t l

Theatre 0 Comedy 0 Dance


Johnny Vegas:

Happy Days Are Here

' I Again. Johnny Vegas is worried. It's not so much that his depleted funds have limited him to a short run. Or that his TV pilot was deemed too troubling for a series to be commissioned. Or even that his mother consistently stuffs him at crazy golf.

No, the boy from St Helens is

traumatised by the fact that Happy Days Are Here Again! may find him being pigeonholed as the entertainer with a gimmick - the potter’s wheel. ’I wouldn't want it to be a kind of Bernie Clifton and the bird thing. So then it’s like: "Oh, yeah, he's on the wheel, yeah. What, funny? Ha ha ha. Yes, me”.’ A pause. ’Jesus, I’ve just thought I’m in danger of introducing a comedy element into the show. Which would single us out from all the other comedy shows.’

Since his lauded ‘97 Edinburgh debut, Johnny Vegas has never been comfortable with his residency in the 'comedy’ department. So much so that he makes it a living hell for his audience, forcing them to face his demons the rise and fall from his pinnacle as Red Coat extraordinaire; the gutter press maltreatment; gross unluckiness in love.

As if all that wasn't tragic enough, he has now lost his sponsorship deal with a popular biscuit company. ’I blew out Casino aftershave for them, which is a bit upsetting,’ mourns Vegas. 'l've been putting out the feelers to a classier biscuit firm. I’m going from the

Glumming it: Johnny Vegas

biscuit companies you associate with potheads to your afternoon tea comedy crowd.’

Not only is he changing his taste in crumbly elevenses, he is learning from past stage errors. ’What was I thinking last year? Slide shows, for god’s sake,‘ he cringes. ‘Surely the trap that every second year person falls into at Edinburgh - "I’m a funny person, what will I do? I'll get all these things that'll detract from me and who I am".’ So how does he propose getting things back on track? ’There’s going to be a stronger Evita theme this year.’ Just don’t cry for him. (Brian Donaldson)

For details, see Hit list, right

Ruck of the Irish: Howie The Rookie


London debut in February this year

Set in a present day urban Irish landscape, it takes the form of two extended monologues, the first told from the perspective of Hovvie Lee, and the second from that of Rookie Lee. It is the story of two young men liVing in a world of guns and drugs where Violence is the answer to any disputes.

'In this story’ explains O'Rowe, ’there are a lot of episodes, locations and action which you couldn’t feaSibly put on stage, so the monologues were really the only way that I COuld do it as a play. Working in monologue was actually quite liberating. It broadened the scope of what I could do.

Howie The Rookie

'A play which is young, last-movmg and Violent equals Trainspotting,’ says Mark O’Rowe. 'It's iust unbelievany lazy Journalism and misleading, but it’s always the way.’ Playwright O'Rowe acknowledges the connections

between his latest play and IrVine Welsh's Edinburgh-sploitation novel but is quick to highlight the finer points of his own work.

Winner of two prestigious Irish literary and theatre awards this year already, O'Rowe looks set consolidate his earlier successes with Howie The Rookie, which was well received on its

'The language is very Dubhn,‘ he states, 'but the mindset is almost like a Western, with simple values the ideas of vengeance and Justice, but underneath there are the themes of youth and self-confidence.’ Perennial tOpics we can all understand.

(Mark Robertson) 23% For details, see Hit list, right.

I1 'tl ' I Kat It’s what your evenings were made for. Johnny Vegas See pieView, left and Freeloaders page 23 lrinnnv Vegas Happy Days Are Here Again/ (Fringe,l Johnny liegas. George Sguare Theatre l‘u’enue 37) 662 .9740, 70—7 15 Aug, 9.45pm, £9.50 ([7 50), lust Another Tick/e (Fringe) A'nnestt' International UK, Clue/m tr Asseh’lli‘n',’ (‘v’errue 3) 226 2428, .3‘ Aug}, 70pm, [l2 lilO' Andromache A tragic tale of ninth-gutted low set around a post-apotalyptit aftermath of the Trojan war r‘tntlrornjitlie (Fringe) l_a.‘)ifrati)nurn 33, Rixket Venue (Venue 16,) IO ‘27 Aug, (not 75) 9pm, {.7 50/[650 (IS/[4} Preview 9 Aug, [5 ([2 50/ Howie The Rookie See pi‘eView, left Home The Rookie (Fringe) The Bush, Observer Assembly (Venue 3,) 226 2428, 6-30 Aug (not Vi/ed 8 IOU/ll, [9 ([8) So I Killed A Few People . . . A black, comic one-man show from a prisoner on Death Row See prewew on followrng pages. So / Killed A Few People (Fringe) Martin Sutherland, Kerrierl/a @ Souths/dc) (Venue .92) 667 2212, 6 ’29 Aug, 50pm, [7 50 ([550)

a funny but scary look at fear. See preview on following pages. Greg Fleet ls Scary (Fringe) Greg Fleet, Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 226 2 751, 6-30 Aug, 9pm, £7.50 ([6. 50).

‘s—l') Ann 1000