Putting the boot in: And No Talking

Anyone With fond recollections of that most thrilling and chaotic of annual institutions, the school play, Will find it hard to reSist this wrtty comedy from brand-new production company IOTA. Alice Bragg and Vicky Shepherd’s play depicts the relationship between Marilyn, a 35-year-old drama teacher, and her star GCSE pupil, Lara. Teacher-


Venue l52 Augustine's, George IV Bridge Tickets OBI 225 6575


A young princess journey of revenge and self-discovery. All-female group combine coinpelling narrative with traditional Eastern dance to relate episode froin the Indian epic, ’The Mahabharata’.

Aug 9—14 ~ i330 (i430) £5.00 (£4.00) SUITABlE FOR AGES l2+



6 - 22 August at 1.45pm VENUE 21

“Remarkably vivid . . . flows seamlessly” Vlm'ety

34 TIIEIJST 5-12 Aug 1999

theatre ° dance - comedy

pupil boundaries gradually give way to friendship when Marilyn entrusts the school production to her teenage protegee. But when the precocious Lara begins advising Marilyn on her sex life there are embarrassing consequences, highlighting the generation gap between them. i

A bit of a black comedy then? 'Not that black,’ stresses producer Adrian Sturges. 'Marilyn is based on Vicky Shepherd's late drama teacher, so it's quite an affectionate portrart.’

This is the first of several diverse projects for IOTA, whose members were responsible for two of the Cambridge Footlights' previous sell-out Fringe comedies. They've received backing for two short films, and there's a radio project in the pipeline. Clearly, the group's name will be One to listen out for. Indeed, their growmg reputation has already reached the ears of one colossus of the theatre world.

’Cameron Mackintosh gave us some money. Sweet of him . . .' says Sturges, with understatement. 'Well, he can afford it, can't he?’ (Allan Radcliffe)

R And No Talking (Fringe) IO TA, Gilded Balloon Main Theatre (Venue 38) 226 2757. 6-30 Aug (not 70. 24) 2pm, £7 (£6).


The Secret Life Of Charlie Chaplin

‘We never show the Little Tramp character on stage,‘ says writer Anton Binder about Fireraisers' innovative Fringe premiere. 'We start With him taking make up off and we end With him putting it on. The main play is the man himself: the st0ry of working class boy made good, who finds himself the most famous man in the world, and who is also very attracted to thirteen- year-old girls.‘

The play concentrates on Life. Chaplin’s second wife and her mother. Nana. Lita was ten when she first met Chaplin, played by the powerful George Dillon, here for his tenth Fringe. At around sixteen she became pregnant, and he had to marry her. 'He'd only just divorced his first Wife, who was also very young,’ says Binder. 'Then, after two children, they divorced, because he was chasing after more young girls.’ The 205 was a decade whose permissiveness and promiSCUIty were matched only by its prurience, and at the time, the resulting scandal was every bit as big as the Clinton debacle.

Director Andrew visnevski brings both physical and technical Wizardy to the story. Characters interact With 19205 style film sequences and there are shades of Dada and surrealism. 'lt's stunning the way the characters interact with the film backdrop going on as well.’ Binder concludes: 'lt's beautiful to look at.‘ (Gabe Stewart)

3 The Secret Life Of Charlie Chaplin (Fringe) Firera‘isers Theatre Company, Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550. 8-21 Aug (not 9. 16) 2.50pm. £ 7/£6 (£6/£5). Preview 7 Aug. £4. See Festival Freeloaders.


THEATRE PREVIEW Leslie Phillips In On The Whole It's Been Jolly Good

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Class in a glass: leslie Phillips

Leslie Phillips has the most enchanting, richly melodic voice. It's Edinburgh's good fortune to experience that enchantment first-hand during his first ever solo show.

As gracious in person as he is on screen, Phillips is best known by Brits for his foxy roles in Carry On and Doctor films, yet he was only ever in three, and that was nearly 40 years ago. While he does not regret them ('the public adore them') it sometimes irritates him that they overshadow some of his more exciting work. For example, he has just finished a film with Brenda Blethyn, Saving Grace, in which he plays the local vicar, obsessed by Christopher Lee films. In 1996 he joined The Royal Shakespeare Company, where he's proved to be a Chekhov natural, and in 1997 he made his favourite film, August, a retelling of the Uncle Vanya story, directed by Anthony Hopkins.

After a lengthy acting career, (he appeared as a child actor in the 1939 Four Feathers alongside Ronald Coleman), one wonders what tempted him to perform this bittersweet comedy, On The Whole It’s Been Jolly Good by Peter Tinniswood. 'What interests me now more than anything is the quality of the writing, rather than uproarious comedy. I like to find something that's well written and it's wonderful when you do. There is real joy in this piece.’ (Ross Holloway)

Leslie Phi/lips In On The Whole It '5 Been lolly Good (Fringe) Bare Boards A PaSSIon, Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550. 6—30 Aug (not 9. 76, 25) 2 20pm. £8/£7 (E 7/E6). Prewews 4, 5 Aug. £4 50


THEATRE PREVIEW | 'Our production is loud, aggressive Romeo And Jugiet ' and Vibrant,' she says The set

i represents a war zone, covered in

i graffiti and the contemporary,

T energetic soundtrack includes garage

and Puccini Running at 50 minutes, as opposed to three hours, only adds to its accessibility. (Craig Bowman) Romeo And Juliet (Fringe) 0K 99. Augustine's (Venue 752) 225 65 75. 9- 75 Aug. 2 05pm. £5 (£3)

While the media's attention on this year's Shakespearian productions seems to begin and end With Dannii Minogue's portrayal of Lady Macbeth, DK99's production of Romeo And Juliet is likely to prOVide a unique alternative. The production's originality revolves chiefly on the y0ung, multi- ethnic actors' backgrounds and the subsequent interpretation of the play Director Gill McNeil has chosen to cast young refugees in the main roles. drawmg a p0ignant comparisOn between the feuding Montagues and Capulets and a modern CIVII war The cast includes Gaylord Mbu, a fifteen- year-old Romeo, who escaped wrth his mother from Zaire in 1992.

McNeil, who was influenced by the raCiaI intolerance demonstrated in Kosovo, wanted to make the play relevant to young peOple.


There's qwte a st0ry behind Double Edge Drama’s The Zoo Story. Director Charlie Wood trekked through no less than fifteen Council departments before finally being allowed to stage Edward Albee's play on park benches around Edinburgh.

'There was a lot of confu5ion; I was put through to every diVision from Enwronmental Health to Planning