THEATRE PREVIEW God Love Thatcher! (Fade To Greek)

Imagine a Greek satire with an 805 theme co-scripted by a writer from The Simpsons devised via email. Imagine this weird composition re-enacted by six actors from the RSAMD on a minimalist set featuring only a tree made entirely of plastic and metal. If you can picture this, maybe you're already in the show.

The incongruous wit of The Simpsons writer Sean Westmoreland meets the comedic directorial skill of Ari Edelson in what Edelson describes as, ‘an hour long Simpsonesque non-sequentious adaptation of Aristophanes's The Birds. If that’s not absurd enough, he continues with: ’One of the challenges was to perform this adaptation using only magnifying plastic and bendy metal for a set it’s pretty trippy.’ Telling the story of two men who go in search of Utopia, it’s based on the Greek classic that premiered 2500 years ago. (Tracy Griffen)

I God Love Thatcher! (Fade To Greek) (Fringe) RSAMD, Harry Younger Hall (Venue 73) 07050 76 7320, 77-27 Aug, 5.30pm, £5 (£3).

COMEDY PREVIEW Seven Deadly Sinners(*1 Free)

If there’s one thing that’s been distinctly lacking from the Fringe so far, it’s line-dancing nuns. But thank God, Alternate Shadows are here to change all that. One hour of fast-moving character based sketches will also include a parodic look at what Scott of the Antarctic was saying on his trip to the Pole, well-hung porn stars and an old lady talking to ducks. Chief script writer, Matthew Fray, has contributed material to those doyens of the ridiculous at Channel 4’s Smack The Pony and these cheeky girls and boys are evidently in the same vein. Describing the sketch show as a 'zany mix of the surreal and the slapstick’, Richard Harding, co-founder of the comedy revue group and one of the eight deadly sinners, reassures audiences by saying, ’we’ve already

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tested it out on the older generation and there's nothing that’s too rude’. Phew! (Catherine Bromley)

I Seven Deadly Sinners( 7 Free) (Fringe) Alternate Shadows, Rocket Venue (Venue 723) 558 9997, 76-27 Aug,

3. 70pm, £5 (£4).

THEATRE PREVIEW Titus Andronicus

Those of a mild disposition would be well advised to give a wide berth to Bare and Ragged’s production of Titus Andronicus. In one of Shakespeare's most bloody and violent plays, director John Burrows points out that special precautions were taken whenever it was performed at Stratford: ’They had to employ additional staff because people were always fainting. We’ve asked for extra first aid staff just in case!’ Perhaps not surprising if we consider that during the play some poor woman is raped on her dead husband’s body before having her tongue and hands cut off.

Although set in antiquity, Burrows suggests that the production will resonate with contemporary events in Kosovo: 'It shows that revenge, and the results of revenge, have still not been learned after 400 years.’ But be warned; if you catch this rare opportunity to see one of Shakespeare's least performed plays, you’ll need to work hard to keep up with the body count. (Davie Archibald) I Titus Andronicus (Fringe) Bare and Ragged Theatre, Rocket Venue @ South Bridge Resource Centre (Venue 723) 558 9997, 76-27 Aug, 3.30pm, £6 (£5).

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A good hiding: Skint


Imagine a society where love is banned. Kiri is a young girl living in such a place, who understands the nature of love, but is trapped in a traditional marriage, one which involves regular rapes and beatings. Stone Moon follows her attempts to escape this violent, loveless life and find fulfilment. The cast members range in age from only fourteen to eighteen - are these not pretty disturbing issues for such young girls to explore? ’Not at all,’ says director Colin Bradie. ’lt’s done very lightly, and there are some moments of comedy. The girls have taken to it very well.’ Based around a rural Chinese village society, the play incorporates traditional Chinese theatre techniques, including puppetry, mask work and shadow screens. These elements add an air of timelessness to the piece, creating a fairy tale atmosphere; whether it has a happy ending you will have to find out for yourself. (Kirsty Knaggs) I Stone Moon (Fringe) Royal Lyceum Youth Theatre, Theatre Workshop (Venue 20) 226 5425, 72—74 Aug. 4.30pm, £5 (£3).


In an effort to iron out the emotional wrinkles from her past, Catrin replays, changes and delivers commentaries on bygone incidents. However, she finds that even in her thoughts, those close




to her are impossible to control.

In addition to the dissection of the interconnecting relationships between Catrin and her flatmate, ex-boyfriend and shag buddy, issues such as date rape and drug abuse are also explored. Light relief comes in the form of the occasional, observational one-liner.

This is a complex, ambitious production. Unfortunately, the fact is reality and what Catrin perceives to be real is not always clearly delineated proves to be a hindrance to following the plot. (Dawn Kofie)

I Skint (Fringe) UGly Theatre Company, Over-Seas House (Venue 79) 225 5705, until 74 Aug, 3.50pm, £5 (£4).

THEATRE REVIEW Cooking With Elvis *‘k‘ki A What a lively rollercoaster this show turned out to be. One minute you’re holding back the tears as the unfairness of the characters' pain weighs down like it’s your own, the next you're holding back an audible ’eugghh!’ and hoping you don’t return, with change, the ice-cream you just wolfed down. And all throughout, you're laughing like a hyena possessed. Stuart, a baker, is drawn into the dysfunctional lives of a quadriplegic Elvis impersonator, his nympho wife, their food-obsessed daughter and Stanley the tortoise. Funny, macabre, touching and crude with a faultless cast, this is everything that’s great about theatre conveniently rolled into one show. Better yet, it stars Elvis. (Simone Baird) I Cooking With Elvis (Fringe) Live Theatre Company, Observer Assembly (Venue 3) 226 2428, until 30 Aug (not 76, 24) 4.30pm, £ 70/£9 (£9/£8).

COMEDY REVIEW The Nimmo Twins * ink fir Sketch shows can be hit and miss affairs chains of faintly amusing comic episodes punctuated with occasional genuinely entertaining moments. Thankfully, the Nimmo Twins’ material is not of this ilk. Sharp, fast and consistently funny, they plunder the past as well as the present for their comedy: one sketch sees Chaucer having a meeting about The Canterbury Tales with his publisher, while another parodies annoying adverts for cheesy compilation albums. Other characters featured are a BBC executive with splicers disease, an optician on a mission and a venomous shop assistant in a New Age gift shop. A dose of perfectly executed semantic jiggery pokery. (Dawn Kofie) I The Nimmo Twins (Fringe) Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550, until 30 Aug, 3.45pm, £9/£8 (EB/£7).


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