Blossoming in the shadow of the multi-million franchise that is Cirque du Soleil, the vastly smaller Cirque Eloize is making its Edinburgh debut. Both troupes hail from Montreal, and both espouse a brand of non-traditional, animal- free Cirque Nouveau that has become a world-wide trend. In spite of success, the emphasis with Cirque Eloize is on a more intimate rapport among the performers and with the audience. Circus skills are humanised and even poeticised without losing their theatrical power to delight and amaze.

Founding artistic director Jeannot Painchaud explains his company's simple, emotionally generous philosophy. 'We want to show onstage the life we lead backstage. All the little moments of life, the different relationships. We work hard to make art,‘ and here he pauses, smiling ironically, before adding, ‘with our hearts.‘

These performances mark the first

Wild string: Excentricus

time Eloize will be playing in a tent and in the round. Painchaud believes they'll manage to retain their ability to engage. 'To become a big circus factory is not in our mind,’ he says. 'To have a larger circus family is more to

the point.‘ (Donald l-lutera)

I Excentricus (Fringe) Cirque E/oize, Theatre Big Top, The Meadows (Venue I89) 667 0202, 9—28 Aug (not 77, 15, I8, 22, 25) 9. 15pm, 12—29 Aug (not 73, 76—18, 20, 23—25, 27) 3pm, £8—£12.50 (£6—£10).

Green is capItalisIng on vampiric sexmess rather than gore, allowing for a more adult brand of horror. ’I’ve sweated blood over this play, in dealing With the relationships.’ She's particularly happy with the heroine, Mina. ’She’s extremely strong, unlike the usual approach, which is to make her - and all the other women frightened little girlies waiting for the big strong men to save them.’ (Donald Hutera)

Dracula (Fringe) Skul/duggery Theatre Company, Greyfriars Kirk House (Venue 28) 225 7900, 9—75 Aug, 9. 15pm, f6 (f5).

THEATRE PREVIEW Riffs and Credos

A priest lies in his bed dying of AIDS. His three closest friends, one of which Is the lover from whom he contracted the disease before he took his vows, stand by to ease his passmg. As our priest, Gene, slips deeper into a coma, the line between fantasy and reality becomes blurred With hallucinatory sequences exploring the transit0ry state between life and death. One of two new plays by award-Winning writer Nick Salamone, Riffs And Credos promises to be controversial in its themes and content.

Described by the LA. Times as ’vividly dramatic’ the play also includes an original mUSlC score by Maury Maclntyre. Ginger Perkins, the redhead behind Frantic Redhead Productions, describes the production as ’very

powerful. It's a bit of a fantasy, but at the same time the relationships are very real. I think it’s going to be stunning’. (Catherine Bromley)

I Riffs And Credos (Fringe) Frantic Redhead Productions, The Rando/f Studio (Venue 55) 226 5257, 6, 8, 10, r2, 74, I7, 19, 27, 25, 28-30 Aug, 9.25pm, £7(£5).


The chances of getting a coherent sentence out of a jetlagged, shower- damp Jimeoin, a softly-spoken Irish eccentric at the most lucid of times, are pretty bleak. Australia’s most popular comedian may be well used to the pitfalls of international touring but that doesn't seem to make a rational conversation any easier.

‘I do loads of gigs but that’s my job, like you’re at The List,’ he starts. ’I don’t have the discipline to do it every day so I do two and a half month bursts instead.’

This will be Jimeoin’s first visit to the Fringe since '97 when he wooed audiences aplenty with his offbeat and ridiculous observations, and took the prestigious Festival Critics Award. His new show should impress once again: ’It’ll be a new show for those that haven’t seen me in a couple of years. If they have, it'll just be the same old shite.’ (Simone Baird)

I Jimeoin (Fringe) The Beck ’5 Famous Spielgeltent (Venue 87) 558 80 70, 8—22 Aug, 9.30pm, £70 (£8).

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