FESTIVAL 10PM-LATE continued

COMEDY REVIEW Phil Kay *****

Phil Kay is more spontaneous than combustion, more inventive than Edison and, on form, easily the most talented comic you’ll see during this entire month of mirth. He can also, on occasion, just fizzle out.

By his own reckoning, one third of his recent shows have failed. But on a good night, like this, Kay's improvised madness is irreducible, irrepressible,

.irresistible, surfing the subconsciousness with greater skill than even the superlative Eddie Izzard.

Inflatable wrestlers, stunt birds, the innate spirituality of tent pegs, a lesson in successful punning, and a fat man falling off his chair. Now that is funny. (Rodger Evans)

I Phil Kay (Fringe) Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 226 275 7, until 28 Aug, 70pm, £9 (£8); the alternative bus tour of Edinburgh, 26 Aug, 3. 30pm, Waverley Bridge, £8.

THEATRE PREVIEW Schrédinger's Box

Theatre group Reckless Sleepers once started a show by putting their audience inside a box and then having it collapse around their ears. This time the audience is going to be on the outside looking in as the performers climb or fall through hidden hatches into a mysterious black cube. ‘I have a background in theatre design,’ explains director Mole Weatherell. ‘The work that we make often has an extra performer: the set.‘

For the record, SchrOdinger was a

theatre 0 dance - comedy


quantum physicist, who explained his theory by describing a cat hidden in a box. You won‘t require a science degree to see this new performance but do hang on to the notion that observation is the key. If you can't see it, how do you know it is true?

This is a place where the line between the watcher and the watched becomes inCreasingly blurred and where anything might happen. (Moira Jeffrey)

I Schrddinger’s Box (Fringe) Reckless Sleepers, Theatre Workshop (Venue 20) 226 5425, 24-29 Aug, 77. 15pm, £7.50 (£3. 50).

COMEDY REVIEW Big Value Comedy Show . . . Late


Excitable Irish compere Michael Legge warms the crowd well in preparation for a consistently funny trio commencing with Nick Doody who opened with a set of jocular masturbation-fixated ponderings, giving us an insight into the peculiar goings-on in his head.

As the upper-class rapper, Dominic Frisbee gets the loudest reaction from his maniacal laugh rather than his material and sensibly keeps his appearance short but still sweet.

Noel Britten rounds off proceedings, his street entertainer origins showing as he disposes of tardy hecklers. His perky demeanour and simple but effective observations round off an evening which lives up to its title in every sense. (Mark Robertson)

I Big Value Comedy Show. . . Late (Fringe) Screaming Blue Murder Comedy. Cafe Royal (Venue 4 7) 556 2549, until 29 Aug (not 24) 70.30pm. £6.50.

COMEDY REVIEW The Divine David’s Spatial Awareness No.1 ****

Spatial tension: The Divine David

If Christopher Ishervvood had written about Paris in the 505 instead of pre- war Berlin he might have dreamed up a character like The Divine David. Imagine a kind of existential Sally Bowles, as well-read in Sartre as she is sussed about suspender belts. Or imagine Jacques Brel suddenly deciding to take up Japanese Kabuki Theatre and miming his vicious sexual satires in high heels, full face make-up and a kimono.

Here is a comedian, well established on the gay scene but on his first visit to Edinburgh, whose definition of camp is a million miles away from shiny, happy Australians in spangly dresses. His cod French accent is as chilling as it is cheering and his creaky companion is a washed out wreck named Jay Cloth.

The Divine David is a man who can spit out the word ‘capitalism', in a manner that is closer to Bertolt Brecht than Ben Elton. And who, above all, manages to be funny and serious and clever in a way you just can’t quite put your finger on.

There's no art cliché that he hasn't anticipated. He specialises in 'spatial awareness', pausing every so often in his show to ’make a shape'. He's at home with abstraction, he collects ‘found sounds' and he'll paint your portrait if you're lucky. When The Divine David starts to sketch, it is as though Rolf Harris has looked into the abyss and emerged - still painting - as a bitter chanteuse. (Moira Jeffrey)

I The Divine David's Spatial Awareness No.7 (Fringe) The Divine David, Gilded Balloon ll (Venue 38) 226 2757, until 30 Aug (not 23) 77. 75pm, £8 (£7).

COMEDY REVIEW Screamers Comedy Club ***

COMEDY REVIEW Reel Stories *t‘k

Cat's entertainment: Schrédinger’s Box

80 TIIE LIST 19—26 Aug 1999

Reel Stories is a high-speed rewind/fast forward through the history of Cinema, as acted out by four young comedians, whom, if you squint your eyes and fantasise a bit, look like Victor Mature, Joan Fontaine, Marlene Dietrich and Ed Norton.

From Chaplin through World War II movies to James Bond and with a couple of pit stops - Stars Wars (predictably) and Forrest Gump - it's intermittently funny and informative for the lay person.

The show abounds with energy, enthusiasm and a healthy abandon for professional polish and, you might argue, this is what the Fringe is really all about. (Miles Fielder)

I Reel Stories (Fringe) Glass Talisman, Greyfriar's Kirk House (Venue 28) 225 3626, anti/27 Aug, 77 . 700m, £5 (£4).

The divine Tina C and Miss Ali Jay are the accommodating hosts for an hour and a half‘s gay and lesbian stand-up entertainment. The line-up consisted of two local girls new to the circuit, Keara Murphy, the token heterosexual whose talent for impressions is quite outstanding, and Frankie Gallagher, a sharp chick with attitude and truly ridiculous shoes; Lee Ness, 'a gay Bernard Manning' apparently, who regales us with a song about his first Festival shag, while the headliner is the quick-witted, silly-haired James Holmes.


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Wth Sf‘f‘lllf) Below average * I You'veboen Warned