Samurai, gay girls

and raging queens

From high drama to camp comedy, the festivals are a pink paradise. Words: John Binnie

he brochures are out: all four of them. How do

you begin flicking through them. hoping you

stumble across a musical/dance/book of ‘specialist’ persuasion? And what guarantee is there of quality when you find the possible gay show?

There's none. Part of the charm of Edinburgh is discovering hidden gems which change your life and stay on in your memory. The delightful fifteen- minute one-woman musical The Jolly Folly OfPolly The Scottish Trolley Dolly was such a find two years ago. and it's back.

This year there is lots of ‘gay girl‘ theatre (their term not mine) which is a cheeky way of saying women-only. These include London camp satirical comedy. Play: physical theatre for women who know women. Skin Deep: ()rgasmo Adulto about women and their sexual desires; and finally Naked Lies And Violent Messages about four women in a world which has rejected men.

There‘s a comprehensive selection of plays by lesbian dramatists including Phyllis Nagy‘s Disappeared about a young woman with the most monstrous mother in the world disappearing in Hell‘s Kitchen. There‘s Bryony Lavery's comic romp and

28 THE LIST 19 Jul—2 Aug 2001

piss—take of the gothic novel Her Aching Heart and Restoration writers Aphra Behn‘s Pandora's Box. Bisexual favourite Claire Dowie has two productions ofAdult C hild. Dead Child on as well as performing her solo The Year Of The Monkey.

There’s a fair share of ‘gay men in love with the wrong type of man’ kind of plays. Lucky is set in a football team and has leading scorer Sam confused about his sexuality: Temporarily Yours frotn New York has gay Tom in love with straight-laced Pasha: and the musical Inside Leg has Ralph loving Steve loving Hannah. Lee Weston's Tell Me You Love Me is a comedy with a gay man deciding to become a father.

Musicals are strong in the Fringe. including Hull University right in the heart of the gay village with Elegies For Angels, Punks And Raging Queens. Fringe First winners revive the quirky. overlong Moscoli‘ about three gay men stuck in a rehearsal room enacting Chekhov’s The Three Sisters. There's cheesy entertainment from the queen of the cocktail. Jackie Clune in Bitchin' and the Gay Samurai Revue offers ‘silky skinned Japanese boys in steamy scenesK

In the world of stand-up. Scott Capurro. Craig Hill and Rhona Cameron will all be trying to make us laugh. as will the Stonewall benefit with Julian Clary.

The Gay Samurai Revue offers ‘silky skinned Japanese boys in steamy scenes'.

Five perfect ways to spend those pink pounds

I Falsottoland William Finn's show is one of the great contemporary musicals. A Jewrsh New Yorker leaves his Wife and son for a younger man. Passionate. funny and heartbreaking all at once. This production comes under the banner of the National Student Theatre Company. NSTC Fa/setto/and (Fringe), Pleasance Dome, 556 6550, 7 —27 Aug, 2.20pm, £7/E8 (ES/£6).

I Rosldont Allen The remarkable. golden-syrup-vorced Bette Bourne IS Quentin Crisp. the late exiled Englishman in New York, as portrayed in Tim Fountain's play. It was a hit at the Bush Theatre in London in 1999 and was subsequently broadcast on Radio 3.0uentin Crisp/ Resident Alien (Fringe) Assembly Rooms, 226 2428, 3—26 Aug, 77.50am, £70/E7 7 (£39/E7 0).

I To Be Frank David Benson. such a success as Kenneth Williams when he combined autobiography and spot-on impersonation in Think No Evil Of Us in 1996. tries his hand at Frankie Howerd while trying to explain how he ended up domg office work in London despite his on-stage acclaim. David Benson To Be Frank (Fringe) Pleasance Dome, 556 6550, 7—27 Aug, 4pm, £8. 50/29. 50 (E 7. 50/28. 50).

I Book Festival Gay highlights include the remarkable homosexualist Gore Vidal (16 Aug). Jackie Kay. author of the glorious novel Trumpet (16 Aug). Christopher Whyte (21 Aug). Ali Smith (17 Aug) and a whole morning of lesbian crime novelists (1 1 Aug). Edinburgh international Book Festival, 624 5050, 7 7-27 Aug.

I Hodwlg And The Angry Inch See feature page 16. Hedwig And The Angry Inch (Fringe) Pleasance Courtyard and Over the Road, 556 6550, 7-27 Aug, 9.30pm, SEQ—E 72 (E8437 0); Hedwig And The Angry Inch (Film) Cameo, 623 8030, 7 7Aug, 77pm and 22 Aug, 8pm, £‘ 7 (£4.50).