THEATRE REVIEW Jim Rose Circus: Secrets of the Strange

* * ***

It’s impossible to give anything less than five stars to a show that possesses such a level of commitment. No one else suffers for their art in quite the same way as Jim Rose and crew do. Bodies are invaded, punctured, contorted, stretched, placed on beds of nails and beds of swords, but you know that, don't you. The Circus Sideshow made Jim Rose rock-star famous.

In Secrets of the Strange the psychological angle is pushed more to the forefront. Con-artistry and the powers of suggestion are laid bare. It will thrill you, it will scare you. Everyone with the stomach for it should see this show. (Ross Holloway) I Jim Rose Circus (Fringe) Jim Rose, Gilded Balloon at the Palladium (Venue26) 226 2151, until 24 Aug, 8.45pm, £9.50 (£8.50).

COMEDY REVIEW Supergirly World! * 3k it *

With fancy footwork and well-turned stiletto heels, supergirlies Louise McClatchy and Jai Simeone puncture the world of soft pop lyrics. Wearing spangly outfits, the Australian duo parody the over-sweet and daftly naff hits of the 705, 805 and 905.

The Spice Girls, Britney Spears and the Bee Gees are all given a thorough parody going-over. lnconsequential lyrics and body-sway dance routines are transformed by fast-witted and

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sure-footed performances. In the Supergirly Worldl, once fresh-faced boys become pizza van drivers who wear their pants on the outside. Everyone is a winner. (Susanna Beaumont)

I Supergirly World! (Fringe) Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 226 2151, until 29 Aug (not 22) 8.45pm, £9 (£8).


Take the King from King Lear and reunite him with the Fool in an Eastern setting. Take Shakespeare out of the traditional genre, use an English male Lear (Daniel Foley, who is also director) and play him against a female Japanese Fool, Risako Ataka.

The world premiere of this two- handed production is, in Foley's words ’a reaction to the way Shakespeare is being performed in Britain it’s a fresh look at the text.’ The set, designed by Asaka, is surreal and dreamlike in nature reflecting the hypothetical resolution of the two characters. The feeling is unreal and ethereal. Foley feels that in the original work ‘the relationship between Lear and the Fool is never reconciled. The audience is left hanging.’ Who is the real clown-comic?

Over the last decade these two performers have worked together at festivals all over the world, and after the success of Clyemnestra last Fringe they’re back with this challenging new work. (Tracy Griffen)

I Fool And Lear (Fringe) Performance Exchange, The Quaker Meeting House (Venue 40) 220 6109, 23—28 Aug, 9pm, £5.50 (£4).

Home and away-hey: Supergirly World

THEATRE REVIEW Journey To Macbeth 99


Is Dannii Minogue any good? Yes. How about the play? No, it's terrible. But. Journey To Macbeth 99 is also immensely entertaining. It’s misconceived on every level, from the Pan’s People-ster dance routines, through the updating of the action to the 705. the country and western song interlude (7!!!) and the balmy finale wherein the cast march off with giant carnival puppets into a brave new Scotland - or something. Technically, the show misfires as well. The PA for the outdoon performers picks up roughly every third line. so unless you know the play inside out (and purists will be appalled with liberties taken) it’s difficult to follow the plot. Worse still. the Botanics’ awesome backdrop - the Castle - isn’t used. But these factors make

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Stinky Afro: Journey To Macbeth 99

for hilarious entertainment. That it’s unintentional makes it all the more fun and let‘s not forget the Bard's closing lines: 'It’s a story told by an idiot that

means nothing.‘ Quite. (Miles Fielder)

I Journey To Macbeth 99 (Fringe) Theatrum Botanicum, Royal Botanic Gardens (Venue 193) until 30 Aug, 9.30pm, £10 (£8).


Destino Tango


Two couples, stunning in their grace

and good looks, glide across the stage

to the sultry Iatin rhythms created by the accompanying Quinteto Tango.

In several short dances, bodies intertwined, legs kicking outwards in rapid movement, they swirl to the passionate melodies. Evenly balanced between musical numbers played by the Quintet, who have cans of Tango on the piano for liquid refreshment, and dances by the captivating Argentinian dancers, the mood is sensual and dramatic. Introducing a third, but very handsome, male dancer, the dynamic is slightly impaired, but it allows for humorous male coupling and feisty indignation from the ladies. (Catherine Bromley)

I Destino Tango (Fringe) Graffiti (Venue 90) 557 8330, until 29 Aug (not 23) 8pm, £8 (£6).


Ennio Marchetto

’Coming back to Edinburgh is always exciting and special,’ declares the Italian master of many paper guises, Ennio Marchetto. Regulars to the Fringe will know him well, as this is his tenth Fringe appearance since introducing his show of living cartoons in 1990. Since then, Marchetto has forged international success with his larger than life lampooning of popular figures.

Every year he unleashes new characters, and with a repertoire of over 100 he’s got plenty to choose from. This year, you may see George Michael turning into the devil and

something very strange happening to Picasso's woman.

His props consist of 140 pieces of paper and accessories, many of which get destroyed during the performance. It’s all part of the fun, as he says ’we just have to make new bits of paper after the show to replace the old ones I guess it's evolution.’

’I always need something fresh to play with, so I choose new media figures and practice them.’ His old characters will join him for the party as well, so bring your paper party hats! (Tracy Griffen)

I E nnio Marchetto (Fringe) Ennio Marchetto, Gilded Balloon at the Palladium (Venue 26) 226 2151, 25-27, 30 Aug, 8.45pm; 28—29 Aug. 5.30pm, £10.50 (£8.50).

THEATRE REVIEW The Constant Couple irier

Deftly restoring both the humour to the play and the play to the stage, this forgotten Restoration Comedy is engaging, accessible and entertaining. Transferring its sexual excesses to the 19205, we untangle the lascivious trail of mass mistress Lady Lurewell, playing off her lovers in a spot of man-bashing lover-baiting. The themes of hypocrisy and aristocracy are treated with suitably light, but carefully substantial handling. Although the production‘s overall vision does not quite manage the slick inspiration of its wonderful a cappella finale (worth the ticket price alone), it remains a fine display of bawdy talent. (Judith Ho)

I The Constant Couple (Fringe) 100% Proof Theatre Company, Old St Paul’s Church and Hall (Venue 45) 556 0476. until 28 Aug, 8.15pm, £4.50 (£3.50).