COMEDY REVIEW Danny Brown - Banjaxed at A mt
\\ This enormously likeable Iaddish Northern comic is doing an hour set on the noble subject of getting bladdered on the falling down juice. Lesser comics might touch on inebriation as an easy laugh in a dry Spell, but Brown is committed: he actually gets drunk on stage and makes it look both big and clever.
There’s audience participation, too. If you like a gag, Brown gets to swill some lager, but if the punchline’s a stinker you can make him gulp from a pint of Advocaat. He'll be pissed by the end and you'll be pissing yourselves. (Peter Ross)
a Danny Brown — Banjaxed (Fringe) Danny Brown, The Honeycomb (Venue 739) 226 2757, until 37 Aug, 8.45pm, £8 (£7).
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Loving gay men, musicals or Chekhov aren't prerequisites for responding favourably to this sophisticated play- with-music by Nick Salamone (author/lyricist) and Maury R McIntyre (composer). But it helps. This admirably risk-taking American import posits three queers trapped in an abandoned theatre rehearsing Three Sisters. From this artificial construct the show's creators spin out an imperfect but highly challenging,
A HARD MIDSUMMER
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entertaining and moving meditation on love, hope and despair. Parallels between the men and their female roles (Olga, Masha and Irina) are as intelligently handled as the lyrics are eloquent (even with rhymes like ’Chekhov’ and 'jerk off'). Terrific performances and excellent use of a tight space. (Donald Hutera)
a Moscow (Fringe) Frantic Redhead Productions, Greyfriars Kirk Yard (Venue 99) 225 5366, until 22 Aug, 9.35pm, £6.50 (£5).
THEATRE REVIEW The Lady Boys Of Bangkok heath
Take your seats (preferably the stageside tables) for one of the most curious, camp and crazy shows you’re likely to see. The Lady Boys are a Thai phenomenon — female impersonators, at least some of whom have had surgical or hormonal enhancement, who mime along to disco hits and traditional oriental songs, attempting basic choreography while swathed in extravagant costumes and feathered head-dresses. Highlights include an excerpt from Cabaret, with which this show shares a certain spirit, if not its outright decadence, and an energetic Spice Girls pastiche. Like the Folies Bergere with gender confusion, The Lady Boys Of Bangkok are no drag. (Fiona Shepherd)
h The Lady Boys Of Bangkok (Fringe) The Big Top On The Meadows (Venue 789) 667 0202, until 29 Aug, 8. 75pm, £72.50 /£70 (£70/£8).
THEATRE REVIEW The Sightless
In an edge-of—town church basement, Glasgow's Vanishing Point Theatre offer what is billed as the Fringe's 'first ever performance in total darkness'. It merits a visit on novelty value alone. The audience is herded in groups into a void and seated. Soon, as our giggling and shuffling subside, a company of nine commence a voice- and-sound rendition of a spare, old Maurice Maeterlinck play. It’s a disorientating exercise in theatrical sensory deprivation, as the terrors of. abandonment suffered by a group of blind people are conjured aurally. How is this different from radio? It has the double frisson of being live and in pitch blackness. (Donald Hutera)
' The Sight/e55 (Fringe) Vanishing Point, Ca/ton Centre (Venue 788) 624 0244/226 5 738, until 22 Aug, 8pm & 70pm, £5 (£4).
THEATRE PREVIEW Clytemnestra
For those who don’t know their classical characters, Clytemnestra is the Mandy Jordache of Greek tragedy. This woman waits ten years until her husband, Agamemnon, returns from the Trojan Wars and then tops him to avenge his sacrificing of their daughter Iphigenia. Despite this intrigue, she
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'One of the unusual things about us.‘
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Masking In glry: Strge Cargo says Mike Shepherd of Kneehigh
Theatre, 'Is that although we‘re an outdoor company. we don't wander about on stilts or juggle with fire. We are actually trying to tell the stories.’ Kneehigh will be telling their stories sans fire-juggling in The Quad, the charming grandeur of which should suit Strange Cargo. a tale of Latin love. inspired by the writings of Louis de Berniéres and Gabriel GarciaoMarquez.
The venue has witnessed more than thanks to te POOKa's pyrotechnic pro
its fiery share already this Fringe. menade Autocrat. With its raked
seating and strong narrative. Strange Cargo will be very different.
Combining the rich characterisation o realism of Gabriel Garcia-Marquez. th
f Louis de Bernieres with the magic e play follows through a century of
the mistakes people make. and the impact those mistakes have on their
lives. (Gabe Stewart)
& Strange Cargo (Book Festival) Kneehigh, The Quad (Venue 792) 624 5050,
26—3 7 Aug, 8.30pm, £8 (£6).
doesn't have a starring role in any classical literature.
'Clytemnestra appears In The Oresteia and in Euripides’ Electra,’ says Daniel Foley of Performance Exchange. ’There may even have been a play entitled Clytemnestra, but many of the plays of that time were lost.’
Foley has redressed the balance by writing an evocative but minimal piece of dialogue and movement which stars Risako Ataka, speaking her lines In Japanese and features Foley playing everyone else.
'There is an Asian element to what Risako does and more of a Western approach from me,’ he says. ’We’re interested in trying to bridge that cultural divide.’ (Fiona Shepherd)
n Clytemnestra (Fringe) Performance Exchange, Quaker Meeting House (Venue 40) 220 6709, 24—29 Aug, 8.30pm, £5.50 (£4).
THEATRE REVIEW Night Town A A we
Pick the darker half of the day. Pick a busy London train station. Sit. Watch the people. Night Town runs through the myriad of people who find themselves there. It is catchy, funny, moving and startling, managing to move quickly without losing impact. It is a minimal performance but nevertheless powerful. The soundtrack is basic but effective, encompassing David Holmes, Underworld and more. The multitude of characters are obviously fitting into stereotypes of night peOpIe, but the group manages
to turn them just a little, so that the audience can see the one thing they all have in common: loneliness.
g Night Town (Fringe) Cambridge University ADC, C (Venue 79) 225 5705, until 37 Aug (not 26) 8.45pm, £5.50 (£4.50).
COMEDY REVIEW Andy Parsons we sit
Armed only with a mounted polaroid and a crappy bontempi organ, Andy Parsons emerges from a yellow wardrobe with an attitude and an agenda to blur the lines between audience member and participant.
Everyone In the room is fair game, with punters singled out on the basis of their fashion pecadilloes or their starsigns, but he never falls back on browbeating his 'victims'. This is where hlS strength lies: In forming dialogues rather than just using people's Quirks as a feedline to an already prepared gag.
However, he’s let down by his lack of real preparation, accurately describing himself as a typical Libran — a weird mix of lazy and ambitious. (David McNally) ﬂ Andy Parsons (Fringe) Pleasance Over The Road 2 (Venue 33) 556 6550, until 37 Aug (not 24) 8. 75pm, £8. 50/£7.50 (£7.50/£6. 50).
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