Neither the recent award of the Nobel Prize for Literature nor a serious stroke two years ago has dampened Italian farceur Dario Fo’s enthusiasm for creating radical alternative voices in the theatre. For at least a couple of decades, Fo‘s distinctive brand of play and physicality has stirred hilarity and outrage among Fringe audiences through such Fringe favourites as Accidental Death Of An Anarchist. Such is Fo's popularity that there have been a dozen productions of his and partner Franca Rame’s plays over the last five fringes.
Ironically. though, there has been less than the usual flood of F0 productions this year. After the pre-production collapse of two Yorick International shows at the Assembly Rooms, there may appear to be no F0 for admirers of genuinely funny political comedy. One production, however, has snuck in, and you won't find it in the Fringe programme, because of its late arrival.
Heather Davies' one-woman performance of Fo's and Rame's three—playlette piece on the rights of women is as energetic as it is skilled. Introduced by popular songs, the plays examine the plight of working women from youth to middle age. The first tells the story of a young woman engaged in
sexual adventures which give her opportunities to comment sarcastically on male sexuality; the second is of an older woman, working and with a baby to tend; the third a rendering of Medea. who comments ’men ripen
with age, we wither.’
theatre 0 dance - comedy . kids
More than the sum of its parts . . . Heather Davies in Female Parts
The dialogue is raw, witty and rich with scatological and sexual reference, the whole piece bringing earthiness and humour to still—relevant women's issues. (Steve Cramer)
a For details, see Hit list, right.
Play Wisty For Me: The Life Of Peter Cook
It’s a bold move for two young unknown comics to attempt an exploration of the life of a man widely acknowledged as a hugely influential comic genius, but Perret and Limb pull it off brilliantly. Cook's story is told by his most celebrated characters, from E.L. Wisty and Arthur Streeb Greebling to Pete & Dud and Derek & Clive. These are not merely slavish imitations of classic routines, however. Instead, the characters reveal the inner emotional life of their creator using entirely original material. The result is a sophisticated, effective play performed with just the right blend of reverence and critical insight by the
some usr 27 Aug—10 Sep 1998
Cook was a drinker, drug user and porn junkie who spent much of his later life slumped in front of daytime TV, yet the great achievement of this play is to show that the more unsavoury aspects of his personality were a natural consequence of his gifts for
Pete and Bud live again
comic invention. He was a complex figure of enormous cultural importance, and the greatest compliment one can pay this production is that it does Justice to the legacy of a great man. He would undoubtedly have approved.
3 For details, see Hit list, right.
K, backéﬁfcouple of Alka Seltzer - here's your last chance "to see the shows that go plink, plink, fizz.
Lover! Valour! Compassioanhis Tony-award winning play and its company have both won Stage Awards for Acting Excellence this festival. Check out this warm humane tale of eight men’s friendship, love and experiences of growmg older. Love! Valour! Compassion! (Fringe) Theatre 28, Bed/am Theatre (Venue 49) 225 9893, until 29 Aug, 72. 75pm, [8 (£7.50).
A Soldier's Song Hard-hitting yet blackly humorous memoirs of ex- para Ken Lukowiak’s Falklands War experiences, masterfully performed by Guy Masterson. A Soldier’s Song (Fringe) Guy Masterson Productions, Observer Assembly (Venue 3) 226 2428, until 5 Sep, 7 7.30am, £9/f8 (£8/f7).
Lakeboat David Mamet’s first-ever play keeps wovnng audiences With its understated tableau of machismo on the edge, leavmg a net full of five star reviews in its wake. Lakeboat (Fringe) Observer Assembly (Venue 3) 226 2428, until 5 Sep, noon, [TO/[9 (f9/f8)
The Wild Party The guts (not to mention bruises) With which these two actors portray the Wild gomgs on at a twenties party has won them a Stage Award for Acting Excellence. Are you up to seeing a show that was banned for 70 years for being too lewd and lasc'iVious? The Wild Party (Fringe) The Mouse People, Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550, until 37 Aug, 72 45pm, f7 50/[6 50 ([6,50/[5.50)
Female Parts See reView, left.
Female Parts (Fringe) New End Theatre, P/easance (Venue 33) 556 6650, unti/37 Aug, 72.45pm, [7 (£5.50)
Play Wisty For Me See reView, left. Play Wisty for Me: The Life Of Peter Cook (Fringe) Perret and Limb, P/easance (Venue 33) 556 6550, until 37 Aug, 77.30am, f6/f5 (f5/f4).