DANCE REVIEW Swan Lake **~k~k
. ‘/ Grey areas: Shakti
You have to admire Shakti’s guts, although other parts of her anatomy are more obviously apparent to appreciate. Purists may poo-poo her movement - is it pole dancing or is it art? - but as she says herself, wild swans aren't white but grey, because they live in dirty water.
Shakti's version of Swan Lake is pretty muddy, but what she lacks in technique she more than makes up for in enthusiasm: half sultry restraint and South East Asian overtones; half flailing flesh and frenetic abandon.
The seven outfit changes include a gravity defying strapless top. Think Playboy not Bolshoi. (Gabe Stewart)
I Swan Lake (Fringe) Shakti, Garage Theatre (Venue 81) 221 9009, until 30 Aug, 10pm, £8 (£7).
COMEDY REVIEW Viagra Falls! (Hoo-Ha!) ****
Steven Alan Green is the consummate American showman. He begins with the customary showbiz exchanges, in turn taking the piss out of the assorted Americans, Australians and Londoners in the audience. But he performs with
theatre 0 dance - comedy
a charm that makes him instantly likeable.
You want this guy to make you laugh and he does. But beware, some of his humour is not for the politically intolerant. The irony in his ‘Faggots Are Everywhere' number is not always understood, but just in case you're offended, he follows with the catchy ’Fuck You!’
At once irreverent and irresponsible, each show is his farewell performance. Make sure you catch it.
I Viagra Falls! (Hoo-Ha!) (Fringe) Steven Alan Green, Cafe Royal (Venue 4 7) 556 2549, until 30 Aug, 11pm, E 7 (£5).
THEATRE REVIEW An Englishman, Irishman And A Welshman
With the characters bizarrely dressed in what appear to be lederhosen, it is fitting that the material should be equally as skimpy, with sketches hemmed in by effortlessly transparent punchlines.
However, for boisterous bounce, this dose of boyish bonding is teeming with energy. Their given explanation is that the key to a good review is physical theatre, though acknowledgement of the cerebral hemispheres would also have been appreciated.
Not so much a play on stereotype gags as a demonstration of comedic laxatives: bludgeon a subject long enough and something funny will eventually pop out, even if it is (as favoured here) an oversexed sheep. (Judith Ho)
I An Englishman, Irishman And A Welshman (Fringe) Aah, Entertaining Theatre, Hill Street Theatre (Venue 41) 226 6522, until 30 Aug, 12.10am, £5.50 (£4.50).
COMEDY REVIEW Wil Anderson: Willennium ****
More akin to a post-pub discussion than frantic stand-up, Wil Anderson: Willennium should be saluted. Taking
46 THE U81 26 Aug-9 Sep 1999
Charm offensive: Steven Alan Green
COMEDY REVIEW Cookin' **
Cookin’ is the hit show from Korea featuring four chefs creating musical and knockabout comedy mayhem in a restaurant kitchen. As such, it is a super-slick production. The staging, with all its inherent Orientalism, is visually sumptuous, and the full-on energetic action, which includes much drumming on chopping boards with big knives and all manner of slapstick japery. fails to slow down.
The plot has them preparing a menu while trying to avoid the attentions of their comically rotund tyrannical boss. Unfortunately, this paper-thin narrative is little more than a device to ease the transition from zany setpiece to zany setpiece with a little romance and a sliver of rivalry thrown in for good measure.
Every visual gag conceivable in a kitchen setting is covered, from very dextrous plate-throwing to sub- Jackie Chan bouting with broomsticks. But most of the show simply revolves around the four
chefs utilising every kitchen implement imaginable as a percussion instrument.
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Kitchen stink: Cookin'
This is pretty impressive and inventive stuff initially. However, after a subtle opening sequence it resorts to bombastic tactics to hold your attention, when what is called for is a little more variation in rhythm and tone. The recorded music used in some sequences does not help much; at its worst it is excruciating cod heavy metal guitars wailing like some lost
soundtrack to Miami Vice.
In the final analysis, the knife skills fail to fulfil and the result is little more than exotic light entertainment. (Ross Holloway) I Cookin' (Fringe) Observer Assembly (Venue 3) 226 2428, until 30 Aug, 10pm.
the central premise that the world has an hour until expiry, Anderson wants to know what we'd do before the shutdown; the resultant audience input is more than up to the task.
The best lines, mind you, are the preserve of our funky Aussie host, his scattergun attack comprising everything from The Male Australian Psyche to the semantic based conundrum of the phrase 'on the pull.‘
With marvellously sharp material, Anderson's inherent amiability should take you nearer Y2K with a grin on your face. (Barry Mcpherson)
I Wil Anderson: Willennium (Fringe) Wil Anderson, Gilded Balloon @ The Honeycomb (Venue 139) 226 2151, until 30 Aug, 10.30pm, E 7 (£6).
COMEDY REVIEW Fluffy Brothers/Michael Tombs
**** Michael Tombs seems like a nice chap. He's very droll and actually much more fluffy than the eponymous brothers who are pretty spiky by comparison.
Confusingly, the Fluffy Brothers’ sketch comedy plays half as radio-style material and half as effortlessly skilful
slapstick and knockabout. Nevertheless, they are equally adept in both mediums. Their vast array of voices stretches from Shakespearian to Brixtonian and visits many daft places in between. It's delightfully silly throughout and even when scatology or lewdness oozes in, the tone is still one of good clean fun.
That Gary Bushell called them 'witless twerps' should be recommendation enough. (Ross Holloway)
I Fluffy Brothers/Michael Tombs (Fringe) Gilded Balloon ll (Venue 36) 226 2151, until 30 Aug, 10pm, £6 (£5).
THEATRE REVIEW Fisticuffs ****
The Freaks' presentation Fisticuffs is a rough diamond of a show. It goes courageously out on a limb to a point where it risks imminent collapse, but within that space spontaneity flourishes.
Here we have two women having a
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