COMEDY PREVIEW Paul Zenon: Turning Trick


How's tricks?: Paul Zenon

When it comes to performers of magic and near-death experiences, you think of sequinned ladies being sliced down the middle; trussed-up nutters in a locked compartment of water; or maybe a moustachioed beefcake wrestling with a tiger.

When it comes to Paul Zenon and flights with fate, things tend to go a little bit differently. ‘I was doing a rugby player testimonial dinner and there was one real meathead heckler - quite unusual for a rugby gathering - and I was doing the thing with the triangle and the beer,’ recalls Zenon of his grand finale trick which invariably involves someone being drenched in booze.

‘I got on his table and he was still having a go, so I suddenly decided that I should pour the pint over him. He went absolutely mental, and we ended up running everywhere; sliding under tables, pushing people out of the way - it was a bit Keystone Cops. I eventually managed to jump on stage, quickly say "thanks, goodnight" and got out the back door.’

Known as King Con, Zenon has worked his alternative magic in venues as diverse as Vegas and Bosnia. He was unsurprisingly not asked onto Channel 4's Poker Night, and you‘re more likely to see him consuming flames between gags than chewing the fat down The Magic Circle. 'I still eat fire on and off,’ blazes Zenon. 'But only when it's requested because, well. it hurts. It's not a great flavour and it smells a bit like cat piss. You can imagine my flat's a lovely place.’ (Brian Donaldson)

I Paul Zenon: Turning Tricks (Fringe) Pau/ Zenon, Beck ’5 Famous Spiege/tent (Venue 87) 225 9999, 26—27 Aug, 9.30pm, £10 (£9).

THEATRE REVIEW COMEDY REVIEW Spinout Hang A Bra On Your Shield! at it it it

lnflate’s multi-media, mock docu- soap examination of British club culture isn't so much ’in-yer-face' as ’inches-from-yer—nose.’ It’s a pity as there are nicely observed scenes, and the cast work their hooded tops off recreating the spaced-out shenanigans of London's party going. The pace is slowed by video footage that splutters self- consciously on and off screens, appearing intrusive rather than authenticating the mood.

A more intimate spatial arrangement would also benefit the production. The action seems too far away to make any real impact, and there are distracting pillars between audience and stage which do a sterling job of supporting the roof but nothing for the view. (Allan Radcliffe)

Jeremy Ward is a beginner in comedy and it shows. A rather small man, not unlike Ronnie Corbett, he sits in a comfy leather chair and instead of producer anecdotes, tells stories of being an Englishman in rural Ireland. In dulcet tones he takes on the character of Mulvaney, an immortal Irishman, and recounts stories of his disastrous interventions in historical events. Despite often intriguing tales from Ward, the show lacks atmosphere. The lights are left up, the door open and it’s difficult not to be distracted by sounds from the busy streets outside. (Catherine Bromley) Hang A Bra On Your Shield! (Fringe) Outrageous Scripts, Roman Eagle Lodge (Venue 21) 226 7207, until 29 Aug, 8.25pm, £6 (£4.50).


I Spinout (Fringe) Inf/ate, Augustine’s *Hut Ummxmr (Venue 152) 225 6575, until 30 Aug 13* :~(‘,‘(’)‘;’,;{‘{fgf({l,q (not 22-23, 25, 27, 29) 8.30pm, £5 it [ii-901w average

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19—26 Aug 1999 THE usr 51