FESTIVAL 8—10pm continued

COMEDY PREVIEW Greg Fleet Is Scary

Greg Fleet sounds scary. 'I got kidnapped in Thailand, defrauded of $4,000 and ended up in Burma fighting a civrI war.’

Greg Fleet is scary. And Scary is the title Of his delve into different perspectives on fear fear of failure/success, fear of the dark, and fear that, despite much maternal reassurance, ’what other people think' is very important.

Scary is a departure from Fleet's previous Festival dalliances. ’For the first time,’ Fleet says, 'l’ll be doing total stand-up. In the past, any stand-up material has been woven through a more theatrical and thematic set.’

AntiCIpated thrills include 'a letter from a psychopath to his mother’ and a children’s story called ’Quintoxe The Luminous Horse.’ The mind may boggle, but Fleet promises not to scare his audience. ’I’ll just make them laugh about scary things . . . Well, OK, I might just scare them a little bit.’ (Alison C hiesa)

% Greg Fleet ls Scary (Fringe) Greg Fleet, Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 226 2757, 6-30 Aug, 9pm, [7. 50 (f6. 50).


Parrot: God's Comic

'I’ve never come out on stage,’ says Parrot ’but yes, l’rn a religious nian'. This year, the Scottish stand-up comic, is celebrating a return to the Fringe and a return to mental stability. Explaining that his ’faith affects everything' we have the Lord to thank for this welcome return. Now 35, his new show is about getting older and dealing with it 'lt’s about how you'd really like to change the world but

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you’ve got to change a nappy instead,’ he explains. Describing the new material as 'really dark,’ he stresses, ’l'm not a gag man. I don’t even like the lighter aspects of my show, but us a structural device. I come on talking about washing machines and say to the audience, don't knock it - in twenty minutes you’ll be begging for this material.’ Back from the brink, Parrot's here to tell us ’bad things happen, but it’s funny'.

(Catherine Bromley)

e Parrot: God’s Comic (Fringe) The Stand Comedy Club, Stand Ill (Venue 5) 558 7272, 6—29 Aug, 9.50pm, £5 (£4).


’The only thing you usually emerge from a theatre with is a sore arse,’ says Richard Morton Jack, one half of the duo responsible for The Underground. Oxford undergraduates Jack and Tobias Beer have had enough of the overblown, highbrow pomposity of student productions and the result is The Underground.

Winner of the Cameron Mackintosh Award for New Writing 1999, it is a fast moving, satirical ride through the East London ganglands of the 19605. ’It's complete entertainment,’ intimates Beer, 'loads of jokes, brilliant music including Engelbert Humperdinck's claSSIC "Quando Quaiido Quando" - and plenty of VlOIGllCC. We just want to entertain people, give them a few laughs rather than a cerebral overload.’

There will also be refreshments available at the show: ’Pilchard samples on cocktail sticks, courtesy of our generous sponsors Grimsby Pilchards Plc,’ Beer declares. An exotic cocktail of music, gangsters and canned fish is surely one not to be missed. (Victoria Nutting)

The Underground (Fringe) The Firm,

Ark at 'im: Parrot

Roman Eagle Lodge (Venue 27) 226 7207, 6—29 Aug, 8.30pm, £6 (£4).


Is there a commonality of interest between disabled people and the gay and lesbian community? That’s the question posed in John Binnie’s new play Nomads. Written following a series of workshops with young gay and disabled actors at Theatre Workshop, the play suggests that, despite apparent differences, those on the fringes of society share common concerns. The crossover was highlighted during the workshops when one actor suggested that people with a disability are denied their sexuality while gays and lesbians are defined by theirs.

Despite dealing with supposedly marginal groups, director Richard Brunton is keen to point out that Nomads is for everyone: 'In some ways sexuality and disability are incidental to the relationship stories that are going on.’ But he also sends out a warning: 'While it’s pacy and funny, it doesn't pull its punches. People coming along must be prepared to have their eyes opened a little and not be offended.’ (Davie Archibald)

535 Nomads (Fringe) X-Tant, Theatre Workshop (Venue 20) 226 5425, 6— 74 Aug (not 8) 8.30pm, £5 ([3).


Notions of absolute truth have become

increasingly problernatised in the 20th century. Tall Stories, winners of the 1998 Spirit Of The Fringe Award, return to these phil050phical questions with the premiere of The Truth. Set ten years In the future, a journalist investigates the reclusive creator of a cult that has inadvertently swept the world Via the internet. During the process he uncovers information that 5 undermines the cult’s baSIc principle: ’I Will Tell The Truth.’ What will he do With It?

Although moving Into the realms of cyberspace, writer/director Toby Mitchell relies on traditional storytelling methods and eschews the lure of new technology: ’The Truth dramatises internet relationships without the use of computers and in a more theatrical way.’ Mitchell also stresses that it’s not just for computer nerds: ’Basically it’s a phil050phical love story. You don’t need to know about the internet to understand the show.’

(DaVIe Archibald)

3:4; The Truth (Fringe) Tall Stories, C cubed, St John’s Hall (Venue 726) 225 5705, 6—30 Aug (not 78) 8.45pm, £7 (£5).


It takes balls for any man to confess to shopping in the same supermarket as Camille Paglia before admitting his play’s about ’women's issues'.

'The plot,’ explains writer, Peter Morris, ’revolves around Marge, a prostitute hired by a socialist real- estate agent, who uses his politics to justify killing his wife.’ But Marge is not quite who she seems.

The battle of political wills that ensues has already earned the cast 'best actor' awards at this year’s Oxford New Writing Festival. Although loathed to reveal what really lurks at the bottom of Ms Paglia’s shopping trolley, Morris did admit to being ’inspired’ by current feminist vs post- feminist sparrings.

Other 'isms’ to fall foul of Morris's sardonic stare include capitalism, vegetarianism and cannibalism. ’Many people are jaded and looking for new ways to think about politics. Poking fun at past high idealism is my way of trying to negotiate the future.’

(Alison Chiesa)

Marge (Fringe) Oxford University Touring Company, C, Overseas House (Venue 79) 225 5705, 5-29 Aug (odd dates) 9. 75pm, 4-30 Aug (even dates) 7am, [6 ([5).

THEATRE PREVIEW Spinout/Spinback

Inflate return, after success last year with Spinback, with two shows - an updated and remixed version of Spinback and a sequel Spinout. Not afraid to mix their media, they go the route of full-on sensory assault to get their point across, using comic physical theatre, live Dling, and with Spinout, interactive video.

Both are based around the phenomenon of club culture but explore different areas. Spinback takes a retrospective look at the last ten years of dance music and analyses the effects of commercialisation on the scene and assesses whether money has killed it or helped it develop.

Spinout takes as its focus the post- clubbing experience, how people do literally live for the weekend and how Significant clubbing is in their lives. 'lt’s the secret antics of clubbers,’ says co- author and director Lindsey Pugh. ’lt’s what goes on behind closed doors and shows how much clubbing is a form of escapism.’ (Mark Robertson) fit Spinout/Spinback (Fringe) Inf/ate, Augustine’s (Venue 752) 225 6575, 9-30 Aug (not 7 6, 23) (Spinout even dates, Spinback odd dates) 8.30pm, £6 (£4).



Prize-winning Canadian playwright L.A. Green's rendition of Dracula for Skullduggery Theatre Company, sees Bram Stoker's infamous bloodsucker as a presence more felt than seen. ’He may be the title character,’ she cautions, ’but his effects are more important than his presence. He's there, but not as much as in most stage versions. We've played with psychological methods of making him frightening. It’s the fear of the invisible, of what you can’t touch or see.’