THEATRE REVIEW Gangsta Rapture


TOugh dialogue and and an urban mix soundtrack of rap, ragga, swing and Jungle combine to retell Shakespeare’s Macbeth on the streets of Birmingham. The Lords are cast as gangsters in this tale of ambition and betrayal ripping through the heart of a community.

The narrative nature of the rap voice proves a medium that is at once emotional and Visceral. The scene In which the ghost of Bronco (Banguo) appears to Mack (Macbeth) intoning threats over gangsta funk beat is particularly stunning.

Although this doesn’t always convrnce,

there are very fine performances in the central roles, and some slick dance moves (Ross Holloway)

Gangsta Rapture (Fringe) Mac Productions, Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550, until 37 Aug (not 25 Aug), 6.15pm, [7 50/[7 ([5. 50/[5).


If you go down to the woods today you're sure of a big surprise. But it’s no teddy bears picnic in Stephen Sondheim's musical. Bringing together all our favourite fairytale characters, it depicts the childless baker and his wife popping in and out of their mates' adventures as they attempt to gather a red cape, glass slipper, lock of Rapunzel's hair, etc. The obligatOry happy-ever-after's in Sight, but not before a giant has thrown a tantrum. Despite some fine vocals and a couple of stand-out performances, over-acting

and loose direction create an incohesive,

Overlong whole. Ultimately, and against Sondheim’s wishes, it’s the dreaded panto four months too soon. (Claire Prentice)

Into The Woods (Fringe) Cambridge University ADC, George Square Theatre (Venue 37) until 30 Aug (not 24 Aug) 662 8740, 6pm, [8 ([6)

COMEDY REVIEW Kevin Gildea: Man Of 1000 Heads

Irish comic Gildea gets off to a sluggish start With this show, presenting not so much a stand-up performance as the kind of amiable banter that you can hear in any boozei.

Fortunately, things p:ck up in the second half, with some inspired and good-natured observations on the British colonisation of Ireland and a skit on the dangers of experimenting wrth exotic sexual positions when the participants are normal, lumpen people and not model-like sylphs.

It's all warm-hearted and likeable, though unlikely to have you falling off your chair. (Jonathan Trew)

% Man Of 1000 Heads (Fringe) Kevin Gildea, Observer Assembly (Venue 3) 226 2428, until 31 Aug, 7.35pm, [9/[8 (£8/f7).


There’s plenty of humour, and not a little melodrama in Jackie Kane's soon- to-be-filmed piece Doug (Keith Fleming) and Fiona (the author) are a pair of expat Scots sharing a flat in London and a hostility to 'English, uptight arms-length, round the houses polrteness.’

Each has to witness the other's sex life at close quarters, hers Including a confused and eprOitative married man, his an ex-wrfe and her best friend. IneVItably they are drawn closer together, and the real confusion starts.

Kane’s play is funny and engaging, if a little overlong, but her lack of projection often renders the very sharp dialogue inaudible. Fleming’s performance, tltOtIgh, is strong and likeable. (Steve Cramer)

Room (Fringe) Belladonna, Observer Assernb/y (Venue 3) 226 24 8, until 5 Sep, 7.20pm, [9/[8 ([8/[7)


Kara Wilson as Tamara de Lempicka is not giVIng interVIews, but we are welcome to stay and hear her reminisce, as she completes her ’Rafaela sur Fond Vert' in orls

Tamara knew how to have a good time. When she wasn't liVing glamorously in pre-war Europe she was persuading society beauties to pose naked for her sleek modernist art A currently being snapped up by Madonna.

If it SOunds like an evening With Rolf Harris, don’t panic This is a wonderfully extravagant, decadent feast of an evening: art, songs by Chopin and Weill, and a life that makes Hello.l magazine look like EastEnders. And you get to buy the painting at the end of the show (Graham Dickson)

Deco Diva (Fringe) Leith Gallery Productions, The Leith Gallery (Venue 779) 226 5 738, until 29 Aug (no!

' Suns), 7pm, [7 ([5)


Hamlet (The Dithering Dane)

Hamlet Is considered one of the most tragic and complex dramas created by Shakespeare, It is rarely believed to be the most humorous.

Master Rosencrantz’s Little Eyases set out to change that perception. Madcap antics, myriad accents and superb comic timing transform Hamlet into a petulant fool, Gertrude into a pantomime dame and Claudius into the campest of kings Fusing fragments of the original With caperings and song, the Eyases rewrite Harri/er to great effect.

Some gags veer towards the obVIous, but the show is sustained by the genuine flair and cannonball energy of

theatre - dance 0 comedy

e} \ Devil of a good time: The Kaos Master And Margarita

the four-strong cast and Is an intellectuals, whipping up a merry hell ClitOydblE’ dig at traditional doom- to conVInc e the population that he is laden interpretations (Caroline Brown) very much alive 'n' kickin',

523:2: Hamlet IThe Dithering Dane) (Fringe) The piece touches on universal Master Rosencrant/s‘ Little Eyases, themes of censorship and freedom, South Bridge Resource Centre (Venue and takes a few III-digs at the Arts 723) 558 9997, until 37 Aug (not 20 Council, but at Its heart is a inan0 love Of 23 Aug), 7 45pm, [5 ([3) story Scrabbling around like kids on E- nurnbers, Kaos cornhines wonderfully energetic and Inventive phySIcal theatre \‘Jllll black humour and stirring harmonies, making for a heady cacophony of black magic and madness Wicked (Claire Prentice) The Kaos Master And Margarita (Fringe) Kaos Theatre UK, Theatre Workshop (Venue 20) 225 7942, until 29 Aug, various times, [7 50 ([4 50).

THEATRE REVIEW The Kaos Master And Margarita ‘r‘=:' ‘=='-= ’-"-r' if

Most of us have more dealings With the DeVIl than With God. And when Satan himself Visits Moscow in this

adaptation of Bulgakov's classic novel, he takes on the local atheist

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20 27 Aug 1998 THE usrss