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THEATRE REVIEW Fantastical Voyage *1Hr

You first: Fantastical Voyage

The word ’fantastical’ just about sums this show up. Two men, one stage and some coloured lighting is all it takes to transport the audience on a journey to a magical kingdom below the sea. Our hero, Harry Pepper (a jolly good chap and superhero Dan Dare style), fights his way to success yet again defeating various monsters and even the odd Tyrannosaurus Rex along the way. This is miming in its most polished, perfect form; the actors create a story of Odyssey proportions using only their bodies and voices. All you need take is your imagination. (Victoria Nutting)

l Fantastical Voyage (Fringe) Company Gavin Robertson, Komedia @ Southside (Venue 82) 667 2272, until 29 Aug, 5. 75pm, £7.50 (£5.50).

THEATRE REVIEW New South Wales *9: 1*

Call it voyeurism if you will, but a play, when properly performed, should take you out of yourself. You should believe that what you’re seeing is not a bunch of actors on a stage, but a glimpse into

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someone's life. Unfortunately, New South Wales didn't manage to reach that level of intimacy with the audience, despite the strong script. Set in a London cab travelling from Paddington Station to Cardiff on the eve of the Referendum, the play looks at the unlikely friendship that blossoms between the cabbie and his fare, a young man with dreams to share. A good idea, but poorly executed. (Kirsty Knaggs)

I New South Wales (Fringe) Theatr Y Byd, Harry Younger Hall (Venue 73) 07050 167320, until 28 Aug, 4.45pm, £ 7 (£5).

THEATRE REVIEW Farces Fantasia in”

This show from makers of previous Fringe hit Snowshow prompted three members of the audience to a standing ovation, and drove two to walk out after ten minutes. lnsipid scenes included a sackful of shoes becoming stepping stones, and two undersized Sumo wrestlers farting.

But the six engaging characters also break barriers with stunning scenes to ignite the imagination: glowing fag ends and paparazzi flashing lighters conclude with a Mulder and Scully- esque torchlight ballet; a company of stilted circus Zorros transform into the moon and clouds hanging over a stilted geisha, whose kimono-belt reveals a flock of birds. Willow-patterned delight. (Gabe Stewart)

I Farces Fantasia (Fringe) Farces Theatre, Observer Assembly (Venue 3) 226 2428, until 30 Aug, 4.45pm, £9/£8 (£8/£ 7).

THEATRE REVIEW Hoipolloi - Living Like Victor

**** Not satisfied with loose ends in their play, namely the murder of Victor, a racehorse jockey, the actors decide to re-enter the world of fiction and enact a classic whodunit.

in this madcap comic play, in which reality is a distant dream, it’s difficult to know what is ad-Iibbed and what is scripted. At points, the performers, so swept up in the oversized characters


Can you believe they did this to my hair?: Car

Mainstream drum & bass, drugs and Craig Charles-style poetic ranting do not a street drama make. This new play, telling the story of four joy-riders, the victim of the crime and the probation officer who tries to mediate between the two, reeks of empty left-wing intellectualism.

It's a shame, really, because the acting from the young performers is very powerful. Written by Chris O'Connell, himself an ex-probation officer, the portrayal of the car thieves and their spiralling descent into self-destructive despair couldn't be more patronising if it tried. Over-simplified role-reversal portrays the criminals as victims and the victims as criminals, when it is quite clear that such sweeping characterisations are not in any way valid. And because of the inherent ugliness of the characters, it is difficult to feel any sympathy for their predicaments.

A disappointing production that attempts to create hard-hitting realism, but instead reveals a shallow, middle-class understanding of street culture. (Catherine Bromley)

l Car (Fringe) Theatre Absolute, Pleasance ( Venue 33) 556 6550, until 30 Aug, 4pm, £7.50 (£6.50/£5.50).


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. Zoyka ’5 Apartment (Fringe) Empire Studio Productions, The Attic (Venue 56) until 28 Aug, 4.30pm, £5 (£3).

they haphazardly assume, join the audience in fits of giggles. Technical mishaps could be part of the show, the mistakes of the downtrodden stage

manager, Sue, or they could be THEATRE REVIEW

genuine it's hard to tell, but even “they Shoot Horses Don't harder not to laugh. The 7

(Catherine Bromley) y“

l Hoipol/oi - Living Like Victor (Fringe) * *‘lrir

One thousand dollars prize money and the hope of being spotted by a Hollywood talent scout has lured

Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550, 20, 27, 27-30 Aug, 3.40pm, £6 (£5).

THEATRE REVIEW young couples in Depression era LA to a dance marathon. The grim

** . . .

, reality soon sets In however, as their zoyka 5 Apartment initial enthusiasm and energy is

replaced by injuries and exhaustion after days on their feet. The young cast's transition from Come Dancing to Night Of The Living Dead is convincing enough to break your heart and the slow-motion scene during the barbaric derby is well choreographed, spectacularly performed, and shocking in its intensity. Take your hanky.

(Kirsty Knaggs)

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Zoyka’s Apartment begins interestingly enough as the cast of seventeen stagger grotesquely across the performance space to the off-stage sound of machine-gun fire. It captures the fear at the heart of the Russian aristocracy as they negotiate the early years of Stalin's bureaucratic regime. But from here the production struggles through a pretty straightforward interpretation of the text. The translation itself seems a bit stilted and

the acting is often below the mark, thus, the comic potential fails to be developed. Theatre has to be good to make you sit in a chair for nigh on three hours and, despite some interesting moments, this wasn't. (Davie Archibald)

(Fringe) National Youth Theatre Of Great Britain, George Square Theatre (Venue 37) 662 47 7 7, until 30 Aug, 4pm, £9.50 (£6.50).

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