Leicester. After a slow start, his low-key, good-natured style was Winning him new friends all over the room. If you met him in a pub, he'd keep you in stitches with reams of observations about the absurdity of nursery rhymes, daddy long-legs, parents, sex and, just for good measure, sex. The presence of his three scantily-clad female companions, however, stuck out as a weakness rather than a bonus, as their only real function appeared to be to illustrate a clumsy and tenuous point about the business of Joke-telling - a point that the two audience-members who walked out during the striptease sequence never got to hear. Whether they’d have thought It a profound comment had they stayed for the punchline one can only speculate. (Alastair Mabbott)

h john But/er Drives The Full Montego (Fringe) Calder’s Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 226 2751, unti/BI Aug, 5.75pm, £6.50 (£5.50)


Hands up who's ever seen any theatre from Zimbabwe? Well the Fringe has come to the rescue, with Africa Dream Theatre’s show The Dream Catcher. Written by Dominique Baron-Bonarjee and Gavin Colborne, the play incorporates dance and Zimbabwean mu5ic performed by award-winning traditional musician Chiwoniso Maraire.

In the tale, a cleaner who is more than he seems to be weaves a web of enchantment around four people in an unhappy office environment, deciding he’s going to make their dreams come true. ’The starting point was really an interest In mythology and in trying to bring that into theatre,’ explains Baron-Bonariee. ‘It’s a mixture of music

42 TIIEU81’ 20—27 Aug 1998

The Dream Catcher: turning fantasy into reality

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and drama and dance, and we bring the concept of magic into it. Magic is very significant in Zimbabwean culture. The show is based on that, but it also looks at how magic can be seen in a modern environment it’s quite comical in that way.’

(Stephanie Noblett)

a The Dream Catcher (Fringe) Africa Dream Theatre, Chaplaincy Centre (Venue 23) 662 8882, until 24 Aug, 4. 75pm, £6 ([4); 26—37 Aug, 70.75am, £6 (£4)


Moscow State Circus

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Roll up, roll up for an all-human circus experience which aims to stay true to a traditional big top show but without using any animals, which should appease those with a conscience about these things. The Moscow State Circus is made up of acrobats, contortionists and two deeply unfunny clowns, Mik 8r Mak. There‘s some gymnastic flair on display, but nothing terribly breathtaking, even during The Eskine's tightly-choreographed routine on the high bars. Goussein Khamdoulaev and twelve-year-old Evguenia Pilopovitch provide a tense high-wire act and the trio Popazov are (unintentionally) camp to the max on their Silver Arrow contraption. (Fiona Shepherd)

a Moscow State Circus (Fringe), Big Top, Leith Links (Venue 147) 0427 565 557/8/9, 18—37 Aug (not 24), times vary, [TO-£24 (f6—f76).

COMEDY PREVIEW Move Over Moriarty

It’s not every show on the Fringe that promises opium smoking and life- threatening encounters with wild animals on stage. But Lip Service’s spoof on Holmes and Watson refuses to duck controversy. Opium smoking? Really? ’Well, no,’ admits Sue Ryding of the award-winning comedy duo. 'The fire regulations are very strict at the Assembly Rooms but we do have Death-Defying Dan and his Whelk-

THEATRE PREVIEW Death in New Orleans 3e. . ,_. ..

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Death in New Orleans: Canadians go Cajun

Sarah Bernhardt, Georgia O'Keeffe, a prairie prostitute: John Murrell is renowned for his illuminating work. His latest play. Death In New Orleans, premiering at this year's Fringe, concentrates on three very different Canadians moving to New Orleans, and the culture shock which ensues. 'I went on holiday there because I thought it was one place I would never write a play about.’ explains Murrell. ’But i watched my daughter encounter that dark, rich, troubled culture and could not ignore the collision of those energies.’

During their time in the city, the characters meet three Americans, each one as distinct from each other as they are from themselves. Murrell examines the difference between their reactions to the discovery of an easier. prehistoric way of life: some laugh or accept. others examine the veracity of their own existence. 'I wanted to explore the subtleties of national and gender-specific behaviour,’ says Murrell. ‘Canadian/American. gay/straight. man/woman. We can genuinely bridge those gulfs, but with emotion instead of political ideas.‘

Edinburgh '98 is a first for both author and oeuvre, and Murreli is suitably enthusiastic. 'l want to be alone for a while and absorb the culture,’ he says. ‘But I've taken orders for dozens of different tartans, so i guess I'll have to shop.’ (Nicky Agate)

a Death In New Orleans (Fringe) One Yellow Rabbit, Traverse Theatre (Venue 75) 228 1404, 25 Aug~5 Sep (not 37 Aug) times vary, £ 9 (f 6).

the mysterious Charlie. In a series of fast-paced snapshots, the girls attempt to come to terms With their identities and rid themselves of their cliched image

In addition to playing the Angels, Bente Jonker, Judith Klute and Joanne Swaan take on the roles of the male characters, using a modified microphone to make their v0ices conVincineg masculine Jonker has acheived every schoolgirls dream. to be Kris Munroe, originally played by Farrah Fawcett. ’lt's great" she exclaims ’I've got the hair and everythingl’ A mixture of SOCIaI commentary and comedy, this promises a refreshing look at the programme which shaped the ambitions of many a little girl. (Kirsty Knaggs) % Charlie's Angels The True Story (Fringe) Amsterdam Parade, Graffiti (Venue 90) 557 8330, 21—25 Aug, 4.45pm; 23—25 Aug, 5.45pm, £3.

Infested Tank Of Death.’

It may not be, then, entirer faithful to the original, but it is an affectionate and friendly tribute. While getting to grips With The Great Garibaldi BISCUIi Affair the ever-brilliant Holmes encounters fiendish Villains, music-hall comedians and enough Gothic mystery to satisfy even the most ardent of fans. But Surer Holmes wasn't really, as Lip Sewice claims, a French knitting addict? 'Oh, yes,’ says Ryding, 'Watson had to mortgage his house in Streatham to pay for the wool.’ (Graham Dickson)

a Move Over Moriarty (Fringe) Lip Service, Observer Assembly (Venue 3) 226 2428, until 5 Sep, [ 9/f8 (f8/f 7).


Charlie's Angels: The True Story

The original girl power trio or were they? These feisty ladies were seen as feminist role models in the 70s, but this production delves deeper to


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