The end of the Millennium looms over this year's Fringe, and umpteen companies don't know whether to laugh or cry about it.

Words: Brian Donaldson

:tivah " Fringe

Now we know that old duffer Nostradamus got it way wrong (again) and we're still here, a producer of a Fringe show With the words 'Millennium' or ’2000’ or 'End Of The World' and such in the title must feel like a spare thunderbolt at the Apocalypse. But they're far from alone ~ there are sheds of the buggers

For instance, we have those Fringe stalwarts the Reduced Shakespeare Company With The Millennium Musical, Will Anderson and Wil/ennium, Minute To The Millennium from Club West, Gresham Youth Theatre's The Bloody Millennium, and Missrng The Millennium from those lower case types, unchained fusion.

To mark the relevant number of this particular feast we have Boom Chicago and 2000 Years Down The Drain: From Jesus Christ To Jerry Springer (which doesn’t seem that much of a leap), Actrvated Image With Dream.2000, while Macbeth 2000 A Multi- Media Rock Musical Will have the Aurora Theatre USA getting all epochal at the Southside. Add to all this Terry Loc'k’s Friday Night At The End Of The World (’a meaningless play about nothing') and Richard Herring With It’s Not The End Of The World ('four friends go to the ends of the earth to escape the end of the earth’) and we have heavy pre-millennium intentions from all concerned

And these are only the shows which have the subjects in the title, all manner of dancing Toms, drama Dicks and stand-up Harrys Will be tackling the topic in their own zany way. In fact, it could all get rather silly. So we can choose to go along With the ride or Just pray that Nostradamus got hrs calculations


Al Murray

Pleasance, Wed 4-Mon 30 Aug, 9.25pm, £4-£9 (£4—£8); George

,' / Square Theatre, Fri 13, Sat 14, Fri 20, l Sat 21, Fri 27—Sun 29 Aug, 11.15pm,

only marginally askew and some big rock lamps us sometime in early August

Perhaps The Four Horsemen have caught the mood on the nose With At Last! It’s War; Famine, Death 81 Pestilence. But what’s the point in haying the last laugh when your box office is among the items suffering in the eternal flames of damnation among Beelzebub's fiery demons. Dying a death, basically.

£9l£8.50 (£8.50lf7.50). , .. I / Murray’s Pub LandIOrd character E; ' / Perrier Award Nominee in '96, ’97 and ‘5" a... -/ '98 a is back behind the bar for 'And A

Glass Of White Wine For The Lady’. Other comedians are pint-sized by

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What’s in the spotlight at this year’s Fringe? _

Happy Birthday Mister Deka D

Traverse, various times on various days, £9 (£6).

Advance word is hot on Biyi Bandele's new play, whrc h receives its world premiere at the Traverse Performed by English company Told By An Idiot, it brings together past and present,

Corpus Christi

Bedlam Theatre, Mon 9-Sat 28 Aug (not Sun), 8pm, £10 (£7).

The European premiere of Terrence Mt Nally's play stars Coronation Street villain Stephen Billington as Judas Istarrot Presentrng Jesus and several (liS( iples as gay, it attracted venomous

controversy ri‘. the States and won't go tlllflOiKCd nere either

20 THE “ST 22 la} Sicig l999

t-t-xaminrng the nature of love Bandele's play Oroorioko was well received when

Out of Africa: Gumboots

Final curtain: The Reduced Shakespeare Company's The Complete Millennium Musical (abridged)

produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company.


Gilded Balloon at the Palladium, various times on various days, £9.50 (£8.50).

Direct from South Africa comes a show With the zest and appeal of Tap Dogs. Twelve athletic dancers use traditional rhythms, songs and music for a celebratory and uplifting experrence, based on the hardshrps suffered in pre- apartheid gold mines


Princes Street Gardens, Fri 13 Aug, 8pm, £12.50/£10.

A crackmg Flux Festival kicks off With the electronic duo's spec ialiy designed show for Edrnburgh. Others in the Flux bag inc lude Nrck Cave, 'l'.ricler'sticks, Marc Almond and Ivor Cutler