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Five O'clock Angel
‘Get that fool off my lawnsl' Kit Hesketh-Harvey fondly remembers his first experience of Lady Maria St Just while he was watching the filming of his screenplay for Merchant-lvory‘s film Maurice. This chance meeting would develop into a six-month working relationship with the literary executrice for Tennessee William's estate, a collection of letters and this play. Having sacked several already, the Russian-born, English-bred Lady Maria St Just was in need of an editor up to the task of editing over 300 letters from Tennessee Williams. The project involved ‘her carrying on like a Tartar‘ with Kit filling the role of ‘her serf‘. The published book of letters telling the story of a 40-year tempestuous relationship between Tennessee Williams and Maria proved an enormous success and in its wake she expressed an interest in making a play. Five O‘clock Angel is the moving tale of a not-quite love affair (Williams was of course gay), a poignant exploration of two lives intersecting, one in decline and one gaining increasing critical acclaim. Nichola McAuliffe, a regular performer with the Royal Shakespeare Company but probably best known for her razor sharp wit
in the role of Dr Shiela Sabatini in the TV comedy Series Surgical Spirit, takes on the part of Maria St Just. Kit says he‘s ‘thrilled‘ to have her: ‘She‘s one of the most intuitive and underrated actresses. Although she‘s not as brutal, she has that whiplash wit that Maria had, that could completely demolish you. And like Maria, she can see right into people‘s characters.‘ Stefan Bednarczyk plays the pursued playwright and his performance is described by Kit as being ‘wonderfully Tennessee‘. The real-life relationship between the two actors which Kit
Razor sharp: Five O'clock Angel
jokingly comments ‘is not entirely unakin to that of Maria and Tennessee' makes for a dynamic on-stage
Describing the play as ‘Love Letters in fiction' Kit Hesketh-Harvey sums-up the project by saying ‘it‘s a worthy piece on Tennessee Williams and a worthy tribute to Maria. She died unexpectedly when we were. writing this and I really just wanted to say "Look, Maria, here's my present to you.”‘(Catherine Bromley)
I For details, see Hit list, right.
The Complete Millennium Musical (Abridged)
A thousand years in a hundred minutes
Don’t be put off by the all-singing, all- dancing overture with the cheese aroma; this musical gets more irreverant and deranged as it steamrollers through the centuries. The same pen that brought you The Complete Works Of William Shakespeare (Abridged) and The Bible: The Complete Word Of God (Abridged), splits the millennium up into six chapters, from dark ages to the information age.
RSC stalwarts Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor and new face, improv- specialist Dee Ryan search for the 'great lesson of the millennium' from the Four Norsemen of the Apocalypse to the three spacemen in the Apollo ship. Ryan’s hysterical improv antics puts everyone in danger of consant corpsing, which certainly tests everyone to their limits in real seat-of- your-pants-flying stuff.
Nick Graham's original music ranges in style from big Broadway numbers and James Taylor-esque ballads to blues and soul. Martin and Tichenor's writing is tight: they’re the kind of writers who rhyme allegiance with Norwegians, and come up with lines like 'Lawrence of Arabia never saw a labia'.
I can't imagine what kind of mayhem there is backstage, but up front, they’re silky smooth. Highspots include the painting of the Sistine chapel, a Hitler and Genghis Khan love duet in the style of Barbra, and a mad professor scene (bring incontinence pants). And you can even bring your granny ’cos there's nae swearies (or none that would make her blush anyway). A word of warning: make sure you’re on time, or be prepared for a pasting. (Gabe Stewart)
I For details, see Hit list, right.
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Get cat 0' bed you sleepyhead. See what you‘re missing! Shylock Five star stunner from the gifted Gareth Armstrong. See review on following pages. Shy/ock (Fringe) Observer Assembly (Venue 3) 226 2428, 7-30 Aug, 71.55am, [TO/£9 (£9/£8). Matilda Sold out, but hey, what’s a little child-maiming in order to get a ticket? See review on following pages. Matilda (Fringe) Hong Kong Youth Arts Festival, Famous Grouse House (Venue 34) 220 5606, 6-22 Aug (not 76) noon, £5 (£3). Five O'Clock Angel See preview, left. Five O’Clock Angel (Fringe) Kit And The Widow Present, Cafe Royal (Venue 47) 556 25 49, until 30 Aug, 77.75am, £5 (£4). The Millennium Musical See review, left. The Millennium Musical (Fringe) Reduced Shakespeare Company, Observer Assembly (Venue 3) 226 2428, until 30 Aug (not 77) 71.15am, £9/£8 (£8/£7). Star Wars Trilogy In 30 Minutes Sweat-dripping, loving lampoon of parts 4, S and 6. Festival Theatre. Weeks after, you’ll still giggle uncontrollably. See five star review in iO—late section. Star Wars Trilogy In 30 Minutes (Fringe) Festival Theatre USC-USA, Drummond Community Theatre (Venue 25) 558 9695, i4, 18, 21 Aug, 7 lam; until 28 Aug (not 76—17, 19, 22-24, 26), 11pm, £5 (£2).
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,4. A ‘ hedﬁ‘r‘ ' Magic Bob's Anti-magic Show Stalwart kids entertainer never disappoints. Magic Bob’s Anti- magic Show (Fringe) Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 226 2 751 until 20 Aug (not 13), 17am, £5 (£4).
12—19 Aug 19991": usr 51