Bleak, moany and ultimately adolescent in its recurrent obsessions, this play by one of the company's actors, Daniel Gill, is mainly hampered by poor pacing and a single tone. Three characters, Henry (Gill), Jessica (Chrissie Kiff) and Gary (David Prophet) are trapped in a small and squalid room together, presumably the last occupants of a lunatic asylum. Each goes through a version of past events, while performing all the bodily functions they can think of. Presumably there was a time when this sort of stuff was regarded as shocking, but the endless sub- Greenaway reference to defecation, masturbation and oral sex leads nowhere. (Steve Cramer) a The Home (Fringe) Blurred Clarity, Greyfriars Kirk House (Venue 28) 225 3626, unti/3l Aug, 7.50pm, £5 (£4).


Big Word Performance Poetry

A it' :8!

Energetically led by that verbal sledgehammer Jem Rolls who in true punk style - can’t but help spit out his verse, Big Word is a rock ’n’ roll kind of poetry event.

The bill changes weekly, but you can rest assured y0u'll be entertained by a torrent of old-fashioned, hard-left political invective in rhyme. When this poetic cabaret isn’t giVIng the bourgeoisie a good verbal kicking, expect virtually anything from the rude and crude, and often seriously funny, to the heartfelt personal confessional.

And if you're not conversant with Ted Hughes, don’t worry. Neither are they. (Ross Holloway)

A Big Word Performance Poetry (Fringe) Big Word, Southside (Venue 82) 667 2272, until 37 Aug, 7pm, £5.50 (£4).




Aliens attired in white, musical classics of 30 years ago and an earthling who does impressions of George Formby. Sounds a tantalisingly bizarre

hotchpotch, and it is. Dylan Ritson’s new comedy plays with

the effect of radio and TV signals from Earth on an alien community. Add a selection of confused and dysfunctional personalities from strident Ludo to dizzy Halo and you have thought-provoking fun.

There's nothing like this on the Fringe, but it lacks cohesion, striving towards offbeat humour while attempting tender concern for the characters. It’s a truly promising concept, though, and the otherworldly atmosphere and accomplished cast are breathtaking. Surreal sci-fl.

(Caroline Brown)

A Tick/ebang (Fringe) Crazy Horse and ADC, C Too (Venue 4), 225 5105, until 37 Aug, 7.30pm, £6 (£5).

THEATRE REVIEW A Phoenix Too Frequent


Christopher Fry's play in which a soldier tempts a mourning woman from suicidal fasting at her dead husband’s side might seem to demand eerie melodrama. But Fry's version of this tale passed on from the classics through The Decameron is sure and light in its touch, condemning excesses of grief and reaffirming the life-force.

Danielle Budlong’s noblewoman attaches just the right kind of subtextual erotic appetite to the part, responding slowly to Matthew Tiffin's temptations, first of wine, then of food, then of sex; while Jill Vinci’s more worldly servant sets a nice Carry On tone. The tiny, tomb-like attic theatre adds to the ambience of this affirmation of sex over suicide. (Steve Cramer)

A A Phoenix Too Frequent (Fringe) Veritas Ensemble, C Too (Venue 4) 225 5105, until3l Aug, 7. 75pm, £5.50 (£4.50)


Australian troupe Legs On The Wall puts the fizz into physical theatre in this explosive, gravity-defying show. With a truly inventive combination of dance, theatre and acrobatics, this lively company demonstrates what can really happen when theatre decides to get physical.

Voice, set, body and music all take their turn in a medley of slick and entertaining scenes full of humour, wit and sensitivity. Above all, it is the sheer range of talent that is impressive. From

theatre . dance . comedy

[DANCEREVIEW . . . .. . ..-Dutch National BaIIet -~ , "Programme One -


It Edinburgh’ s- weather seems stuck 7

somewhere between autumn and

winter, step into the International .'

Festivals Dutch dance season and experience a bit of danced global

. warming If you ve ever thought the Dutch .

were solid and uninteresting, this

retrospective of choreographer Hans

van Manen's work Will change your

mind. Now in his 605 hes still creating , works that are Seriou5ly sexy, as this

whirlwind tour of his talents shows The first programme featured 'Metaphors’, a compulsive, geometric Work that proves how ballet moves can look good from different perspectives, as van Manen shows us

Panache with passion: Three Pieces For Net

turns, jumps and weaving steps from the front, back and sides. Then came a silky twelve minutes of ‘Trois Gnossiennes', a sensual duet with a grand piano

pursuing the dancers around the stage.

Van Manen showed time hasn‘t dimmed his panache with passion in the 1997 piece Three Pieces For Het’, taking the men in gleaming PVC or transparent gear and the women resplendent in rich autumnal hues through a yearning, quizzical

series of encounters

S Tangos’ concluded the evening setting the sinuous posing of the company to Astor Piazzolla played by the wonderful Sexteto Canyengue. This is consistently classy stuff, with much more to come in the remaining two programmes. You'll never think of the Netherlands as flat again. (Don Morris)

A Nederlands Dans Theatre ll 8i lll (International Festival) Edinburgh Playhouse (Venue 59) 473 2000, 28-30 Aug, 7.30pm, ifs-£22.

A Programme Two (International Festival) Dutch National Ballet, Edinburgh Festival Theatre, 473 2000, 29 & 30 Aug, 7.30pm, £5-£22

waltzing high in the air to dressing in the best crockery, this show is far from predictable. (Robin James)

A Under The Influence (Fringe) Legs On The Wall, Observer Assembly (Venue 3) 226 2428, until 5 Sep, 6.30pm, £10/£9 (£9/£8).

THEATRE REVIEW King Lear A 'x' A If you see this and you probably should be prepared to get rained on, witness actual live urination, and be prodded with spears by wild-eyed actors. For ali the self-conscious 'radicalism‘ of the staging, this play, like any other, stands or falls in terms of performance and narrative cohesion, and as such it succeeds very well. Trimmed to two hours, the text loses none of its dramatic impact and is given Vivid expression by Kathleen


Thought-provoking fun: Crazy Horse and ADC in Ticklebang

Kavanagh, Rhiannon King and Tara Ogden as Lear's daughters and Dushyant Kumar as the man himself. Better still is Adam Tomkins’ Edmund, a memorable Bastard and no mistake. (Rob Fraser)

A King Lear (Fringe) Axis, Demarco European Art Foundation (Venue 22) 556 8409, until 30 Aug, 7pm, £7 (£5).

COMEDY REVIEW David Tabatsky: True Stories And Other Bullshit


Imagine Woody Allen without the laughter, Dave Allen without the mirth and you've got David Tabatsky.

Without humour. Forgetting that jUSt because you're Jewish and from New York doesn't mean you’re funny, Tabatsky makes a series of embarrassingly tired gags about, well, being JeWIsh and from New York.

Armed with a barrage of cliches, Tabatsky runs through nagging Jewish mother, paranoid New Yorker, gun- toting New Yorker and more . . . before realising that the lack of audience response signifies a lack of enthusiasm for his art.

We don't ever know whether his anecdotes are true or not, and if truth be told, we don't care. It’s all bullshit. (Nicky Agate)

A True Stories And Other Bullshit (Fringe) David Tabatsky, Calder’s Gilded Balloon // (Venue 38) 226 2151, 23—37 Aug, 6pm, £7 (£6).

27 Aug-IO Sep 1998 THE LIST 39