THEATRE REVIEW Kill The Old Torture Their



David Harrower has followed the suc- cess of Knives In Hens with this jaun- diced look at urban life in contempo- rary Scotland. A documentary film- maker returns to the city of his birth at the behest of the local TV company. His job is to make a documentary about the city, but through his melan- cholic eyes there is nothing of sub- stance left to reflect.

Under Philip Howard's direction, this cynical perspective is given a startling and witty staging. He and designer Mark Leese have created an ingenious set which makes Harrower’s complicat- ed script easily accessible.

Robert Cavanah is every bit the authentic returnee as Robert, the director, while Jennifer Black gets right inside the TV company PA who is intrigued and unsure how to cope with his artistic temperament. However, it is Russell Hunter as the old man, Paul, and Jenny McCrindIe as his neighbour who give this production its piquant sense of place. An excellent production, which will only improve as the run goes on. (Thom Dibdin)

3 Kill The Old Torture Their Young (Fringe) Traverse Theatre (Venue 15) 228 7404, times vary, £12 (I 7. 50).


The Useless Guide To Scotland

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What, exactly, is the difference between ’radge' and 'barry’? What dark thoughts lurk in the mind of an Edinburgh bus driver? What compelled Stand regulars Bill Dewar and Brian Hennigan to have a go at the notoriously tricky sketch-show format?

. The fine distinction between radge and harry: Bill Dewar (top) and Brian Hennigan in The Useless Guide to Scotland

All these questions, and more, are answered over the course of a sometimes hilarious hour.

Dewar plays class clown to Hennigan's strait-laced earnestness and the mismatched pair make an effective Scots odd couple. Not all the sketches are successful, but they’re few and mercifully brief. Some, like the patronising English phone call, border on brilliance. All of it is performed with a defiantly shambolic, anything-for-a-laugh attitude which ensures that the audience enjoys it as much as the performers obviously do. (Rory Ford)

w The Useless Guide To Scotland (Fringe) The Stand Comedy Club (Venue 5) 558 7272, 7 Aug—30 Aug, 5.20pm, £5 (£4).


Black Battles With Dogs

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If Bernard-Marie Koltes' bleak play of white France in Africa is to be believed, it will take more than the success of a multi-racial World Cup football team before France comes to terms with its colonial past. Entrapped in a site of unfinished roads and bridges that go nowhere, homicidal Cal and his boss, Horn, struggle to understand Black Africa. Neither they nor the woman Horn has brought back from Paris are capable of making sense of the 'dark and impenetrable'. Although the most performed French playwright outside France, Koltes is still relatively unknown in the UK. Despite its over- intrusive music this brutal and intense production may help change that. (Graham Dickson)

w Black Battles With Dogs (Fringe) Trident Theatre Company, Demarco European Art Foundation (Venue 22) 556 8409, until 22 Aug, 5. (5pm, £5 (£3).

theatre - dance 0 comedy


Living Dangerously

Much as New Labour may be trying to eradicate the spectre of Marxism, it stubbornly refuses to die. The defunct magazine Marxism Today is about to publish a one-off special issue examining Blairism, while its rival organ LM has programmed a series of debates at this year's Fringe. After an initial run at the Book Festival, they're continuing with examinations of sensitive topics like political correctness, the Internet, the Millennium Dome and counselling. Each will be followed by a short set of



2 for the price of 1

SIB/£6 Friday 215t August Venue 143 Bongo Club

8.15pm - 10pm

3pm —6pm

topical comedy, and organiser Claire Fox promises that the debates won’t just be peddling a Marxist agenda. 'Who knows what a Marxist agenda is?‘ she asks. 'It's a critical agenda. It's a recognition of the fact that there's very little debate in Britain today. They're meant to be about challenging prevailing ideas.’ She adds, 'There are a lot of people who are pissed off that the only public consultation is focus groups.’ (Alastair Mabbott) g Living Dangerously (Fringe) LM Magazine, Queen's Hall Cafe 0 (Venue 72) 668 2079/667 7776, 24—27 Aug, 3pm, f 7 (£5).

Amber Theatre Company .. ~ -~ Present:

humanit from austerity" oxroa

Grcyfriars Kirk House Candlem g; 319,- Angus

Mike Maran Productions presents


from the novel by Robert Crichton

.. o tibbliibd 1934

17.30 17.30

Aug 20 - 22 Aug 25 - 29

“The tale...has never been told so inventively, with such affection and such brio”

Valvona 8c Crolla (Venue 67). 19 Elm Row (Top of Leith Walk).

(18.45) (18.45)

Tickets £7.00 (£5.00) Box Office Tel: 556 6066 Fax: 556 1668

The Scotsman kirk


20—27 Aug 1998 TIE usm