No Howlers: Werewolves

The line between civilisation and barbarism is a central theme in Theatre Archipelago's production of Werewolves. Director Helena Kaut-Howson suggests that the Kosovo conflict highlights that we're closer to societal breakdown than we think. 'At the end of the century we are still experiencing crazy turns of events, with refugees looking like they’ve come out of some mediaeval time. The layer of civilisation is so thin that the smallest thing can puncture it and we can be in the middle of really barbaric


A Bill Findlay adaptation of a 1975 Polish play by Teresa Lubkiewiez, Werewolves is set in a remote community more concerned with traditional ritual than worldly concerns. But the tranquillity of this rural environment is shattered with the arrival of unsuspected guests. Howson suggests that, as the production develops, the initial appearance of reality begins to dissolve. ‘Everything that happens could happen,’ she says, ‘but it very craftin crosses the borders of realism into fantasy, and you never know when it


She also points out that. despite probing the darkest recesses of human behaviour, Werewolves is packed with humour. 'lt is a very funny play. Very black, but very funny. Life is funny, but the more terrifying the life. the darker the humour.’ Howson directed an Irish version of the play in the 1980s and she outlines her reason for returning to it more than a decade later. 'I am saturated in the theatre and yet this play is the most powerful thing I have ever come across.’ (Davie Archibald)

I Werewolves (Fringe) Theatre Archipelago (Former/y Communicado) Traverse (Venue 75) 228 1404, until 4 Sep (not 12-73, 16, 23, 30) times vary, £72 (£7.50).

to give it another twelve months before returning to ‘E-burgh'. Not a revelation. (Brian Donaldson) I Greg Proops (Fringe) Observer Assembly (Venue 3) 226 2468, until 79 Aug, 8.30pm, £10/E9 (£9/E8).

COMEDY REVIEW Bottle And Mango ink

The show begins promisingly enough as this comic duo promenade through the audience extracting thoughts with mind reading wammy-wammy guns. They go on to examine Newton‘s laws of comedy, including, 'for every heckle there is an equal and opposite re- heckle.’ But the duo’s inability to adequately deal with the inane rants of the drunken bloke at the bar was the first indication that things were not going to get better. Some interesting enough material; for instance, the irreverent 'pin the nipple on the Mona Lisa', and Munch's 'Smiling Scream.‘ But they would do better to work on a smaller canvas and explore their material in greater depth. (Davie Archibald)

I Bottle And Mango (Fringe) Christie's Comedy Cellar (Venue 106) 228 3765, until 14 Aug, 9pm, £5 (£4).




With formation dancing, bad lip synching and even on-stage nudity, this has all the elements the title may suggest but anyone expecting spoof satire in the Boys Unlimited mould was in for a big surpriseThis play is on an altogether darker tip.

Five rent boys turn into chart-topping popsters named Boylove, who live their present through their past on the streets.

inventive and intense, its only flaw is its nihilism. No one expects pre- packaged morals from theatre these days, but some sympathy and respect for the characters would not have gone amiss. (Abigail Bremner)

I Boyband (Fringe) Oxford University Touring Company, C (Venue 19) 225 5105, until 30 Aug (not 17) even dates 9.15pm, odd dates 1am, £6 (£5).

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61:35-33: Essa-DOM \39/

BACKSTAGE :- Guam uuooiv t venue as 9 233 COWGATE 5m eox ornce: 0131 226 2151

12—19 Aug 1999 THE US? 53