FESTIVAL 3—6pm continued


The Nimmos are no longer twms, but triplets as 7999 sees new member Andrew McGibbon iom Karl Mums and Owen Evans in their often absurd sketch comedy He's only been performing With them for four weeks, but has already Influenced their writing style greatly.

Boasting sell-out seasons in both the 1997 and 1998 Fringe, the tenacrous now-threesome have changed the focus of their material from word play to more sketch comedy with a physical emphasis. ln Karl Minn’s words, 'we're less of a radio play and more silly we're finding our vorce and we're more phy5ica| now ' TWIsting everyday language and characters, they really do answer fundamental questions like what did Geoffrey Chaucer's publisher really think of the Firkin pub takeovers?

It's Intelligent and surprising comedy from a group who have their hearts In Norvwch and their heads in the clouds. (Tracy Griffen)

I The Nimmo lwins (Fringe) Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550, until 30 Aug (not 9) 3.45pm, EB/f 7 (EB/£8)


Sketch comedy may not be this year's black, but this Qtiintet of English tykes are havrng a go at that oft‘attempted, but rarely achieved task of boundary breaking. ‘We formed as a reaction to what was geing on in sketch comedy,‘ states Dave Whitehead, one fifth of the team, ’it seemed very safe and contrived'

They debut their wares from the confines of an Imaginary Lounge Club. ’Sketches give us the freedom to create y0ur own Imaginary world which can be as ridiculous as you like' Don’t worry though, it's not all surrealist Oddness; their vast array of comic characters sprout from all corners. Everything from hapless plastic surgeons to medieval gameshows is given an airing in their new show, especially written for Edinburgh

’We occasronally like to venture Into

40 "IE usr 5—12 Aug I999

theatre ° dance - comedy


the darker side of things,' Whitehead adds, ’but we’re not beating people over the head with cricket bats . well, not yet.’ (Mark Robertson)

. Hollow Men (Fringe) Gilded Balloon // (Venue 35) 226 2757, 6-30 Aug (not 77, 25) 5pm, £7(£6).


If you're seeking the gentler side of comedy this festival, the future is Orange. The Orange Girls are a duo in the tradition of the Two Ronnies not least because Miranda Hart is one foot taller than her diminutive partner Charity Trimm. However, the real connection is that the girls offer affectionate character comedy, dressmg up and song and dance In the tradition of their heroes.

’Wear bold and feel bold,’ say the girls, in their roles as Lindy, director of the Orange Grove ’Britain's No.1 Shyness Centre' and Douglas, her (bashful) assistant. At this esteemed establishment, you can throw caution to the wind, learn to be brave and wear bright colours.

Taking up where Joyce Grenfell left off, the girls are proud to be an alternative to 'alternative': 'We're not lads,’ says Miranda. 'Expect silliness and lots of dancing.’ Now come on, don’t be shy. (Moira Jeffrey)

I Orange Girls (Fringe) Gilded Balloon Backstage I (Venue 38) 226 2757. 5-72 Aug, 5. 75pm, E 7; Gilded Balloon Backstage // (Venue 36) 226 275 7, 3-30 Aug, 2. 75pm, E 7


Sparkling! is essentially a show about a show, presented in a Larry Sanders- type format with both backstage disputes and on-stage entertainment. Keeping things easy for us, it’s about two characters, Susan and Janice, who bring a sketch show up to Edinburgh. Rivalry between the two girls ensues when writer, director and producer, Susan, subjugates Janice in the roles of

THEATRE PREVIEW They Shoot Horses, Don't They? The National Youth Theatre has been something of a sleeper over the last few years in Edinburgh. Its young performers garnering acclaim late on in the Fringe, with the critics following the public, rather than vice-versa, to a packed George Square Theatre (their regular venue). After a much admired short run last Fringe, the play, adapted from Horace McCoy’s novel, has been reworked by author Ray Herman for an extended run this year. Next year, admiring American backers intend to take the production on to Los Angeles. But shouldn’t a British company be intimidated by the prospect of touring a play to the place it was set? Artistic Director Ed Wilson replies: ‘It’s rather like taking coals to Newcastle, but we've taken Lorca to Spain, and that went off well.’ Anyone who has seen the Oscar-

I haven’t stopped dancing yet: They Shoot Horses, Don't They?

winning film version of this piece, starring Jane Fonda, will attest to its power. A narrative about a marathon dance competition in the Depression- hit America of the 305, which eliminates competitors through sheer exhaustion is, Wilson feels, the perfect piece for a large and youthful company. 'Physically, it's a very challenging piece. It's not a musical, but there's a lot of music and dancing involved.’

(Steve Cramer)

. They Shoot Horses. Don 't They? (Fringe) NY7. George Square lhrwtre (Venue 37) 662 8740. 7-30 Aug (not 76) 4pm, £9 50 (f6 50)

fat, spotty women, only to find that Janice is shining in her performance and popular With everyone while she herself is relagated to being a sOCIal outcast.

Their story is intercut wrth independent sketches, including two girls obsessmg about their fantastic boyfriends. Written by both performers in collaboration, Susan is not put off by the number of double acts at this year's Festival: 'Our show IS a bit on the edge; peOple c0uld be offended by it. It’s very funny but it could also be

Body language: numb b

conceived as QUIIP ( Iiiel

(Catherine Bromleyl

Sparkling! (Fringe) SIX Pack Productions, Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 226 2757. 6--.'?()Ai/(). Film, f'7(i'(3l


‘My body JUSI spoke,’ explains Manhattan-born performance artist Camille Thoman whose show explores the power of non-verbal communication. Thornan's own life was changed dramatically by tIauIIia, which left her unable to speak about her experience. 'As the real world got further and further away,’ she says, 'I found the only bridge to the outside was my body.’

AlthOtIgh the pain has now healed, she has been left WIN) a VIVirl and mOVIng understanding of the pOSSIbilities of physical theatre Trained as a ClaSSIcal actress, her performance does not dwell on her past, but Instead demonstrates the magical ability of the human fOrm to carry information and to tell the truth. She uses light and sound as well as her own frame to convey this discovery to her audience. 'The access your body has to your instinct and subconscious is important,' confirms Thoman. ’When your body circumvents your rational mind it can be very honest.‘ (Mona Jeffrey)

I numb b (Fringe) Komedia «0 Southside (Venue 82) 667 2272. 6-29 Aug (not 76 or 23) 4. 75pm, £7.50 (£5. 50).

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