Theatre 0 Comedy 0 Dance

On The Road

The mobile phone backlash backlash has arrived. ‘Comedians always take the piss out of people who have mobile phones, but they’ve all got one. At least one.’ Ed Byrne, you can be assured, flaunts his mobilism with relish.

And he’s having absolutely none of the cancer scare associated with the cordless little blighters. On being told of Celtic star Alan Stubbs and the mobile phone-in- the-pocket testicular cancer story: ‘I just don‘t believe that. That‘s just bollocks. Quite literally, a load of cancerous old bollocks. I smoke. I'm hardly going to be moaning about getting cancer from using my phone. Especially while I’m often on the phone asking my girlfriend to pick up some fags on her way home.’

Home is something of an alien concept for Byrne having spent much of the last year jetting around the world, performing the kind of material which saw him nominated for 1998‘s Perrier 'Award. As well as charming audiences internationally, he has been losing his passport in Singapore, holding preliminary sitcom discussions (‘ideal|y, it would be something where I didn't need to get out of bed. Something called Bed. That would be marvellous') and acting as an impromptu lifeguard in Malibu.

‘It was this old woman and you know what they’re like when they fall over at all, let alone falling backwards into a pond and she was basically drowning,‘ nostalgises Byrne. ‘I wasn‘t even at the front, I just heard my cousin shouting behind me, “jump in, Ed". Which was very helpful of him and then I hauled her ass out. Anybody could have done it

it was just that I was prompted.’

For his new show, the Strathclyde Uni alumnus will be discussing a range of subjects - his LA experiences,

Lightening the road: Ed Byrne

old women (‘now that I’ve saved one, I feel I can be cruel with impunity’), talking in bed and laws around the globe. ‘Until recently, it was illegal not to flush a public toilet in Singapore,‘ reveals Byrne. ‘They had people whose job was to check if there was still something floating and then take your photograph. Then they’d print it in the paper and disgrace you as a

non-flusher.‘ Ed Byrne in toilet humour shocker.

(Brian Donaldson) % For details, see Hit list. right.

Fighting prejudice: Box The Pony


Box The Pony

Actress Leah Purcell has had the kind of uphill struggle to stardom in Australia that few of us could conceive of in this country. Now a well-established name in her own right, Purcell‘s life and career can be represented on stage lives we find embarrassing suddenly become intrigumg when the spotlight hits them. Tracing her life back to its early days, the story is one of hardship and abuse, yet its tone is paradoxically warm and comic, yiewmg events in the retrospective light of a life redeemed. So, why Box The Pony?

’My father was a boxer and a tramer,‘ Purcell explains. ‘He hung up his gloves a year ago, aged 83. But it’s not just

about the physical sport of boxing, there's also the way we box things up, like memories, The pony is a powerful image - it’s about escape, in a spiritual way.‘ If this all sounds rather imagistic as theatre, Purcell is keen to downplay the non-naturalist element in the play ‘It's very realistic', she says, 'but there is this final image of the pony, which is qurte filmic in technique'

Asked about how Australian racial issues work Within the narrative, she pomts to its broader implications '| rebel against the idea of the black actor, but I come from the oldest heritage in the world, and it's in my blood. But it's about things that affect all of us violence and drunkenness are bigger problems.‘ (Steve C ramer)

e For details. see Hit list, right

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