We-famespdfiing Tomorrow's stars today

Eric Styles

Natronal Frlm and Televrsron School graduate Errc Styles's frrst fvlm to be prolected onto Edrnburgh's brg screen was hrs short, Brrdbrarn That was 1997 Thrs year, Styles’s second Edrnburgh frlm rs hrs feature debut, Dreaming Of Joseph Lees, an H E Bates-style melodrama set rn Somerset about a young woman's dreams of' escaprng the drudgery of country Irfe Styles has assembled an envrable talent lrne-up: actors Samantha Morton, Rupert Graves, Mrrram Margolyes and Frank Frnlay, as well as Krzys7tof Kreslowskr’s regular soondtrack composer, Zbrgnrew Prersner

'Brrdbrain was great for me,’ says Styles, ’as the Edrnburgh Frlnr Festrval rs very supportrve of emergrng frlmmakers When we were lookrng for festrvals to premrere Dreaming Of Joseph Lees, Edrnburgh was Our frrst chome. It has really good representatrve audrences who are very keen to see new, challengrng frlms I'm lookrng forward to the audrence’s response' (Mrles Frelder) Dreamrng Of joseph Lees, Edinburgh Internatrona/ Film Festival, 623 8030, Cameo 7, 26 Aug, 8pm, Cameo 3, 28 Aug, 70pm, [7 ([450).

Barbara Nice

One of the strrkrng features of the comedy Crrcurt over the last frve years has been the re-emergence of character comedy. Johnny Vegas, Al Murray's Pub Landlord . and now another Frrnge frrst- trmer, the hotly trpped but slrghtly grotesque Barbara Nrce ’lhrs character represents all that rs depressrng about lower rnrddle-(Iass, mrddle-aged suburbra, but rn a JOyful and engagrng manner The woman herself explarns the drlemma: 'She’s a mother of frve and a keen Take A Break reader, who has taken up comedy part-trme once the krds are rn bed Her husband doesn’t know she’s dorng rt he thrnks she's at the brngo’.

Mrs Nrce provrdes the krnd of comedy we've come to expect from the lrkes of Dame Edna and Mrs Merton, where we get the prcture of a whole off-stage world, and where a monstrous and dysfunctronal famrly becomes the source of recognrsable humour. 'She lrkes to mother her audrence,’ Barbara explarns, Spam sandwrches all round, then. (Steve Cramerl Mrs Barbara Nice (Fringe) Gilded Balloon at Tailors Hall Hotel, 226 2757, 26—28 Aug, 6pm 8 8pm, [8 ([7).

Mark O’Rowe

What a drfference three weeks can make. Mark O’Rowe came here brlled as a prrze-wrnnrng up-and-comer from Tallaght, Ireland puntrng hrs new play Names lrke James Joyce, Flann O'Brren and, strangely enough, John Wayne were bandred abOut on hrs arrrval but who belreves hype? Several sweaty-palmed, eulogrstrc: revrews later —- rncludrng a tasty frve star rave from The List a and trckets for Howre The Rookie are as thrn on the ground as rockrng horse shrt The appeal lres rn O'Rowe's honest, unglamourous portrayal of contemporary Dublrn and rts often shady, ocassronally mad rnhabrtants —- rn particular the play’s central storytellers, Howre Lee and Rookre Lee (no relatron). The wrrter reckons rt’s the 'dynamrc rhythm and very vrsual style' of the prece that grves the audrence the abrlrty to suspend therr drsbelref, ’When someone tells you a story, y0u don’t questron rt,’ he says, ’That's maybe why rt works' And work rt does, Belreve the hype, (Mark Robertson) Howie The Rookie (Fringe) The Bush, Observer Asemb/y / Venue 3,) 228 2428, until 30 Aug, 8. 70pm, [9 (£8).

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14 mausr 26 Aug—9 Sep r999