FESTIVAL 3-6pm continued


Navelgazing i: i: * A it

Parents, Heinz ads, poncy film critics and children's TV - no one, it seems, is safe from the wit of the Navelgazers. This show will leave you breathless with laughter as the six-strong cast throw themselves into the yawning chasm of comedy. There isn't even a respite during scene changes when the on-stage screen shows, among other things, scenes that the cast prepared earlier. The soundtrack is unparalleled: the Grange Hill theme tune, Tales Of The Unexpected and some brilliant early Madonna. Quality comedy. (Victoria Nutting)

I Nave/gazing (Fringe) Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550, until 30 Aug. 5.45pm, £7 (£6).

THEATRE REVIEW Bodies Unbound ink

'We must make friends with the animal in our pelvises.’ So urges Cynthia Wearing, star of this autobiographical one-woman journey to personal growth via drugs, alcohol, a convent and finally massage. It's rather like a visit to a beauty salon: gentle, soothing voice, twinkly music and candle light which makes you want to curl up and have all your worries massaged away. A little piece of California has arrived at the Greyfriars Kirk and while it is entertaining and incisive, you leave wishing you could have been a patient, rather than part of the audience. Massage is the new psychotherapy? You had better believe it. (Victoria Nutting)

I Bodies Unbound (Fringe) Gone Wild Productions, Greyfriars Kirk House (Venue 28) 226 6522, until 30 Aug, £6.50 (£5.50).

34 THE LIST 26 Aug-9 Sep 1999

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Brian Appleton's History Of Rock 'n' Roll ****

Out of the living room and into the classroom, the new comic guise of Graham Fellows (aka John Shuttleworth aka Jilted John) is a Leo Sayer-haired media studies lecturer and much thwarted pop star. For without our Brian’s ill-rewarded input Rod Stewart could never have penned ’Maggie May’, Genesis would not have replaced Peter Gabriel with Phil Collins, and Boy George might still be the cloakroom attendant at the Blitz. Not that he's bitter - no, he's fucking furious. The legend that is/was Shuttleworth is quite an act to follow but the hapless Brummie Appleton is a charming egomaniac. Pathos aplenty and funny to the bone. (Rodger Evans)

I Brian Appleton’s History Of Rock 'n' Roll (Fringe) Pleasance (Venue 33) 556 6550, until 30 Aug, 4.30pm, £6.

THEATRE REVIEW Reunion * fir *

While watching metro-boulot-dodo's energetic blend of drama, dance and mime, you get that disquieting feeling usually induced by a stranger revealing something personal about themselves. Probably because the visually engaging Reunion documents the disasters endured by the cast members, and those close to them, during the last year. These include the loss of a close friend, illness and the expiry of a beloved cat.

Despite the fact that it’s based on acute misery, the production's strangely humorous and upbeat. It also takes the useless, but well meant, platitudes which are bandied about after a loved one's death to task.

Powerful and innovative, but its self-

Thls whoring life: Whoredom

referentiality may be wearing for some. (Dawn Kofie)

I Reunion (Fringe) metro-boulot-dodo. The Bongo Club, out of the blue (Venue 143) 556 5204, 27-28 Aug, 5.55pm, £6 (£4).


The life of a bachelor man is dull indeed if Mr Sing/e is anything to go by. The smallest details of his life are expressed through movement, sound and fragments of multi-lingual speech, from crossing the road to brushing his teeth, and repeated to the point of distraction. However, his ability to convey an emotion or action with the minimal amount of effort is impressive. The frequent touches of humour are reminiscent of the silent comedies and his appearance also brings to mind the stars of that era - Oliver Hardy and Fatty Arbuckle in particular. In theory, interesting; in practice, a tad monotonous. (Kirsty Knaggs)

I Mr Single (Fringe) Exit, Theatre Workshop (Venue 20) 226 5425, until 29 Aug, times vary, £8 (£4)

THEATRE REVIEW Sisters Of The Seasons ****

Brazilians Neca Zarvos and Raquel Ornellas make a great double-act in this creepy-comic Macbeth retold from the witches’ perspective. Mud-caked, howling and whining against a backdrop of gnarled vine, these weird siblings start by invoking famous fairy tale witches and end up referencing modern technology and catastrophe. The meat of the performance is a playful, inventiver physical dig into the Scottish play. The dramaturgy is not always clear, and some anachronisms fall flat. But the pair's dark, vigorous choreographed clowning is a sustained, entertaining take on a familiar tale. (Donald Hutera)

I Sisters Of The Seasons (Fringe) Cia. lrmas Do Tempo, Hill Street Theatre (Venue 41) 226 6522, until 30 Aug (not 26) 3pm, £6 (£5).

COMEDY REVIEW Sweeney And Steen In Danny's Wake

fir * bk

Middle-aged but still young at heart, Jim Sweeney and Steve Steen return to the Fringe after a nine year absence to celebrate their 25 years together as a comedy duo.

This new play, the first theatre piece written by Sweeney, follows the awkward reunion of childhood friends. Taking a while to get going - after all, wakes are not supposed to be hilarious from the off - the understated, mature humour gradually regresses into childish pranks and name~calling. An excellent return. (Catherine Bromley)

I Sweeney And Steen In Danny’s Wake (Fringe) Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 226

2151, until 30 Aug, 5.15pm, £7.50 (£6.50).

THEATRE REVIEW Tennessee Williams ****

Of these four short playlets, it is opener The Lady Of Larkspur Lotion which truly scoops the plaudits. A compelling study of dreams gone awry, its central character, the delusional Mrs Hardwicke- Moore, proves the perfect conduit for Williams' shaded irony, lost and seeking succour in the equally tragic realms of Ron Emslie’s drunken writer.

Segued by plaintive sax, the further three sketches in this EDT production fail to shine as brightly, although each is far from lacking a certain distinguishable charm. Not quite classic Williams then, but in this fledgling company's hands, a pleasure all the same. (Barry Mcpherson)

I Tennessee Williams (Fringe) EDT Company, Gilded Balloon (Venue 38) 226 2151, until 30 Aug, 5.15pm, £7.50 (£6.50).


The Bootlegs


Sketch shows done well can be breathtaking riots of flair and imaginative suss. Done poorly, though, they’re a shambles, little more than wheezy half-arsed nonsense thrashing around for meaning. Being rather gifted bods indeed, The Bootlegs belong with the former, their scatty, quickfire lunacy both clever and dynamic, as well as incredibly funny.

Pervy Welsh PE instructors, wrestlings refugees, a spot-on boy band parody; the triumphs just keep on rolling, easily eclipsing the odd forgivable howler. Next stop Channel 4 then? It’s always the way with these things.

(Barry Mcpherson)

I The Bootlegs (Fringe) Gilded Balloon at The Honeycomb (Venue 139) 226 2151, until 30 Aug, 3.15pm, £6 (£5).

THEATRE REVIEW Whoredom ****

Whoredom opens with a pigskin clad bishop branding the bare buttocks of a feisty young prostitute. What will follow - a tale of the emancipatory stuggles of women against religious patriarchal oppression? Well, yes. But one that leaves you rolling in the aisles as this four-strong cast play out a narrative of rampant whoring and religious hypocrisy.

For in this powerfully performed piece, politics take a back seat as we enter a 17th century world of bawdy humour that, with its Shakespearian sub-plot, will definitely appeal to Fringe audiences. Good boisterous fun. And like the best humour - the jokes have a jag. Go see it. (Davie Archibald) I Whoredom (Fringe) Rejects Revenge Theatre Company, Komedia @ Southside (Venue 82) 667 2212, until 29 Aug, 3.35pm, £8 (£6).