Edinburgh Season 98
Sponsored by R Griggs Group Lttl
by Daragh Carville
5-16 August 6.15pm Pleasance Two 0131 556 6550
Dancing at Lughnasa
by Brian Friel
8-30 August 3pm George Square Theatre 0131 662 8740
devised by Maggie Kinloch, Peter Collins and the
21-31 August 6.30pm Chaplaincy Centre 0131662 8882
44 THE LIST 20—27 Aug 1998
3pm—6pm theatre - dance - comedy
THEATRE PREVIEW Rat In The Skull
An ImpaSSIoned game of tic-tat -toe, Ron Hutchison’s play focuses on the historical and emotional motives behind those who make the Northern Ireland ’situation’ A prolific IRA terrorist is finally caught by the London police, who call in orange-as-they— come RUC man Nelson (Colin Gormley) to make the bastard talk Gormley Is excellent as the staunch Protestant, With a Belfast accent good enough to fool the locals
The play Is a perfect snapshot of the two Ulster ways, as tension and history implode In a tiny police cell Intense, horrific and Intriguing, Rat In The Skull brings us face to face with pure, blind, sectarian hate (Nicky Agate)
ea Rat In The Skull (Fringe) Aitc ore, C Venue (Venue 19) 225 5105, until 31 Aug, 4.45pm, £5 50 (£4 80)
COMEDY REVIEW Just Like That? Tommy Cooper - The Early Years
2%. .9? it.
It's not Wider known, but In the mid- 1940s Tommy Cooper formed a dOLibIe-act With ENSA colleague Frankie Lyons This play, written by Lyons' son, Gary, looks at that brief partnership from Lyons' pomt of View It's a slender story - the professional liaison between Cooper and Lyons was Short-lived -- and Sketchily told, In broad strokes. We learn that Cooper found Lyons' ambition and profesSIonal standards lacking, and that he found it difficult to articulate his dissatisfactioi'i except in angry outbursts But, since Lyons didn't seem to know Cooper terribly well beyond that, there's a limit to what can be told IneVItably, James Henry Parker's extended Cooper Impre55ions feel like padding But what padding it IS. Despite bearing little resemblance to his Subject, Parker has a physical size and presence that takes Over the auditorium An imposing barrel of energy, he shouldn't be missed. (Alastair Mabbotn
Just Like That? Tommy Cooper — The Early Years (Fringe) Calder’s Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 226 2157, until 3] Aug, 3 30pm, f 7 (f6).
” ﬁ .24; 1" 34‘? 2,4, 2 W" .7 . i
THEATRE REVlEW The Storyteller ****
The Storyteller: a voyage through Malaysian myth and folklore
Talking gibbons. powervhungry princes and fearsome dragons are just a few of the fantastic creatures to be encountered in The Storyteller. Originally a musical by Jit Murad, it has been adapted by Ashley Alymann to create an award-winning play which takes its audience on a voyage through Malaysian myth and folklore.
This is about as far from Jackanory as you can possibly get while still being in the realm of storytelling. Alymann uses his body. as well as his voice. to relate the magical tales; the rhythms of his Speech and movements bring the strange creatures vividly and convincingly to life. Wreathed in incense and little else, the sparse set complements his dynamic performance. The merest suggestion from Alymann‘s expressive body transforms an other- wise featureless space into the ocean floor, the heart of the jungle and mountain peaks.
Like most fairytales, The Storyteller has a certain relevance to today's soci- ety. The hero of the story is a-young prince who is desperate to leave the confines of the well~ordered palace in which he grew up. Selfish, naive and arrogant, he ventures out into the world. helping himself to whatever takes his fancy. Having gained power from a magic crystal, he returns to the palace to become king and tyrant. in his quest for power. he causes pain and heartbreak to those around him: betraying his wife and sacrifico ing his daughters. However, it’s not all doom and gloom. Alymann injects the story with the kind of dry humour that makes this performance a thor- oughly enjoyable experience. (Kirsty Knaggs)
233555 The Storyteller (Fringe) National Student Theatre Company, Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550, until 31 Aug (not 24, 31) 3.25pm, £5 (£3.50).
Stephen King homage that catalogues l the horrors wrought by a demonic self- help tape In backwoods America. There
Tommy Cooper fez-urrected: Just Like That? *
THEATRE REVIEW From Hell She Came
are a host of sub-plots lurking in the dark little town of Charleston Falls, but the production moves at such a rapid clip you’ll be lucky to take it all In at a Single Vl€\Nlng. Each new scene boasts mightily ImpreSSIve, inventive staging and a fresh wave of good humoured smut.
James Biddlecombe stands out of an impressive cast and plays the monstrous Demelza like a foul-mouthed Joan Crawford on a satanic cocktail of drugs. There’s even a smattering of songs that parody the pomposity of most musicals and keep the laughs coming. It's camp Without ever being shrill and gives trash a good name. (Rory Ford)
% From Hell She Came (Fringe) Dead/y Serious Theatre Company, Pleasance Over The Road (Venue 33) 556 6550, until 37 Aug (not 25), 5.30pm, [8/[7 (£7/E6).
This is an effective and affectionate
iii HUMWMMM ** &thhwmw