theatre 9 dance 9 comedy

COMEDY PREVIEW Rabbi Lionel Blue

‘l've been doing the God slot for nearly 30 years now, and the show is really about radio religion and how it's changed me.’ Known to millions of radio listeners for his

words of wisdom and consolation in

the morning. Rabbi Lionel Blue is heading to Edinburgh.

Appealing to people from all walks

of life, Rabbi Blue sees jokes as the universal tonic: ‘My real task is getting people out of bed in the morning and giving them enough spiritual stiffening to stay out for the rest of the day. I came to jokes because I asked myself what had helped me out of my depressions. Be it Jewish jokes, Anglican jokes and there’s even a few Calvinist jokes out there.’

Guaranteed to put a smile on your

face, he shares the story of the unlucky

Blue Material: Rabbi Lionel Blue

man. ‘Buttering his toast one morning, it falls to the floor, but buttered side up. Seeing this as a sign that maybe his luck has changed, he goes to his Rabbi to ask if this is a sign from God. "Well, I don't know," says the Rabbi, "I'll have to consult my colleagues.” Next week the Rabbi explains, "I'm so sorry. It‘s been a dreadful mistake, you buttered the wrong side, that's all." '

(Catherine Bromley)

I Rabbi Lionel Blue - Out Of The Blue (Fringe) Queen's Hall (Venue 72) 668 2019,

19 Aug, 7. 30pm, £70 (£8).


An affirmation of love from beyond the grave is the premise for this lyrical one-woman performance from the Garage Theatre’s Japan Experience. Miako Hatanaka plays Setsuo, widow of Takuboku, a poet whose work touched the lives of many, but the emotion of his verse rarely found expression in his marriage. Despite his seeming indifference towards her, Setsuo’s devotion remained constant. Following his death, she uncovers the poet's passionate reciprocation of her love in the pages of his diary. ’lt’s about love and everything,’ enthuses Shakti, founding member of both venue and performance group, which she established in reaction to what she perceived as a lack of multiculturalism at the fringe. She’s eager to stress the accessibility of this production, even for those with no previous 'Japan Experience.’ ’The Japanese language plays an important part in the piece, but we don’t expect you to take a crash course beforehand,’ she giggles. 'Production notes will be provided.’ (Allan Radcliffe) I Diary Of Takuboku (Fringe) Japan Experience, Garage Theatre (Venue 81) 221 9009, 15-21 Aug, 6.45pm, £5 (£4).


Being caught between a husband and a work place is an uneasy predicament at the best of times.

Unable to decide what she detests more, her job or her husband, Helen Jones is feeling increasingly alienated in an automated world from which there seems to be no escape. Sophie Treadwell’s classic play exploring societal pressures, originally set in 1920’s New York, is dramatically cut down and transplanted here to a modern setting by the Moving Parts Theatre Company.

As part of the Lottery funded Fire Works project aimed at combining professionals and the community, young people from Wester Hailes deliver highly stylised physical theatre. Lead performer Morag Donnachie explains her character as ’an intelligent woman trapped. She’s never had the chance to come to understand the person she is or the how and why of things’. In her fifth Festival performance, Donnachie describes the piece as being ’very intense, with an ending that has a huge impact’. (Catherine Bromley)

I Machinal (Fringe) Moving Parts, Diverse Attractions (Venue 17) 225 896 7, 17-14 Aug, 6.30pm, £3.50 (£2).


Dehydrated And Travellin' Light

Owen O'Neill couldn't in any way be accused of being a professional Irishman. The sentimentality and nostalgia which sometimes attaches itself to comedy from this nation is disparaged by he and co-performer Sean Hughes, the latter being pretty much ever-present on TV these days. Each of the two-handed short plays of the title present the pair as brothers

trapped in particularly Irish situations. And the details? ‘I don't want to give too much away,’ says O'Neill, ’but turnips are important. In the second play we play characters who could be living at any time over past 300 years.’ That sounds suspiciously like the timeless Emerald Isle, but O’Neill insists 'We want to get away from all that Guinness, Dana, top 0’ the morning crap.’ And how does Hughes feel about this? ’He agrees. And he’s not Irish, he was born in Wales.’ Every day’s a day at school, eh? (Steve Cramer)

I Dehydrated And Travellin' Light (Fringe) Sean Hughes And Owen O'Neill, Observer Assembly (Venue 3) 226 2428, 17—30 Aug (not 24) 6.50pm, £70/£9 (£9/E8).


Octopus Pie

* *ir

Remember No Place Like Home, the sitcom featuring grumpy dad and chaotic household? Imagine a darker version. On video. Rewind, pause, speed it up a few times and you’ve got Octopus Pie. Favourite types appear (dithery Laura Ashley-clad mum, creepy Iodger), but the familiar suburban front-room has been replaced by a sparse, scarlet-coated set reflecting the protagonists's unpleasantness. Issues like 'Who stole the sherry!’ are


substituted for incest and vicious power games. The script is fun and the cast capture the mood of the absurd TV world they inhabit, only occasionally letting the pace falter. But it’s Chris Pickles' performance as patriarch Sidney, tyrant of his own living room, that really sticks in the mind. (Allan Radcliffe)

I Octopus Pie (Fringe) Pounds, Dollars and Cents, Roman Eagle Lodge (Venue 27) 226 7207, until 22 Aug, 7. 75pm. £6 (£5).

Continued over page

Gus Theatre Company

W Jargoons

Iii/£3.59 eunes. [III—29m IquusI I999 IIeIIIIe 45 IIIII SI Pauls, Jelirey Sireel

A” 35W”DECKI.’(1I.“II.‘II.”Q (f'.3"‘.3 I £35? 1.011001? debt-CII’I‘PI‘TIJIS 11'": I

Intrigue (lav seaI'III‘css/y. w 5 DIBII'JL’BII Iuslzce love/{y gm .0. :2

"\l. \III.3, .






- Geraldine II-

"Mommy's characterisations are ferociously funny” DAILY mu. “Don't miss her brilliant one-woman show" GUARDIAN

Will!" mammmmm-Tm 0131 2282151°mulllllflmw


.'~ l II II l/II IIIIII/‘II ~I II/I/II.\lI/.1//;' .I/ML‘III Il/ L'I/IIL'I J Stlmylims Nil-ma 14mmm345m'm3l m2151'mml (verve 38)

12—19 Aug 1999 THE use 41